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Keep Your Friends Close and SEO Enemies Closer: Benchmark Tool Keeps An Eye On Competitors

Link-Assistant.Com | Posted in category GuestBox

by Jenny Pilley

Within SEO and Internet Marketing we're always on the lookout for tools that not only make our lives easier, but add a real purpose to a campaign. In traditional marketing techniques, competitor research is the number one priority; how do you know what to aim for if you have nothing to compare to?

For those websites that seem not to be responding to SEO or enquiries seem to be drip feeding through, it is easy to think that your competitors are soaking up all the work and you are potentially missing out. Unfortunately, with the recession still very heavily involved in the success or failure of a business, it can be difficult to know what to blame for lack of online success.

Fortunately Google has come to the rescue once again and produced a Benchmark Tool within its Analytics feature.

Just as it says on the tin, it provides a 'benchmark' of other companies of similar size and industry and their achievements online.  As with the analytics, there are six core areas it looks at to generate the most effective comparison;

  • Site Visits
  • Page Views
  • Page Visits
  • Bounce Rate
  • Average Time On Site
  • New visits

Of course, as with anything Google provides, adding this feature to your analytics is simple. Go to your account and register your website to 'opt-in' for the benchmarking tool. Next, be patient. It can take up to 2 weeks for Google to collate that information and then compare to sites matching those within your specified category, filtering all the results to a page.


Google Analytics Benchmarking Tool

I've given a screen shot of what can be expected to be seen after the results have been devised. These will be displayed under the Visitors tab on the left hand side of your screen and then under the heading of benchmarking. What will be shown is a graph that has two lines; one grey and one blue.

Google Analytics Benchmarking Stats

Google Analytics Benchmarking Stats

The grey line indicates the industry benchmark of the chosen category, whereas the blue line displays the websites statistics.  This allows you to see how a site varies to the benchmark indicated and highlighting important differences from your site to another.

As with any market research, you need to see what needs to be addressed to ensure your site works as well - or better - as any other in your industry. With this in mind, look at the data carefully and find what has been generated to help focus on improving your website in areas which may not have previously been highlighted.

Companies tend to blame their website for the lack of success of their online marketing campaign, but this research can inform a website owner of whether it is a dip in the industry as a whole, or whether the issue is with their website directly.

Of course, conversions are the most important reason why companies have a website therefore it is important that a business understands what to look for when those conversions stop coming through. Whether bounce rates are above average or the time spent on a site is low, this data contributes to improving a website and raising the bar to generate the sales and ultimately get ahead of the competition.

Market research has taken a leap in the digital age with so many businesses now relying on their internet marketing campaign to make the majority of their profit. With so many different ways to sell your business to consumers via the web, tracking this success has just become far easier.

About the Author

Jenny Pilley is head of the Content Writing team at Creare who specialise in SEO web design, ecommerce, Internet marketing, email marketing and video production.

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