Mar
28
2008

Understanding Google Analytics Benchmarking

So you are sharing data and administration is asking you for all those amazing benchmarking reports that they were after. Well maybe we cannot answer all of their questions but there is still a lot of information available.

What can we learn from these new stats?
We will start by reporting what we can and look forward for more to come.

Selecting Date Range & Vertical Industry!


First off let’s make sure that we set the appropriate date range along with selecting a particular industry for comparison. Otherwise you will be looking at an even larger group of sites then you would probably want (all sites sharing data of a similar size).

You will notice that for Draft Motif we are comparing to the broad category of “Internet” but that will change as a better option becomes available and I change it.

Visits & Bounce Rate Benchmarks


Next up is the golden “Visits” which drives the benchmarking service along with the “Bounce Rate”. But what exactly does it tell is? Surprise I’m beating the benchmark… looks like my marketing efforts are working (hey you are reading this). Yet, it looks like my articles and site design is lacking since everyone leaves after reading the particular post.

Pageviews & Avg. Time on Site Benchmarks!


Then we come up to the “Pageviews” and the beloved “Avg. Time on Site” statistic, which helps continue the assessment that marketing is working but that maybe it’s not the right type of marketing. Then again people do tend to skim through information online. However, compared to the available data users are spending more time reading so I guess I’m doing good with my articles (let me know what you think in the comments below).

Pages/Visit & New Visits Benchmarks!


So now we come to the last currently available benchmark data the “Pages/Visit” and “New Visits”. Well assessment confirmed looks like my site is not doing to well at passing visitors from one article to the others. But at least it is grater than 1 page/visit. Also, compared to others my site has a greater new visits percentage but this is a good thing since my site is still so new. Hopefully, it will soon come to an even match (after all this is a resource site and return visitors are the goal) with a slightly positive percentage. Remember that for most sites (not portal/Facebook sites) 70% new is typical.

Keeping it in perspective!

The most important thing will be to remember the goals of the site and comparing with those in mind. After all the Admissions site will likely want more “New Visits” them an Alumni Association or the main University.

Last thing is putting the information to work!

That is right use the information to make changes and improve the site; review and repeat. What’s the point if you don’t act on what you learn? And don’t give me that the statistics were too small to matter – I’ll defer you back to the Adopting Google Analytics Benchmarking to prove that wrong.

Did you catch that it was learning in action and next I’ll be working on a related articles feature. Then it’s back to the drawing board for more/better marketing efforts.

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