How to Add Your WordPress Site to Google Search Console

One of the most important step in optimizing your WordPress site for SEO is adding it to Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools).

Google Search Console offers specific webmaster tools to help website owners monitor and maintain their search presence and rankings.

In this guide, we will show you how to easily add and verify your WordPress site in Google Search Console also known as Webmaster Tools.

How to easily add your WordPress site to Google Search Console

What is Google Search Console?

Google Search Console is a free tool offered by Google to help website owners monitor their website’s presence in Google search results.

It helps you track search rankings along with keeping you updated about site errors, security issues, and indexing issues that may affect your website’s search performance.

If you are serious about growing your website, then you need to add it to Google webmaster tools from day one.

That being, let’s take a look at how to easily add your site to Google Search Console.

Adding Your WordPress Site to Google Search Console

First, you need to visit the Google Search Console website and click on the ‘Start Now’ button.

Start Google Search Console

Next, you’ll need to sign in with your Google / Gmail account.

Once logged in, you’ll be asked to enter your website URL.

There are two methods for site verification: domain name or URL prefix. We recommend the URL prefix method because it is more flexible.

Add website URL

Keep in mind that Google considers an HTTP and HTTPS as two different protocols. It also considers and as two different websites.

You need to enter the correct website URL used by WordPress.

If you are unsure, then there is an easy way to find out the exact URL you need to enter. Simply login to your WordPress admin area and go to Settings » General page.

There you will see your website’s URL in the site address field.

Copy your site address from WordPress settings page

After entering your correct website address in Google webmaster tools setup wizard, click on the ‘Continue’ button to go to the next step.

Now, you’ll be asked to verify ownership of your website. There are several ways to do that, but we will show the HTML tag method because it is the easiest one.

Copy the HTML tag

Click on the HTML tag to expand it and then copy the code inside it.

Now, you need to add this Google site verification meta tag in WordPress, so Google can verify that you are the owner of the website.

Most WordPress tutorials will guide you to just edit the header.php file in your WordPress theme and add the code just above the tag.

However, we don’t recommend this method because if you update or change your theme, then the HTML tag will disappear.

Google periodically checks for the HTML tag and will disable your access to the site data in the search console if it cannot find the verification tag.

Here is how to make sure that Google can always verify your ownership of the website.

First, you need to install and activate the Insert Headers and Footers plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, go to Settings » Insert Headers and Footers page and paste the Google HTML tag code you copied earlier inside the ‘Scripts in Header’ box.

Add HTML verification tag to site header

Don’t forget to click on the ‘Save’ button to store your changes.

You can now go back to Google Search Console settings and click on the ‘Verify’ button.

Verify ownership

Google Search Console will now look for the HTML tag in your website code and will show you a success message.

Your website successfully added to Search Console

Note: If you don’t see a success message, then you need to clear your WordPress cache. This will ensure that Google can fetch the latest version of your website.

That’s all. You have successfully added your site to the Google Search Console (Webmaster tools). You can now click on the ‘Go to Property’ link to visit your Google Search Console dashboard.

Google Search Console dashboard

From here you can see your website’s performance reports and index coverage.

Before you do that, let’s tell Google a little bit more about your website. This will help Google crawl your website a bit more efficiently.

Add XML Sitemap to Google Search Console

An XML sitemap is a file that lists all your website content in XML format, so search engines like Google can easily discover and index your content.

The easiest way to add an XML sitemap to your WordPress website is by installing and activating the Yoast SEO plugin.

Upon activation, go to SEO » General and switch to the ‘Features’ tab. From here, you need to scroll down to the ‘XML Sitemap’ option and make sure that it is turned on.

XML Sitemap option in Yoast SEO

Next, you need to get the XML sitemap link. Simply click on the question mark icon next to the XML sitemap option, and you will see a link to your XML sitemap.

View your XML sitemap

Clicking on the link will take you to your XML sitemap. From there, you can just copy the URL from your browser’s address bar.

Copy your XML Sitemap URL

Alternatively, you can directly access your XML sitemap by adding sitemap_index.xml at the end of your website address. For example:

Now that you have XML sitemap ready, let’s help Google find it quickly.

