Google services are continually improving as the time goes on. They are definitely making my life and business easier and I believe, yours too.
Integrated with WordPress site, they make your website or online store easier to find, you can quickly access your analytics within your dashboard or even make your website appearance more legible using Google fonts.
I made a list of 7 free WordPress plugins which integrate Google services into your website. They will boost the value of your online presence and facilitate its use. This article lists only reliable plugins found in the WordPress.org repository, which I have personally checked.
1. Google Analytics WD
This user-friendly plugin has over 4.000 active installs, but also very high ratings from its users (5 out of 5 stars). It will automatically add Analytics tracking code to your website. Also, you can customize it for majority of the options that the Google API provides.
I wanted to see if it deserved the ratings, so I went on and installed it. It automatically added my Google Analytics tracking code. And since I don’t like going to Google Analytics, but I login to my website daily, I can now get that analytics data in my dashboard and act on it.
Do you want to check what is happening with analytics on other registered sites? You don’t have to switch to different Analytics accounts to do this. You can do it in your WordPress dashboard with Overview page which can show audience, visitors, location and browser information.
If you want to manage and track website analytics from within your WordPress dashboard, install Google Analytics WD plugin and take in-depth tracking reports at any time.
It allows you to compare and export them to CSV and PDF files. You can also send them as scheduled emails, configure Analytics Filters, exclude certain data from tracking, set goals and so much more if you’re an advanced user and need specific metrics for your your online store, local business or a WordPress blog.
There are some advanced features I didn’t expect, such as reports for eCommerce businesses. Try it, see for yourself and tell me if it works for you as it did for me.
2. Easy Google Fonts
I like nice typography. Not only that it’s a part of your online branding strategy, but it makes your WordPress website more usable and easier to read. You can add custom Google fonts to your WordPress theme without any coding skills. The Easy Google Fonts plugin is compatible with any WordPress theme.
It allows you to take full control of typography and choose from over 600 available fonts. Before you save any changes, you’ll be able to preview your theme with the new font.
Another perk is that if you update your theme or switch to a different one, you will not lose your custom font savings. Using WordPress best practices when designing your website, by adding extra functionality through plugins, will count in the long run, so start early.
3. Google XML Sitemaps
We all know it´s important to provide a complete XML sitemap of your site for every major search engine. With over one million active installs and the average rating of 4.9, Google XML Sitemaps plugin proves it’s worth considering. Its purpose is simple and straightforward — help search engines index your site faster and better and show it in the search result pages.
There are many other plugins that incorporate this feature into them, but they’re cumbersome and may slow down your website. If you’re looking for a quick and light solution, then Google XML Sitemaps is the one for you.
Adding your posts, categories, products and other custom post types into different sitemaps, you allow crawlers to see the complete structure of your site. When you create new content, sitemaps will update automatically. You don’t have to create a sitemap.xml file by yourself. This plugin will generate it and update it dynamically.
4. AdSense Plugin WP QUADS
If you want to earn money via your blog, try AdSense Plugin WP QUADS plugin.
You can insert it in your posts, pages and sidebars quite easily. This plugin is perfect for all you bloggers who are starting to monetize on your writing skills.
I’ve tested several plugins and even services which add Google AdSense to your WordPress blog. But, many of them are too complicated and not as easy to configure or insert.
5. Google Drive WP Media
Do you want to have a direct access to your Google Drive from your WordPress site? With Google Drive WP Media plugin you can manage your files in the WordPress dashboard.
It allows you to upload and share your files from your WordPress to Google Drive and vice versa. Also, you can attach Drive files to your posts, create a folder for storing your files and much more.
With over 2,000 active installs and the average rating of 4.6, this plugin will help you to get the best of this indispensable Google service and increase the storage available for your WordPress website.
6. WidgetPack Google Reviews
This plugin displays Google Business Rating and Reviews from Google+ users on your WordPress site. It enables you to add a widget with up to 5 Reviews in the free version. If you want to show more than 5, you will have to pay for a pro version.
Surely, you don’t want visitors to see a bad review. With this plugin, you can delete it from a sidebar widget. It works without Google Places API key and you can also change the size and color of review stars. If some reviews are too long, you can easily trim them.
You probably know that many people will decide for something if they see other people’s experiences. The WidgetPack Google Reviews plugin is the excellent choice for improving your business.
7. Google Maps
Want to create Google maps for your WordPress site with advanced markers, custom layers, and overlays? I managed to do it with the Google Maps WD plugin. You don’t need to have any coding skills to do it. It is all-in-one, intuitive solution and has all you will ever need.
For example, many local store owners have to install a different plugin that allows people to retrieve store locations. But, this plugin has its own store locator for allowing map users to find the nearest stores.
Using shortcode or PHP template tag, you can add an unlimited number of maps to any post or page. There is a drag and drop feature for adding and moving markers on each map. Although it has many options, you will quickly understand what their purpose is. Just hover over the feature and it will tell you exactly what it does.
Google offers some truly remarkable services. So, why not use them to your advantage and make your WordPress website easier to use and maintain.
Do you use any of Google Services Integration plugins on your WordPress platform? Do you have some solutions that I didn’t mention here? Feel free to post your comments below.