Get email alerts when you get new backlinks with our SEO tool Start your free trial now

Press enter to see results or esc to cancel.

The Top 5 SEO Benchmarks to Measure Up Against Your Competition

Remember those benchmark tests in school?

They were a way to see how everyone measured up. And they were the worst.

Because when we were 10 years old, we didn’t care if our math was as good as our friends—we just wanted to get to recess, right?

But now that we’re all adults trying to grow our businesses, it’s vital to know how you stack up to others in your industry.

Because at the end of the day, the reports, spreadsheets and numbers we work with everyday don’t carry much weight unless we know how they compare to our competitors’.

A benchmark is a standard to measure your performance by, and in the digital marketing world, our competitors’ performance is our most important benchmark to measure success.

(If you’re looking for the most important metrics to track or KPI’s to focus on, we’ve written on those too.)

The Top 5 SEO Benchmarks to Measure Up Against Your Competition

In this post, we’ll dig in to five key SEO benchmarks, help you find out how you’re really doing for each one, and how you stack up to your competition.

1. Leads Generated or Sales Made

 

seo-benchmarks
 

This is the money maker (literally). The ultimate goal of most SEO campaigns is to generate more business, and most companies do that by either acquiring leads or by making sales on their site.

Our industry uses the word conversion to refer to a step a user takes toward becoming a lead or sale. For instance, a conversion might refer to signing up for a newsletter, filling out a contact form, or actually purchasing a product.

With this in mind, it’s very important to track users’ behavior on your site.

Where to Find It

This SEO benchmark is best measured with Goals within Google Analytics, but they must be configured first. If you’re an Analytics expert or already have Goals set up, feel free to skip ahead. But if you’ve never set up goals in Analytics before, here’s brief tutorial:

1. Navigate to Admin > Goals

 

seo-benchmarks
 

2. Add a New Goal

3. Enter a Name and Type of Goal

There are four types of goals to choose from:

  • Destination: This goal works if you want to treat a certain pageview as a conversion (for instance, a thank-you page)
  • Duration: You can set a certain amount of time on page as a conversion
  • Pages / Screens per Session: You can set a number of pages viewed as a conversion
  • Event: You can set a user interaction (a click or download) as a conversion

4. Add Goal Details

Let’s say you choose a destination as a goal completion—you’ll then be asked to set the page you’d like to treat as the destination.

And that’s it! You now have a conversion set up on your website.

(Here’s a little more in-depth guide to setting up goals in Analytics.)

What to Measure

When it comes to conversions, the metric we’re looking at is conversion rate. And instead of looking at a general site-wide conversion rate, it’s important to focus your attention on specific pages and how they’re performing.

Google Analytics allows you to do this in Conversions > Overview.

 

seo-benchmarks
 

Where to Find Competitor Data

Conversion rates are a little tricky when it comes to benchmarking. They vary based on what kinds of goals you have set up, and your industry. And unfortunately, your competitors’ conversion rates and lead generation numbers aren’t public information.

However, there’s a free tool from WordStream that will help you get a feel for average industry conversion rates. It’s based on Google Ads landing pages, but should still help you see how you measure up.

2. Organic Traffic

 

seo-benchmarks
 

Organic traffic is another critical benchmark for any SEO campaign. And thankfully, we do have some insight into our competitors’ performance on this metric.

Where to Find It

There are plenty of tools that show organic traffic data. In fact, Monitor Backlinks shows you this metric right on your dashboard (sign up for a free trial if you haven’t already).

 

seo-benchmarks
 

You can also find organic traffic within Google Analytics under Acquisition.

 

seo-benchmarks
 

What to Measure

With organic traffic, you’ll want to look at month-to-month data as well as monthly year-over-year (i.e. compare January 2018 to January 2017).

For bigger companies with more significant traffic, it may also be helpful to look at week-to-week data.

Where to Find Competitor Data

For this benchmark (and most of the following), we’re simply looking to compare ourselves to competitors. Luckily, we can get an idea of how much organic traffic our competitors get using Google Analytics’ benchmarking feature.

