Google Analytics Benchmarking Feature, Data Sharing & Audio Ad Charting

Google Analytics added a new benchmarking feature today. Users can now compare their site’s performance to industry benchmarks, though only if they agree to share their data to help produce such aggregate benchmarks. Another feature added is the ability to see when your Google Audio ads run, in relation to your web site traffic.

Industry Benchmarking: Ever wonder how your site is doing compared to your industry as a whole? With the new industry benchmarking feature, Google Analytics users can now opt-in to see that data. Google will plot your data, as they do now, but give you the ability to overlay various industry averages on top of your statistics. Here is a screenshot showing you how Google Analytics can plot industry vertical data with your site’s data:

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The industry benchmarking allows you to compare your stats to your industry or any other industry. The data is, of course, anonymized and aggregated, so you won’t be seeing any specific competitor data. To see industry benchmark statistics, you will first need to go to the data sharing settings page.

Data Sharing Settings Page: Related to the industry benchmarking announcement is the ability to decide if you want to share your data with Google and Google users. By default, your data is not shared. The catch is, for you to get the industry benchmarking feature, you will need to opt-in and share your data with everyone else, on an anonymized and aggregate level. Let me rephrase: if you’re not a good sharer, then people won’t share with you.

If you decide to not share your data with everyone, you will not get industry benchmarking data. But you will also be able to decide if you want to share your data with other Google products. For example, if you want to share data between your AdWords Conversion Optimizer product and Google Analytics, you can do so by opting in to share your data with Google.

When will you start seeing the industry benchmarking data in your account? Brett Crosby of Google Analytics tells me it may take a couple weeks. Why? Well, first people need to opt in to sharing their data. Once Google begins collecting this data, they can then begin publishing the data in aggregate within the industry benchmarking feature.

Audio Ad Integration: Google Analytics is also releasing a feature that will highlight when your Google Audio Ads went live within your Google Analytics charts. The audio impressions displayed are the number of times listeners hear your ad at the time it airs. The audio impressions figure is then plotted with your visitor stats within Google Analytics to help you better correlate your web traffic with your Google Audio ad. Here is a sample screenshot of how that may look:

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Postscript: Google just added the FAQs for these features. Using the benchmarking service and Frequently asked questions for the Google Analytics data sharing options are now available.

Related Topics: Channel: Analytics | Google: Analytics

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About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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