Benchmarking lets you know how your site performs concerning other websites. It will shed the spotlight on your competitive advantages and provide you with the most effective methods to boost the performance of your website.
What was the first time benchmarking websites began? The word first came into use for land surveying. “Benchmarks” were raised horizontal lines that were chiselled into stone. They were used to ensure a uniform degree of accuracy from one surveyor from one to another.
When land surveying increased, “benchmarking” referred to setting elevation markers, starting from an elevation of the “fundamental benchmark” at sea level; the other elevations would be measured and recorded.
In the business world, benchmarking is the method we use to determine a site’s position relative to other sites. This knowledge can help you determine your standing in the market. It also gives you valuable details about why and how you and your competitors are at the same level.
Benchmarking is a crucial instrument for developing your strategy and evaluating its effectiveness.
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In contrast to mountains, business is fluid. A company at sea this year may be Mount Whitney (the highest point in the neighbouring USA) of its sector the following year. Benchmarking could accelerate the climb.
Website Benchmarking Examples
Benchmarking can tell you the position of your website concerning other websites. It can shed the spotlight on your competitive advantages and help you figure out the most effective methods to increase the efficiency of your website.
You can use benchmarking to measure any eCommerce element or lead-generation process element. Here are a few most common areas for temperature-taking:
- Benchmarking for site performance
- Benchmarking for marketing performance
- Benchmarking for financial performance
- Benchmarking for search performance
- Benchmarking for usability
A majority of companies will wish to establish benchmarks for each of these areas. How many benchmarks you choose to set and the criteria for those benchmarks will depend on the specifics of your company and the needs of your business.
Let’s take a search at a few common benchmarks. We’ll then examine the “how part” of the benchmarking process.
Benchmarks examples taken from Google Analytics
Examples of Critical Website Benchmarks for Ecommerce and Lead Generation
There are several crucial benchmarks for ecommerce and lead generation websites, all referred to as Stuck Point(tm). Here are nine instances in which each could be a Stuck Point(tm) that could be solved with conversion rate optimization:
Page Load Speed is an important aspect. Research shows visitors become nervous after waiting two seconds for websites to load. After 3 seconds, 40 % of users will leave the site. USA retail sites are currently averaging 4.09 seconds for loading time. This benchmark is an opportunity to gain a competitive edge over your competitors.
Bounce Rate determines the number of times users who visit your website go further than the page they are on (the homepage). The October 2016 Littledata study found that the average bounce rate of all web page visits via Google search was 42.9%. Every page on your website could be the primary page for a potential visitor.
The bounce rate will be reduced if the page is enticing and assists prospects further along the sales process. If not, it will rise. It makes this metric an excellent benchmark for e-commerce.
Bounce rate from Email Campaigns examines the number of visitors you receive from email marketing. It was revealed in the survey conducted in November of 2016 by Littledata survey found that 42.9% of the users leave the site before they go beyond their landing page.
If your email campaigns are well-targeted and your list of mailing addresses is well-trimmed, consider the ROI potential of having your email marketing bounce rate reduced to 20% or less.
Lead Gen Channel benchmarks show what each part of the lead generation strategy performs. It was found that the 2015 Demand Gen Report found most of the respondents (77%) considered email marketing to be the most powerful channel for early-stage leads.
However, 56% believed that SEO outperforms the rest, and 41% look first at social media. When you know what lead-generation strategies will yield the most value, you can allocate your efforts and budget accordingly.
Website Visitors metrics tell you how efficiently your site can attract visitors. Total traffic is a key element of bounce rate and conversion rate calculations. Amazon.com is among the top-visited site across the USA. It has a staggering 183 million annual visits per month.
Walmart.com has a user base of 101 million. When you compare your traffic to your competition’s traffic, you’ll know how your SEO, advertising, and inbound marketing strategies work.
Acquisition Source metrics will tell you which sources your visitors are coming from. Similar to lead-generation tracking, channel Acquisition source provides information on the allocation of budget and time.
