How To Get The Best Kind of Visitors With Benchmarking in Google Analytics

I decided to click into the new Benchmarking feature in Google Analytics. Apparently this report’s been around since September of last year, but this was the first time I really noticed it.


After clicking in I was greeted with, as usual with Google Analytics, a bunch of data and no clear way to analyze it. After staring at my screen for about an hour, I think I finally hit on an analytical approach that made sense to me, and more importantly – gave me some good insights. I’ll walk you through it, and hopefully you’ll have some powerful takeaways as well.

GA gives you the usual line chart over time on this page, but I found that to be useless as usual. Here’s the meat of the data, a heat map:


Here’s the steps I took to analyze my site.

Before getting into your analysis, make sure the Industry Vertical, Country and Size filters match your site –


Now you can jump into your analysis.

Best Behavior
First, find the channel with the best behavior. It’s no surprise there’s so much love for email marketing. Just take a look at the highlighted numbers and compare them with the other channels (moving up and down each behavioral column). So for example email marketing users look at 3.48 pages per session. Compare that to the next highest – Direct – with only 3.05. That’s a 12% difference! And it means that email visitors actually look at more of your site than those that directly type in your web address in the browser window. Email visitors care about what you have to say!

Focused Acquisitions
Second, because of all these convincing reasons, that’s the channel I would focus on when benchmarking acquisition numbers. Don’t just get more visitors, get more of the best kinds of visitors.

So it looks like I’m doing pretty well with new sessions, which means the amount of visitors I get from email is growing pretty quickly, compared to other, similar-sized sites in my category. but the total amount of new users and site visits (sessions) is pretty shoddy. So I probably need to focus at the top of my funnel – keep getting as many new email subscribers as I can.

Make that a priority and you’ll get the best kind of visitors too.

Special thanks goes out to the founder of Flow Athletics for showing me how to make the best use of these new features.