Sounds a bit funny but that’s actually how it works with a lot a things. Give a little, get a lot. In this case I am talking about Benchmarking which falls under Google Analytics. I had already heard about Google Analytics but never about Benchmarking. I became curious to do some research because it promised you better marketing content. So let’s find out!
‘’Benchmarking provides an inventory of creative changes that othercompanies have enacted’’
Benchmarking has been around since 2008 but has evolved a lot in these six years. It is a great way to add more context to your data. The context will help you, make conclusions that are more accurate. This way you as an individual or companies can retrieve meaningful stories from data. The newest benchmarking version consists of three reports: Devices, Location and Channels. It also acquires navigation settings like: industry, country/region, size by daily sessions, benchmark group size, benchmark dimension to chart. These settings are great because you can define and tweak your benchmarks for ultimate research results. I will quickly go through the different settings. With the industry vertical you can determine to which vertical you would like to compare your website. Country/region speaks for itself mostly but you can choose the country or region you want to benchmark again. Note to yourself the more specific you choose to more accurate and precise your results will be. Size by daily sessions is the size of the business in terms of average number of daily sessions. Benchmark group size the number of data contributors for your research. Benchmark dimension chart is all about your personal overview. You can choose the dimensions that are shown on your chart. Some of your options are % New Sessions Benchmark Delta, Benchmark Bounce Rate And Benchmark New Users.
You should see the reports as important parts of one BIG report. Sure they come in handy when you use them separately but I believe it is best to combine them. Devices is you guessed it all about mobiles and more importantly the data you can collect from them. It will basically show you if your are missing out on customers because the competition is better adapted to mobiles. I found it pretty convenient that if you go to http://think.withgoogle.com/mobileplanet/en/ you can download the full data set by country. By downloading that you receive level country report about the mobile states worldwide. Location shows you where in the world you are doing well and where it is going bad. I would recommend to do this per country so you can zoom in to problem areas per country because it will be easier to understand. I am a huge fan of the phrase ‘’Think globally, act locally’’ and it represents the Location report perfectly. It does cost a bit more time, so if you are short it that area I would recommend the following. Look at countries where you are not doing well and look in your channels report to see which channel is dysfunctional. The last report: Channels will show your performing level compared to similar businesses. This will help you improve your e-mail campaigns for example. But mostly it will answer questions like should I invest more in display advertising or should I optimize my website SEO more.
I think that Google Analytics Benchmarking has made tremendous progress in these six years because it is so much more specific and defined. I have included to images of benchmarking one of 2008 and one of 2014. It is much easier to understand now especially if your are not an expert in the e-marketing field. It is really amazing to see what you can do with Google if you go a little deeper. Benchmarking definitely sparked my interest into the whole process and analytics itself, so I am very curious to learn more.
Let me know what you think of benchmarking and if I have sparked some interest in you!