How we boosted our traffic by 504.17% with a SEO-Friendly Web Story

How we boosted our traffic by 504.17% with a SEO-Friendly Web Story

Google Web Stories are a web-based version of the famous “Stories” format that we see on social networking apps like Instagram and TikTok. This new format allows anyone to easily create short, engaging, and dynamic content, which is then playable across any browser on the Open Web. 

This blog post is also available as Web Story 👉  “SEO-Friendly Web Story

How do I create an SEO-friendly Web Story?

Here are my tips for boosting your traffic using Web Stories:

  1. Create a Web Story for your top ranking articles
  2. Use jump-links to connect the Web Story with the key passages of your article
  3. Add numbers to each step of the Web Story and be concise
  4. Cover one topic with multiple angles
  5. Use videos and animations to communicate the message
  6. Let Google index your Story
  7. Be authentic and provide clear byline and information about the author
  8. An extra tip for finding more ideas.

As part of Google‘s commitment to making the Web more visually appealing and engaging, Web Stories have been recently promoted in the United States, India, and Brazil at the top of Discover. I have experimented with several clients throughout 2020 with this new format and, by the end of this year, I decided to create my first Web Story on this blog to present my SEO predictions.

Here is what happened and why you should keep reading this blog post.

My Web Story went viral on Google Discover (not sure if we can talk about virality in Discover’s context, but you got my point): in a few days, traffic went up on our website by 504%. For our small website (we began working as a company in 2017), this is by far the most successful piece of content we ever had. And, yes, proudly I can say that Google‘s John Mueller liked it too 👇

While this is the first of its kind, I had the privilege of contributing to a few other successful Web Stories for our VIP clients and have learned enough about optimizing content for Google Discover to share a few tips.

Clicks generated by my SEO Trends Web Story on Google Discover in a week.

1. Create a Web Story for your top ranking articles

A Web Story is a short, easy to consume piece of content that uses visual, slideshow-like content to summarize something that you know well. A Web Story is for your top ranking blog post what a trailer is for a movie: a smartly composed selection of “shots” that can inspire your readers to find out about your article. Google will trust your Web Story since it already ranks your blog post (or web page) on that topic. Moreover, there is no risk of cannibalization—quite the contrary. The Web Story is intertwined with the article, and Google does a fantastic job contributing to both.

How do I create a Web Story? 

There are two options, really: 

  1. You can use a 3d party tool like MakeStories, Newsroom AI or if you are using WordPress as your CMS, Google’s Web Stories Editor (here is the perfect Web Story to get you started). 

Or you can code it yourself by following guidelines and tutorials on the AMP website.

Here is Google’s Web Story plugin for WordPress

2. Use jump-links to connect the Web Story with the key passages of your article

The more we link the Web Story with the article behind it, the more we help our readers find what they need the most. 

In today’s era of information explosion, content fragmentation is a prominent characteristic and a fantastic opportunity. If we can quickly drive our reader where he/she finds the highest value from our content, our mission is really accomplished. Practically speaking, this means creating a direct link from every frame of your Story to your article’s relevant section. It seems easy, but it does require a solid outline in your blog post. 

How do I create a jump-link from my Web Story?

Practically speaking, you create a jump-link, using Google’s web story editor for WordPress, by adding the URL in the “Link” section (see below). Here you will add the link that points directly to the internal section of the webpage.

Here is an example, click on this link, and you will jump directly to the next section of this article. This is the type of link that you will use inside your Story.  

3. Add numbers to each step of the Web Story and be concise

We want to add numbers 1-2-3-4-5-6 to each step of our Story to help users understand the position and increase the content scannability. We want our content to be super easy to read and, yes – a good story doesn’t have too much content for each slide – keeping things easy to read in less than 10 seconds is a good practice. We want to be straightforward, easy to be read, and essential. Large blocks of text don’t work. 

To summarize this article and condense it into a Web Story, I used our WordLift’s automatic text summarizer 😉 . 

Are you Interested in trying out WordLift Content Intelligence solutions to scale up your content production? Book a meeting with one of our experts or drop us a line.  

4. Cover one topic with multiple angles

Imagine the traffic on Google Discover to be organized around user interests. We know that predictive search in Google leverages the so-called Topic Layer in the Knowledge Graph to understand user interests. While it is vital to tap into an exact knowledge domain, we want to feed Google News AI/ML with content that brings various perspectives on the given topic. So if my topic is SEO, writing a story on the upcoming trends is a great way to be interesting for a wider audience. Each trend might capture the attention of a different audience segment within that same context.

