How to integrate WordLift Semantic tracking with Google Analytics via Google Tag Manager

How to integrate WordLift Semantic tracking with Google Analytics via Google Tag Manager

Semantic Web Analytics is a powerful feature that was introduced with Wordlift 3.20 which allows you to better track your content and understand your audience. With the help of this feature, you can track entity usage across pages which in turn allows you to uncover the topics your visitors are interested in (thus you need to write more on those topics) and the topics which are not that popular among visitors.

If enabled, WordLift will send the Semantic Web data directly to your Google Analytics, which is perfectly fine if you have the Google Analytics tracking installed directly on the site or via a plugin. However, if your Google Analytics tracking is installed via Google Tag Manager, the default integration will not work so a custom integration via GTM will have to be performed.

Luckily, integrating the semantic entity tracking via GTM is really easy (as you will see below) so you don’t need to hire a Google Analytics expert for this.

To integrate semantic web analytics via Google Tag Manager you need to do 5 things:

  1. Enable “Analytics Settings” in WordLift plugin;
  2. Create the “Entity Type” and “Entity URI” custom dimensions in Google Analytics;
  3. Add the required variables in Google Tag Manager;
  4. Create the trigger to fire the GTM entity tag;
  5. Create the tag which sends the event with the entity data to Google Analytics.

Enabling “Analytics Settings” in WordLift plugin

In your WordPress dashboard, navigate to WordLift / Settings / Analytic Settings and enable the analytic settings.

Enable analytics settings WordLift

Creating the “Entity Type” and “Entity URI” custom dimensions in Google Analytics

After you have enabled analytics settings in WordLift, you need to go to the admin area of your Google Analytics account, and under property settings, click on “Custom dimensions”.

create_entity_type_URL_Google_AnalyticsIn there, you need to create 2 custom dimensions with the scope set to “Hit” type. In our example we have named the custom dimensions “Entity URI” and “Entity Type”.

Custom dimensions entity_type and entity_URL

Adding the required variables in Google Tag Manager

After creating the custom dimensions in Google Analytics, we need to create the variables which we will use to pass data from WordLift to Google Tag Manager and from there, to Google Analytics.

In total, in this step we need to create the following variables: wl_event_action, wl_event_category, wl_event_label, wl_event_value, wl_event_uri, wl_index_uri, wl_event_type, wl_index_type.

For this, open Google Tag Manager, navigate to “Variables” from the left menu and click on the “New” button.

Create new variables

In the panel that appeared, we need to enter the name of the variable (ex: wl_event_action) and set the variable type as Data Layer variable with the “Data Layer Variable Name” field set to the name of the variable (ex: wl_event_action). After configuring the variables, we need to click on the save button.

We need to repeat this process for all of the variables mentioned above. Next, in the “Google Analytics Settings” variable (if you don’t have one you need to create it), by clicking on “More Settings” (1), open the “Custom dimensions” options (2). In there, click on “+ Add Custom Dimension” button and in the “Index” field, click on the “+” button (3) and select the “wl_index_uri” variable while in the “Dimension Value” field select the “wl_event_uri” variable.

Creating tagsNext, in exactly the same way, add the “wl_index_type” – “wl_event_type” variables in the next custom dimension and click save (4).

Adding custom dimensions

Creating the GTM trigger

After creating the required variables, we need to create a trigger that will fire our entity event tag. For this, navigate to “Triggers” menu and click on “New”.

Creating GTM trigger

A new box will appear and in there, choose the trigger type as “Custom Event” (1) and in the “Event name” field, enter “Mentions”(2). In the “This trigger fires on” section, select “Some Custom Events” (3) and choose “event_action” equals “Mentions” (4). Give the trigger a descriptive name such as “Mentions” (5) and click save (6).

Mentions custom trigger

Creating the entity event tag in GTM

After we have created the variables and trigger, we can create the tag which will send the data to our GA property. For this, in the “Tag” menu, click on “New” and in the panel which appeared, click on the “Tag Configuration” area and select “Google Analytics: Universal Analytics”.

