Site Kit By Google Summary
Initially, from the description I thought Site Kit by Google would give me great insight into my data and really help me make informed decisions. I had taken that stance from their plugin description “Site Kit is the one-stop solution to deploy, manage, and get insights from critical Google tools to make the site successful on the web.” I think that this over promises what the plugin will do, I was underwhelmed after the initial install. But does Google’s Site Kit do what it says on the tin? In a roundabout way yes, it does but like all things with Google they aren’t being very straight with how they are phrasing their information. You can “get” insights from critical Google tools, they literally take the same information from the tools and displays it on your WordPress site. I sincerely doubt that this tool is going to make your site a success or massively add to your marketing. If you’re downloading this tool you either already know how to use Google analytics and search console and you probably aren’t going to give it to a client cause it will cause a lot of follow up questions.
For the time being the plugin might be useful if you’re having a difficult time installing Tag Manager or Optimize on a messed up WordPress install but I can’t see it being hugely beneficial other than that.
In order for this plugin to be really successful they need to add in goal data into their insights. I think it has potential but a huge amount of development is necessary to take it to the next level.
Personally I think a data studio plugin that would allow you to create custom reports for pages, posts, and an overview for a dashboard would allow people to add what they think works best.
Here is what I found while investigating what Google’s Site Kit can do.
Skip to: Site Kit Install Getting started With Site Kit Site Kit Search Console Site Kit Google Analytics Site Kit Page Speed Site Kit Google Optimise Site Kit Tag Manager Site Kit Detailed Page Stats Site Kit AdSense (not available on tested site)
The install is pretty easy however I have found it quite buggy. It didn’t connect to Google Search Console the first few times I tried connecting it (versions 1.0.1). It should be a simple click “Start Setup” followed by authenticating your login. I had to do this 3 times before it connected and every time it didn’t work it threw an error. I’d always recommend setting up a test environment but I’m going to emphasis it here as our site is relatively basic so id image this will happen for a number of people
At this point I was pretty excited, its been something I’ve always dreamt of, what if Google got involved in open source WordPress development. Next you’ve to connect each of the Google services you are using, you can add Search Console as mentioned above, Google Analytics, Page Speed Insights, Ad Sense, Optimise & Tag Manager. Over time they plan to connect more services but for now this is all that’s accessible through the plugin.
Connecting all other services worked fine with no glitches, (I don’t have AdSense on the site so unsure about that)
The Search console function is probably the most utilised data, It focuses on clicks and impressions rather than position which I think is a good thing. Clients often as about position but really clicks and goals is what we need.
Site Kit however is really just taking the performance data and keywords you are ranking for and displaying them so it doesn’t add anything to what you already have through Search Console.
Google Analytics is fundamental to any business who wants to further their business, it tells you where your traffic comes from and what your most popular pages are for the previous 28 days, you can change the date.
If I go deeper by clicking one of the “analytics” links you’ll also get bounce rate by page and on individual pages you can get the same insights but on a per page basis.
There isn’t a whole lot that’s going to make your site a huge success with this data.
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Page Speed gives you insight into how fast your homepage is, it tells you if you’re fast, average or slow for just your homepage. Its just available on for the homepage, it doesn’t give you a breakdown on the individual pages or doesn’t tell you what you need to fix by highlight images or suggesting files to compress.
You can connect Google Optimise through the Site Kit plugin, that’s it really
Similarly, you can connect Tag Manager through the Site Kit plugin. Not a whole lot else to report
Site kit makes it very easy to see how each individual page is doing which is often ignored in search console or analytics due to the vast amount of information. It also highlights individual keywords each page is ranking for which is great to get an idea of what keywords are really performing. If they were able to add goal data to this it would be massive turning point in understand how their site is performing and what to optimise.
Disappointed that it didn’t give page speed insights for individual pages but I’d be surprised if this didn’t come at a later stage
Unfortunately I can’t comment on this as its not a service we use.
First off I expected this review to take somewhere around 5 hours between downloading, doing some proper research and investigating the true potential of the plugin. I’m coming up to spending an hour on this review and I literally can’t see what else I can do with Google’s Site Kit Plugin. I was expecting it to tell me how to improve my page speed in more detail. I thought that it might have some ability to help built tags. I thought it might list actions that told me the next steps to getting better organic reach.
It does give you insights into what keywords each page is ranking for, this is a very good feature as it’s a step closer towards regaining some insights into the much missed (not provided) we see so often in search console.
Overall I thought this plugin would make my life and my clients life easier but to date it hasn’t delivered this. I think there is a lot more development needed and has the potential to be a very useful tool that really does give insights that will drive your site to success. For the time being I don’t think its adds a huge amount of value to the site and adds to cluttered WordPress Backends and could possibly confuse people or clients further if they don’t fully understand the data