If you run a website, you probably rely on Google services for analytics tracking, performance testing, and more. Managing all of them can be tricky, which is why there’s now a plugin called Site Kit for WordPress.
With the official Google Site Kit plugin, you can connect all your favorite Google webmaster services to WordPress. Where applicable, you’ll also be able to view data inside your WordPress dashboard, like your statistics from Google Analytics.
In this review, we’ll take a closer look at the Google Site Kit WordPress plugin, what it has to offer, and how to set it up.
Let’s dive in!
An introduction to Google Site Kit
Site Kit is a plugin that enables you to connect your WordPress website with these six Google services:
- Search Console. With Search Console, you can monitor your site’s traffic, its performance, and indexing status.
- Analytics. Google’s popular web analytics tool provides you with massive amounts of data about your site’s visitors, which is invaluable for marketing and optimization.
- AdSense. If you want to monetize your website using ads, AdSense is one of the most popular platforms you can use to insert ads.
- PageSpeed Insights. This tool enables you to test your website’s performance. It returns an overall score, as well as a broad range of suggestions on how to improve your desktop and mobile experiences.
- Tag Manager. This service enables you to add tracking pixels and snippets to your website without modifying code manually.
- Optimize. With Optimize, you can run in-depth A/B tests for your website. It integrates with Google Analytics to give you better insights into results.
It’s important to understand that Site Kit is not a replacement for any of the services we listed above. Rather, it simplifies the process of integrating them with WordPress. For example, if you haven’t already manually added Google Analytics to your site, Site Kit can help you add the tracking code.
Once your services are integrated, Site Kit also enables you to access key metrics from inside your WordPress dashboard. With Google Analytics, for example, you can view your overall traffic, impressions, clicks, and goals.
You don’t need a plugin to help you connect any of those services with your WordPress website, but Site Kit makes the process a lot easier. All you have to do in most cases is click some buttons to provide a few authorizations.
How to use Google Site Kit with WordPress (in 4 steps)
To really understand the value Google Site Kit provides for WordPress users, it helps to see it in action. Here’s how to get it up and running for your site in a few simple steps.
Step 1: Install and activate Google Site Kit
Installing and activating Google Site Kit works just like any other WordPress plugin. Once it’s active, it will prompt you to jump straight to the setup process:
Click on the Start Setup button to continue.
Step 2: Verify ownership of your website and connect Search Console
After you start the setup wizard, Site Kit will ask you to sign in using your Google account to verify ownership of your WordPress website:
You will then need to authorize a handful of permissions to let Site Kit access key data about your website and your Google account. Click on Allow for each prompt to continue:
If you’ve already connected your WordPress site to Search Console, at this point Google Site Kit will automatically integrate it. Otherwise, you’ll be prompted to set it up:
Click on the Add site button and Google will handle the rest. You’ll then be ready to use the plugin:
That’s it for the basic setup process.
Step 3: Integrate your preferred Google services
Google Site Kit requires you to integrate Search Console with WordPress, but once you’ve completed the setup wizard you can customize which services you want to add. Right away the plugin provides links to connect AdSense, Analytics, and PageSpeed Insights:
If you’d rather wait to set up additional services, you can always do so later by navigating to Site Kit > Settings > Connect More Services:
For each additional service, you’ll need to confirm which account you want to use and authorize a list of permissions for Site Kit. If necessary, you can also connect your site to new tools right from your dashboard:
It only takes a handful of clicks and is much faster than adding a tracking code manually.
Step 4: View your dashboard and reports
Google Site Kit displays data in a few different ways. First, you can see an overview of all your services from Site Kit > Dashboard.
For services such as Search Console and Google Analytics, Site Kit has to collect data for a while before it shows you any numbers. We went ahead and connected PageSpeed Insights as well to show you how it displays results within its dashboard:
In time, your dashboard might look more like this:
Your other option is to view separate reports for your services. Each will have its own tab under Site Kit in your WordPress sidebar. These summaries give you a bit more detail than the dashboard:
You can also filter by specific pages on your site, like only seeing the statistics for a certain blog post or testing the page speed of a specific page.
You’ll also get a new Site Kit option on the WordPress toolbar. You can use this from the front-end of your site to see Google Analytics statistics for the piece of content that you’re currently viewing:
That’s all there is to using Google Site Kit for WordPress.
Is using Google Site Kit worth it for your website?
Overall, there aren’t many bad things to say about using Google Site Kit for WordPress. At most, it might be a bit overkill if you only plan on connecting one Google service.
However, if you plan to take advantage of several of them, Site Kit is a big timesaver. Plus, integration couldn’t be easier. In the case of PageSpeed Insights, for example, it only takes a single click.
Another positive is that Site Kit doesn’t pressure you to connect more services at any point. If you only want to use Search Console, for example, you can do that without pesky popups in your dashboard recommending Analytics.
Additionally, Site Kit shouldn’t slow your loading times – it doesn’t add any new content to the front-end of your site beyond the basic scripts needed to make the service function (like the Google Analytics tracking script, which would still be there even if you opted to manually connect Google Analytics to WordPress).
One downside to using Site Kit is that it doesn’t provide you with configuration options for the services you connect. Navigating to Site Kit > Settings will show you if the plugin is working and give you an option to submit tracking data to Google, but that’s it:
That’s to be expected since adding individual settings for so many services has the potential to be a hassle. However, if this is your first time using any of these tools, the lack of options can be confusing. You’ll need to visit each service individually to customize your setups.
If you’re looking to integrate webmaster services with your website, Google Site Kit for WordPress simplifies the process dramatically. During our review, we managed to connect all the tools we wanted within minutes using simple wizards.
Overall, Site Kit can be a valuable addition to your WordPress plugin lineup, especially if you use multiple services. That said, it doesn’t replace the need to visit each the actual website for each service from time to time. For example, while you can get a peek at your most important Google Analytics metrics from your WordPress dashboard, you’ll still need to use the Google Analytics dashboard to access all the information.