As a blogger, the two tools I am constantly using on a daily basis, often more than once are:
- Google Analytics, and
- Google Search Console
And now, Google has done it again. They have developed a WordPress plugin that will allow us bloggers to access both of these tools right from the WordPress dashboard.
That’s right, guys! You can now use Site Kit by Google to get all the Googly jazz without ever having to leave your WordPress dashboard! (At least for the moderate users.)
How cool is that?!
So, in this post, I will show you how to get it on your site, properly set it up, and all the related fun stuff.
A Brief Introduction to Google Analytics and Search Console
If you’re a blogger, they’re your best friends!
You need analytics to see how your blog is performing. Of course, it’s an extremely powerful tool that does a LOT of things if you know how to use it right. And it’s free to boot! But the most common use of Google Analytics that even the least techie among you know is to track your blog traffic.
As soon as you log on to Google Analytics, it gives you an overview of your website performance in terms of traffic, things like, how many users are on your site right now, where your users are from, what time of the day you get the most traffic, which pages get the most visitors, where your traffic is coming from, and much, much more.
Google Search Console is also an extremely powerful tool, that unfortunately, not many new bloggers use it from day-1, which they should! Aside from submitting your blog’s URL to Search Console, it has many other resourceful uses. As soon as you submit your site’s URL, Google Search Console starts to track various website health-related things such as mobile usability, site speed issues, and much more.
Every blogger should start paying attention to these features, but unfortunately, not many feel comfortable with this tool.
But all that has now changed thanks to this nifty plugin – Site Kit by Google.
How to Set Up Site Kit by Google in Your WordPress Blog
In this section, I will go over installing and activating the plugin, verifying your site with Google, and getting your data to show properly in your WordPress dashboard.
Install and Activate the “Site Kit by Google” Plugin
This part of the tutorial is the same as adding any plugin to your WordPress site. Start by logging into your WordPress dashboard, and then go to “Plugins > Add New”. In the search area, type Site Kit by Google. The first result is the one you want. Next to the result, you will see a button that says Install. Click it. Once the plugin is installed, this button will then say “Activate”. Click to activate the plugin for your site.
If you need help with installing and activating plugins for WordPress, you should check out this post first.
Set Up Site Kit by Google on Your WordPress Blog
Once the plugin is activated, the page will show a success message and will ask you to start the setup. Click the button that says “Start Setup”
Alternately, locate the “Site Kit” menu item from the list of items in the left menu, and go to “Site Kit > Dashboard” You can start your setup from this page as well.
Clicking this button will take you to Site Kit’s setup page, and it will ask you to sign in with Google. Click the button to sign in.
Once you sign in, it will ask you to allow Site kit to access your Google account. Allow Access by clicking “Allow”.
Once you allow it, in the next page, you will be asked to:
- Verify that you are the owner of the website where you’re setting up Site Kit. Click “verify” and that’s it, you’re done.
- In the next step, you’ll be asked to allow your site to access your Google Account data. Allow it.
- And then, it will ask you to set up the Search Console. Click the button to set up.
That’s it. Other than clicking three consecutive buttons, there’s not much else to do. Compare this to how you had to add HTML code and upload files to your hosting and what not… all of that headache is not gone, and you literally have to do nothing but click buttons to set up search console with this Site Kit plugin.
Once you’re done clicking these buttons, you’ll see the page below. Click “Go to my Dashboard” to go back to your WordPress Dashboard.
Inside your WordPress dashboard, go to Site Kit Dashboard, and you should now see Google tools. If not, try refreshing the page.
This is what you should see:
As you can see, your search Console is already connected (which is what we just did).
Additionally, you can connect AdSense, Analytics, and PageSpeed Insights.
For this tutorial, I will skip AdSense and PageSpeed Insights. AdSense is used by those who run Google ads in their blogs. I neither have ads, nor do I like them, so I’ll skip this. As for PageSpeed Insights, it is a tool that checks how your site is performing across different devices in terms of speed. This is useful data that can help you make sure your site’s performance is up, however, I much prefer to just go to Google’s PageSpeed Insights about once a month and check things there.
Google Analytics, now that is important. Let’s set that up now.
Connect Your Google Analytics Account to your Site Kit Plugin
Under “Analytics” inside Site Kit Dashboard, click “Connect service”.
This will once again ask you to log into your Google account, and then ask you to allow Site kit to access your Google Account data.
Once you do, it will take you back to the Site Kit dashboard inside your WordPress dashboard. This time, you should see Analytics, and you’ll be asked to choose your Analytics account, property, and view. If you do not see this, refresh your page.
If you have already created an Analytics account before, you can choose this account from the dropdown. if not, you have to create a new account. For the purpose of this tutorial, we will assume to create a new account.
To do so, log in to Google Analytics, then go to “Admin” and then proceed to create a new account.
On the next page, you will be asked to name your account. Name it something recognizable (the blog name, for example.) leave all the other options to their default state. (They should all be checked in their default state, if not, make sure they are all checked.) Then scroll down to the bottom of the page and click “Next”.
On the next page, you will be asked to choose what you want to measure. Bloggers are typically web-based, so choose the “Web” option.
if you have an app, you can choose the “App” option, and if you have both a website and an app, choose the third option for “Apps and web”.
For this tutorial, we’ll choose “Web”, and then click “Next”.
On the next page, set up your properties. Name your property (something recognizable, like your blog name. It’s OK to have the account name and the property name the same.) Add your website URL, choose your industry and set timezone. Then click “Create”. Accept their terms to finish creating your new Analytics account.
Now you will see the Analytics code that… wait! before you would have had to add this piece of code to your website’s header.php file but guess what? With Site Kit, there’s no reason to mess with the code!
Simply go back to your WordPress dashboard, then go to Site Kit > Analytics. Then choose the newly created account and property from the drop-downs. For view, choose “All Web Site Data”. If you do not see the new account, refresh your page and try again.
Once you’ve selected everything, click “Configure Analytics” to finish setting up Google Analytics.
And that’s it. No need for messing with the codes or third party plugins that do not always work very well or show you the complete data. Now, with Site Kit, everything is simplified.
Note: If you already had an Analytics account set up for your site, then you don’t have to create a new one. Simply choose the account associated with your blog from the drop-down and then click “Configure Analytics” to finish the setup.
If your site is brand new, it may take a few minutes to a couple of days for you to see all the data.
But otherwise, everything is good to go.
You can now see in-depth data by going to “Site Kit > Analytics” or “Site Kit > Search Console” right from your WordPress Dashboard.
This is a neat little plugin that eliminates the need to add codes to your site or verify your site by uploading files and other complicated methods. You also eliminate the need for a third-party plugin.
You should still check the actual Analytics website and Search Console website for more in-depth data, but for day-to-day use, and for those who are not overly obsessed with every minute change in their traffic or website performance, this plugin does the work. Also, so easy to connect everything! It’s all automated and all you really had to do was click a bunch of buttons.
Was this tutorial helpful? Will you set up Site Kit in your WordPress blog? Let me know in the comments 🙂
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