Wikipedia defines ‘benchmarking’ as the “the process of comparing one’s business processes and performance metrics to industry bests and/or best practices from other industries.” In the case of Web site benchmarking, PublicInsite is in a unique position of being able to provide data from the macro to the micro level with respect to the public and non-profit sector. More specifically, we have developed a large client base with Canadian Federal Government clients; all of which follow the same practices for which they structure their web sites. For the most part, these clients follow Common Look and Feel (CLF) guidelines on the structure of the site, as well as such things like being offered fluently bilingual to cater to both of Canada’s national language profiles.
This section of our blog will focus on highlighting benchmark data with respect to many of the core areas, questions and trends which we see in this space. Our initial focus will be on addressing the following types of questions:
- We know that there is a lot of non-human traffic on the Internet; how much traffic to our site might be spiders, search engine crawlers, link validators, etc.?
- What percentage of my traffic is referred through social media sites (i.e. Twitter, FaceBook, blogs, etc.)
- How much traffic to my site is on mobile devices (i.e. SmartPhones such as the iPhone, Blackberry, etc.)
- What percentage of the traffic is viewing content in English versus French?
- How much of our traffic knows our brand?
- Are a lot of people looking at only one or two pages on our site?
- How long are people staying on our site?
- We have a lot of PDF documents on our site; what is our ratio of PDF document downloads to HTML page views?
- Even though we don’t focus on an international audience for our outreach, how much of our traffic should we expect to see from outside of Canada?
- We try to understand how our visitors find our site by looking at the top 25 keywords they use; is this enough?
To create the benchmark data and analysis which will be included in these upcoming blogs, we will be looking through a variety of customers and dozens of web sites which have amassed over 250,000,000 visits and over 1 Billion page views since 2005. Over time, and as we add new client data to our warehouse, we will be updating these blog entries to maintain currency.
We update our data regularly and will be producing a more granular report exclusively for our clients who choose to be involved in this benchmarking program. Participation ensures confidentiality of the data specific to each client, however, provides mutual benefit across all those who participate. If you would like to be part of our benchmarking program and have your site’s data included, please contact me at 613-232-8500 x 102 for more information.
Director, Products and Operations
PublicInsite Web Analytics Inc.
[Editor’s note: Tyler also writes a series of posts discussing Log File Management.]