Here is a brilliant research work that Abby Hamilton did on user interests to get an idea of how the topic layer works. Keep in mind that the data is biased. Abby shared a questionnaire with the SEO community – for this reason, SEO is a larger topic than it is.  

5. Use videos and animations to communicate the message

Like any movie trailer, you need to condense complex meanings in a short, engaging sequence. Reducing thousands of words in a compelling slideshow requires all the magic that you can think of. From animating objects separately to using full-screen video backgrounds, try always to be interesting and thoughtful (use all the pixels you have, but never waste your readers’ attention span).   

6. Let Google index your Story

As simple as it sounds, indexing is still challenging, especially when you try new things. Here is what we can do to let Google find our stories. 

  1. Add direct links to the Web Story from its related article; embedding is also an option but a less valid one: it will slow down your article and collapse both pieces into one URL. A link is always preferable. 
  2. Add a dedicated sitemap for Web Stories. Yoast does an excellent job at managing sitemaps, including the one that you need for Web Stories. Here is an example of the  web-story-sitemap.xml (from our website)
  3. Add a navigation link (from your homepage, from the footer menu, or anywhere else you like) to the Web Story landing page. This page is typically located under yourwebsite.com/web-stories/ that feature links to all of your Web Stories. 
  4. Link your stories one to another. We might guess that if a user likes the first one, they might like similar content of the same kind.  

7. Be authentic and provide clear byline and information about the author

Google’s automated systems carefully select content based on expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T). The overall principles for E-A-T, in the context of Web Stories, translate into the following guidelines:

  • be authentic, write something that you are passionate about it
  • add a clear reference to the publishing date of your Story
  • add your name at the beginning and let people quickly contact you
  • Google, in its best practices for Web Stories in Discover says, “be the protagonist of your own story.” 

We always have to remember that Discover is Google’s attempt at creating a social-network type of experience. So like you would do on Facebook, share your perspective with others, and be ready to trigger new conversations. 

More references: 

  1. stories.google – the official Google Website
  2. search.google.com/test/amp – the Web Stories testing tool
  3. Web Stories Powered by AMP – 12 Tips and Recommendations For Creating Your First Story – Glenn Gabe powerful indications 
  4. Web Stories WordPress Plugin: 9 Must-Know SEO Tips – Brodie Clark SEO tips 
  5. The Ultimate Checklist to Optimize Content for Google Discover – How to optimize content for Discover (from this blog) 

An extra tip

To get more ideas spinning, you can search for web stories on your favorite website using Google’s site: and add inurl:web-stories search operators. Here is a quick search for Web Stories on WordLift’s website (just type “site:wordlift.io inurl:web-stories”). 

Why Structured Data for E-Commerce Can Make or Break Your Sales

Why Structured Data for E-Commerce Can Make or Break Your Sales

2020 is a turning point for e-commerce SEO

Nothing like search marketing can impact your e-commerce traffic and sales. If you are an e-commerce owner — or an e-commerce manager — you know that SEO is a key factor to drive sales, especially if paid traffic is too expensive. This year we are at a turning point: in fact, in 2020 using structured data has really become crucial to get the best exposure on Google. For free.

Here is what happened: back in April this year, Bill Ready, President of Commerce at Google, made an announcement that was going to change the game rules for e-commerce owners. Its title was loud and clear: It’s now free to sell on Google. The core message in there was:

Search results on the Google Shopping tab will consist primarily of free listings, helping merchants better connect with consumers, regardless of whether they advertise on Google.

After a few months, Bill published another important announcement: free retail listings landed on Google Search.

Now, we’re bringing free listings to the main Google Search results page in the U.S., helping shoppers choose the products and sellers that will serve them best, from the widest variety of options.

Boom! That’s really a game-changer. It allows e-commerce sites to get more exposure for their products and increase the CTR.

How can you get into Google’s Free Product Listings?

Here is where structured data comes handy. Adding a layer of metadata to all your products allows Google to display them to potential customers. So, here is the real question: how do you add structured data to your products?

In this article, I will show you how to use structured data to get organically into Google’s free product listings and also how to benefit from the same technology to gently push your users to shift from informational pages to product pages.

Why Google is selling your goods for free

Let’s take a few steps back and set the context.

Behind this openness, of course Big G is chasing its own interests.

When looking for a product, often users go straight to Amazon’s search box and skip Google search. In 2018, a research published by Jumpshot found that Amazon, with 54% of the marketshare, took over Google in terms of product search. For Google, that’s an issue.

Amazon Vs Google in the product search battle

Advertising money and sales need to stay on the same track.