Simply switch to the Google Search Console dashboard and click on the Sitemaps menu from the left column.

Add your sitemap URL to Google Search Console

After that, you need to add the last part of your sitemap URL under the ‘Add new sitemap’ section and click the Submit button.

Google will now add your sitemap URL to your Google Search Console.

That’s all, you have successfully added your website to Google Search Console.

The next step is to learn how to use the treasure trove of information in Google search console to grow your business. We have a complete Google Search Console guide for beginners which shows you how to make the most out of Google Search Console data.

Google Search Console and WordPress FAQs

Having helped thousands of readers add and verify their website in Google search console, we have seen just about every question you can think of. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

1. How can I upload a Google HTML verification file to my WordPress blog?

Google Search Console allows few different ways to verify website ownership. In this article, we covered the easiest method which is to use the Google site verification meta tag. However some website owners prefer to upload the HTML file to verify site ownership.

To upload the Google search console HTML verification file to WordPress, you will need to login to your WordPress hosting cPanel or connect to your hosting account using FTP.

Next, you need to upload the HTML verification file inside the /public_html/ folder of your website. This is the root directory where you’ll see other WordPress folders like /wp-admin/, /wp-content/, etc.

2. Should I use a Google Site verification plugin for WordPress?

There are many WordPress plugins that are designed specifically to help you with Google site verification. However you don’t need to use them because you’ll likely need to verify ownership on other webmaster tools and platforms like Bing, Yandex, Pinterest, etc.

It’s much better to use the Insert Headers and Footers plugin because it lets you add site verification for all platforms (in a single plugin).

3. How can I become a power user of Google Search Console?

Google search console has a lot of useful information that you can use to grow your business. We have created the ultimate Google Search Console guide that you can use to become a power user.

4. I’m running into problems, is there a Google Search console phone number that I can contact?

No, there’s no Google search console phone number that you can contact. If you’re running into problems with Google search console, then you can use their online support center. For specific questions about WordPress, you can always join our free WordPress help group to ask your questions.

We hope this article helped you learn how to easily add your WordPress site to Google Search Console. You may also want to see our guide on how to get more traffic to your website, and our comparison of the best email marketing services for small business.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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How to Get Google Sitelinks for Your WordPress Site (8 tips)

One of the questions we often get asked from readers is: how do I get additional links to appear under my site’s search results in Google?

Sometimes when you search for a company name in Google (like “wpbeginner”), you may notice that the search listing is larger than others because it contains sitelinks to other important pages from the website.

These sitelinks in Google helps your brand stand out and get more exposure. In this article, we will share how you can get Google sitelinks for your WordPress site.

How to Get Google Sitelinks in WordPress

Since this is a comprehensive guide on adding Google sitelinks, we have created a table of content for easy browsing:

Google sitelinks are additional sub-pages that appear under the first site in search engine ranking results (SERPs). These are often internal links to the most popular pages of that website. Google sitelinks are often shown when you search for a specific brand keyword because they help the user easily navigate around the website.

The exact number of Google sitelinks may vary for each website. A typical brand name search in Google can contain two, four, or six sitelinks displayed underneath the website name.

Here’s an example of what a Google sitelink looks like:

What are Google Sitelinks?

Google sitelinks are chosen by their algorithm to provide the best user experience because it allows users to head directly to the top pages without extra clicks.

If your website is brand new or does not get a lot of traffic, then Google may not display any sitelinks for your keyword.

Don’t worry, we’ll share some tips on how to influence Google sitelinks for your website. But before we do, let’s talk about why Google sitelinks are important.

Google sitelinks are coveted by business owners and SEO professionals because they help your brand stand out. Here are the top 5 reasons why Google sitelinks are important.

1. Google Sitelinks Improve Your Click-Through-Rate (CTR)

Studies show that the top 3 spots in Google get the most clicks. When sitelinks are shown for a specific brand, it takes up the same amount of space as three regular search listings.

This significantly increases your overall click-through rate. Simply put, more visitors will visit your website from the keyword.

