After spending a large portion of 2019 in its developer preview (beta) stage, Google has now officially released their own WordPress plugin. Google are touting this as a single dashboard for Site Owners with the added benefit of insights ‘directly’ from the Big G. We can see how this is an attractive proposition to a lot of people, both site owners and agencies alike.
It’s a testament to the global demand for WordPress as a CMS that Google have developed their own plugin specifically for WP. The Content Management System supposedly powers around a third of all websites and has a 60% market share of websites identified to be utilising a CMS. As such, whilst Google Analytics is the go to platform for webmasters to access user and usage data for their site, this is a smart move by Google to help make this analytics data even more accessible.
What does Site Kit offer?
The plugin aggregates key datasets so that they are visible within WordPress. Google describe it as a dashboard so whilst you wouldn’t expect to be able to access all that GA, Search Console and other Google tools offer, it does give you a high level view.
Shows the various channels delivering traffic to your site.
Displays Impressions, Clicks, Visitors from Search and Bounce Rate.
The top queries being used to find your site, along with the most popular content on your site.
Metrics directly from Page Speed Insights
Data from any adwords campaigns being run
It’s not just top line stats though. Site Kit also allows you to access data for individual pages, which Google also encourages. Furthermore, it’s been marketed as a tool which allows non-technical webmasters to integrate and verify tools such as Google Analytics directly from the plugin. No more having to call your developer to add a line of verification code.
Will it replace other Google tools?
Not in the near future. On one hand, whilst a third of websites is an impressive stat, it isn’t 100% of websites. Google need to maintain their offering to the other ⅔ of websites around the world.
What about WordPress admins? Well, even if you have a WordPress website, Site Kit’s first iteration is as a dashboard designed to give top line stats rather than super in depth analytics. Google will of course look to expand the functionality associated with their Site Kit plugin but it’s highly unlikely that they will include all of the detail found in their various tools.
Who is going to use Site Kit most?
We believe that Site Kit will be most effective for small businesses, sole traders and website owners. It will give them a quick overview of their site’s performance without having to navigate and make sense of data from multiple tools in the Google suite.
It’s going to be great for those that:
- Do not have a deep understanding of Google Analytics, Search Console, PageSpeed Insights or Adsense.
- Admins that do not have dedicated market budget/resource but want to keep an eye on the site performance regardless
- Agencies that want clients to have a dashboard on site performance
Note that there are also benefits to plugin and hosting providers but we have focussed more on the owner/agency side.
One thing that is interesting is how the term ‘insights’ will be interpreted. It would not surprise us if individuals are expecting regular tips and advice from Google. In reality, ‘insights’ simply refers to the data on offer from their set of tools.