To put it simply, in order to collect more money from advertisers that want to sell their products, Google needs more traffic made by users that specifically search for products. On the other side, users tend to choose Amazon because it has a larger and well organized offer of products.

In the product search battle, Google is competing with Jeff Bezos’ war machine. Some argue that even if more product searches take place directly within Amazon, Google is still an important source of traffic for all online retailers, including Amazon. Keep this in mind, because we are going to dive deeper into this specific aspect in the next paragraphs.

To overcome its most feared competitor Google needs to showcase more products — and to escalate its capacity, what Big G needs, in the end, is to have more data.

That’s why Mountain View’s giant is opening its doors to free product listing. In the long-run the data about products provided by e-commerce websites will help Google win the product search battle.

What’s in it for you?

On the bright side, between two parties, the third gain. And in this fight between two giants, e-commerce sites of all sizes are going to earn free visibility and better exposure if they play their cards well.

Implementing (or improving) structured data on your e-commerce is the way to win more visibility for your products on Google’s SERP, get a higher CTR from organic search, and ultimately close more sales.

What is structured data for e-commerce?

In the context of SEO for e-commerce, structured data is a specific piece of code that follows the standards of schema.org and allows search engines understand and classify the content of your web pages, identify your products and their specific features, and easily interact with the content architecture of your website.

Using structured data impacts SEO results because schema.org markup makes your content eligible for specific rich results and SERP features such as Google’s Free Product Listings — which help your pages gain a higher CTR.

The advantages of structured data go far beyond SEO, and also include opportunities of content reuse, internal findabilty, and semantic analytics. But, let’s start from the SERP.

How does structured data for e-commerce look like in the SERP?

Adding structured data to your products allows you to be eligible for Google Merchant and, therefore, to get into Google’s Product Listings. How your products look like on the SERP depends on how deep and accurate your data is.

With lack of structured data, your product looks poor. But when you add structured data, it’s another story. Product features and categories, rating, availability, and other relevant information create an informative rich snippet that helps your product stand out in the crowded Google Shopping page.

Think at structured data as a special trick to grab the user’s attention and improve your CTR.

As you can see in the screenshot above, accurate and complete structured data results in exhaustive Product Snippets. Inaccurate or poor structured data results in simpler snippets like the one in the screenshot below — or it may not get a spot on the SERP at all.

How to add state-of-the-art structured linked data to your e-commerce

WordLift adds to your products state-of-the-art structured data and extended product markup that allows you to get more visibility on Google’s retail listing. 

Furthermore, WordLift allows you to create a Product Knowledge Graph out of the relevant connections between products, brands, product categories and features. 

This e-commerce specific form of knowledge graph is a powerful tool to enhance the findability of your products. On one side, it helps you get better results in terms of organic search traffic and, on the other, it helps you improve the internal linking structure and refine your product recommendations

If you want to learn more about this and discuss your e-commerce SEO with one of our experts, just book a call.

Grow your organic traffic and give a boost to your conversions

If you want to learn more about this topic, don’t miss Doreid Haddad’s webinar: how structured data impacts e-commerce sales. In 43 minutes, he shares with you best practices, practical tips, and tools to improve your e-commerce SEO through structured data.

If you don’t know where to start with SEO, have a look at our SEO Management Service and discover how we can build business results together.

Transactional, informational, and mixed search intents

Sure, when a user searches for a specific product, this search is most likely going to result in a conversion. That’s why the so-called transactional queries worth so much to Google and to its advertisers — and most of the time they are also very competitive in terms of CPC.

But transactional queries are not the only way to get a sale done.

Informational searches can also play a role into the customer journey — and here is where content marketing makes the most sense: in fact, when you help potential customers to better understand a matter connected with your products and you can trigger them to buy your products.

Mixed search intents are often overlooked, but they can play a key role for your sales.

What are mixed search intents and how to target them

Search intent is not always binary. Many SERPs try to give an answer to mixed search intents.

In these cases, Google populates the SERP with both informational and transactional result, allowing customers to disambiguate their need by making a choice.

Let’s say that you have an eyewear e-commerce. Of course, in terms of SEO you are targeting eyeglasses brands and specific products that you are selling. But, there is more potential in users’ searches.

For example, a potential customer who wants to buy new sunglasses may not look for a specific brand or model, and instead try to figure out what are the latest trends before making a purchase. The query would look something like this: sunglasses 2020. Here is what Google gives to these kind of users, whose real intent is ambiguous.