Google Search Click-Through-Rate by Position

2. Google Sitelinks Help Build Trust and Credibility

As we mentioned earlier, Google Sitelinks are not shown for all websites. When Google display sitelinks for a brand, it means that a website is popular, well-optimized, and/or that Google believes the results are useful for the visitor.

Google sitelinks take up a lot of screen space (a.k.a digital real-estate). This tells the user that Google believes the #1 result is a lot more relevant than others on the page.

Google Sitelinks Above the Fold (Digital Real Estate)

On mobile, the same sitelinks take even more screen space, further highlighting the brands credibility.

3. Google Sitelinks Can Increase Product Awareness

Google sitelinks highlight the most important pages on the website. This is based on what Google’s algorithm believes to be the most relevant to the user’s search intent.

For a company like OptinMonster, this works out great because it lets new users quickly become aware of their product, features, pricing, and even blog content.

Google Sitelinks Key Product Pages

A new user may not know that the OptinMonster blog has the best conversion optimization tips, but because of Google sitelinks they’re more likely to check it out.

For an eCommerce website or online store, Google sitelinks may even show more personalized results to help users quickly discover and purchase available products.

For example, when we search for Apple, Google sitelinks are personalized to not only show the top Apple products but also the closest physical Apple stores.

Google Sitelinks Personalized Results

This lets us easily discover Apple’s top products, and even have one-click access to the stores, hours, and directions. This is extremely helpful and makes it much more likely for the user to make a purchase.

4. Google Sitelinks Allow Users to Discover Top Pages

Google sitelinks can also act as a great “Start Here” point for websites with a lot of content. This makes it easier for users to discover the top pages on your website.

For example, if a new user searches for WPBeginner, they will see our most popular (and most helpful) content first such as our Start Here page, our guide on How to Start a Blog, How to Make a Website, our 200+ WordPress tutorials category, our WordPress Beginner’s Guide category, and of course our popular WordPress blog.

WPBeginner Google Sitelinks

5. Google Sitelinks Search Lets Users Browse Deeper Pages

For some websites, Google sitelinks may be accompanied by a dedicated site-specific search box. This Google sitelinks search box allow users to search within the specific website directly from Google.

This is an extremely powerful feature, so Google only adds it for websites with a lot of content because they believe that including a search box will be the most useful for the user.

Google Sitelink search box only appears with sites that contain a lot of content like WPBeginner, YouTube, Wikipedia, etc.

What are Google Sitelinks?

Now that you know the importance of Google sitelinks, let’s take a look at how you can add Google sitelinks to your website.

There’s no guaranteed way to get Google Sitelinks for your website. Unlike other SEO features, there’s no button that you can click in Google Search Console to enable sitelinks for your WordPress site.

Google sitelinks are automated, and they are displayed entirely based on Google’s algorithm. However you can follow certain SEO best practices to significantly improve your chances of getting Google sitelinks for your website.

Let’s take a look at the 8 best practices to get sitelinks for your website.

1. Your Website Name Must be Unique

Google sitelinks are primarily displayed on brand specific search queries, and they’re only added for the site that ranks #1 for that search results.

If you have a generic brand name like “Global HR Expert Consulting”, then you will likely struggle to rank at the top. Even if you get to position #1, Google still has a hard time deciding if the user is really searching for your company or the general topic.

This is why generic brand names don’t have sitelinks:

No Google Sitelinks for Generic Brands

Unless of course your brand becomes a household name like Apple, in which case Google knows the search intent is for people interested in the tech company, Apple, and not the fruit.

Since most companies will not have the marketing budget like Apple to become a worldwide brand, its better to select a more unique name for your company like WPBeginner, OptinMonster, etc.

Now if you already have an established brand, we definitely don’t recommend changing it just to get sitelinks because this is a very complicated task, and it has its own risks. For more details, see our guide on: how to move your site to a new domain.

2. Rank at Position #1 for Your Brand Name

As we mentioned earlier, Google sitelinks are only assigned to the first search result, so you need to work on ranking #1 for your brand term.

This can take some time for a new company, but with enough promotion you can get there.

For example, our new website, WP Mail SMTP, doesn’t rank #1 for its keyword, so we don’t have Google sitelinks yet.

