Whenever Google Analytics releases a new report on an upgrade to an existing report, I hurry to tell everyone as much as I can about it. It’s like a mini-holiday for me 🙂
Today, Mr. Brett Crosby – Google Analytics’ Product Manager – made the announcement that Industry Benchmarking would be added in as a new report section in Google Analytics. Industry Benchmarking will allow “…customers to see how their site data compares to sites in any available industry vertical”.
Of course, with a new release, there are normally lots of questions (“how does it work”, “what do I see”, “what’s the catch”, etc…). At this time, the best possible resource is the Google Analytics Help Center page on Industry Benchmarking and Data Sharing.
Whenever I talk to someone about Google Analytics and their position in the web analytics industry, I tell them that Google Analytics is always looking to propel itself to “the next level”. A benchmarking type of report like this one is an example of what I refer to – one of the many things we wish Google Analytics could do or had available.
To me, this report helps in filling in those missing gaps of information and knowledge that is missing in the Web Analytics industry. Now, you will finally be able to give an answer to the question “…is my Bounce Rate good?”, or “…how is my Average Time on Site?”. Comparing your web statistics against your industry averages now allows you to see where you stand amongst other websites that provide similar services or products (e.g. your competitors). Of course, this report is still in Beta – so don’t be alarmed if there are any quirks or bugs; they will be worked out and fixed over time.
Of course, if you check out the GA Help Center page on Benchmarking, you’ll see that in order for Benchmarking to be available, you’ll need to enable Data Sharing in your Google Analytics account. You will need to contact your Google Analytics Administrator if you are interested in having your data shared in order to enable Benchmarking in your account. Rest assured that Google Analytics handles the privacy of your data as the Pentagon would handle a matter of national security – it is held in the highest regard, labeled as classified information, and only those with Top Secret clearance can even get near it. As the document states, your account’s name, your URL, and the names of your pages are removed – only raw numbers and statistics are shared.