As you can see the search engine result page (SERP) contains a Sponsored Product Carousel on the top, while most of the blue links are informative pieces of content related with sunglasses trends for this year.

What does it mean? As an e-commerce owner, you can target these mixed search intents to attract potential customers on your website both by entering into Google’s Product listings (paid, in this specific case), and by creating a page which puts together informative content and a showcase of your products related with the search.

How to gently push your readers to shift from informational to product pages

For sure, Content marketing is a powerful way to attract potential customers that are just looking for information, exploring a topic, and maybe planning to buy. How do you trigger your readers to buy a product? 

To shift from informational to transactional intents, you need to gently push your readers to become customers. WordLift puts in the hands of any e-commerce owner the tools to help potential customers take the leap and buy something.

1. Product Navigator

WordLift’s Product Navigator gives a concrete shape to your readers’ desires by suggesting a series of products that they might be interested in. 

The Product Navigator of WordLift for WooCommerce on Oakley.com USA

2. Product Faceted Search

In a way, the Product Faceted Search is similar to the product Navigator, with the difference that, interacting with the refinement chips, users can narrow the selection of products on the basis of their own interest. 

With the Product Faceted Search, users can refine the selection following their own interests

3. Product Context Card

When you mention a specific product on a page, Context Cards allow your readers to have a sneak peek on that product by looking at a very nice preview.  

How Product Context Cards look like in the context of an editorial piece of content

Wrap-up: the pillars of e-commerce SEO strategy in 2020

Structured Data is the key

Nowadays, adding structured data to your e-commerce product is not only the easiest way to enter into Google Free Product Listings, but it’s also the best one, as it allows you to dive deep into the product features. In this way, the users will get an outstanding first glance of your product on the SERP and be enticed to click.

If you use WordLift, you can add state-of-the-art structured linked data to your e-commerce without writing a single line of code. The AI will take care of that.

Mixed search intents are the low hanging fruit in search marketing for e-commerce websites

Searches are not black or white. The fact that Google can’t disambiguate the intent behind generic searches is an opportunity in terms of content marketing. Creating content that targets mixed intent queries could untapp many sales.

Always Be Closing

Pushing your content readers and potential customers to click on one of your products and buy it requires an intelligent mix of content and UX. Showcasing your products on informational pages or giving to your customers several alternatives and product pairings create a number of chances for the users to see, desire, buy what you’re selling.

If you have an e-commerce and you want to discuss your SEO strategy with us, book a call with one of our experts.

Schedule a free audit of the structured data on your e-commerce

The Role of Content Structuring in Voice Search and Beyond

The Role of Content Structuring in Voice Search and Beyond

In 1996 Bill Gates wrote “Content is King”, predicting a world where content would have been the main wealth on the Internet. Although this prediction has been a catchphrase in the contest of digital marketing in the 2000s, nowadays it could sound a little naive. It isn’t, if you rethink content separating it from its containers and try to understand and follow its law

Don’t think in terms of pages, think in terms of entities

Pages are just one of a thousand ways in which content can be rendered and displayed to your users. An entity is the real single brick of your content strategy. It can be displayed through a page, but it’s something more. It is a thing (or a person, a place, an event, etc.) that has its own properties and relationships with other things. 

Adding schema.org markup to your content you can define and describe your entities and help search engines better understand your content. Let’s say for example you have a recipe: as an entity, this recipe will have many properties such as recipeCuisine, recipeIngredient, recipeInstructions, recipeYield… and a lot more. All these properties can connect the entity to other entities or just exist as single data points. 

On the left side, you see a recipe on IINH, as users would see it on the web page, while on the right side, you have the same recipe as Google sees it through structured data.

Let’s say I’m looking for an apple pie with one single egg — because I have just one in the fridge, semantic search engines could give me the right recipe thanks to the additional information related to the entity. So, in the end, entities allow you to give a better answer to your potential readers

The same recipe presented on Google’s SERP in the recipe carousel

Why are entities relevant in this context?

Structured content can help you build Actions for the Google Assistant upon some entity types such as recipes, how-tos, news articles and podcasts. And here is how schema.org markup comes handy for voice search

Moving from building pages to creating structured data helps us create relationships between entities that matter. Entities are not isolated items, they are all connected into a cluster which is semantically meaningful.

This means that through entities you can feature different angles of a complex thing. 

For example connecting all information related to a course or a webinar across multiple pages can be strategic to stand out on Google search and is the best way to answer to different user intents. 

Structure your content building your own content model — and stick with that

As I said before, entities are just the first brick of your content strategy. Content modeling is the law that underlies your content. Structuring the content of your website allows you to reuse it in different formats and match different search intents. 

