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New Benchmark Reports in Google Analytics

Google has just released some new benchmark reports in Analytics and these are now appearing in the reports menu. These reports provide another level of analysis with Analytics and enable website marketers to compare their key metrics against those of other companies in the same market sector, for better or worse.

Google Analytics used to provide some benchmark reports in the original interface, but these disappeared several years ago with the promise that they would be provided again in some form. Google has now just reintroduced these reports and use a much larger sample size to compare data, giving Analytics accounts another reporting option and potentially some more reliable, or meaningful data. Users can now view these reports within the Audience section of their account, and compare their results to peers in their industry, choosing from 1600 industry categories, 1250 markets and 7 size buckets.

These benchmarking reports use the ‘footprint’ of Google Analytics across thousands of websites and allow companies to potentially set meaningful targets, as well as spot trends occurring across industries. They may also provide the answer to important questions, such as:

  • Which channels should more investment be put into?
  • How your mobile engagement compares to your peers?
  • How unique is your audience?

The new Benchmarking reports display acquisition and engagement metrics, such as sessions and bounce rate by Channel, Location, or Device Category dimensions. To ensure total data transparency, the number of properties (websites) contributing to the benchmark is displayed once you choose the industry, market and size. A helpful heat map feature makes it easy to see areas of strength and opportunity, and where to devote more resources.

Benchmarking reports can only be accessed by accounts that have opted in to share their data anonymously. Therefore, if you can’t currently see these reports, check in your Admin section under the Account Settings to ensure that the option “Share anonymously with Google and others” has been ticked. Also under the Property Settings, you should select the industry category that best fits with your business, as Google has been, and is, collecting data against these categories to provide the reports by industry sector.

It’s certainly worth testing these reports and to see what results are shown. How you use this depends on your industry category / country and the sample size, and whether you think this is meaningful for your business, but it can provide some useful insights that can be considered and then tested with changes to your marketing or website. Google says this is only the beginning for benchmarking reporting within Analytics, and they will be expanding these capabilities in the coming months, both incorporating conversion metrics and adding support for mobile apps.

You can read more details on benchmarking reports or you can contact us now for more information about how we can help you use these reports most effectively to enhance the marketing of your business.