If you want to provide video tutorials, deliver a lecture, or run Q&A sessions on your site, a webinar is a perfect alternative to live chat and written content. Video is becoming an increasingly important aspect of the modern blogging experience and live visuals can really boost your visitor numbers.
If you are going to host any sort of live broadcast on your WordPress website, the best solution is Google Hangout. This free feature of Google+ is powerful and simple to use and can be added to your WordPress site as easily as embedding a YouTube video.
Creating a Hangout
To use Google Hangouts you will need to have a Google account – you can sign up for one of these free at https://accounts.google.com/signup.
Once you are logged in to your account, go to https://plus.google.com/u/0/hangouts/onair and click on Start a Hangout On Air.
In the pop-up screen, you will be prompted to provide a name and description for your Hangout and decide whether it starts Now or Later. As the purpose of this tutorial is to set up a live webinar on your WordPress site, you will need to select Later and enter the date and time that the webinar will commence, along with the duration.
By default Google+ will set your Audience to Public – this will make it available to everyone. If you would rather the webinar be for a private audience, remove Public from the Audience field and tag the appropriate people or circles.
When you have configured the settings, click on the green Share button. If you have not already done so, Google+ may then ask you to verify your YouTube account.
Back in the Hangouts page, you will now be provided with details about your upcoming webinar. In this section, click on the Links icon and copy the YouTube page URL – this will be used to embed the video on your website.
Embedding a Hangout on WordPress
To host the webinar on your WordPress site, you will need to embed the copied YouTube code in a post or page.
From your WordPress dashboard create a new Post or Page or choose to edit an existing one for your Google Hangout. All you then need to do is paste your YouTube page link on its own line in the editor and click on Publish (or Update if you are editing an existing post or page). Your webinar – complete with countdown clock – will now be displayed on the page and hosted via the YouTube live video feature.
All you need to do now is promote your webinar via social media and provide the link for visitors to tune in.