Whereas our other new website, RafflePress ranks #1, so it has Google sitelinks.

RafflePress Site Link Example

To improve your website’s ranking, you need to follow our WordPress SEO guide and implement the best practices. You also need to do keyword research and write quality blog posts that are optimized for SEO. After that, you need get backlinks to your site.

3. Use Proper Structured Data for SEO

Search engines use automated bots to crawl and index your website. These search engine bots look for structured data to better understand what is the website and the specific page is about.

Structured data can help improve your chances of getting a Google sitelink, featured snippet, and even appear in the answers box.

You can set this up by using a WordPress SEO plugin like Yoast SEO, All in One SEO, or another similar plugin that lets you add meta data and other schema elements.

Again like with anything else, Schema markups or Structured Data doesn’t guarantee that Google will add sitelinks, but it definitely improves your chances.

4. Have Clear Website Structure and Navigation

As a website owner, it is your job to make sure that Google and other search engines can easily find their way around your website.

You can do this by organizing your top pages in well-thought out hierarchical dropdown WordPress menus.

You can add breadcrumb navigation on your website to make it easy for users and search engines to see the site structure.

You also need to make sure that you have the important website pages like About, Pricing, Contact, etc created and linked from various areas of your website.

5. Create a Sitemap and Add Your Site to Google Search Console

Google and other search engines rely on XML sitemaps to properly discover and index all pages from your website.

You need to create an XML sitemap, and then submit it to Google search console.

This will make it easier for Google to discover all the pages on your site, and it can also help increase your chances of getting a Google sitelink.

6. Make Internal Linking a Habit

Internal linking is one of the most important part of on-page SEO. You need to make sure that you’re frequently linking to your top internal pages on your website.

Since Google uses backlinks as a ranking signal, internal linking helps Google see which pages are the most important on your site.

You can see how we have linked to various of our internal website content from this article.

7. Improve Page Titles and Make them Relevant

Page titles are probably the most important on-page SEO element. You need to make sure that your page title is relevant to the keyword you’re trying to rank for.

Google uses page titles to generate the sitelinks, so you need to make sure that your page titles are relevant.

TrustPulse team has done a great job with their page titles:

Google Sitelinks Generated from Page Title

You can define the post or page title inside your WordPress SEO plugin settings for that respective page.

8. Increase Your Brand Awareness

As we mentioned earlier, that Google sitelinks are typically shown for established websites.

You don’t have to be a big brand like Apple or WPBeginner, but you need to raise enough awareness for Google to notice you.

Your website’s authority and presence online plays an important factor in Google’s ranking algorithm.

Here are few things you can do to boost your brand awareness:

  • Create social media profiles for your brand and make sure they link to you
  • Get positive business reviews about your brand on Facebook, Yelp, Google, and other review aggregators.
  • Guest blog on popular industry websites
  • Participate in community discussions and/or give interviews
  • Do press releases and reach out to news outlets to cover your brand

Brand awareness helps increase the number of brand search which is an indicator Google uses to determine if Sitelinks should be added for that particular term.

Just like Google sitelinks, the search box with sitelinks is also added based on Google’s discretion. The Google sitelinks search box is typically dedicated to websites with a large number of content such as WPBeginner, Wikipedia, YouTube etc.

What are Google Sitelinks?

With that said, you can add some code snippets on your website to encourage Google to display a site search box along with your Google sitelinks.

If you’re using the Yoast SEO plugin, then it adds the JSON+LD markup for site search automatically.

If you’re not, then you can use the Sitelinks Search Box plugin to add the relevant JSON LD schema markup.

Frequently Asked Questions about Google Sitelinks

In our Facebook Group and support channels, we have received many questions related to Google sitelinks. Below are the top ones.

How do I remove sitelinks from Google?

In the past, Google allowed webmasters to “demote” sitelinks from the Google search console. However that option was removed to simplify things. The only way to remove a specific page from Google sitelinks is to either delete the page or set it to noindex. There’s no way to disable Google sitelinks once they’re added unless you de-index your entire website which is not recommended.

How do I change Sitelinks in Google?

