Wouldn’t it be nice to know how to win every time?
Customer service is a good place to start benchmarking
If you measure how you’ve done against how a customer expected you to do, you can guarantee that customer is satisfied, every time you deal with them. Providing of course that you check at the right time to make sure, and providing you recover from any service difficulties failures promptly.
Success in the customer’s eyes leads to repeat business and more personal advocacy through which you can acquire new customers for free. So if you are to measure anything, and I recommend you do, invest your energy being brilliant at measuring up against your customer’s problems, frustrations wants and needs.
“In order to get where we want to go in the long haul, it’s important to take a look at where we stand today”. Matt Winn
Good benchmarking practices could lead you to totally redesign your website. A website benchmark can be made not only with your direct competitors but also other websites that have similar features or are targeting products or services to markets similar to yours.
What should you benchmark about your website?
- Do you use call tracking to track online campaigns?
- Do you use Google Analytics or other analytics providers?
- What are your most trafficked pages and why?
- What percentage of traffic is from social media websites?
- What percentage of traffic is from email marketing?
- What percentage of visits are from organic sources?
- What percentage of traffic are referrals from other websites?
- What percentage of traffic is from people who type your URL into the search bar?
- What are your top performing landing pages and why?
- What are your top performing blog posts and why?
- What percentage of traffic is from mobile devices?
- Is your current website optimised for mobile users?
- What percentage of traffic is from tablet devices?
- What metric(s) do you use to measure the success of your blog?
- How do you measure visits, leads and conversions?
- What metric(s) do you use to measure the success of your email marketing?
- What are your top performing keywords?
- How many visits does your website get each month?
- How many page views does your website get each month?
- How many leads do you generate from the website each month?
- How long do people typically spend on your website?
- What is the bounce rate for your website?
- What is the average amount of sales generated by your website each month?
- What is the page load time of your website?
- How many inbound links are pointing to your website?
- What industry standards do you follow?
“Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless”. Thomas Edison
Would you like to budget for user testing during the design and development phase? Feedback about your benchmarking can be invaluable.
Website benchmarking allows you to see what others are doing, acknowledge their strategy and perhaps validate, or use the learnings to figure out, your own. The question to ask is your investment in benchmarking worth it?
Make sure you are benchmarking apples with apples.
With benchmarking you are fundamentally trying to figure out which areas of websites are really good and seem to be facilitating ease of use, higher conversion rates or are providing better customer service and customer experiences.
A good reason from a marketing perspective is to understand how your competitors are performing overall. You want to identify inbound marketing aspects where your competitors are strong and from a usability perspective.
The point of website benchmarking is to see if a competitor is having success and if so to determine why. You might even find out that their successful strategy confirms your own, which should be unique to your website.
Benchmarking helps you to understand if there are particular features that are likely to be highly valued by their customers, along with their site facilitates, the buying process and the quality of their content.
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I know benchmarking can be a useful wake-up call for any business, non-profit organisation or community.
Looking at how well others are doing stimulates ideas, and opens your eyes to opportunities for improving performance.
I remember a reading about a concrete manufacturing plant that benchmarked their concrete delivery service with that of a fast food delivery service and how they have outstanding results.
So who and what you benchmark and who or what you do it with doesn’t really matter, as long as it makes sense and delivers a better outcome.