Creating entity tag GTM

After this, set the “Track Type” to “Event”, category to {{wl_event_category}}, action to {{wl_event_action}}, label to {{wl_event_label}} and value to {{wl_event_value}}.

Create tag GTM
We also need to set the “Non-Interaction Hit” option to “true” so that this event would not affect the bounce rate and in the “Google Analytics Settings” section, we need to choose the variable “Google Analytics Settings

In the trigger section of the tag we need to select the “Mentions” trigger which we created earlier.

After saving the tag, you can enable the preview and debug mode to check if the tag is firing correctly and if data is being sent to Google Analytics. If everything is working fine, you can go ahead and publish the container.

With this integration, you will be able to track page entities in Google Analytics, both as events and as custom dimensions. Later, you will be able to view and analyze the data either in the “Events” report from Google Analytics or if you want to take your reporting and analysis to the next level, you can use Google Data Studio and import this beautiful dashboard created by Martin Reichhart from Salzburgerland.


Tricia helps business owners and online marketers to get a better understanding of their marketing efforts and how users are using their website. She does this with the help of her Google Analytics audit which outlines the current state of tracking installed on the site and the ways it can be improved in order to enable business owners and marketers to make better decisions about their marketing efforts.

Tricia Borg

Tracking Expert, Analytics Help

Introducing your new content Dashboard

Introducing your new content Dashboard

Get to know your content and turn insight into action

The more you know about content, the easier it is to reach your readers by capturing search engines traffic. We’re happy to introduce a new dashboard to help you understand your content and to improve your editorial plan.

WordLift’s knowledge graph is the semantic representation of the content on your website. Every article and every page is annotated with one or more entities. These entities are accessible on the front-end as web pages (topical hubs) or are simply used by WordLift to add structured data markup depending on the way the plugin is configured.

WordLift Dashboard

The new content Dashboard

Your new Dashboard will help you quickly take action on insights about your content, including:

  • Most relevant entities. Find out which concepts are more prominent on your site (prominent = highest number of annotated posts), so you know if this is what you’re aiming for.
  • More connected entities. Spot entities that are mostly connected with other entities; these are concepts that help you build the context for your readers (they explain the things you talk about). You might want to create more articles around it when you have an entity that has lots of links to other entities and fewer articles.
  • Target articles to enrich that have not yet been WordLifted (one single click to Enrich) or focus your attention on improving your entities (with just one click on Boost). These links take you to the list of articles and the list entities that you can improve. Jump right on it and check it out yourself.

What are you waiting for? Let WordLift analyze your content for you. Download our plugin and unleash the power of semantic technologies.

Take full control of your search rankings

Find out the content that really ranks on Google

After many meetings, an endless number of sketches commits on git and tons of love, we are really happy to bring a brand new search ranking tool to our Editorial and Business subscribers, developed in partnership with Woorank.

Connecting with your audience isn’t just about ranking high on Google with a single keyword. When we write, in order to be relevant for our audience and following the introduction of Hummingbird, we need to focus on topical hubs.

To truly optimize your site for Google’s new semantic understanding of the user queries we have to think in terms of entities and not just keywords.

Moreover, we have to consider:

  1. the connections between entities and
  2. how these relationships help us build the context for the content that we are producing

To help you make this switch from keywords to entities we have created a tool that helps you track your rankings using the entities in the vocabulary of your website.

Here is how it works:

Keywords configuration panel

The Keywords configuration panel

You get to choose the keywords that matter the most for your business (or the top 200 keywords the site ranks for) and WordLift will track the rankings on a daily basis across the entire site.

Search Rankings widget

The Search Rankings widget on this blog

Under Search Rankings, you will find the entities that are driving the organic traffic on your website (the larger the tile and the more the concept is standing out on Google).

This data helps you immediately see if you are connecting with the right audience. Instead of scanning hundreds (or even thousands) of combinations of keywords and pages, in one single treemap, you can see what entities matter the most. Behind each concept, you might have one single page (i.e. the page for that entity) or hundreds of pages that you have annotated with that entity.

Here are just a few of the ways that you can use to turn this data into action:

  • Click on one entity and you will see the list of pages behind it and, in the table below, the different types of keywords that this topic is intercepting. Go ahead and build new pages for this topic or improve the already existing content to match what users are searching for.