There is no way to change Sitelinks in Google. The Google algorithm automatically selects the relevant pages on your site and add it to the sitelink. You can customize the page titles, but it’s entirely up to Google as to what text they display. There’s no way to edit the text on Google sitelinks since it’s automated.

Can I pay to get Google sitelinks?

Sometimes beginners can confuse Google sitelinks with the Google Adwords Sitelink extension. When you’re paying for ads, Google lets you use the sitelink extension to add additional sublinks as part of your ad. This does not influence the Google sitelinks on your organic listing.

We hope this article helped you learn how to get Google sitelinks for your WordPress site. You may also want to see our guide on how to increase your blog traffic and how to monetize your blog.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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Using WordPress

8 Best Google Maps Plugins (Compared & Reviewed)

Google Maps Plugins

Looking for a quick way to display your business location on your WordPress website? Without a doubt, using a Google Maps plugin is the easiest way to display your business location on your site.

In this article, we’ll talk about some of the best Google Maps plugins on the market. But before that, let’s see how you can benefit by using a Google Maps plugin on your site.

1. Maps Maker

Maps Marker Pro, google maps plugin

Maps Marker is an amazing Google Maps plugin for WordPress that offers the simplest way to add your business location to your website. Its brilliant geo-content management for WordPress lets you add one or several maps together depending on your requirement. With its smart keyless geocoding service providers like Algolia Places, you don’t even need to use an API key for your mapping.

In order to make it effortless to find your location for your visitors, you can use its GPX tracking feature. By doing that, you can display your routes with optional metadata like distance from your user’s current location, duration required to reach the destination, pace or elevation of your location, etc.

2. WP Google Maps Pro

WP Google Maps Pro is another user-friendly and comprehensive WordPress Google Maps plugin that can be a great mapping solution for your business. With this plugin, you can create unlimited maps for your site without coding a single line. You simply need to add the shortcode that it generates and you’re done.

All the maps created with WP Google Maps are super responsive, meaning they look great on any device. You can also add animations to your maps if you want to make them more engaging. The plugin supports multiple languages so it’s easy to localize your maps too. This plugin is also compatible with many other advanced plugins and services like Cloudflare.

3. Hero Maps

 google maps plugin

Hero Maps is another amazing Google Maps plugin for WordPress that lets you generate your map in no time. This plugin offers amazing customization options so you can easily make it look exactly like the way you want. Its drag-and-drop builder makes designing your map super simple. You can also switch your backend to a full-width screen for ease of use.

It offers a number of different markers and colors to choose from. You can even have tabbed filtering on the output map. This makes it possible for you to display multiple maps all at once. It also offers several skin colors and you can pick the one you like most.

4. Progress Map

google maps plugin

Progress Map makes it easier for you to list your business in Google Maps with a few clicks upon plugin installation. No matter what business you run, with Progress Map, you can easily list your map in your WordPress site. It offers more than 70 different ready-to-use map styles. You can also add your own custom map style if you have a better design.

You can enable your website visitors to automatically determine the geolocation of your business. To make it user-friendly, you have the power to control and customize all the Google Maps UI elements like zoom control, map type control, etc.

5. WP Google Map

WP Google Map

WP Google Map is a free WordPress plugin that lets you create various Google Maps shortcodes. With these shortcodes, you can display responsive Google Maps on your website pages, widgets and custom templates. With this plugin, you can also show custom markers on your maps and add links to them that display a message upon being clicked.

You can also decide the center latitude and longitude for each of your maps separately and edit or delete the map functionalities with a few clicks. To make it more convenient for your users, you can enable the option for displaying the real-time traffic conditions and overlays using layers.

6. Maps Widget for Google Map

google maps plugin

Maps Widget for Google Maps is a super fast and responsive WordPress plugin that offers great options to display your map. It can be a road map, a satellite map, a terrain map, a hybrid map, or even choose a custom map type. To make it look more stunning, you have several vibrant color options as well.

The plugin is super flexible in terms of customization, so you can have full control over how it appears. You can choose the image format, map pin icon, placement of your texts, etc and make it look exactly like the way you want. With several other advanced features, this plugin is amazing when it comes to using a Google Maps plugin on your site.

