A Guide to Using Google’s Site Kit Plugin for WordPress
When it comes to making good decisions for your website, whether it’s an online store, a magazine, or a blog, it’s often the statistics that can show you the way. In the digital age, when you can track and measure almost everything, stats are the fuel that power decision-making. And it just so happens that, when we’re talking about websites, the statistics you get from Google are the ones that matter the most.
It’s not that hard to understand why when you think just how powerful Google’s analytics and metrics products are, and how ubiquitous the company is in general. You’d be hard-pressed to find a webmaster who doesn’t use Google Analytics at the very least, if not the whole suite including the paid advertising tools.
While we’re on the subject of things that everyone uses, Google’s been making an effort to connect with WordPress, the Google of the CMS industry. But this isn’t a story of mergers, takeovers, or buyouts — it’s much simpler than that. Early in November 2019, news has hit that Google’s Site Kit plugin for WordPress has finally exited the beta stage and released into the wild.
Why Would You Need Google’s Site Kit?
The obvious question here is what new things this plugin could possibly bring that are not already covered by one of Google’s tools. Between them, they’ll give you so much actionable data that you probably won’t have the time to go through it all.
But that’s just the thing: Google has so many great tools that using all of them, while beneficial, can require a lot of tab switch and other time-consuming activities. But if you install the Site Kit, you can get a condensed version of that data right there, in your WordPress admin area.
Here are the tools you can have fed into the Site Kit:
- Search Console: The place where you make sure that your website and Google are playing well together, that everything’s indexed, and also get traffic and linking data.
- AdSense: Want to earn money putting ads on your website? AdSense is unavoidable in this field, and the data you get from this tool will help you stay on top of your website’s earnings.
- Analytics: You know how important it is to know what users do on your website and how easy it is for them to navigate it? This is what Google’s Analytics tool brings to the table.
- PageSpeed Insights: Loading speed is one of the most important website metrics. The PageSpeed Insights tool lets you compare yours with the loading speed of other websites.
- Tag Manager: The Site Kit allows you to set up the Tag Manager from your website so that you can operate them from the Tag Manager.
- Optimize: Your go-to tool for A/B testing! Just like with the Tag Manager, you can set it up using the Site Kit and then run all the tests you want from Optimize.
The purpose of installing the plugin isn’t to circumvent the registration process for the tools that need it. If you’ve had to link your website with the tool before, you’ll still have to do it even if you’re using the Site Kit. That’s something you should take care of before you installing the plugin. And once you’ve installed the Site Kit, you’ll still have to connect all of those services to it.
But once you do all of that, you’ll get to the main reason why installing Google’s Site Kit is a good idea: it will let you see some, but not all, the information you get from those services right there, in your website’s admin area. That is the main appeal of it — you get some of the information from Google’s services through a WordPress plugin.
How to Install the Site Kit Plugin
The installation of Google’s Site Kit plugin is as simple and straightforward as the installation of any other plugin. You start by finding the Add New option in the Plugins menu:
You can find the Site Kit plugin by searching for it in the plugins list:
Once you find it, you need to install it first…
…and then to activate it.
With that, your plugin is installed, and you’re ready for the next step in the process: setting up the plugin.
How to Set Up Google’s Site Kit Plugin
After you’ve installed the plugin, you need to set it up. The whole process mostly revolves around giving the Site Kit the permissions it needs to be able to run properly.
After clicking on the Start setup button, you’ll be greeted by this window, outlining the next steps.
After you click to sign in with Google, you’ll be asked to provide login information:
After logging in, you’ll have to give two permissions to the Site Kit, to manage and view Search Console data, and manage the list of sites and domains you own:
Once you’ve provided the two permissions, you’d have effectively connected your Site Kit plugin with the Search Console. You’ll see this image on the screen:
After clicking on the Go to my dashboard, you will be able to see some of the information pulled from the Search Console:
Besides the information about your website provided by the tool or service you’re connected to — Search Console in this case — you’ll also see the status of other Google tools and services. So if you wanted to connect to Google Analytics, for instance, you can click on the Connect service link and, after signing in again, provide some additional permissions to Google Analytics:
After granting all of these permissions, you’ll be reminded one more time about the permissions you’re about to give, and the permissions Site Kit already has:
Google’s Site Kit is a welcome addition to any WordPress website owner’s or administrator’s tool belt. It provides a handy way to view some of the most important information and metrics Google’s services provide. But Google is also bound to make changes to the plugin, at the very least by making additional services available. So no matter how useful you find the plugin today, chances are you might find it even more useful in the future.
We hope this article was helpful. If you liked it, feel free to check out some of these articles as well!