Here is a quick overview of the cluster behind “Named Entity Recognition” on our website.


  • Is the entity relevant at all? If it is, how many pages, do you have on this topic? Would it better to expand this cluster by writing more about it? Then go ahead and start creating fresh new content for it.
  • Click on the three dots in the right bottom corner and keep on exploring all the other concepts that are driving organic traffic to your site. The more you dig the more you will explore what you are relevant for in the eyes of Google and your readers (higher levels in the treemap correspond to higher traffic volumes).

To calculate the size of each tile, WordLift is using an algorithm that we created similar to Google’s Pagerank to assess how much an entity is relevant in terms of search rankings on your site.

WordLift takes into account, with its Entityrank, how many pages have been annotated with that entity, how many other entities have been used to classify these pages, the search traffic the entity page is getting and the search traffic each keyword is bringing to the cluster of all the annotated pages.

This data is a real treasure box to help you boost the ROI of your content. Is the content you are writing the same content that people find on Google? What are the entities with a higher return for your site (i.e. “Artificial Intelligence” for us as well as “SEO” are responsible for the activation of the new trials)?

This and many other questions that you might have on your organic reach have an immediate answer with this widget. It’s time to find out — and to gain new insights in just a few clicks.

Upgrade to Editorial or Business plans now! ?

Read more about Semantic Analytics and how to use entities to gain more insights from you Google Analytics.

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!

Meet Doreid, our new SEO Expert!

Meet Doreid, our new SEO Expert!

WordLift is happy to announce a new member of the team – Doreid Haddad!

Doreid is from Syria and moved to Rome in 2014.

Quick Facts

  • Name: Doreid Haddad
  • Age: 29
  • Position at WordLift: SEO Expert
  • Spoken Languages: Arabic (Native Speaker), Italian (C2), English (C1).
  • Bio: An SEO Expert and Digital Marketing Specialist based in Rome. His expertise includes Digital Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Keywords Research, and Conversion Rate Optimization. He can’t say no to pizza.


Let’s Get to Know Doreid

  • What’s your Superpower? Analysis and numbers, studying the main web metrics, keyword research and discovery, data analysis, competitor analysis, and content optimization to get results and managing the development process.
  • Where have you lived? Where did you grow up? I was born and grew up in Syria then I moved to Lebanon where I spent some time before settling in Italy in 2013. I worked in the Hospitality & Tourism Sector moving from hotels in my country to the Royal Group of Rome and finally with Marriott International along with the Digital Marketing Sector.
  • What do you like to do in your free time? Football, computer, TV & traveling.
  • If you could describe yourself with an app, what would it be and why? Google Ads App that keeps campaigns running smoothly-no matter where your business takes you, because I am results-oriented, constantly checking in with the goal to determine how close or how far away we are and what it will take to make it happen.
  • If you could be in the movie of your choice, what movie would you choose and what character would you play? La Casa de Papel “Money Heist”, I think I would be a perfect fit for the role of “The Professor”.
  • 3 things you love the most about being a Wordlifter: Working with a highly skilled passionate and well-organized team. Making SEO in all the languages I speak for WordLift international clients. The variety, it is always changing and evolving and I enjoy watching the process of a creative idea grow into a successful business.


The new WordLift Dashboard

Helping editors organize, monitor and optimize search rankings

An entity-centric approach that uses the knowledge graph to help editorial teams improve the organic visibility of their content. In this presentation, you will see how a knowledge graph can become a new powerful digital marketing asset to improve the organic traffic on your website.

Small and mid-sized editorial teams may struggle to identify and prioritize topics within their editorial planning. What if they don’t know what to write next? Or which topics performed the best in the past 3 months? How they can be sure that their pieces match the interests of their target audience? And how could it be possible to improve the organic traffic on their site? These are the questions we want to answer by bringing actionable data in the hands of web editors.

WordLift Plugin is now available in Arabic

WordLift Plugin is now available in Arabic

We’re thrilled to announce that the Arabic Translation for WordLift is now in action and has been completed thanks to the amazing efforts of our colleague Nevine Adel Abdel Rehim, who works for our sister company in Egypt, insideout10. Kudos to Nevine!

