Benchmark Against Your Competitors

An essential part of a successful digital strategy is competitive benchmarking. Benchmarking can help you uncover blind spots and discover new opportunities and provides visibility into how your overall strategy is performing.

What is benchmarking and why does it matter?

Benchmarking is measuring key metrics by comparing them to the point of reference - such as an industry average, an immediate competitor set, or best-in-class competitors. Who and what you benchmark against varies based on your business objectives.

Do you want to gauge your website's traffic and reach against bet-in-class competitors? Find how your site ranks in specific geographic regions or industry markets? Or measure search and channel traffic against your immediate competitor set?

You can quickly view your position, measure your performance, and discover growth opportunities using Similarweb.

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In this article, you'll learn about the fundamentals of digital benchmarking and how to discover and leverage valuable insights to grow your business.

Skip ahead to:

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Similar Story: Throughout this guide, we'll look at metrics and insights for Mrs. Meyer's, an earth-friendly cleaning solutions company. Let's help Mrs. Meyer's find opportunities to improve strategy and grow business.

Similar Story:

Meet Mrs. Meyers

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Step 1: Find your website ranking

An excellent place to start benchmarking is to understand how your site ranks against the competition.

Similarweb calculates website rankings based on criteria -- including monthly unique visits and page views -- that capture a site's position among engaged audiences. In other words, ranking is based on quality traffic, not just quantity.

Want to know how your website ranks globally, by country, and by category? Let's see.

  1. In the Competitive Analysis module, enter your website domain in the search bar.

  2. On the Website Performance page, click +Compare to add up to four competitor sites. Use the TimeGeography , and Traffic Type (desktop or mobile) filters to refine your analysis.

The Website Performance page provides a birds-eye-view of the performance of the analyzed sites. Use the Global, Country , and Industry Rankings to benchmark your website's overall position.

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With the geography filter set to the U.S., Mrs. Meyer's ranks high among the competition in Global Rank, Country Rank, and Industry Rank.

Key Insights: Look at your website's overall rank and rank position among the competitive set. Hover your cursor over a domain to see a description of the company and their total visits from last month.

How does your website stack up against the competition? How does online traffic and engagement rank within one country compared to worldwide?

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Tip: Sometimes, industry categories are broader than you need or do not include a company you want to include in your competitive set. To create your custom category, use the Web Industry Analysis toolkit within the Digital Research Solution.

Give it a try! See how your site ranks and get started with benchmarking .

Step 2: Compare traffic trends and channel distribution

Now, let's look at the channels driving traffic to your website and see how that volume compares to your competitor's traffic.

  1. In the Competitive Analysis module, enter your website domain in the search bar.

    Click +Compare to add up to four competitor sites. Use the TimeGeography , and Traffic Type (desktop or mobile) filters to refine your analysis.

  2. Navigate to the Marketing Channels page.

The Channel overview breaks down the traffic volume by channel for each website. Use the Benchmark to an Industry filter to include data for industry averages in your analysis.

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Using the Benchmark to an Industry filter, we see that Mrs. Meyer's receives 8% of traffic from the Paid Search channel and the industry average is 9.55% -- there could be an opportunity for growth here!

Key Insights: Compare how the competitive group stacks up against each other by channel and hover your cursor over the bar graphs to view the percentage (or number) breakdown of online traffic for each site.

What marketing channel is driving the most traffic across the competitive landscape? How does my traffic per channel compare to the competition? Can I adjust my strategy to garner more traffic from an underperforming channel?

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Tip: For analyses with a timeframe under three months, look at Marketing Channel Trends. These automated insight cards highlight new channels, traffic jumps, and traffic drops for you.

Step 3: Get a baseline for online engagement

Finding traffic volume is only one part of the equation. Next up is analyzing traffic quality. You can measure the quality of traffic by looking at how engaged visitors are once they arrive at a website.

  1. In the Competitive Analysis module, navigate to the Website Performance page.

  2. Click +Compare to add up to four competitor sites, and use the TimeGeography , and Traffic Type (desktop or mobile) filters to refine your analysis.

The Engagement leader board shows who is winning in quality traffic. These engagement insights are key indicators of how well a site performs beyond sheer traffic volume.

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Mrs. Meyer's performs very well in the engagement categories with a high volume of monthly visits and unique visitors and visit duration, and pages per visit.

Notable is Seventh Generation -- with the second-highest monthly visits but a high bounce rate, low visit duration, and pages per visit -- has a middle-of-the-funnel opportunity.

Key Insights: When analyzing this data, think through points of correlation. For instance, compare Visit Duration to Pages per Visit to Bounce Rate. Consider the drivers of engagement and how your company can improve based on the benchmark averages of the competition.

Are your visitors returning to your site, spending time and visiting multiple pages, or bouncing after just one visit?

Give it a try!

Now that you know your benchmarks, do you want to increase engagement? For more on building a content marketing strategy that converts more customers, check out this article on the Similarweb blog.

Step 4: Gauge keyword performance

Finally, let's take a look at benchmarking your search traffic.

Search traffic is the traffic that gets to your site through a search engine. Benchmarking both Organic and Paid search traffic can help you uncover unique opportunities that you may be missing out on.

What is the share of organic vs. paid search traffic across your competitive set? How are your keywords performing relative to competitors?

We'll do this in two steps: Benchmark Search Traffic Share and Discover Traffic Drivers.

  1. Benchmark your search traffic share

    In the Competitive Analysis module, navigate to the Search > Overview page. Click +Compare to add up to four competitor sites.

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    Key Insights: Look at the top-level insights to find Total Search Visitsand the breakdown of Organic vs. Paid traffic and Branded vs. Non-Branded.

    Further down the page, gauge the quality of the traffic by looking at the Search Traffic and Engagement metrics, including Visits Duration, Pages per Visit, and Bounce Rate.

    Who has the largest share of search traffic? Who has the best quality traffic? How does your website compare to the analyzed competitors?

    Tip: Want more search traffic insights? Try analyzing just one website and view Search Traffic Insights to look at growth trends.

  2. Discover traffic drivers

    Once you have a sense of search traffic share, look at the drivers of that traffic: keywords.

    Which keywords are sending traffic to your competitors? Which keywords should you invest in?

    1. Scroll down the Overview pageto Find New Keywords.

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      Key Insights:

      • The Insights Cards provide information on competitive, branding, and high-traffic keywords. How many keywords you are missing compared to your competitors.

      • View Top Keywords and Highly Competitive Keywords to see keywords driving traffic and those which are highly competitive. Which keywords are the competitive set competing for?

    2. Navigate to the Keyword Gap tool. Here you can explore information on All Keywords, Core Keywords, Keyword Winds, and keyword Recommendations.

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    3. Under Recommendations, select Opportunities to view a list of keywords sending traffic to competitors but not to your website.

      Analyze the data that corresponds with the Search Terms. Ask yourself questions like Which keywords are driving the most traffic? Where are they leading to? What do they say about user interests?

    For Mrs. Meyer's, we see that they have the potential to capture an additional 1.3M visits based on keyword opportunities. These keywords include terms like "dimethicone" (a type of silicone), which drives 37K+ visits to Puracy, and their blog article on whether that silicone is bad.

    This keyword points to a trend: customers in this category are interested in chemicals and want to learn more about health risks. If you're Mrs. Meyer's, consider building out more content around this topic and associated keywords. That could chip away at that 1M visit opportunity.

    Give it a try! Benchmark your keyword performance and discover new opportunities!

To learn more about benchmarking your performance against competitors, check out our blog The Why and How of Competitive Benchmarking .

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