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The return of Google Analytics benchmarking and why you should be using it


Discontinued back in 2011, popular feature Benchmarking has made a welcome return to Google Analytics. This great feature allows marketers to gain valuable market insight, keep tabs on what their competitors are doing and find the answers to questions like “which channels should I be investing more in?”

The news was announced on the Google Analytics blog on Wednesday, to the delight of marketers who loved the simplicity and perceived authority of the original feature. And, of course, the fact it was – and remains - free.

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Why your business should be benchmarking

By setting your site in context, you can easily add meaning to the work you’ve already done and plan new tasks and goals against the backdrop of valuable industry trends.

The first version to be rolled out covers traffic sources, location and device. It includes metrics such as new sessions, average session duration and bounce rate.

Benchmarking provides the following data:

  • Default Channel Grouping (Social, Direct, Referral, Organic Search, Paid Search, Display, Email channels)
  • Location (country/region)
  • Device (desktop, mobile and tablet)

Data can be compared against benchmarks for the following metrics:

  • Sessions
  • % New Sessions
  • New Sessions
  • Pages / Session
  • Avg. Session Duration
  • Bounce Rate

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 Case study: Twiddy.com

Holiday rental company Twiddy.com has spoken of its success using Google Analytics Benchmarking reports as part of their email marketing strategy. The reports allowed the business to evaluate data impacting on conversion rates.

“Their analysis helped them zero in on the factors that were most consistent in repeat bookings: the price range, location, rental type, and even the vacation week that would be most likely to convert for each customer,” said Google Analytics

Twiddy claimed what the company learn from Benchmarking saw its email marketing average open rate soared to 48 percent, with a 40 percent click through rate (CTR).

The Benchmarking feature and its reports will be rolled out over the next few weeks to all Google Analytics to users who opt-in to share their data anonymously (GA admin > account settings > “Share anonymously with Google and others”).

Get in touch for expert advice on benchmarking and Google Analytics. We can give you deeper insights into how you compare against your competitors and can monitor performance on your behalf, all while offering strategic input.