For example, the content model of the WordLift Academy allows us to repurpose our content in different formats. Each main content is a webinar which is connected to different data points such as creation date and duration, other entities such as the topics covered during the webinar and the main speaker, and media such as the cover image, the profile picture of the speaker, and the video recording. 

The Entity-based content model of the WordLift Academy

All this information can answer to different search intents and function as different entry points to the main content. 

Experiment new formats starting from your content wealth  💎

Now, let me tell you a story. 

Recently, we’ve joined Google’s Mini Apps Early Access Pilot. The idea was to offer to the user an app experience built into the SERP to navigate into the Academy content. 

I won’t enter into the details of the technological stack used to create this Mini App prototype through Google’s console. What matters here is that, having a structured content we have refined the search for WordLift courses allowing the users to navigate through them by selecting one or more topics of interest and/or a speaker. 

A preview of the WordLift Mini App and some query examples

As the pilot has been shut down due to COVID-19, you won’t see it on the SERP anytime soon. 😭 But… we are planning the same structure — well, with a few changes in terms of technology – to build an Assistant App for Google. 🚀

So users will be able, for example, to look for all the webinars about SEO by Jason Barnard on our Academy just invoking the App.  

What’s the take-away of this story? 

Formats may change and evolve, experiments come and go… but a strong content model allows you to reuse your content in different environments.

Is Voice Search Here to Stay? It is now 2020

If you want to learn more about how voice search is evolving in 2020, have a look at the webinar below, with me and Georgie Kemp getting deeper into this topic.

Is Voice Here to Stay? It is now 2020 — Streamed live on May 22, 2020 by Authoritas
Localized Content Marketing for Local Businesses – What You Can Blog About

Localized Content Marketing for Local Businesses – What You Can Blog About

If you own a local business you may have been wondering how you can direct the right customers to your website. You might be looking into localized content marketing but you’re just not sure where to start or what sort of content to provide. You’ve probably even heard that you should be blogging, right?

In this article, we’re going to be talking about why localized content marketing for businesses is so important, and we’ll be sharing some ideas you can use to attract your ideal customers to your blog.

So many local businesses still overlook the power of localized content marketing. But you won’t! By getting your content strategy in place now, you can stay strides ahead of your local competition.

Why do local businesses need a localized content marketing strategy?

You might be wondering why your local business would need a localized content marketing strategy when the majority of your customers are already locals. Especially if they know you through reputation or word of mouth. Well, I’ll ask you this… Wouldn’t you like more customers? 

It’s important that your business can be found easily online. 72% of consumers who performed a local search visited a store within five miles and 28% of those visits ended in a purchase. So, it pays to be seen in the SERPs.

Here are just a few benefits of having a local content marketing strategy:

  • You can reach even more people in your local area
  • You’ll build trust and familiarity with people who may not have previously heard of your business
  • You can be more easily identified by visitors or newcomers to your local area.
  • You’ll improve your domain authority and SEO
  • It’s a great opportunity to build your email list among local people
  • It increases engagement with your ideal customer and keeps you in the forefront of their minds
  • It means you can retarget local readers with social media ads
  • You’ll have content to share on your platforms
  • You can build internal links for on-page SEO through your blogs
  • Websites with a blog have 434% more indexed pages and generate up to 126% more leads

If that has not convinced you, there’s nothing that will. 

Bonus tip: A good content strategy drives traffic to your website. If you don’t already have a self hosted site with your own domain name, now is the time to get one so your business can be more professional and memorable.

What should a local business blog about?

The key to writing blog posts that attract local people is either creating content that will specifically interest locals, such as things related to the City or the town your business operates in, or creating content around popular keywords that people in your area are searching for.

While keywords are important, it’s even more important to create engaging content that your ideal customers will want to read and share with their friends. So, let’s take a look at some things you can blog about…

Share your story

This one is a great idea for your first blog post. Introduce yourself, your business and share your story. How did you get started? What makes you different? Do you have any funny anecdotes about your business journey? 

Stories like this humanise your brand, making your business feel more friendly, positive and approachable. Which is exactly the type of business local shoppers appreciate.

Your expertise

It is likely that you are more knowledgeable about your field of business than most of your customers. Share your expertise with your audience by blogging about things that they might find useful, such as ‘how to’ guides, or posts that offer solutions to problems they might have. 

If you are a cleaning company, share your knowledge about how to remove mold, clean at the end of a tenancy, or make an oven look new again. 

A person searching for these tips online is likely to need the services of a cleaner. Even if they don’t need anything but advice from you now, you’ll be in the forefront of their minds when they do.

