Happy 5 year takeover Google. 5 years ago today Google acquired the website analytics program Urchin
How convenient that I spoke to a client today about their Google Analytics numbers. We went over the usual stuff- working on keeping people on the website longer, getting the bounce rate to drop, etc. Even though he was happy with those numbers, he asked how he compares to the rest of his industry. I figured it would be a great time to go over Google Analytics Benchmarking.
You can’t manage what you can’t measure
If you’re unfamiliar with Google Analytics (or any other analytics program), you’re in luck because your website world is about to open up. With an analytics program, you can track your website visitors, what websites are sending you traffic, how long visitors are staying, and much, much more. There are many analytics programs out there. I like Google Analytics because it gives you a ton of data, not to mention, it’s free.
Google Benchmarking is an opt-in service that allows you to see how your website compares to other websites in your industry who have also opted in to allow their data to be shared anonymously.
How can you benefit from Google Benchmarking?
Google benchmarking allows you to see where opportunities exist in regards to overall visits, bounce rate, page views, average time on site, pages, new visits. You’ll see the normal graph of your stats- thicker and in blue and the rest of the industry- thin and gray. Keep in mind that your website is compared to those in your industry you choose who have opted in for this service.
How do you get it working?
The first thing you need to do is to put Google Analytics on every page of your website. Make sure when new pages are generated, like Blog posts, that it’s automatically put there too. Depending on what version of Analytics you have will depend on where you put it on your website. If you’re using the new Asynchronous code which will track and help your pages load faster, it goes on the top of the page. Older versions of Google Analytics goes at the bottom.
Okay. Back to the Benchmarking. We all know Google’s privacy rules, so you’ll have to opt in for it. To opt in, go to the Google Analytics main page. Click “Edit Account and Data Sharing Settings”. Click that you want to allow data sharing. Google specifically says that your website name and information will be stripped out before it’s compiled.
Now, go to Visitors > Benchmarking and choose the industry vertical you’d like to compare your site to.
What analytics program do you like to use? Have you used Google Benchmarking?