Google Analytics Benchmarking Reports vs Industry Analysis on SimilarWeb PRO

As a Google Analytics fan, I was super excited to hear about one of their most recent releases – Benchmarking reports. This new feature holds tremendous opportunities in terms of understanding your market and where you stand within it. What makes this feature even more intriguing to me is its similarity to the ‘Industry Analysis’ feature in SimilarWeb PRO. In order to understand the full potential of this new benchmarking tool, and the differences between this tool and our own Industry Analysis, I’ll go over the two and compare their features and the potential insights they can provide.

All About Google Analytics Benchmarking Report

You’ll find the tool under ‘Audience > Benchmarking’ in your Google Analytics account. You can view the stats by 3 different dimensions – channel, location and devices, and for 2 different segments – Acquisition and Behavior.

The stats are drawn from the entire industry, based on Google Analytics users that were willing to enable benchmarking with Google and others from their account settings page:

Google Analytics Benchmarking Reports (picture1)

In fact, you can access the Benchmarking report tool only if you’ve checked that box. If you didn’t, you’ll see this message:

Google Analytics Benchmarking Reports (picture2)

Google reveals the sample size that each report is based on:

Google Analytics Benchmarking Reports (picture3)

*Stats for the Internet and telecom industry for all countries – by Google Analytics Benchmark report

The data is available for specific categories on a global view as well as for specific countries:

Google Analytics Benchmarking Reports (picture4)

Filter category and country in Google Analytics Benchmark report


Let’s dive deeper into the different metrics you’ll find in this tool.

Benchmarking By Channel, Location and Device

These metrics show you the breakdown by the different traffic channels – referral, social, organic search etc. For each of these you can see where your site stands compared to the entire industry for the following metrics: sessions, new sessions, new users, page per session, session duration, and bounce rate.

These metrics are also available with a country breakdown and devices (desktop, tablet, and mobile)

Possible Insights You Can Gain From Google Analytics’ Benchmarking Report Tool

  • Get the broader picture of an industry
  • See the growth potential for an industry and market
  • Get an idea about the existing competition
  • Estimate the difficulty of expanding in that industry and market

Seeing the bigger picture is always an advantage, but wouldn’t it be amazing if you could also see exactly who is competing with you as well as being able to dive into each of their analytics? This is where Industry Analysis in SimilarWeb PRO comes in.

Benchmarking with SimilarWeb PRO

Industry Analysis was launched over 6 months ago and you’ll find many similar features to what you’ve just seen on Google Analytics’ Benchmarking tool. However, there are some unique features that you won’t see on GA, or any other platform for that matter. Let’s get a closer look at the different dimensions and metrics on the Industry Analysis tool in SimilarWeb PRO:

Benchmarking by Channel and Location

With Industry Analysis you get the total desktop visits, time on site, pages per visit and bounce rate of an entire industry based on a sample of sites:

Google Analytics Benchmarking Reports (picture5)

Stats for the Internet and telecom industry for all countries – By SimilarWeb PRO

You can also see the traffic distribution per traffic source:

Google Analytics Benchmarking Reports (picture6)

Traffic sources per industry – By SimilarWeb PRO

In the Geography section you’ll find a breakdown by country for that industry. So, for instance, you can see from which country most of the traffic comes to the Internet & Telecom industry:

Google Analytics Benchmarking Reports (picture7)

Top countries referring traffic to the Internet & Telecom industry – By SimilarWeb PRO

Breakdown per Traffic Source:

Now, this next part is what makes Industry Analysis so unique and what differentiates it from GA’s Benchmarking report tool – for each industry you’ll find the full list of top referring domains:

Google Analytics Benchmarking Reports (picture8)

Top referring websites in the retail industry – By SimilarWeb PRO

Referring keywords:

Google Analytics Benchmarking Reports (picture9)

Top referring keywords in the retail industry – By SimilarWeb PRO


And referring social networks:

Google Analytics Benchmarking Reports (picture10)

Top referring social networks in the retail industry – By SimilarWeb PRO


Another unique feature exclusive to SimilarWeb is that it can show you which sites have AdSense on them. Sorting the list by the AdSense column will give you those sites you should add to your PPC, GDN, and search network campaigns. You can also click on any of these sites and get the complete website analysis for it, including: its own referring keywords, domains etc., ad networks it uses, engagement metrics and so on.

Now as much as I love Google Analytics (and I truly do), let’s face it – getting an actual view of the main players for an industry beats getting a view on the overall stat of that industry. But the differences don’t stop there, we have one more unique feature in Industry Analysis – industry leaders per traffic channel. For instance, here you see the top sites in the retail industry that get the most search traffic worldwide:

Google Analytics Benchmarking Reports (picture11)

Top retail websites getting traffic from Search worldwide – By SimilarWeb PRO


This data is available for all traffic sources – direct, organic/paid search, display advertising, referrals, mail and social. With this data you can discover things like:

  • Who are the top spenders in display ads for a specific industry
  • Who are the top spenders in PPC for a specific industry
  • Which sites are doing the best job in SEO

Last, but definitely not least, feature that is unique to SimilarWeb is the ‘Change’ feature. With Change you can identify the biggest changes in traffic compared to the previous month, for any keyword or website under any industry.

For instance, Expedia are spending the most money on PPC comparing to their competitors, but there are other smaller sites which are fighting to climb up and have the biggest change in traffic comparing to last month:

Top sites getting traffic from paid search sorted by traffic share:


Travel sites leaders for paid search traffic – By SimilarWeb PRO

Top sites getting traffic from paid search Sorted by change:


Travel sites leaders for paid search traffic – By SimilarWeb PRO

To summarize, Google Analytics’ new Benchmarking tool is amazing! You can actually see where you stand within your industry and start making data driven decisions. However, as amazing as this tool is, it still doesn’t offer the deep dive into stats that Industry Analysis on SimilarWeb PRO provides – the ability to identify your actual competitors and for each of the traffic channels you’ll be competing on. This is on top on the full list of top keywords per industry, which will serve you in your SEO and PPC campaigns.

Comparison Summary:

Google Analytics Benchmarking Report

Industry Analysis in SimilarWeb PRO

Breakdown by country Breakdown by country
Segments by channel, location and device Segments by channel and location
Benchmark by visits and engagement Benchmark by visits and engagement
Full list of referring sites per industry and market
Full list of referring keywords per industry and market
Full list of social networks per industry and market
Industry leaders per traffic channel
An option for further deep analysis of each website

About the Author -

Natalie Halimi is the Head of Marketing Communications & Education at SimilarWeb. With over 10 years of experience in marketing, Natalie has promoted services and products in the B2C and B2B arenas, in various industries.

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