It is necessary to make management decisions on how much or less into a certain channel, but the number of acquisitions indicates your effectiveness. They also provide insight into the channels that your specific audience(s) like. Like all benchmarks, real insights are gained from observing the changes in metric movements in time.
Conversion rates (CR) can make the difference between success and failure for your business. They determine the efficacy of your tactics and strategies by assessing everything from the number of people who sign-up to your mailing list to the number of guests who visit your site as visitors but go away as customers.
According to Compass ‘ Ecommerce Conversion Rates in 2016, the median conversion rate for online sales coming via organic search results was 1.18%. However, the average conversion rate for top-performing websites was 3.7%. Wouldn’t boosting your conversions by 10% or higher be wonderful? Top websites accomplished this using email marketing (9.89% average).
Cart Abandonment Ratio will tell you the number of potential buyers who choose an item or more to purchase before beginning the checkout process, only to end up not completing the purchase. It’s a sad metric to know that your efforts brought someone close to completing their purchase but failed.
A Baymard research study estimated the average cart abandonment rate as 68.81%. Do you have an even better benchmark and then invest an effort into improving this metric? You’ve significantly increased sales if your website is on average, and you can lower the abandonment rate by 50% or more.
Product per transaction is a great measure to compare along with cart abandonment. What if you could reduce the abandonment rate (increase the percentage of sales) while simultaneously increasing the number of products per transaction? Should that be a cause for celebration?
Add in an average order value benchmark, and you can bring your profits up. Littledata has the median of products per transaction at 2.
These are some instances of benchmarks. There are many other options. If you may quantify it, then you can measure it.
Read more: Best CRMs With OutLook Integration.
A great way to begin is to take a picture of the most important performance indicator (KPI) you have for your company and then compare them. It is what KPIs do. They assist in gauging your performance by alerting you to problems and helping you see what you’re doing well.
Benchmarking is a vital tool for managing. If you require a clear idea of how fast (or slower) you’re travelling and in which direction you’re going, arriving at your destination within the timeframe you want is challenging.
Helpful Website Benchmarking Tools
The first step in website benchmarking is to find out the current position of your site by setting the benchmark. After that, you can evaluate your performance against other websites in your area or industry. After that, you can consider why your site and other websites perform like they are.
A thing to know about here Designers will need to look at the website’s design. Writers will be focused on the content. Marketers will be focused on calls to action. Sales may look at lead generation, advertising and pricing. Let the salesperson take the lead and be able to get biased outcomes.
Read more: Digital Media Buying 101: What It Is, How It Works? And Platform To Use.
The slice-and-dice approach to benchmarking is a good idea. Be sure to set benchmarks for each of the most important areas of your company. Examine how each of them co-ordinates with the goals you are trying to achieve. You can’t tackle each Problem Point(tm) you encounter simultaneously. However, you’ll be able to keep track of every indicator and work to improve the ones you believe to be essential.
Find the Stuck Score(tm)
In addition, how do you know the Stuck Point(tm) locations apply to your website? It is a simple process. The Good designed a tool that will analyze your site and deliver you the user with a custom Stuck Score(tm) along with five scores that measure important conversion points of your site, including Stuck Point(tm) areas that hold the revenue of your website.
What will it cost you to calculate the STUCK Score(tm) and determine those Stuck Point(tm) issues that keep sales conversions from increasing? The Good can provide this service at no fee or commitment. To obtain yours, go here.
Additional tools for benchmarking websites
Some numerous websites benchmarking tools and systems are available. The ones you select must be focused on the specific needs of your lead generation, e-commerce, or website.
Read more: Predictive Lead Scoring: What It Is and Why It’s Important.
Once you’ve identified the benchmarks you’d like to monitor, you can group them in order of their importance to your main objective.
For many websites, that refers to the benchmarks directly impacting the ROI.
Here is a listing of websites that offer information to everyone:
SUPR-Q: The Standardized User Experience Percentile Ranking Questionnaire is designed to establish “perceptions” of usability, trust and credibility, appearance, and loyalty. The SUPR-Q comprises an eight-item survey you can present to people who visit your website.
