Google launched a new report set in GA yesterday – Google Benchmarking. Now you can compare your site's statistical information with aggregated data from other sites in your industry or even other industries.
In order to participate you'll need to share your own data with Google so they can aggregate it for your competitors – so remove your Google tin foil hat before proceeding.
What is the benchmarking service?
"Benchmarking is an optional Google Analytics service that shows how your website's statistics compare against other industry verticals. In the beta version of this service, you are able to compare your site’s Visits, Pageviews, Pages per Visit, Bounce Rate, Average Time on Site, and New Visits data against benchmark data from categories of other participating websites. You can use this data to gain broader context for your site so you can identify additional opportunities to improve your site's metrics."
How does Google know which industry your in and who your competitors are?
"Google crawls the websites in the account then categorizes them by
vertical and the amount of visits. The data is then made anonymous
Why you should sign up?
Because you need to take advantage of every opportunity and every piece of data out there. Success on the web is about getting the right information, using the right tools and testing, testing, testing (optimization).
The more you know about how you stand in comparison to other players, the better off you are. It's a big ocean with lots of food, you might think your kicking butt when in fact your getting your butt kicked.
Here's an example of why benchmarking matters
Your newspaper site gets 1000 visits/day, so do your competitors sites. Your site gets 1300 pageviews/day, your competitors sites get 3000+. You can look at this a couple of ways, maybe your visitors find what they are looking for in fewer clicks, but more likely your site is missing something. If your revenue is ad based your competitors are generating more than twice the money you are one the same volume of users. Now you see why knowing is a lot more powerful than not knowing.
I can't wait to see what happens when Google starts aggregating conversion data.
The speed at which Google is pushing forward new features is amazing. You look at Google's major analytics competitor "Omniture" and you have to wonder if they can keep up. The timing of this news is surprising as well – smack dab in the middle of Omnitures Summit Conference in Utah. Don't get me wrong, Omniture is rolling out some pretty cool tools, but GA is cruising at light speed.