Do You Have A Benchmark Website? Here’s Why You Should
Benchmarking is about identifying where you stand when compared to other websites. It’s a means of gauging your current performance and unearthing ways for you to improve not only your standing in Google and other search engines; but your bounce rate (how many people leave your website and only visit one page); and your ‘clicks to customers’ (how much of that traffic is converting to business).
The term benchmarking originated in land surveying, whereby raised horizontal lines were set in stone, serving as a benchmark to ensure consistency from one surveyor to the next. In the world of SEO, website benchmarking functions in a very similar way.
So, do you have a benchmark website in place? If not, then you should almost certainly investigate it! Here’s why you should:
Benchmarks help you evolve
If you don’t bother to monitor your performance, then how can you put a strategy in place to improve? Certainly, you might invest in your SEO and start seeing some very positive results in terms of traffic, but what do you do when those visitors aren’t buying your products and services?
Benchmark websites are essential for identifying areas that you need to improve on and finding ways to ensure that you ultimately outperform your competitors.
Key areas to explore when benchmarking
- Monitoring site performance (page load speed, drop off rates etc)
- Benchmarking your marketing performance (where is the traffic coming from? E.g., social media marketing or Google Ads)
- Gauging your financial performance (are you seeing a healthy return on your marketing budget?)
- Evaluating your search performance (which keywords are attracting the most visitors / have the highest conversion rates?)
- Testing your website’s usability (is your website functioning optimally? Are there ways to make it more user-friendly?)
In order to transform your online presence and to be the very best that you can be, you will want to set a benchmark in all these areas. A great way of doing this is taking a current snapshot of every key aspect of your website. Following that, you should look at various competitor websites that are doing particularly well in each area.
Naturally, there is a lot of technical work involved which can be time consuming and overwhelming—which is where a professional will come in. At an agency like CSME Digital Marketing, they have a team of dedicated digital marketeers that specialise in this very area, so you don’t have to worry.
You must look at the bigger picture
Benchmarking should incorporate all the key areas that was mentioned above, as they ultimately function as one. When optimised in synchronicity, every aspect of your website will improve, complimenting one another. There’s no good benchmarking for search performance alone and neglecting your website’s usability—there can be no room for bias!
You see, designers will study the layout and aesthetic appeal of a website; writers will focus on content; sales managers will faff over lead gen & pricing; and marketeers will be concerned with calls to action. A professional will evaluate the bigger picture, because we understand the value in treating your website as a living organism that needs care in all areas. Think of it as having a balanced diet coupled with an active lifestyle; if you wish to look and feel your best, then you’ll have to make positive improvements in all aspects of your day-to-day life.
Understanding the benchmarking process
- Settle on the essential benchmarking areas
- Define scope, measures & definitions
- Collect data in all essential areas of your website
- Survey collected data and review performance strengths & weaknesses
- Explore competitor websites
- Collect invaluable benchmark data
- Analyse the data and review findings
- Identify best practices
- Implement best practices
- Begin to monitor & analyse results
- Standardise methods which are proving to work
- Continue to analyse and improve where possible
- Explore new areas
The process is very much trial & error and should be treated as an on-going endeavour. The businesses who are consistently top—smashing their annual revenue and expanding their client base—are those who are forever scrutinising their strategies. What was working for you twelve months ago, might not be working for you today! So, benchmark, evaluate, and improve—and then renew those benchmarks again.
Again, benchmarking is essential for business owners who are serious about taking their business to the next level. So, if you’d like to get real about your online presence and to start driving visitors to your website who won’t drop off and buy from your competitors instead; then benchmarking is the way forward.
If this is something that you are keen to explore further, then contact an expert that would love to guide you through the process. They will appreciate that it may get quite confusing, but it really doesn’t have to be all that complicated. They will simplify the process and handle the grunt work for you.