Google Analytics Benchmarking Beta Results

About two weeks ago I wrote on the new Google Adwords Benchmarking beta for select advertisers. For a quick recap, the new benchmarking beta involves sharing your Google Analytics data with Google so that they can compare your website metrics against other similar websites. The purpose is to compare your stats with other related companies to see how you measure up. Perhaps there are areas you need to work on where you fall short; like having a higher bounce rate than your competition or a lower number of visits. At that point you can work specifically toward improving those metrics. In my personal opinion, I think they are just cool stats to view.

In this post I would like to share with you the results of this new beta for several of my clients. In my results, the initial reporting page compared my site to all sites of the same size – not necessarily the same content. I was able to choose the category that I thought would have content closest to my site. As more and more people are becoming comfortable with sharing their data, more categories of websites are showing up in the reporting. If you have opted in to share your data, you can view your reports within Google analytics. Just click on Visitors, then Benchmarking data (beta). Once you are viewing the benchmarking data, you can click on the ‘open category list’ and pick a category that is relevant and related to your site.

open category

Once I selected an identical category, I found that my site seemed to perform much better than my competitors’. Wait, all of my sites performed better than average. The image below says that my number of visitors is over 900% over the industry standard for parties and occasion sites. Could this really be true?!

benchmarking visits

What I don’t like about the benchmarking data is that yes, you can select a category to compare your site metrics to, but the category just doesn’t seem to be specific enough to my sites. Therefore, I don’t feel I’m truly getting a real estimate of where I stand among competitors and identical sites. I do think that in time the feature will get better and hopefully more categories will appear once more advertisers begin to share their data.

In the mean time, don’t be afraid to share your data with Google. It’s a cool feature that could be very helpful for some companies who really want to excel in a particular area among their competitors. If anyone is seeing any other results please feel free to drop me a line!

I don’t know if the image below paints a clear picture of this statement. Or explain to what we are seeing in the image. Perhaps explain the benchmark percentage.