There’s no doubt that Google has for long placed WordPress on its radar. Given its increased popularity, Google stepped forward to take its integration with WordPress a notch higher. In June 2019, it announced and released a beta version of Google Site Kit for WordPress- a plugin designed to help website owners effectively monitor, analyze, understand and improve their website performance.
In this article, we will walk you through Google site Kit, its main features and why you should be using this plugin for your WordPress website. You will also learn how to install and configure the plugin in WordPress so you can take full advantage of the insightful metrics from Google products.
What is Google Site Kit?
Google Site Kit is a new open-source WordPress plugin developed by Google. The plugin offers webmasters an easy way to access and manage essential Google services directly from their WordPress dashboard. While the plugin does not provide any new functionalities, it simplifies the integration of Google services with WordPress sites. Once connected, you can view search metrics, analytics, AdSense data, Page Speed performance and other helpful insights on how your site is doing.
Through the Google Site Kit Plugin, users get unified data and key metrics from the following products:
Google Search Console – This service allows you to check and understand how Google’s search engine sees and renders your web pages. You can also check how many users saw your website in the search results for specific queries.
Google AdSense – It allows you to check your Adsense earnings in detail. You can view how much each page or post is bringing in without logging into your Adsense account.
Google Analytics – Learn how users navigate through your site, what pages they’re looking at, length of sessions on your website, and more analytics data right from your dashboard.
PageSpeed Insights – Check how your web pages perform compared to other websites. You can view sitemap setup, improve site performance, and receive PageSpeed insights for your WordPress website.
Google Optimize – Create free A/B tests to help you drive metric-based design solutions for your website
Google Tag Manager – Provides an easier way to manage how you create tags on your website without updating code.
Why use Google Site Kit plugin?
Google Site Kit helps you understand and digest helpful information about your audience, revenue and overall website performance using data presented in the WordPress dashboard. The plugin provides up-to-date recommendations for Google products, backed with actionable guidance for your WordPress website. From a convenience perspective, Google Site Kit helps allows you to access multiple accounts on a single page within your WordPress admin dashboard. The ability to view combined statistics is super helpful when tracking website performance. As Site Kit includes integration with Google Analytics you no longer need to install a separate Analytics plugin.
How to install Google Site Kit
The first stable release of Site Kit was just made available by Google. The plugin can now be installed just like any other WordPress-plugin.
Google Site Kit is currently only available as a developer beta and therefore, not yet available in the WordPress repository. To install it, you will need to download Site Kit from Google Website and install it manually following the steps below:
- From your WordPress Dashboard, click on Plugins
- Select Add New
- Click on the “Upload Plugin” button at the top
- Next, upload the previously downloaded Google Site Kit plugin zip file
- Click on install now and then activate Plugin to complete installation
Once you’ve installed the Site Kit plugin successfully, an activation message that reads “Congratulations, the Site Kit plugin is now activated” should appear. Next, we proceed to integrate Google services on your WordPress website by clicking on Start Setup.
How to Setup Google Site Kit
Google Site Kit allows you to configure any of the six Google services mentioned in the earlier section of the article. This section will guide you on how to link Google Developer Search Console and Google Analytics to your WordPress. And the best part is that the entire process is fully automated and straightforward, so you should get an idea on how to configure other Google services as well.
How to link WordPress to Google Search Console using Site Kit
The entire process of building client configuration in the Google Site Kit is divided into three steps namely; creating client ID, authenticating, and verifying URL. After completing these steps, your Search console data will automatically link to your WordPress website. Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Creating Client ID
- Start by going to developers.google.com/sitekit to generate your client ID.You will realize that Google has all the details about your website, so this information is auto-populated in the new page.
- At the bottom of this screen, click Get OAuth Credentials
- A dialogue box containing the OAuth Credentials/Client configuration code appears. Copy this code.
- Paste the OAuth Credentials in the client configuration text box and click Proceed.
Step 2: Authenticating
In this step, the plugin authenticates with Google to allow permissions for viewing and managing data for your website and domains.
- Click “Sign in with Google” and select the account that has access to your website data
- After logging in to your account, click Allow to grant all required permissions
Step 3: Verifying URL
In this step, you verify whether the URL within the site kit plugin is correct and if so, click continue to complete the process. Your search console gets connected automatically and the finish message appears. You can now click on the Dashboard to connect more services.
Note: Google Site Kit automatically creates a Google Search console account for you if you don’t have one. Up next, how do you configure Google Analytics?
How to link Google Analytics to your WordPress Website using Google Site Kit
Unlike Google search console, Site Kit cannot create a Google Analytics account for you. It is therefore imperative to ensure that your Google Analytics account is ready before proceeding. Once done, follow the steps below:
- On your WordPress Admin dashboard, go to Site Kit >> Settings >> Connect More services, and click on Set up Analytics.
- A warning screen showing the app is unverified appears. Don’t worry, this is because the plugin is still in developer preview. Ignore this and proceed.
- You will be prompted to sign in using the Google account that has access to Analytics. Enter your credentials and log in.
- Upon logging in, the plugin will request a couple of permissions. Tick all boxes to grant permissions and click allow.
- Google Site Kit will redirect you to your WordPress dashboard to link your Google Analytics property.
- Next, click on configure Analytics to complete the setup.
At this point, you can see that Google Analytics is successfully connected to WordPress on the Site Kit dashboard.
Although Google Site Kit plugin is still in Beta, its build-up has been very exciting. It offers you a lot of functionality and valuable information within your WordPress dashboard. There’s no need to install multiple plugins or visit individual sites. A game-changing plugin is here with us, so save your efforts by using this information to install and configure the Google Site Kit for your website. Better yet, keep an eye on the official launch, the plugin might soon be available in the WordPress repository.