-The one thing we always emphasize on our site, The Good, is the centrality of usability to your company’s success. Customers consistently rate their ability to navigate and comprehend your website as a key factor in whether or not they’ll purchase from you, refer to your site, and visit your site the next time they need to buy the service or product you provide.
SUS: The System Usability Scale was made in 1986 as an all-purpose assessment instrument. The SUS does not diagnose anything. Getting basic feedback on how your users assess your site based on efficiency, effectiveness, and user satisfaction is easy.
-The benefits that come with the SUS are cost-effective in implementation (the questions are free to be accessible from the usability.gov website). It’s simple to manage and gives you a reliable way of determining if your visitors find your site easy or challenging. The downsides of the SUS include the lack of diagnostics and a complicated scoring system.
The free tool ranks your website by how simple and speedy it can load on desktops and mobile devices. This tool also gives suggestions for improving your score. Page load speed is the first step in ensuring usability.
If visitors wait too long (measured as minutes) for your website to be loaded, they’ll move to another site. The speedy way to lose a deal is to wait to make your offer promptly.
Pingdom Website Speed Test Like Google’s PageSpeed tool This is a very popular speed test. It gives you a score and compares your loading speed to the average of all websites tested. The Pingdom performance analysis will show you which bottlenecks you have and assist you in finding the cause.
You can opt to compare results using multiple tools. Ensure that the benchmarking results are done using the same tool every time. For example, Google and Pingdom will likely give the same results. However, they’ll likely yield different results.
Google Analytics– The learning curve is difficult; however, the wealth of data you can extract using Google Analytics is well worth the time and effort. Explore this Google Solutions toolkit, and you can access the capability to conduct surveys and manage tags, look deeper into attribution, and much more.
Moz Pro– Search engine optimization (SEO) is the initial step to get your company listed at the top of results from search engines (SERP). Moz Pro is a tool that looks at your website’s position against your competition. You’ll find information about keyword rankings, domain ranks, backlinks, and other metrics crucial to SEO.
WordStream Toolkits for benchmarking the performance of your ad campaigns, WordStream tools are a great supplement to the reports available via AdWords and Facebook. There are PPC software and social ads software for free graders, as well as reviews of landing pages. The majority of the intro information is available for free.
Alexa, Get the inside scoop on website traffic and how your site stacks against these. Alexa provides SEO audit Keyword research tools, the on-page SEO checker, and numerous competitive intelligence statistics.
Quantcast Measure: The free tool gives insight into the audience for over 100 million websites. You can obtain demographic, geographic, as well as behavioural data.
The more you are aware of the particulars of your audience, the more chance you have of presenting your products to them. When you embed Quantcast tracking code onto your website, it will collect information specific to your site’s visitors and your lead generation or ecommerce website.
Website Grader This tool developed by HubSpot gives you an instant, basic report on SEO performance on mobile gadgets and the security of your site. After your website is evaluated, you’ll receive suggestions on how to improve your site’s performance. The Website Grader is part of HubSpot’s marketing strategy; however, its importance remains.
Website Benchmarking Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated
There are two balls that you must always be on the lookout for. What is my website’s performance? How does it perform relative to other websites?
The tools you pick will be different based on the benchmark you’re measuring.
Read more: Best Contact Management CRM Tools in 2023.
For instance, we frequently receive requests from owners of e-commerce sites who tell us, “We want you to make ours like others.”
Features rather than goals drive the benchmarking process and could affect your UX and conversion rates. Benchmarking should be based on your customers’ needs rather than on how your competitors are operating.
Benchmarking should be based on what your customers are looking for rather than what your rivals are up to.
Here at we want to understand why one website has better results. We study data from benchmarking, develop an idea, design an experiment, and test it.
If your competitors provide what customers want more than you do, you’ve discovered an excellent place to look and learn from. Refrain from getting caught up in discussions about the features. Consider the usability factors that are behind the results.