While WordLift’s Natural Language APIs, the pre-trained machine learning models that WordLift uses to reveal the structure and meaning of your articles, already supported the Arabic language, the user interface of the WordPress plugin was available only in English and Italian (some of it is also translated into German and Danish).

Thanks to Nevine’s help now, clients like the American University of Cairo and Merck in Egypt, along with thousands of other Arabic speaking WordPress users, can now automate their SEO using WordLift in their own native language.

WordLift in Arabic

Here is a screenshot of SalamTak: a blog curated by Merck and focused on Multiple sclerosis (MS).

Why localization is so important?

Localization is key. In order to let our Arabic colleagues, partners and clients, that are already using WordPress in their native language, use WordLift with full confidence we decided to fully localize the plugin in Arabic.

Helping Translate WordPress in Your Language

WordPress is available in many languages and can be translated into other languages as well. WordLift as any other plugin on WordPress can be translated into other languages using a web-based translation tool that allows anyone to contribute translations of WordPress core and any Themes or Plugins hosted on  

When you install a new plugin, you certainly feel more comfortable if they are in your native language. Your user experience is better if you can read everything – from the readme to the meta-boxes and buttons – in your own language.

2019 has just begun and this is really the first result to celebrate: from now on our semantic plugin can be used also in Arabic ? Isn’t that awesome?

Build a Smarter Knowledge Graph to boost SEO

Build a Smarter Knowledge Graph to boost SEO

In this article, we analyze how we can optimize the content on our website to gain premium real estate in Google SERP, by providing hyper-relevant information for the Google Knowledge Graph.

What is Google Knowledge Graph?

The Knowledge Graph is a vast database launched by Google on May 16, 2012 designed to provide more useful and relevant results to searches using a semantic-search technique. Find out more about the Google Knowledge Graph.

Every day, here at WordLift, we spend a great amount of time talking with experts in the digital marketing world and experimenting new ways to stand out on Google and Bing by getting better at organizing knowledge.

To help websites improve their SEO our secret weapon is to create a knowledge graph that is openly accessible to crawlers and linked from the content of the website using structured data markup.

What is a Knowledge Graph?

A knowledge graph acquires and integrates information into an ontology and applies a reasoner to derive new knowledge.

(Lisa Ehrlinger and Wolfram Wöß – University of Linz in Austria)

The term knowledge graph has been frequently used in research and business, in close association with Semantic Web technologies, linked data, web-scale data analytics, and cloud computing. At SEMANTiCS, a few years ago, a research paper titled “Towards a Definition of Knowledge Graphs” by the Institute for Application Oriented Knowledge Processing of the University of Linz was presented to propose a definition of the knowledge graph that focuses on data modeling and reasoning.

Read more about Knowledge Graph.

What is a Knowledge Panel? 

A knowledge panel is information about a business, a person or a topic in a box that appears to the right of Google search results. The information in the box is powered by Google Knowledge Graph and provides all sort of relevant facts about an entity.

Knowledge panels are a great way to gain visibility in Google search results and an entry point also for voice search in most cases. There are mainly two types of panels:

  • Local Panels that display information about a business that has an open Google My Business account
  • Brand (or personal) Panels that display information about an organization with a certain degree of authority. In our case having an article in Wikipedia was helpful to gain this panel.

Brand panel

While it is much harder to influence Google in creating a branded or personal knowledge panel we have succeeded in several cases with both organizations and persons that did not have a presence in Wikipedia.

Have a look below at the knowledge graph panel of TheNextWeb and all the information that it provides to online users. 

Why creating your own Knowledge Graph improves SEO?

Imagine the knowledge graph behind your website as the scaffolding that lets crawlers and bots access to your content in a smarter and more efficient way. Much like Google uses the graph, as the engine to power up its search results, a graph that describes the content of a website helps machine understands what this content is really about.

Whether is a featured snippet showing on the SERP of Google or an app providing an answer using the voice like Cortana, Alexa or the Google Assistant, in the back, everything depends on the data that connects articles and facts in a machine-friendly form.