Share the success story of one of your customers

Share before and after pictures of a project you have been working on. If you are a builder or decorator, it could be a renovation project. If you are a hairdresser, the customer who’s look you’ve drastically changed. And gardeners could share before and after pictures of landscaping projects.

Top 10 Best In your City

Create a list of 10 of the best shops/restaurants/events/art galleries in your city. The key here is not to list your direct competitors, but other local businesses that your customers would find useful. So, if you run a wedding venue, list the top 10 florists in the area. 

People love to celebrate their local area. These kinds of posts help them do just that. And, you have the added benefit that the businesses you mention are likely to share your content on their social media channels or reciprocate by including your business in their future content.

Interviews with local experts

We’re talking local heroes, business owners working in related fields, academics and researchers. Anyone who has something relevant to say that your audience will care about. 

Thinking back to our cleaning company, something their audience would find useful is an interview with local estate agents about ‘end of tenancy cleaning mistakes people often make’. 

Local events and activities – What’s on this month in *Your City*

Create a list of events and activities in your area. This is the type of blog post that is likely to get lots of shares on social media from locals. You can capitalize on this by inviting them to like your page, including your business’s details in the post, or placing links to your key landing pages.

Final Thoughts

Digital marketing is an important part of your business, regardless of whether you are a global or local brand. Localized Content marketing can be a great way to organically reach new customers. It’s easy to get started, so all local businesses should be taking advantage of this strategy to stay ahead of their competitors. With the right approach, you will soon start to see your ROI rise and watch your business continue to grow.

If you’re interested in more details about content marketing or would like to find new ways to improve your localized content marketing, check out Emil Kristensen’s article on How to Create Smart Content to Improve Your Marketing Strategy.

If you want to learn more about local SEO, have a look at Andrea Volpini’s article about structured data for local SEO.

Jodie is a Creative Copywriter, SEO enthusiast and graduate of the University of Cambridge. She’s been generating profit with her words for over a decade. In her 10-year non-profit fundraising career, she raised over £2million for NPOs through face-to-face sales, management and expert training. She writes copy that inspires action and loves to help ethical and creative business owners, solopreneurs and non-profits find their voice and get ahead online. 

Jodie Manners

Freelance Copywriter

Introducing Semantic Web Analytics

Introducing Semantic Web Analytics

In this article we are going to help you create a Web Analytics Dashboard using Google Data Studio, traffic data from Google Analytics and WordLift.

We constantly work for content-rich websites where sometimes hundreds of new articles are published on a daily basis. Analyzing traffic trends on these large properties and creating actionable reports is still time-consuming and inefficient. This is also very true for businesses investing in content marketing that need to dissect their traffic and evaluate their marketing efforts against concrete business goals (i.e. increasing subscriptions, improving e-commerce sales and so on).

As result of this experience, I am happy to share with you a Google Data Studio report that you can copy and personalize for your own needs.

google-data-studio Jump directly to the dashboard for Google Data Studio: Semantic Analytics by WordLift 

Data is meant to help transform organizations by providing them with answers to pressing business questions and uncovering previously unseen trends. This is particularly true when your biggest asset is the content that you produce.

With the ongoing growth of digitized data and the explosion of web metrics, organizations usually face two challenges:

  1. Finding what is truly relevant to untap a new business opportunity.
  2. Make it simpler for the business user to prepare and share the data, without being a data scientist.

Semantic Web Analytics is about delivering on these promises; empowering business users and let them uncover new insights – from the analysis of the traffic of their website.

We are super lucky to have a community of fantastic clients that help us shape our product and keep pushing us ahead of the curve.

Before enabling this feature, both the team at Salzburgerland Tourismus and the team at TheNextWeb had already improved their Google Analytics tracking code to store entity data as events. This allowed us to experiment, ahead of time, with this functionality before making it available to all other subscribers.

What is Semantic Web Analytics?

Semantic Web Analytics is the use of named entities and linked vocabularies such as schema.org to analyze the traffic of a website.

The natural language processing that WordLift uses to markup the content with linked entities enables us to classify articles and pages in Google Analytics with – real-world objects, events, situations or even abstract concepts.

How to activate Semantic Web Analytics?

Starting with WordLift 3.20, entities annotated in webpages can also be sent to Google Analytics by enabling the feature in the WordLift’s Settings panel.

WordLift Settings

Here is how this feature can be enabled.

You can also define the dimensions in Google Analytics to store entity data, this is particularly useful if you are already using custom dimensions.

