A New WordPress Plugin: Google Site Kit
Google Site Kit for WordPress
We all love WordPress. And, yes it is indeed widely popular. After 15 years of sustained growth and adoption, WordPress isn’t going anywhere.
However, is it really a smart option to continually load up your WordPress admin area with completely useless WordPress Plugins?
Plugins installed and activated inside of a WordPress site should DO something WordPress related.
Not simply be a convenience.
When a Store Owner is using WooCommerce for their Business, it is absolutely critical that their WordPress site continually stay as lean and fast as possible. It is true that some WordPress sites are ‘brochure sites’ which are simply used to establish a web presence and provide contact information for a realtor, chiropractor, beauty shop, suburban law firm, or church. WooCommerce sites, in contrast to ‘brochure sites’, are the DIRECT revenue source for thousands of Business Owners. Hence, those sites should be as lean and as speedy as possible!
Is this newest WordPress Plugin from Google, called Site Kit, actually going to provide any substantial value once a site owner has installed, configured, and activated it? Let’s take a deep breath, zoom out a bit, and get an honest and objective viewpoint with some common sense thought.
WordPress Plugin Setup Flow For Google Site Kit
As suggested via this image, a site owner would initially be prompted to verify their website’s URL and connect that association to Google’s Search Console. That’s great right? Wahoo! Yippie! Yeah! Rock on! Stop the presses! Break the Internet! Calling all cars! Exciting News!
Can’t everyone on the innerwebs with an innertube connection already verify their site in Google? YEP.
Has anyone, ever, in the history of WordPress’ 15 years of existence, actually needed a plugin (yet another plugin) to “verify your website” in Google? No.
Is it possible to get in the innertubes and surf the innerwebs to connect your site to Google Search Console? YES.
Again, with the common sense approach that you, right now, indeed, are reading this via your innerwebs connection, go ahead and jump into your favorite innertube device and shimmy yourself on over to this spot in the Googles: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/home Pretty Simple, right?
Yes, even JetPack has an option to ‘verify a site’ with Google:
Do site owners really need another plugin installed + activated inside their admin area again, which is providing convenience – not function?
With thoughtful self awareness, let’s carefully continue to contemplate this conundrum.
What else might the Google Site Kit WordPress Plugin actually DO for a site owner?
For those whom are not all that familiar with Google’s lineup of products, look closely at the bottom of that image again.
- The first yellow image with raised bars might be easily recognized. Of course, that is Google Analytics.
- The second image which has the two red squares is actually Google Optimize.
- And the last blue diamond image which Google’s Site Kit Plugin is alluding to is Google’s Tag Manager.
Those are all helpful, great and wonderful tools within the Google Marketing Platform. However, each and every one of those individual tools actually needs to be setup, created, and configured within their specific area of Google’s Platform. Here’s a quick peek at the Platform that’s currently running right now:
In Analytics, several specific options are configured per each site. Google Optimize definitely requires some advanced setup. And, luckily there are a blossoming number of tutorials regarding the Google’s Tag Manager.
Those who work with client sites, analyze data, and create solutions to grow revenue for WooCommerce Business Owners fully appreciate the value of every one of these tools! There is absolutely no doubt at all that these are quite worthwhile tools.
However, there simply is no way that a magical blue toggle inside a WordPress plugin would ever be able to fully setup and configure the Google Tag Manager and (especially) Google Optimize – each of which requires some extensive knowledge that extends well beyond simply sliding a toggle.
Again though, putting this into a WordPress Plugin to install & activate inside the dashboard? Well what exactly is the Site Kit Plugin going to DO?
Milestone Alerts Inside the Google Site Kit WordPress Plugin
That’s motivational. Perhaps a bit of a positive factor. but… Apparently Google’s Site Kit Plugin message will disappear once the site owner has Got it!
Again, let’s not be negative nor do we want to be stricken with Shiny Object syndrome and chase a squirrel of yet-one-more WordPress plugin.
Rather with contemplative self awareness let’s provide some objective clarifying questions.
- ‘Total Views‘ : That is indeed a great stat to visually provide to the WordPress site owner. However, retrieving the view count of any given post has been worked into thousands of themes, dozens of existing plugins, JetPack even gives these stats, and –again– at any given time anyone can easily see each post or page Total Views within their Google Analytics account.