Examples: Web benchmarking to provide social evidence
Social proof is a powerful tool. It’s a huge understatement. People trust recommendations from their peers more often than your marketing communications.
One way to create credibility is to allow customers to leave reviews on your website. It may seem unsafe, but it’s an important factor in the growth of Amazon. Customers who are interested in seeing reviews. Without them, you risk doing irreparable damage to your eCommerce site.
Here’s an example of what you could benchmark reviews:
- Check your reviews posted on your site at a particular time and date.
- Take note of the reviews posted on your competitors’ sites at the same time and date.
- Look at the numbers to determine where you stand relative to your competitors.
- Then, compare the same thing 30 days (or a set period) afterwards.
- Keep track of the changes you observe and use the information to guide your direction.
You can delve deeper by keeping track of the dates that these reviews were written and the quality of the reviews (positive/negative) when star ratings are utilized as an objective measurement.
Do you want to explore more?
Look at the items or services with the highest reviews. Examine them against the ones with the lowest reviews. What can you learn from this exercise?
Reviews can also be goldmines to discover what customers find appealing and not so in general, not just about specific products but also about customer service, shipping, and delivery.
Does a relationship exist among the number of reviews posted on the sites you review and the market share each site claims? It would be a fascinating measure to think about.
Always ask why.
Notice the way Quintly graphs data on social benchmarking (above).
Example: using benchmarking of websites with site improvements
After identifying benchmarks, choose which ones you’d like to work on. Start by identifying the elements that influence the movements of the benchmark. Then, you can formulate your hypothesis that changing one of these factors could alter the benchmark. Test your hypothesis.
Let’s say, and for instance, you find that your website receives only the same amount of reviews as the most successful site within your industry or niche. You evaluate their site against yours and observe that their call-to-action (CTA) to ask customers to leave reviews is significantly greater than yours.
You’re planning to get more attention for requests for feedback, perhaps with the help of making your Leave a Review button easier to spot. It’s not a copy of their style; rather, you’re trying to determine the results of a different approach. Your style and format should be consistent with your brand, not just theirs.
(That is why your CTA button must always stand out from the rest of the post. It should be separate from the mix and be difficult to miss.)
To ensure that you are testing only for one thing, it is recommended to conduct the split test. Half of your visitors to your site are served on the original page. Half of them are served the experimental version.
Then, you can observe the outcomes. If you have several visits enough to draw a logical decision (statistical significance), it is your decision whether or not to change the policy on all visits.
Formulating a second hypothesis and then testing it again is also possible. Suppose you aim to beat your competition regarding the number of reviews.
In that case, the benchmarks you have created will assist in determining the reviews increase rate for each site and determine how long it would be to take you to surpass them (assuming the benchmarking methods they use do not catch you trying to gain ground and force them to rethink the strategies they use to get reviews).
Testing that aims at continuous enhancement of your KPIs should be a constant process that is an essential part of your overall strategy for marketing.
An A/B test results chart is available from Lander (see below).
Website Benchmarking for Competitive Analysis – Conclusion
Benchmarks can give you a clearer understanding of what your contender is doing well and how you can make improvements. However, be cautious. Make sure you are focusing on providing the most user-friendly website. Refrain from getting caught in an argument over who will develop more attractive features.
Each element of your e-commerce or lead-generation website should be a part of your business’s overall success. Each page should fulfil a specific role in getting a prospect to become a buyer.
The benchmarks you use for your most crucial places along that path Always strive to improve your benchmark metrics. A business that is aware of its direction and constantly moving toward that direction will eventually be successful. The most effective benchmarks concentrate on your goals and assist you in achieving them.
An excellent place to begin is having your Stuck Score(tm). It will help you identify areas of Stuck Point(tm) locations limiting your sales. Once you have recognized these points, you can benchmark them and start the improvement process.
Benchmarking is a labour-intensive process. It needs setting up time, monitoring timing, evaluation times, and time for planning. Some companies decide the outsourcing their benchmarking. Based on your particular circumstances, it could be a smart option.
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