Recently Google made an announcement about benchmarking reports in Google Analytics. Read the announcement here. In case you are wondering how does it look like, here’s a sample. (Note: it is available to only those who have chosen to share their data anonymously with Google)
Benchmarking as a concept is a fascinating one and acts as a barometer of team’s performance. Not only it provides opportunities of growth but also show areas where team is already performing well. Read up Avinash Kaushik’s awesome post on benchmarking here.
In GA benchmarking report, one could drill down the industry (with sub filtering), geographical area and traffic to arrive at the right set of web properties contributing to the benchmark. For example in the above case, if Jobs and Education vertical is drilled down to only Education and the region is selected USA, total of 483 web properties contribute to the benchmark as shown in the image below.
But the big question is what could be learnt from this report? How could it be used to derive actionable? Which team is doing good and which team sucks?
Let’s dig deeper by taking the following example -
- What are my Channels of growth?
It is clear from the above sample that the site in case is overly dependent on organic search with around 72% traffic coming from it as compared to only 38% for benchmarked sites. One Red flag raised since too much reliance on Google is never too good for businesses. From numbers it is also evident that any of the other channels could be built to spew huge amount of traffic specially referral. Even taking into account the difference in traffic size of the sample with the benchmark, referral channel could be built to generate around 120,000 more sessions per month. This is HUGE for a 400,000 sessions/month site. Though numbers for Email is less but considering the fact that Email brings customers back, it makes a case of low hanging fruit. Paid marketing numbers shows that there is enough juice to be extracted from this channel as well.
Nutshell: From purely traffic generation perspective, Marketing team needs to pull up its socks with strong backing from the higher management.
- But engagement metrics for Marketing activities seemed fairly good!
Yes, engagement metrics for Email, Paid Search and Social are good which means that though Marketing is generating very low traffic but whatever the team is generating, it is engaging with the site. Numbers are especially awesome for Email. Probably the team is taking too conservative approach and hitting only those who are most likely to engage well. Time for them to get their MOJO back.
- Enough pull down of Marketing, what about Organic Search Guys? Their engagement metrics are real bad.
True. It is clear that product/Organic Search team is generating the bulk of the traffic but the product is not engaging them. It is akin to getting amazing footfall in your showroom but your product/sales guy shoo them away. What a waste of opportunity!
Therefore further investigation needs to be done to identify those pages which are leaking. Also further research is required on SEO team to see if intent behind users’ searches are served well by the product. Most likely in this case it is not.
Nutshell: Product/SEO team needs to dig deeper and find out what their users actually want.
These are only some of the actionable from benchmarking report. I would love to learn how are you using it in your company.