Is your website competitive? Let’s Ask Google’s New Benchmarking Tool

Screenshot of Google Analytics Benchmarking Service
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Summary: Google has launched a new benchmarking service to enable business owners and executives to compare their website’s statistics against the industry average. This tool can help you to gain insight into how your website stacks up against your competitor. This is necessary if you are going to increase your site’s conversion rate, yield maximal benefits from website promotion, or increase site traffic. In this article we will discuss the tool in more detail and analyze why it is so valuable.

Have you ever been sitting, looking at your website statistics, trying your best to analyze the data, but just feeling like you have no idea whether your site’s statistics are good or bad? You keep wondering, ‘how do I stack up against my competition?’ Unfortunately, you can’t just call your competitors every week and ask to swap data. But without knowing how your competitors are doing, you feel like your site’s numbers give you little real insight as to how your company is performing.

Fortunately, Google has helped to lift the fog. Google Analytics has released a new benchmarking tool to enable companies to easily compare their website’s statistics against industry averages. Amazingly, this free service can help you see if your website is doing well versus websites in your industry, doing poorly, or just performing at an average level. Google’s Analytics Benchmarking tool can give you insights into your own success and failure and those of your competitors.

But what is benchmarking and why do business owners and executives need a benchmarking tool to maintain a successful website? It is beneficial to examine the answer to this question.

You may know your website’s statistics (e.g. number of visitors, pageviews, etc.), but is that enough to know whether or not your website is performing well? No. Your website’s level of success, whether good or bad, can only be determined by comparing your site against competitors. This process is called benchmarking. Let me illustrate why benchmarking is necessary with an example.

In college, students are graded on a curve. Students who are far above average receive the A grade; students that are below average receive the C, D, or F; average gets you a B. It is impossible to determine your grade from your exam score without also knowing the average.

For example, while in college, I once scored 45 out of 100 on a final exam. When I saw my score I was in shock. I was almost certain I had failed. But did I fail the test? No. In fact, I aced it. It turned out the average on the test was a 25 so my 45 was an A+. Only by knowing the average could I accurately judge my success on that test.

Measuring website performance is the same. If 10% of visitors to your website end up purchasing, is that good or bad? It depends. If your competitors are getting 30% of visitors to buy, then you should be asking, ‘what am I doing wrong?’ If this were college, you’d be receiving the F. However, if your competitors are only getting 2% of visitors to buy versus your 10%, then your company is performing at an excellent level! You deserve the A+! Again, site statistics must be benchmarked against your competitors to accurately judge your success. On their own, statistics provide limited insight.

So undoubtedly you see the importance of benchmarking your website’s performance against the industry average. Google’s new Analytics Benchmarking service is an excellent tool that now makes benchmarking easier than ever. I urge you to strongly consider the use of this tool, or any similar benchmarking tool you are aware of. As a result of benchmarking your website, you will know with confidence whether your website is great, without need of improvement, or uncompetitive with urgent need of an upgrade.

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