Google Site Kit is a brand new SEO/analytics plugin developed by Google for WordPress. It enables you to connect Google’s online marketing services such as Search Console, Google Analytics, PageSpeed Insights, Google AdSense, Google Optimize and Google Tag Manager – directly to your WordPress site.
Once connected, you’ll be able to view search, analytics, PageSpeed performance and other data, directly in your WordPress dashboard, and individually in posts and pages. This is super helpful in gaining page-level insights directly in your WordPress dashboard.
In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to install and configure Google Site Kit in WordPress and connect the two most popular Google services to your WordPress dashboard – i.e. Google Search Console and Google Analytics.
Get Google Site Kit
Quick note: Site Kit refers to Google’s services as “properties”. Thus we’ve used the terms “Google services” and “properties” interchangeably in the remainder of the article.
Overview of Google Site Kit in WordPress
It is important to understand that Google Site Kit’s primary job is to connect (or link) your WordPress site to the corresponding Google services such as Search Console and Analytics.
Ideally, you should have previously configured both Search Console and Google Analytics in your WordPress site. If not, then we recommend you first setup both Google Analytics and Search Console before installing Google Site Kit.
While Google Site Kit can create a new account for some properties such as Search Console, you should refrain from doing so. We recommend you manually set up both Analytics and Search Console, since the manual method gives you a much better understanding of how marketing analytics works.
Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll be doing:
- Manually install the Google Site Kit plugin.
- Create and link a new client configuration: A simple click-click-copy-paste job, where Google does most of the heavy lifting for you.
- Link properties (Google services) such as Google Search Console and Google Analytics to Site Kit.
Let’s get started with the tutorial!
How to Manually Install the Google Site Kit WordPress plugin
Google announced Site Kit for WordPress in WordCamp US 2018, and a year later, they released the developer preview on June 2019. You can download the plugin from the announcement post and provide feedback on Github.
- Once downloaded, login to your WordPress dashboard and go to Plugins → Add New and click on Upload Plugin.
- Upload the google-site-kit.zip file and click on Install Now.
- Activate the plugin in the next step.
Once done, you should see a screen like the one above.
Configuring Google Site Kit in WordPress
In this step, we’ll configure the Google Site Kit plugin in WordPress. Think of this step as building a highway between your WordPress site and Google’s services. Once you build the highway, you can connect Site Kit to all supported properties such as Search Console and Analytics. By default, once you create the client configuration, your Search Console data will be connected to Site Kit.
Understanding the OAuth Client Configuration
Technically speaking, we’ll be creating a client configuration in the Google Developer Console. To create a client configuration, you’ll be creating a new set of OAuth Credentials using your Google Cloud account.
The best part – this entire process is automated. You don’t need to manually create a Google Cloud account, add a payment method or deal with any advanced configuration. Google Site Kit automatically takes care of this for you.
We’ve verified this automated process both with a brand new Google account and an existing primary Google account.
This OAuth client (client configuration) will be the highway on which you’ll access Google’s services. And in order to do so, you’ll have to log into the newly created client using your primary Google account. This account should have access to Analytics and Search Console data that you’d want to connect to Google Site Kit.
How to link Google Search Console to WordPress using Site Kit
As we’ve promised at the beginning of this tutorial, creating the client configuration in Google Site Kit plugin is a click-click-copy-paste matter. This process will also automatically link your Google Search Console data to your WordPress site. If you do not have your site added to the Search Console, Site Kit will automatically create one for you.
Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: First, log in to your primary Google account in the same browser. Due to some restrictions on Google’s end, you need to disable your ad-blocker (if any) for the remainder of this tutorial.
Step 2: Next, head over to your Site Kit page in your WordPress admin dashboard and click on the highlighted link.
Step 3: The Site Kit plugin will automatically fetch your WordPress site information and pass it on to the client configuration page in the Google Developer Console dashboard. For example, the configuration data in the screenshot above is gathered from my blog.
Tip: Make sure the word “Demo” is not mentioned in the Project Name, as it a disallowed word in the Google Cloud console.
Click on Get OAuth Credentials to proceed.
Step 4: Site Kit will now create a new project in your Google Cloud account, using the details from your WordPress site. Once done, you will get a client configuration code, as shown above. Copy the code to your clipboard and click on Done.
Step 5: Paste the code in the Client configuration text box in your WordPress dashboard and click on Proceed.