As soon as the data starts flowing you will see a new category under Behaviour > Events in your Google Analytics.

Events in Google Analytics

Events in Google Analytics about named entities.

WordLift will trigger an event labeled with the title of the entity, every time a page containing an annotation with that entity is open.

Using these new events we can look at how content is consumed not only in terms of URLs and site categories but also in terms of entities. Moreover, we can investigate how articles are connected with entities and how entities are connected with articles.

Show me how this can impact my business

Making sense of data for a business user is about unlocking its power with interactive dashboards and beautiful reports. To inspire our clients, and once again with the help of online marketing ninjas like Martin Reichhart and Rainer Edlinger from Salzburgerland, we have built a dashboard using Google Data Studio – a free tool that helps you create comprehensive reports using data from different sources.

Using this dashboard we can immediately see, for each section of the website, what are the concepts driving the traffic, what articles are associated with these concepts and where the traffic is coming from.

An overview of the entities that drive the traffic on our website

An overview of the entities that drive the traffic on our website.

We can also see, what are the entities associated with a given article. Here below you can see the entities mentioned in the article: Implementing Structured Data for SEO with Bill Slawski.

Entities associated with an article

Entities associated with an article about structured data.

This helps publishers and business owners analyze the value behind a given topic. It can be precious to analyze the behaviors and interests of a specific user group. For example, on travel websites, we can immediately see what are the most relevant topics for let’s say Italian speaking and German speaking travelers.

WordLift’s clients in the news and media sector are also using this data to build new relationships with advertisers and affiliated businesses. They can finally bring in meetings the exact volumes they have for – let’s say – content that mentions a specific product or a category of products. This helps them calculate in advance how this traffic can be monetized.

Are you ready to make sense of your Google Analytics data? Contact us and let’s get started!

Here is the recipe for a Semantic Web Analytics dashboard in Google Data Studio 

With unlimited, free reports, it’s time to start playing immediately with Data Studio and entity data and see if and how it meets your organization’s needs.

To help with that, you can use as a starting point the report I have just created. Create your own interactive report and share with colleagues and partners (even if they don’t have direct access to your Google Analytics).

Simply take this report, make a copy, and replace with your own data!


1. Make a Copy of this file

Go to the File menu and click to make a copy of the report. If you have never used Data Studio before, click to accept the terms and conditions, and then redo this step.

2. Do Not Request Access

Click “Maybe Later” when Data Studio warns you that data sources are not attached. If you click “Resolve” by mistake, do not click to request access – instead, click “Done”.

3. Switch Edit Toggle On

Make sure the “Edit” toggle is switched on. Click the text link to view the current page settings. The GA Demo Account data will appear as an “Unknown” data source there.

4. Create A New Data Source

If you have not created any data sources yet, you’ll see only sample data under “Available Data Sources” – in that case, scroll down and click “Create New Data Source” to add your own GA data to the available list.

5. Select Your Google Analytics View

Choose the Google Analytics connector, and authorize access if you aren’t signed in to GA already. Then select your desired GA account, property, and the view from each column.

6. Connect to Your GA Data

Name your data source (at the top left), or let it default to the name of the GA view. Click the blue “Connect” button at the top right.

Are you ready to build you first Semantic Dashboard? Add me on LinkedIn and let’s get started!

Read more about WordLift’s new Content Dashboard that combines entities with search rankings.

We take on a small handful of clients projects each year to help them boost their qualified traffic via our SEO Management Service

Do you want to be part of it?

Yes, send me a quote!

How to Create Smart Content to Improve Your Marketing Strategy

How to Create Smart Content to Improve Your Marketing Strategy

Only 28% of B2C marketers say their approach to content marketing is extremely or very successful. And only 33% have a documented content strategy.

That’s just not good enough.

Content is the backbone of any good marketing strategy. Yet, the majority of marketers’ attempts are not as effective as they could be.

If this is the case for you, you’re probably wondering: where am I going wrong?

The truth is, you need an intelligent strategy to increase content performance.

Here’s how to improve your content marketing strategy.

1. Utilize Analytics

What’s the smartest way to create content? Use the data you have on-hand to inform the type of content you produce.

According to SEMRush’s Practical Guide to Data-Driven Content Marketing:

At this point, we can state with confidence that high-quality content relies on precise analytics and trustworthy data. When content is not supported by data, you can never be sure that it will directly hit the audience’s pain points and contribute to your objectives.

Essentially, you can guarantee that your content will serve your audience and your brand goals, by using the data you gather from analytics.

Use your data to create variations on your top-performing content.

