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Google Analytics Website Benchmarking – What’s it all about?

Whoever compares wins!

In today’s highly competitive and dynamic online world, new winners in business are emerging every day. This is particularly the case on the Internet where ‘best’ is a slippery and always moveable target.
As businesses are constantly innovating to improve their websites by making their online presence more customer focused, you need to consistently monitoring your competition and benchmark your website against your competitors.

Benchmarking your website statistics and your pay per clock advertising campaign data with other websites / businesses in your own industry can help you locate areas of improvement that you may be overlooking. Regular benchmarking is essential as it can proactively alert you of mistakes before they can cause major harm e.g. new niche opportunities which your business is not servicing.

Effective benchmarking is about accepting the global truth that being an industry leader is all about continuous improvement against all forms of competition and allowing a neutral judge to compare you against competition in an objective manner. Online benchmarking of your website essentials and pay per click campaigns by Google using its free to use Google Analytics tool is the latest innovation to help website owners compare themselves with aggregate industry statistics.

As Google uses online web data to compare your website without sharing such identifiable aspects as your URL, it is a pretty safe and reliable (as data does not ‘lie’). The only thing you have to agree is to share your website’s and PPC ad response data with Google and have faith in its ability to protect your privacy. As the undisputed leader-innovator in the online promotions space, Google is a reliable service provider as its successful help-tools have shown ie:. Google Analytics.

Google Analytics Website Benchmarking

With its latest industry benchmarking offering, Google Analytics is enabling users who opt-in, to measure their website performance data as compared to the collated industry data. Google takes your website analysis data and plots it against industry data so that you can clearly see the comparisons. This new feature gives you the ability to overlay various industry web-performance averages on top of your own web-statistics.

When you agree to share your data Google removes all identifiable information about your site, then combines that data with hundreds of other anonymous websites in similar/comparable industries and shows them in an aggregate form. To make better use of this feature you should also share data on such other Google services like AdWords and AdSense that you maybe using.

The benchmarking data shows comparisons for the last 30 days across such aspects: visits, bounce rates, page views, pages/visit, new visits and average time on site. By default, your website is compared with other websites of similar size and industry, though you could also restrict the benchmark to such general categories like travel, internet, reference and shopping.

Since this data is aggregated from websites that agree to participate in the benchmarking program, it may not include all your industry peers, but in the absence of any other similar service from other internet promotion service providers, it is better to analyse it than work in the ‘dark’.

Google has announced that it will soon add new categories as new websites sign up for its data sharing-benchmarking service.