It is no secret that the integration between Google and WordPress has always been great.
WordPress is perhaps the most popular CMS out there and Google receives a significant number of queries about everything WordPress. Given the rising curve, WordPress has long been on Google’s radar.
To improve the integration, Google has stepped forward and released a unified open-source plugin (still in beta at the time of publication), Google Site Kit for WordPress, which website owners can use to monitor, analyze, and improve website performance effectively.
- What Is Google Site Kit?
- Google Site Kit: The Background
- Google Site Kit: The Interface
- Features of Google Site Kit
- Install Google Site Kit on WordPress
- Disconnect Google Site Kit from WordPress
What Is Google Site Kit?
Here is what Google says about Site Kit:
With Site Kit installed, WordPress users can access unified insights and Google product capabilities directly from the WordPress admin panel.
Google Site Kit does not add any new functionality to WordPress but also provides unified data that is already available separately in different Google services. As a result, webmasters will experience better and faster access to Google services.
Google Site Kit: The Background
During the WordCamp US 2018, Google announced that the WordPress plugin is almost ready for developer beta testing. The plugin aims to simplify the integration of Google services with WordPress websites.
The beta version of Google Site Kit is available only to developers for testing compatibility and compliance with other plugins. The idea is to get the plugin ready for public release and get the larger community opinion on plugin performance and integration with the WordPress architecture.
As it stands today in beta, Google Site Kit for WordPress requires expert development expertise, familiarity with the OAuth, and Google Cloud Platform verification processes. Google opes to simplify plugin use and increase the number of available services in the public release version.
Google Site Kit: The Interface
The interface of Google Site Kit is faithful to what everyone already knows about Google: minimalist yet thorough with all essential details at the right place.
In the beta version, the Dashboard contains just the main data items from the Search Console, along with the number of impressions in the search results, the number of visitors on your website that came in via these search terms.
In the Popularity section, you will have the most popular queries for your website and the number of impressions for each query.
Finally, the PageSpeed Insights section provides the main website performance information including real user speed data, the display time per user for the mobile and the desktop versions.
Features of Google Site Kit
Google Site Kit fetches website management and performance data from Google and displays it right in the WordPress Dashboard. Once you install the Google Site Kit on WordPress, you could get the unified data directly in the WordPress Dashboard for the following products.
Google Search Console
- Google Search Console is a great tool for analyzing website performance in Google Search. It reports the status of indexing, traffic, and other significant search engine optimization (SEO) metrics.
- Google AdSense is the industry-leading platform for running contextual ads on your WordPress website. It is one of the best monetization/advertising networks in the market today.
- Google Analytics is the industry-standard visitor tracking tool that provides multiple ways of tracking visitors’ behavior, real-time traffic stats, the journey of visitors on your website, and other important performance metrics such as bounce rate, the number of visitors (new and returning) who are on your website.
Google PageSpeed Insights
- This popular Google tool helps webmasters optimize their websites to load more quickly on the visitors’ device. To get this information, simply enter the URL and you will see performance grade for Mobile and Desktop visitors along with recommendations and tips.
Install Google Site Kit on WordPress
IMPORTANT: Since Google Site Kit is currently available in beta, I strongly recommend creating a WordPress staging website for testing the plugin at your WordPress website.
After downloading the Google Site Kit plugin, go to Dashboard → Plugins → Add New and click the Upload Plugin button.
In the next step, upload the downloaded .zip file, and click the Install Now button.
After installing the Google Site Kit plugin, click the Activate Plugin button.
Once Google Site Kit is active on the site, click the Start Setup button to integrate Google’s services within your WordPress website.
Go to developers.google.com/web/sitekit and generate your client ID.
You will see that Google already has all the information about your website. Click the Get OAuth Credentials button.
Copy your OAuth Credentials and click the Done button.
Go back to WordPress Dashboard, paste your OAuth Credentials, and click the Proceed button.
In the second step, click the Sign in with Google button and authenticate your WordPress website with Google.
Log in to your Google account to complete the authentication process.
In the third step, enter your website address and click the Continue button to verify the URL for Google Site Kit plugin.
Connect Google Search Console
Next up I will connect the WordPress website with Google Search Console. For this, click the Allow button and grant permission to Google Site Kit.
Confirm that Google has following access privileges to your WordPress website and then click the Allow button.
Finally, you have successfully completed the Google Site Kit setup and connected Google Search Console with the WordPress website. Now click the Go to Dashboard button to connect the website to the other three recommended services.
From here, you can start connecting other services as you see fit. Note that Google Search Console is now automatically connected and has registered your WordPress website with Google Webmasters.
Connect Google AdSense
Go to Site Kit → Settings → Connect More Services → AdSense, and click Set up AdSense.
If you don’t have an AdSense account, click Create AdSense Account button. If you already have an account, log in to your account.
Since I have an AdSense account, I will click Switch Google Account, select my Google account to connect to it.
As you can see, I have successfully connected AdSense to my WordPress website.
Connect Google Analytics
Go to Site Kit → Settings → Connect More Services → Analytics, and click Set up Analytics.
Like the AdSense connection, click the Create An Account button if you don’t have a Google Analytics account.
Enter the following required details:
- Account Name
- Website Name
- Website URL
- Industry Category
- Reporting Time Zone
After that, click the Get Tracking ID button at the end of the page.
After agreeing with the Google Analytics Terms and Services, you will see your Tracking ID and Tracking Code, but there’s no need to copy-paste them.
Go to back Site Kit → Analytics and click Re-fetch My Account and it will automatically fetch your Google Tracking ID and Tracking Code.
After re-fetching your account, you will notice that your Google Analytics account has been connected to Site Kit.
Connect Google PageSpeed Insights
Go to Site Kit → Settings → Connect More Services → PageSpeed Insights, and click Set up PageSpeed Insights.
Click the developers.google.com/web/sitekit/apikey link and generate your API Key.
Click the Get API Key button and copy the value.
Paste your API Key in the provided text area and click the Proceed button.
Now, you will have the list of connected services on the Google Site Kit of your WordPress website.
In addition, you can also connect the following services.
Go to Site Kit → Dashboard to get relevant data of each connected service, such as page speed, traffic in Analytics, the performance of your campaigns in AdSense or SEO tips from the Search Console.
Disconnect Google Site Kit from WordPress Website
If you want to disconnect Google Site Kit from WordPress website, click your ID, and then click Disconnect.
Similarly, if you want to disconnect an individual service, go to that service and click Edit.
Next, disconnect the service from Google Site Kit.
By now, you know what Google Site Kit is and how you can connect it with your WordPress website. It is one of the major steps that Google has taken to ease the data access for WordPressers.
Some webmasters are already saying goodbye to plugins they use for each service, while others have immediately installed the Google Site Kit plugin (beta version) and are testing it together with the competitors. What I think is that it could a game-changer for webmasters.
What are your thoughts on Google Site Kit WordPress plugin? Please feel free to share them in the comments section below!
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Passionate about technology, entrepreneurship, and marketing, Mansoor Ahmed Khan is in computing since he knows how to type on a keyboard. His daily life is rocked by his family, projects, and his screen. Probably in this order, he likes to be convinced at least.