What is the Google Site Kit plugin?
Site Kit is an official Google plugin designed for WordPress. It brings together a collection of Google tools to manage and optimize your site. It’s easy to use, even if you don’t have a lot of technical knowledge. So if you’ve ever wanted to check things like which of your pages gets the most visitors, but you didn’t want to learn how to use Google Analytics, Site Kit is the plugin for you! But it’s not only for checking your site statistics, you can do loads of other stuff with it too. And it’s free. Keep reading to find out all about what the Site Kit plugin can do for your and your site.
Why you should consider using Site Kit
There are loads of Google tools available to help you monitor and improve your site’s performance. Each of these tools exist independently of each other, and they offer a different array of features for different purposes. Some of those features are must-haves for good SEO and site maintenance, while others are really only useful for technical SEO experts. Unfortunately with the time and effort needed to set up each tool individually, in some cases it just wasn’t worth the hassle to use them all.
The difference with Site Kit is this:
You can set it up much more easily, with simple steps to get everything connected.You’ll get the must-have features in the back-end of your site, so you won’t need to go to various different locations to find what you need.
You can install the plugin by visiting the Site Kit homepage, where you can read more about what it is and how to use it. Or alternatively, you can head over to the WordPress plugins library and search for ‘site kit’ to find the plugin.
What’s included in Site Kit?
Below you’ll find a description of all the tools you can use with Google Site Kit. Note that Site Kit only adds the ‘best bits’ of these tools. So, which features are included, and what can you do with them?
Google Search Console has loads of features to monitor your site’s performance in Google Search. You can find out which queries users search for that are leading them to your site in the search results. You can also see your average search position for different searches, as well as how many people see those results, and how many people actually click on your result too.
This information is really essential for SEO, so Site Kit always includes it by default. If you find this kind of information useful or interesting for your site, you can find even more in the full version of Google Search Console.
Read more: What is Google Search Console? »
The Google Analytics part of Site Kit will show you more info about where different users came from. What countries are your visitors from? Did they come via search, did they click a link somewhere else, or did they go directly to your site by entering a URL in their browser? And what kind of devices are they using to visit your site: desktop, or mobile?
Once people have reached your site, it can be really useful to see what they do there! So you can also see some (anonymous) data about user behaviour. For instance, you can see which pages users are looking at the most and how long they spend on your site.
These are really just the basics of what you can do with Google Analytics! If you want to delve deeper, you can do so by setting up Google Analytics for your site and learning how to use this powerful tool.
Keep reading: Tracking your SEO with Google Analytics: a how-to »
When you install Site Kit, it will add Search Console and Google Analytics automatically. The rest of the tools listed below are optional, and you can connect them by navigating to Site Kit > Settings in the back-end of your WordPress site:
Add these optional Site Kit tools in the Site Kit Settings menu
If you’ve got a website, chances are you want to make some money from it. One of the easiest ways to do that is by enabling AdSense, Google’s advertising service. Doing that lets Google to place relevant ads on your pages. And if people click on them, you’ll get paid for it.
When you’re using AdSense, you can track the performance of your advertising easily with Site Kit. The reports include information such as:
how many adverts AdSense is showing on your site, your estimated earnings from those ads,which pages earn you the most money (you’ll need to have Google Analytics enabled for this last one).
Do you want your pages to rank well in Google? Then you need to make sure they load quickly for your users. When you activate PageSpeed Insights in Google Site Kit, you’ll see how your homepage is performing for real users visiting your site. Are there any important aspects that can be improved? If there are, you’ll get helpful recommendations to help you get your site loading more quickly and smoothly.
PageSpeed Insights are based on data from Google Lighthouse. If you want to check the speed of more pages on your site, you can download the Google Lighthouse extension for Chrome. Tip: you’ll probably need some developer skills or technical SEO knowledge to get the most out of this tool. Find out more about how to use it with this guide from Google Tools for Web Developers.
Read on: How to check site speed »
Tag Manager is a tool for setting up marketing tags, which help you to monitor the performance of your marketing activities. If you don’t do any marketing, you probably don’t need these. But if you do, then tags offer you the capability to track what’s working (and what isn’t). That stuff can be pretty technical to set up, so using Tag Manager is a great solution if you’re not an expert. Site Kit can help you to get everything set up from the back-end of your site.
Once your Tag Manager tags are up-and-running, you can add the data they generate in Google Analytics. This will give you a more complete overview of what’s happening on your site and how users are interacting with your content. If you want to manage more aspects of your tags, you can do so using the Google Tag Manager tool.
Keep on reading: Google Tag Manager: an introduction »
Have you ever wondered if doing things a bit differently might make a big difference? With Optimize, you can find out! This neat Google tool will let you run A/B tests (and more) to see if users respond better to version A or version B of your website. With a bit of trial and error, you can really perfect your site and your users’ experience.
Using Site Kit will let you easily set up Optimize and run tests on your site. You can also connect Optimize with Google Analytics to find areas needing improvement and see the results of your optimizations. Plus, if you use AdSense you can use Optimize to make your advertising more effective too. You can find out more about Optimize here if you’re interested.
Try Site Kit for yourself
Now you know the basics of what Site Kit is and what it can do. All you need to do now is install the plugin and get to know the tools yourself. It’s not a problem if you don’t use every part of Site Kit — just give it a go and see what works for you. It could really help you improve your site, so give it a try. Let us know what you think about this official Google plugin in the comments section when you’re done!
Read more: Top WordPress plugin recommendations »
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