Step 6: Now, you will have to sign in with your primary Google account (one that has access to Analytics and other data). Click on Sign In With Google to continue.
Step 7: Click on your primary Google account (screenshot above) and grant the required permissions (screenshot below).
Step 8: Review the permissions in this step and ensure that all checkboxes are enabled. Click on Allow to proceed to the final step.
Step 9: Site Kit will automatically detect your linked site data in your Google Search Console account and link it to your WordPress blog.
Note: As we’ve mentioned earlier, if you do not have a Search Console account, Google Site Kit will automatically create one for you and verify and link your WordPress site to the account.
Google Search Console data connected to Site Kit in WordPress
You can now view your Google Search Console data directly in your WordPress dashboard, thanks to Site Kit.
Page-level Search Console data with Site Kit
You can also view individual post and page-level organic search traffic data with Site Kit.
And that’s how you can link your Google Search Console data to your WordPress site using the Site Kit plugin.
How to link Google Analytics to WordPress using Site Kit
Search Console is one of the many Google properties that Site Kit can link to your WordPress site. In this section, we’ll show you how to view Google Analytics data to your WordPress dashboard using Site Kit.
Note that unlike Search Console, if you do not have a Google Analytics account, you must manually create one and add the tracking code to your WordPress site. Site Kit cannot automatically create a new Google Analytics account for you.
Follow these steps to link your Google Analytics account to Site Kit.
Step 1: Go to your WordPress dashboard → Site Kit → Settings page and select the Connect More Services tab.
Step 2: This screen tells you that you’ll get an “Unverified App” warning when you try to login with your Google account.
Since this is a Developer Preview version of the Site Kit plugin, there will be some minor issues such as the “unverified site” error during the setup process. There’s no need to worry about it as we’ve shown you how to navigate those errors. Moreover, there are no known security issues in the Site Kit plugin, and also – we’re using it in our sites!
Click on Proceed to go to the next step.
Step 3: Select your primary Google account that has access to Google Analytics. Ideally, this should be the same Google account that you used in the Search Console configuration.
Step 4: This is the warning screen we talked about earlier. Click on Advanced as shown in the screenshot above to toggle the advanced options.
Step 5: Click on “Go to souravkundu.in (unsafe)” (which in your case will be yoursitenamecom) to proceed to the next step.
Step 6: Grant all the permissions required by Site Kit to use access your Google Analytics account.
Step 7: Review the permissions and ensure that all the checkboxes are enabled. Click on Allow to proceed to the next step.
Step 8: Google Site Kit will now return to the WordPress dashboard where you’ll be asked to link your Analytics property. Assuming that you’ve previously set up Google Analytics in your WordPress site, Site Kit will automatically select the correct Google Analytics property.
Click on Configure Analytics to proceed to the final step.
Google Analytics dashboard view in Site Kit
Google Analytics is now successfully linked to Google Site Kit in WordPress. You can view your Analytics and Search Console data in the Site Kit dashboard.
Troubleshooting Google Site Kit for WordPress
Sometimes Google Site Kit might show a warning message such as “Issue Accessing Data” in your WordPress dashboard. You would need to re-authenticate your Google account once again.
Google account re-authentication message in Site Kit
Note that I had encountered this issue twice in my blog when preparing this tutorial. However, Site Kit was able to pull all the Analytics and Search Console data and display it in my WordPress dashboard.
I wouldn’t worry too much about this issue since, after all, this is a Developer Preview version of the Site Kit plugin. Once Google releases the official version, these issues will be sorted, along with the possibility of a smoother setup process.
Final Thoughts on Google Site Kit for WordPress
WordPress’ ubiquity and market dominance have made goliaths like Google to release official plugins for the CMS. Today we’re looking at a more open, more inclusive integration of a variety of third-party services within WordPress, which ultimately benefits the end-user.
Google’s Site Kit is a brilliant example of this inclusive integration. The Developer Preview version of the plugin supports Google services such as Search Console, Analytics, AdSense, PageSpeed Insights, Optimize and Tag Manager.
Going forward, it’d be great to see deeper integrations with YouTube Analytics, Google AdWords and Facebook Ads (hope you’re listening Facebook developers!), since a lot of online businesses spend considerable amounts of money on ads for paid content marketing and promotion.
What do you think about Google Site Kit? Would you use it in your site? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!