- ‘Average Impressions‘ : Here’s where we get into some very pragmatic and applicable questions.
- When Google’s Site Kit Plugin starts displaying these stats to the WordPress site owner(s), are they going to actually know where these Impressions originally came from?
- Did these Impressions come from an AdWords Text Campaign?
- Did the Impression originate from an organic search?
- Is this “Average Impressions” number reflective of those “…five published posts…“?
- ‘Average CTR‘ : Again, does the site owner or publisher simply scratch their heads in wonderment yielding more questions than answers asking about the relevancy of these Click Through Rates stat that the Site Kit Plugin is displaying?
- Are these Click Through Rates originating from AdWords Display Ads? (impressions divided by clicks)
- Did these Click Through Rates come from of organic Search Engine results?
- Are these stats coming from Local Search Text Ads in Maps? …mobile AdMob impressions? ….GMail text ads?
Whew. Lot’s of really solid questions there, right?
Shiny information is indeed great. However, with ZERO connotation to quantify those numbers, is this plugin actually producing any tangible information that the site owner can use? Again, is the Site Kit Plugin actually something that is actually worthy of being installed and activated inside WordPress?
Google Site Kit Plugin Admin Bar on Individual WordPress Posts
Again, the same questions are raised from the information that the Site Kit plugin is (possibly) going to display. Let’s not go through all those questions again. However, there is one piece of helpful information for the site owner or publisher. The Average Time that a person spends viewing the article can always be indicative of how engaging that particular piece of content is to the reader.
But here’s where the Site Kit Plugin might provide something useful. See that blue link in the image above? It says More Post Details. So let’s read this quote from the Site Kit Plugin’s news page:
With Site Kit installed, WordPress users can access unified insights and Google product capabilities directly from the WordPress admin panel. Where it is helpful, Site Kit will also provide deep links into Google products for advanced reports and product configuration capabilities.
Apparently the site owner will have a link. Yes, let’s not trivialize that. It’s a link. But more importantly, it’s a deep link that goes into one of the Products inside the Marketing Suite of Reports.
YES. THIS IS A GREAT OPTION!
Quite often it’s very cumbersome to explain to a site owner or publisher how to navigate within Google Analytics to see the metrics. There’s really no indication (as of now) where exactly that blue link is going to point to, or what the reporting tool is going to look like.
- Is there a cumulative overview of the particular article’s attribution source ( email / social / organic) and other details like that?
- Is this link pointing to a Google Data Studio reports LIKE THIS ONE <–(seriously, if you’ve never seen how awesome these are, open that link!)
- Where exactly is this wonderful blue link labelled ‘More Post Details’ actually going to?
As of right now, the Site Kit Plugin for WordPress isn’t out yet. And, it’s not even in a public beta yet. The Google Form used clearly states:
We’ll get in touch with you if your site is a good fit for the Site Kit beta tester program
As the Google Site Kit WordPress Plugin gets released it will probably mature.
In that process though, is it really something that is actually needed? Do WordPress site owners really need yet-one-more plugin activated inside the admin area of their site? There is still a very real and valid point to be made if -indeed- Google’s Site Kit does not actually DO anything except provide convenient information.
Active plugins inside your WooCommerce site like this one (proposed by Google themselves), Analytify, MonsterInsights, Plugins that schedule social media posts, plugins that optimize images, plugins that get you a beer, plugins that plug the plugin into the plugins, there’s even plugins that will claim to track your Keyword Position Tracking (….ok, you get the point now, right?)
Plugins like these are taking a HUGE toll on most ‘average’ sites which aren’t powered by some huge conglomerate and insanely robust hosting.
Furthermore, plugins like this continually seem to provide little to NO actual WordPress functions. They are simply a convenience.
SerpStat can track rankings. SocialPilot can schedule your social posts. Google Analytics with Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking is great. And there are probably thousands of other examples of plugins doing something that can easily be handled outside of WordPress.
And, that’s really the point: Each and every one of these should be done OUTSIDE of WordPress – ESPECIALLY WOOCOMMERCE SITES!
While there is indeed a good deal of buzz circling around the Google Site Kit plugin, would you install it and keep it inside your site? Why or why not?