Backyard Benchmarks

When you’re evaluating your digital presence, a recurring concern is always, "how does that stack up against the industry's {insert any metric here}?" We all want to look over at our classmates to see if they are as far along in the test as we are or if we are going too slow. Put plainly, no one wants to feel like they are stupid or underperforming.

There are places you can go for your industry's benchmarks. A quick search for "industry digital benchmarks" led me to emarketer. This is a nice interactive tool with a wide variety of metrics and segments. You can even choose to share your Google Analytics data anonymously in return for the ability to compare your reports against industry benchmarks.

But there is far better approach. It’s in your own backyard and it will really tell you how you are doing. What if you could get the benchmarks from your biggest competitor easily and legally? What if that competitor would even be happy to give them to you?

It’s all right there waiting for you, and it’s a simple matter of perspective. You are your biggest competitor and you need to focus on outperforming yourself.  If you focus on doing better than you did last year, last quarter, last month, last week, yesterday, then you will be where you want to be - better!

Gather up all the metrics that you use to indicate the health of your digital presence and evaluate the numbers for a time period that makes sense for your business. Then look at these numbers for the same time period a year ago. Analyze the differences between these metrics and determine what needs to be changed to improve. These are your backyard benchmarks, and they show you where you’ve been as well as where you are. Now it’s up to you to get where you want to go.