This is why having your own knowledge graph helps you make your content easier to be found and more accessible. Let’s dive into the practice and let’s try to ask the Google Assistant something like “what is Semantic SEO“. You will get as answer a snippet of content taken from this same blog.

What is Semantic SEO - Google Assistant

What is Semantic SEO on the Google Assistant

The more metadata we make available to semantic search engines like the one used by Google Assistant and the easier it gets for these machines to understand the relevancy of our content in relation to a specific intent. Let me give you another example of content findability in the new world of personal assistant search optimization where a knowledge graph comes into play.

Here below the query to trigger is “tell me something about WordLift“. In this specific example, the Google Assistant proposes to the user the invocation of a Google Action called Sir Jason Link that can match this request.

The Google Action – Sir Jason Link – has been created using the graph data behind this website much like in the previous example.

The Google Assistant has analyzed the content of the Google Action (imagine a Google Action much like an app for the Google Assistant or the equivalent of a skill for Amazon Alexa) and probably has seen that the content matches the content on this website. The assistant is, therefore, suggesting to users, that might not know Sir Jason Link, to invoke it when asking for our product.

You can find out more on how to optimise your content for Google Actions on WooRank’s blog.

There is more SEO value than featured snippets, voice search and personal assistant search optimization in creating a linked graph with the metadata of a website.

In today’s digital world, publisher and readers are overwhelmed with information and it gets increasingly complicated to discover the content we really want. Semantic Technologies, like WordLift, do the magic and help publishers create better content while guiding readers in finding the content they want.

In SEO terms, articles enriched with semantic information, improve their findability by making information extraction more efficient. Concepts mentioned in an article are annotated and linked with extensive knowledge bases (such as DBpedia, Wikidata, Geonames and the Google Knowledge Graph) to provide search engines with key indications on why a specific piece of content can be relevant for a given search intent.

More importantly – all the information is structured in a graph – this means that a search engine can process, all it has to know about an article, much like we do when looking at the nutrition facts label on a pack of spaghetti. All the relevant information is condensed in a label that is easy to read and organized in a standard way.   

How Google uses the Knowledge Graph to answer your questions?

In this webinar organized by Jason Barnard, I had the opportunity to discuss with Bill Slawski and Cindy Krum how Google is using the Knowledge Graph in its AE algorithm and how things really work. If you want to dig into the topic of Knowledge Graph and SEO watch it now!

OK, so how is WordLift’s Graph getting smarter?

Just like kids, when starting to learn a language start with the names of the things they see around them, the vocabulary that editors could create with WordLift was primarily made of concepts and names.

Just like other major knowledge bases like DBpedia and Wikidata, WordLift‘s Knowledge Graph has been built around concepts (or entities) and the relationships between these concepts.

As we progress, and the use-cases we deal with become more mature, WordLift‘ graph is getting smarter to support new business cases and to help us improve the findability of online content.

Our main goal with WordLift Snowball was really to improve the linked data graph in order to:

  1. Be able to compute and analyze the relationship between entities and articles being annotated. Here, as a side effect, we will have a lot more links from the graph to the articles and this will facilitate the indexation of articles,
  2. Improve how smart agents (or crawlers) access information about entities using the semantic technology language of RDF and SPARQL this basically means, for instance, that we can handle queries to event-related questions like:
  • What are the next events in Paolo Alto?
  • What are the upcoming talks with Gennaro Cuofano?
  • How much does it cost to attend the Meetup on AI & ML for WordPress?

Check out below a sample dialogue that Sir Jason Link (WordLift‘s powered Google Action) can support thanks to this new update.

Sir Jason Link answering on events

Asking Sir Jason Link about Gennaro’s upcoming event.

Want to learn more about how WordLift works? ? BOOK A DEMO

As we have seen with a smarter knowledge graph publishers can create SEO-friendly content and open up their website to new and engaging ways to connect with their audiences and grow their traffic.

Find below one more example of a query that users can trigger using the query language SPARQL to find out events happening in a specific location.

Ready to build your own graph? ? START A TRIAL

Stand out on search in 2019. Get 50% off WordLift until January 7th Buy Now!