In Google Analytics, head to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages.

Here you will find a number of metrics, such as pageviews, dwell time and bounce rate:

google analytics performing contents

Through looking at this data, you can answer some key questions about your content.

What are the most popular content frameworks e.g. ultimate guides, infographics, case studies, etc.?

And which topics do my readers enjoy most?

You can filter the results according to your objectives.

Let’s say, you want to keep people on your site for longer – then you would look at the posts with the highest average time on page:

google analytics time on page

Use this treasure trove of information to create variations of your most popular content.

For example, if your audience digs infographics then you should start creating infographics at regular intervals.

Or if a particular topic performs well, let’s say, “decorating on a budget”, then try similar topics, e.g. “DIY decorating” or “decorating kitchens on a budget” and so on.

The point is, use your existing content to create new content that’s guaranteed to perform well every single time.

2. Refresh and Repurpose Content

Not all content ages well, like a fine wine or a George Clooney.

You need to refresh and recycle outdated content regularly.

Otherwise, all of the blood, sweat, and tears that went into its creation goes to waste as content becomes stagnant and useless.

The cool thing is that repurposing content is a strategy that really works.

One brand got 50% more clicks when they recycled a blog post into an infographic the following year.

Your first job is to update and improve existing content. An easy way to find content in need of a refresh is to use Analytics.

On the same page as above, sort your results by unique visitors.

Find pages that have a high number of unique visitors but also a high bounce rate:

This indicates that this content is no longer relevant and you should update it. We, at Sleeknote, know this better than anyone.

When we relaunched our blog post on Facebook lead ads, we increased our organic traffic by 290.67% in 3 weeks.

facebook leads analytics

You can also repurpose content by converting it into other formats.

Follow speaker, Brian Fanzo’s example:

[I] record my podcast on Facebook Live, upload audio to iTunes, create a blog post, take 4 best quotes from the episode and create graphics for Pinterest, take 4 clips from a month’s worth of episodes and create a 2-minute video to use as a Twitter video.

The moral of the story is: Get the most out of your content, even if it’s gone stagnant.

3. Produce Linkable Assets

You’re always going to have to make earning links a major part of your marketing strategy. Why?

Some SEOs believe links are the #1 ranking factor.

So, if you haven’t been focusing on acquiring links, now’s the time.

The best way to earn links is to create epic, in-depth pieces of content worthy of links, i.e. linkable assets.

Say buh-bye to shady techniques.

Here are a few examples of strong linkable assets:


Others use and link to them because they’re simply interesting or they add value to their posts i.e. they explain a complex topic visually and succinctly.

Here’s a nice example from CarRentals.com:

car rentals infographic

Original or Compiled Research

People link to such as a key source or reference point for their arguments.

Or, of course, as a matter of interest.

See this example from MyFitnessPal:

myfitnesspal study example

Long-Form Guides

These are incredibly useful and thorough.

They’re linkable because people would rather link to one strong source than several inferior ones.

Take a look at this guide from The Beard Club:

long form guide

At the end of the day, short, simplistic blog posts aren’t going to cut it when it comes to bagging links.

You have to create strong assets that you can shop around.

4. Show Off Your E-A-T

If you want your content to perform well, you can’t be a basic… so-and-so any longer.

Since Google’s August 2018 broad core algorithm update, your content has to display your E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness).

This is particularly important if you’re selling something or are in a health and lifestyle niche, i.e. Your Money or Your Life websites.

There are several ways you can increase E-A-T.

First, make sure all content is well-researched, using credible facts, sources, and data throughout.

This is a good example from GreenLine:

e-a-t content guidelines examples

Furthermore, you can work with experts or influencers to create content.

In the following example, Etsy’s tips come from a legit health and wellness coach.

In other words, they’re not just randomly made-up by some copywriter.

E-A-T content example

The point here is, if you make everything you write credible and verifiable, your content will rank better.

Key Takeaways

You need to use smart techniques to create content that contributes to your overall marketing strategy.

Firstly, utilize data to find topics and formats that work well for you and do more of the same.

Refresh and repurpose content regularly to get the most value from your content.

Create content that’s actually worthy of links.

And finally, infuse blog posts with E-A-T to up its performance in the SERPs.

Now it’s over to you.

Take the first step and open up Analytics to find your top-performing content.

Emil Kristensen is the CMO and co-founder of Sleeknote: a company that helps e-commerce brands engage their site visitors—without hurting the user experience.

Emil Kristensen

CMO and co-founder, Sleeknote

Featured Image Credits

Image by Diggity Marketing from Pixabay.

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