We get this question a lot: How do I benchmark my website KPIs (or analytics) against industry standards? Because who doesn’t want to see how their website is matching up against their competition? But the unfortunate truth is that there is not a very cut and dry answer.
For any type of website analytic reporting, the most important thing to do is show the progress on YOUR website, and measure what you’re able to improve because marketing resources (and depth of pockets) from one company to the next can be very different— which ultimately affects website analytics. As you kick-off 2016, here’s a really good (and timely) resource on building the right metrics dashboard for your website: How to Build the Right Traffic Metrics Dashboard for 2016 – Whiteboard Friday.
However, your question still remains— How do I benchmark website traffic within my industry?
First of all, you’ll want to compare apples-to-apples. That means finding a website that matches the same business model as yours. This might even change from business line to business line within your organization. Is your website a business blog? Brochure website? eCommerce website? Lead generation website? For one of our clients, their main website is mostly a brochure website. But they have a business unit that provides thought leadership in the form an editorial blog. And they offer a training platform that follows more of a SaaS model. Needless to say, they have a very multi-facted KPI dashboard.
To help with website KPI benchmarking, here are a few resources I refer back to often:
- google.com/analytics— Go to Audience > Benchmarking > Channels. Then adjust your “Industry Vertical” located towards the top of the page to a comparable business, and go from there.
- builtwith.com— A great website that informs on all website technology trends.
- orbitmedia.com/blog/website-competitive-analysis-tools— A blog post with additional ways, 10 to be exact, to check the competition.
- compete.com— Helps shed light on digital blind spots that allow marketers to solve the industry’s toughest challenges.
- alexa.com— Provides deep analytical insights to benchmark, compare and optimize businesses on the web.
In the end, your KPI dashboard, whether benchmarketing or not, must deliver on the following 4 questions, as reiterated from MOZ:
- How are we doing? What are we doing?
- How much did we grow or shrink in what capacities? Are we improving over last month? Quarter-over-quarter? Year-over-year?
- When did it happen?
- And the most important part — why did it happen?
Ok, so that technically is more than 4 questions, but if you build the KPI dashboard correctly, you can answer all of those. And then I can almost guarantee your executive team will be happy. And you’ll look like a rockstar.