7. WP Google Maps

WP Google Maps plugin

If you want to add custom google maps to your site, then nothing can be better than WP Google Maps. It’s a super flexible and fully customizable plugin that automatically identifies your location on the Google Maps. You can also easily add different zoom levels that are rated 1 through 5 so that users can easily spot your location.

The plugin is compatible with several other advanced plugins and looks stunning across devices of different screen sizes. It also lets you add the shortcode for adding the maps anywhere you want. It can be on your pages, single page, single post, sidebar, footer, etc.

8. Google Maps CP

Google Maps CP

With Google Maps CP, you can insert your Google Maps anywhere you want on your website. It can be within the post, or in a WordPress template that displays multiple posts.

The Google Maps inserted into a template with multiple posts can contain several markers from different posts with the associated geolocation information. If you hover your mouse over these markers, it will automatically highlight the post that it belongs to. You can also use its wide range of setting options to make it more versatile and adaptable. This plugin is thoroughly responsive and is fully customizable, so you’ll have a great time using it to add your maps.

So that’s it. These are some of the amazing Google Maps plugins you can opt for to list your business location on your website. You might also want to check out our complete Google Maps Builder review.

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Using WordPress

How to Effectively Track Facebook Traffic With Google Analytics

How to track Facebook users in Google Analytics

Do you want to track your Facebook traffic in Google Analytics? Knowing the behavior of Facebook users on your site is important because it helps you optimize your site for driving more Facebook traffic and revenue.

In this article, we’ll explain how to accurately track your Facebook users in Google Analytics.

Tracking Facebook Users in Google Analytics

With over a billion active monthly users, Facebook is a reliable platform for you to expand your reach to a new audience that is sure to be interested in what you have to offer. Without knowing what your Facebook fans are doing on your website, you can’t possibly know whether your content is actually working.

However, it’s important to track Facebook users to find out their activities and behavior. It will help you monetize those visitors and increase conversions.

Facebook also offers reports on user clicks, but you should know that these insights are different from the tracking results in Google Analytics.

Facebook Insights focuses on activity that happens on your Facebook page and shows stats like pageviews, page likes, reach, page followers, and more. These insights show you how many users click on your links. But you’ll never know what happens after the users visit your website.

It’s where Google Analytics comes in action. You can track Facebook users and their behavior on Google Analytics to improve your pages for better user engagement.

Tracking Conversions and Contributed Social Conversions From Facebook

Facebook is more of a social channel where users interact with each other and share content that they care about than a conversion channel. If you’re using Facebook only to drive direct conversions, then you’re probably doing it wrong. In fact, considering Facebook as selling platforms will create an adverse impact and make your profiles look spammy.

In order to succeed in Facebook, it’s essential for you to analyze your Facebook ROI. Generally speaking, Facebook ROI is the sum of all actions that provide value to your business in comparison to the resources you invest in Facebook. Basically, calculating the ROI tells you whether the time and money you spend on Facebook are worth it.

If you’ve already set up eCommerce tracking with WordPress, you can visit Aquisition » Social to direct conversions, contributed social conversions and more.

Visit the Overview section to analyze the data from all social networks and see the traffic distribution in percentage.

Social overview

Click on the Conversions category to take a look at the number of conversions from each social network. It also shows the conversion value from all social channels.

Conversion value

After that, you can visit the Social Referrals category. This category will display the number of sessions, pageviews, average session duration, and more.

Social referrals

How to Track User Interaction From Facebook With Google Analytics

Visit Acquisition » All Traffic » Channels and you’ll see multiple traffic sources like organic search, direct, referral, social, etc.

Google Analytics acquisition

You need to click on the Social link to see the list of all social networks driving traffic to your website. This list also includes data from Facebook that you can compare with other social networks like YouTube, Twitter, etc.

Google Analytics social

The data will show you the total number of visits, bounce rate, average sessions duration, pages/sessions, and more. It’s a comprehensive analytics report for all social channels, including Facebook.

To view landing page report, click on the Facebook link to view detailed reports.

