Digital benchmarking simply means comparing the performance of your website to other similar sites within your niche. It allows you to keep an eye on the competition and better understand your performance within a wider context. Benchmarking has been around for a long time, but its popularity has grown recently, and with good reason.
It helps you understand the competition
When you set benchmarks by industry, you gain an invaluable insight into how your competitors are performing and how well you’re competing with them. This is useful from a purely analytical perspective as it gives you a better understanding of your position within the market, but it also helps you to firm up your longer-term strategy. That’s particularly important for newer or small-scale businesses that are looking to grow. By benchmarking against sites that operate within your industry you’ll be able to tailor your strategy, infrastructure, and web design to better suit the market. Benchmarking isn’t all about numbers. It’s about understanding the wider trends within your industry and applying them to your own business.
It makes it easier to chart your progress
While benchmarking is (quite rightly) considered a way of comparing your progress against others, there’s a strong sense of personal development interwoven with the process. While you are inevitably comparing yourself to external forces, you still amass a comprehensive picture of your companies development. You can track growth, traffic, click conversions: the choices are wide ranging, and there are many metrics to pick from. It all equates to an ongoing and sustained exercise in progress monitoring. Benchmarking gives businesses ample data for self-reflection, and being able to track the curve of your development is incredibly useful.
It enables you to analyze changes
With a firm benchmark set, it’s much easier to identify the effects of strategic changes. Perhaps you altered the layout of your website or released an app update. Benchmarking will show you how those changes have affected engagement rates, click-throughs, and revenue. Since these figures are all displayed within the context of comparison, it’s easy to track whether the changes you made were suitable for the wider market. The process works both ways, too. If you notice a sudden change in how your benchmarked websites are performing, it’s easy to dig a little deeper, find out why, and potentially apply something similar.
Benchmarking keeps you up to date
Identifying and following digital trends is important. Benchmarking means that your finger is always on the digital pulse. You should benchmark websites and businesses operating within or close to your sector, and in doing so, you’ll be able to tap into the latest trends. If a competitor’s website suddenly experiences an explosion of traffic, then the chances are they’ve plugged into a new trend. Keeping a close eye on how the digital landscape is changing and developing around you means that your business is never left behind. Contrary to popular belief, benchmarking isn’t all about raw data and analytics. It’s about following trends, getting creative, and staying ahead in the ever-changing digital landscape.