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Google Analytics: Understanding the Role of Benchmarking Reports


The digital age has intensified the competitive nature of businesses and has made analytics crucial for success. Analytics tools such as Google Analytics empower businesses by providing them with the insights they need to understand their market, audience, and competitors. A key feature of Google Analytics is the ‘Benchmarking Reports’, which allows businesses to compare their performance to their industry’s averages. In this blog post, we will delve deep into understanding the role of these reports, how to use them, and the insights they offer.


Google Analytics: An Overview

Before we delve into benchmarking reports, it is necessary to understand Google Analytics as a whole. Google Analytics is a web analytics tool provided by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. This tool is pivotal for understanding how visitors interact with your site, their preferences, and the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. One of its numerous features is benchmarking, which provides comparative data to guide businesses in making informed decisions.


What are Benchmarking Reports?

Benchmarking is a standard or point of reference in measuring or judging the current value or success of your business with the aim of determining future business plans. Benchmarking reports in Google Analytics allow you to compare your data with aggregated industry data from other companies who share their data. This information is crucial for businesses that want to understand their standing within their industry.


Why are Benchmarking Reports Important?

The importance of benchmarking reports can never be understated. Here’s why:


Competitive Analysis: Benchmarking reports are like a window into your competition. You get a broader picture of how your website’s metrics stack up against others in your industry. This comparison helps you identify areas where your competitors are outperforming you and provide clues on what strategies they are implementing.


Identifying Opportunities: By comparing your metrics with industry averages, you can identify gaps and opportunities for improvement. You may find that your website performs well in one area but falls short in another compared to industry averages. These insights can drive your strategy and help you allocate resources more efficiently.


Goal Setting: Having a comprehensive understanding of where you stand in your industry can help set realistic and challenging goals. Without the context that benchmarking provides, your goals may either be too ambitious or not challenging enough. Benchmarking ensures your goals are both achievable and pushing your company to improve.


Performance Analysis: Benchmarking reports not only tell you where you stand but also show if you are improving over time. By periodically reviewing these reports, you can track whether your initiatives are moving your metrics closer to industry standards.


How to Access Benchmarking Reports in Google Analytics?

Accessing benchmarking reports in Google Analytics is a straightforward process:


Log in to your Google Analytics account.


Navigate to the Reporting tab.

Scroll down to the Audience section, and you will find Benchmarking. Click on it, and you will see three report options: Channels, Location, and Devices.


Understanding Benchmarking Reports

There are three types of benchmarking reports in Google Analytics:


Channels Benchmarking Report: This report breaks down the data by marketing channel, such as Organic Search, Direct, Referral, Social, Paid Search, and others. It enables you to compare your performance across these channels to identify where your website overperforms or underperforms.


Location Benchmarking Report: This report breaks down the data by geographic location. It helps you to understand how your performance in different regions stacks up against your competitors, essential for businesses operating in multiple locations or targeting specific geographic areas.


Devices Benchmarking Report: This report breaks down the data by device types (Desktop, Mobile, and Tablet). As people’s browsing habits continue to evolve, understanding device usage compared to your competitors can be critical in improving user experience and conversions.


When analyzing benchmarking reports, you can adjust for specific industry categories, geographic market size, and daily sessions size. This granular level of control ensures that you are comparing your data to the most relevant set of competitors.


Tips for Using Benchmarking Reports

While benchmarking reports are a powerful tool, they are most effective when used strategically. Here are a few tips:


Identify and Focus on Key Metrics: While the report provides a lot of data, it’s essential to focus on key metrics that align with your business goals.


Contextualize Your Data: The report data is valuable, but its real worth is realized when you put it in context with your internal data. For example, if you see a surge in mobile traffic in your industry but not on your website, it may be a sign to improve your mobile experience.


Combine Benchmarking with Other Reports: Using benchmarking reports in conjunction with other Google Analytics reports, like audience, acquisition, and behavior reports, can provide a more comprehensive analysis.


Act on Insights: The most critical part of analyzing benchmarking reports is acting on the insights. Make necessary changes and set goals based on what you learn from these reports.


Benchmarking reports in Google Analytics are a powerful tool for understanding your business performance in context with your industry. They provide key insights into your competitive position, opportunities for improvement, and guide in goal setting. By understanding and using these reports effectively, businesses can not only stay competitive but thrive in their respective markets.

Ikonik Digital

As an ROI-focused agency, Ikonik Digital helps brands and businesses reach & understand their customers while growing the bottom line.