To view the pages where your Facebook users land on your site, you need to click on Other link and type ‘Landing Pages’ in the search box.

Landing pages tracking

Select the Landing Pages option, and now you’ll see the pages that your users land on your site from Facebook.

Google Analytics Metrics

Google Analytics shows you complete information, including new users, sessions, bounce rate, etc, so you can see what your converting pages are and thus boost your traffic. If you’ve set up eCommerce tracking, you’ll see a detailed eCommerce conversions report that are coming from Facebook.

You can also change the conversion category based on the goals you’ve created on Google Analytics by clicking on Conversions dropdown and change it to any goal like form conversions.

Goals conversion

With MonsterInsights Forms addon, you can easily track your form views, submissions, and more.

That’s all.

We hope this article helped you learn how to track Facebook users in Google Analytics. You may also want to check out our expert pick of the best WordPress social media plugins for engagement.

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Google Chrome Will Block Mixed Content

Recently, Google Chrome announced that they will soon start blocking mixed content also known as insecure content on web pages.

This feature will be gradually rolled out starting from December 2019. This should give website owners enough time to check for mixed content errors and fix them before the block goes live.

Failing to do so will cause poor user experience, loss of traffic, and loss of sales.

In this guide, we will explain Google Chrome’s mixed content blocking and how you can be well prepared for it.

Getting ready for mixed content block by Google Chrome

Since this is a comprehensive guide, we have created an easy to follow table of content:

What is Mixed Content?

Mixed content is a term used to describe non-https content loading on an HTTPS website.

HTTPS represent websites using a SSL certificate to deliver content. This technology makes websites secure by encrypting the data transfer between a website and a user’s browser.

Google, Microsoft,, WPBeginner, and many other organizations are pushing HTTPs as the standard protocol for websites.

They have been very successful in their efforts. According to Google, “Chrome users now spend over 90% of their browsing time on HTTPS on all major platforms.”

However, there are still many websites serving partial insecure content (mixed content) over HTTPs websites. Google aims to improve this situation by giving website owners a nudge in the right direction.

Why Google Chrome Wants to Block Mixed Content?

Google Chrome already blocks mixed content, but it’s limited to certain content types like JavaScript and iFrame resources.

Blocked mixed content on a web page

From December 2019, Google Chrome will move forward to start blocking other mixed content resources like images, audio, video, cookies, and other web resources.

An insecure HTTP file on a secure HTTPs webpage can still be used by hackers to manipulate users, install malware, and hijack a website. This jeopardizes your website security as well as the safety of your website visitors.

It also creates a bad user experience as Google Chrome cannot indicate whether a page is completely secure or insecure.

What Will Happen if a Website is Showing Mixed Content?

Google Chrome has announced a gradual plan to implement mixed content blocking. It will be implemented in three steps spawning over the next three releases of Google Chrome.

Step 1

Starting from December 2019 (Chrome 79), it will add a new settings option to the ‘Site Settings’ menu. Users will be able to unblock the mixed content already blocked by Google Chrome including JavaScript and iframe resources.

If a user opts-out for a website, then Google Chrome will serve mixed content on that site, but it will replace the padlock icon with the insecure icon.

Step 2

Starting from January 2020 (Chrome 80), Google Chrome will start auto upgrading HTTP video and audio file URLs to HTTPs. If it fails to load them over https, then it will automatically block those files.

It will still allow images to load over HTTP, but the padlock icon will change to Not Secure icon if a website is serving images over HTTP.

Step 3

From February 2020 (Chrome 81), Google Chrome will start auto-upgrading HTTP images to load over HTTPs. If it fails to load them over https, then those images will be blocked as well.

Basically, if your website has any mixed content resources that are not upgraded to HTTPs, then users will see the Not Secure icon in their browser’s address bar.

This will create a poor user experience for them. It will also affect your brand reputation and business.

No need to panic though. You can easily prepare your website to fix all mixed content errors.

How to Prepare Your WordPress Website for Google Chrome’s Mixed Content Block

Google Chrome is the most popular browser in the world among both mobile and desktop users.

