Benchmarking Reports

GA Benchmarking Report

Knowing your competition is an important activity for your business as it helps you track your performance against your peers in the same industry. What are they doing better than you? What they do differently that results in greater outcomes for them? You have to always look for ways to deliver a better customer experience, stay relevant, innovate and offer that extra “something” that helps you differentiate and stand out from your competition.

When making your competitive analysis, Google Analytics can actually provide you with some insights about your online performance against your competitors through Benchmarking reports, which helps you compare your properties to your peers in the same industry.

How can you access Benchmarking data?

To see Benchmarking data, you must share your data “Anonymously with Google and others” doing the following:

  1. Select the Admin
  2. Under ACCOUNT, click Account Settings.
  3. Select the Anonymously with Google and others
  4. Click Save.


Then, in the left-hand menu, access Audience category and tap Benchmarking. Once you do that, you will find 3 types of reports:

  • ChannelsReport: compares your channel data to the benchmarks for each channel in the Channel Grouping shown by default, which are: Organic Search, Paid Search, Direct, Referral, Social, Display and Email.
  • Location Report: compares your Country/Territory data to the benchmarks for each of the Countries/Territories from which you receive traffic.
  • DevicesReport: compares your Devices data to the benchmarks for desktop, mobile, and tablet traffic.

Each report has a selection menu on the top, where you can define the benchmark by the following categories:

  • Industry Vertical: which gives you 1600 industry categories to choose from.
  • Size by daily visits: this allows you to compare your property against properties with similar traffic levels in your industry. You can select from seven traffic size classifications.
  • Geographic location:here you can filter Benchmarking data to a specific country or territory by selecting a geographic location.

Besides, on the far right side, you’ll find the number of properties contributing to the aggregate benchmark data, this means, there are other properties from Google Analytics users who agreed to share their data, making Benchmarking Reports possible.

Benchmarking 2

Each report shows a line graph where you can choose from the drop-down (located above the graph) the acquisition or behavior metrics you would like to compare in relation to the benchmark.

Also, you will find a table view with percentages by which your property outperforms or underperforms the benchmark for each metric. A positive value (for example, 20.10%) indicates that your property outperforms the benchmark. A negative value (let’s say, -36.60%) indicates that your property underperforms the benchmark.

You will also notice two visualization toggles that are available above the table:

  • Benchmarking 3 To show or don’t show actual metric values in the table.
  • Benchmarking 4 To show or don’t show heat map colors in the table. The heat map shows darker shades of green where your property significantly outperforms the benchmark and darker shades of red where your property significantly underperforms the benchmark.

Benchmarking 5

What can you do or deduce with this reports?

In channels report, look for channels your competitors are performing best and consider making and investment on them. Let’s say your peers have significantly great results investing in Paid Search and Social channels, where you didn’t consider investing before and give it a try! However, if you are already investing in those channels and had poorly results, probably you are not setting campaign parameters properly to track touch points in your customer’s journey or maybe, you don’t have a SEO friendly website. It also works the same way when you outperform your competitors, in this case, they may have implementation issues when running their campaigns making you a questionable performance winner.

In location report, whether you are an international or domestic company, look for countries or regions where your peers highly outperform you, return to your channels report, search those locations and find out which channels aren’t working. Then, consider investing time and/or money to attract more traffic and conversions.

Finally, in the devices report, consider that performance changes might be due to responsive or mobile-friendly design and better user experience. Bear in mind that 68% of Americans have smartphones and 45% own tablet computers, the numbers are not only increasing in America but around the world. Nowadays it’s no longer a choice to go mobile, it’s a necessity.

So, taking the above into account, is your business outperforming or underperforming your competition? Remember, to make a forecast you have to consider a number of factors, such as major changes in your marketing and customer acquisition strategy over time, shifts in investment and geo-location trends that may affect data.

All in all, Google Analytics Benchmarking reports will always provide a helpful context of your site’s performance in relation to other sites in your industry as it gives you valuable insights for you to improve your marketing decisions and, therefore, your web site’s performance.

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