Leaving your website with incomplete HTTPS implementation or no HTTPS at all will result in loss of traffic, sales, and overall revenue.

Here is what you need to do to prepare your website for these changes.

Move Your Website to HTTPS

If your website is still using HTTP, then Google Chrome will already be showing a ‘Not Secure’ icon when users visit your website.

Not Secure HTTP website

It is about time to finally move your website to HTTPS.

We know that changes like these can be a bit intimidating for beginners. Some site owners postpone the move due to cost, which is no longer an issue as you can easily get a free SSL certificate for your website.

Other website owners delay it because they think it will be a complicated process and could break their website.

That’s why we have created a step by step guide to easily move your WordPress site from HTTP to HTTPS.

We will walk you through every step and show you how to get that secure padlock icon next to your website address in all browsers.

Finding Mixed Content on an HTTPS Website

If you already have an HTTPS-enabled website, then here is how you will find mixed content on your site.

The first indication of mixed content issues will be visible in Google Chrome’s address bar when you visit your website.

If Google Chrome has blocked a script on your website, then you will see the scripts blocked shield icon at the right corner of the address bar.

Blocked mixed content on a web page

Google Chrome has already blocked the insecure content and that’s why the padlock icon on the left corner of the address bar will not change.

The second indication that you should look for is the info icon. This icon will replace the padlock if the page you are viewing has mixed content that Google Chrome has not blocked.

Unblocked mixed content

Clicking on the icon will show the notice that ‘Your connection to this site is not fully secure’.

Usually, this content includes images, cookies, audio, or video files. Chrome does not block those files at the moment and that’s why it shows this notice.

If your site has both icons, then this means your site is loading multiple types of mixed content files using HTTP.

Next, you need to find out which files are loaded using the insecure HTTP URLs. To do that, right-click anywhere on your website and select Inspect tool from the browser menu.

Console tool in Inspect view showing mixed content errors and warnings

Switch to the ‘Console’ table under the Inspect window to view page load errors. You’ll be looking for ‘Mixed content:’ errors and warnings to find out which files are blocked and which files are loaded using the HTTP URLs.

Fixing Mixed Content Errors in WordPress

There are two easy methods that you can use to fix mixed content warnings and errors on your WordPress website.

Method 1. Fix Mixed Content Errors and Warnings Using a Plugin

This method is easier and recommended for beginners. We will use a plugin that will find and replace HTTP URLs to HTTPs on the fly before sending it to user’s browser.

The downside is that it adds a few milliseconds to your website’s page load speed which is barely noticeable.

First, you need to install and activate the SSL Insecure Content Fixer plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, go to Settings » SSL Insecure Content page to configure the plugin settings.

Secure Content Fixer plugin settings

Select the ‘Simple’ option and then click on the ‘Save changes’ button to store your settings.

Visit your website to look for mixed content warning errors.

For more detailed instructions, see our article on how to fix mixed content error in WordPress.

Method 2. Manually Fix Mixed Content Issues in WordPress

This method can get a bit complicated for beginners. Basically, you’ll be finding the insecure URLs across your website and replacing it with secure URLs.

We will still use a plugin to find insecure HTTP URLs on your website. However, you’ll be able to deactivate the plugin once you have changed the URLs, so this will not impact your page speed like the first option.

Let’s get started.

First, you need to install and activate the Better Search and Replace plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit Tools » Better Search Replace page.

Under the ‘Search’ field, you need to add your website URL with http. After that, add your website URL with https under the ‘Replace’ field.

Better search and replace plugin settings

Click on Run Search/Replace button to continue.

The plugin will now run and find all instances of your website URLs starting with http and replace them with the https.

The plugin works on your WordPress database, so it will only change URLs for your content areas.

If the mixed content resources are loaded by your WordPress theme or plugin, then you will need to inform the theme or plugin developer, so they can release a fix for that.

For more details, see our complete beginner’s guide to fixing the common SSL/HTTPs issues in WordPress.

We hope this article answered your questions regarding Google Chrome’s mixed content block and helped you get ready for it. You may also want to see our guide on how to use Google Search Console to grow your website traffic, and the important marketing data you must track on all WordPress sites.

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