Here’s how:

1. Open Google Analytics

2. Navigate to Audience > Benchmarking > Channels

 

seo-benchmarks
 

3. Insert your industry vertical, country / region, and average daily sessions

4. Locate Organic Traffic and see how you compare!

 

seo-benchmarks
 

You can see how you compare nationwide or within your state. This is such a powerful tool that should give you a ton of insight into how you’re really doing when it comes to organic traffic.

3. Number of Keywords Ranked For

 

seo-benchmarks
 

The number of keywords your site ranks for is another big SEO benchmark to help you see where you stand in search engine performance. It indicates your overall search engine visibility (i.e. how many search queries is your site appearing in the results?).

Where to Find It

Monitor Backlinks gives you this helpful metric right in the Keywords section of your dashboard.

 

seo-benchmarks
 

What to Measure

It may be helpful to focus on your site’s top 100 keywords ranked for, or the top 50 or top 30.

Though it’s true that a keyword ranked on the eighth or ninth page probably won’t be earning any clicks, that’s not necessarily the point. Those keywords have potential to increase in ranking, and we’re looking at overall visibility.

Nonetheless, if you’re only interested in knowing how many keywords are earning you clicks, maybe top 30 is a better metric for you. Ultimately, we’re looking to see visibility rise over time.

It’s important to keep an eye on your ranking trends as well. How often are you losing ranking on keywords, and which ones have solidified their place in the top 10?

Keep track of your keywords’ volatility. Monitor Backlinks does a great job laying this out for you.

 

seo-benchmarks
 

Where to Find Competitor Data

Yet again, Monitor Backlinks comes through by giving us great data on our competitors and their average keyword position:

 

seo-benchmarks
 

You can also compare your rankings for specific keywords:

 

seo-benchmarks
 

4. Number of Linking Domains

 

seo-benchmarks
 

The number of domains linking to your site is probably the best measure of site credibility, revealing how much Google trusts your site.

Total number of backlinks is another helpful metric, but five sites pointing to your content is more valuable than one site pointing to your content five times.

Where to Find It

This is another metric that Monitor Backlinks displays on your main dashboard:

 

seo-benchmarks
 

What to Measure

A healthy site is constantly growing in the number of domains linking to it. We’re looking for steady growth over time.

Monitor Backlinks shows new and lost domains on your dashboard, making it easy to track your progress.

 

seo-benchmarks
 

seo-benchmarks
 

It’s also important to keep tabs on what kinds of links you’re getting from these domains. Here are some backlink metrics to note:

The Monitor Backlinks tool will give you a lot of this data in the Reports section.

 

seo-benchmarks
 

Where to Find Competitor Data

While it’d be nice to have more linking domains than our competition, this metric alone doesn’t always tell the whole story. As noted above, we’d encourage you to not only take note of the number alone, but spend some time digging into what kinds of links your competitors have.

And maybe to even consider how to earn links from these sites yourself if you haven’t already!

You can see all your competitors’ links from the Competitors section in Monitor Backlinks. Just click “View Links” under any of your added competitors to see a full list of their backlinks.

 

seo-benchmarks
 

As another option, you can use the Free Backlink Checker, which is available to anyone with or without a Monitor Backlinks account.

Just enter your competitors’ domain and it’ll show you their top 300 backlinks as well as how many linking domains the site has:

 

seo-benchmarks
 

5. Bounce Rate and Average Session Duration

 

seo-benchmarks
 

Bounce rate and average session duration are great measures of engagement on your site and with your content. Obviously a user compelled by your content is going to hang around and explore your site further.

These are both relatively easy metrics to find, and can give great insight into the performance of your content, and the ease of navigation through your site. Let’s find out how you stack up.

Where to Find It

Your site-wide bounce rate and average session duration can easily be found within Google Analytics under Audience > Overview:

 

seo-benchmarks
 

What to Measure

As usual, we’d encourage you not to look at this metric in a vacuum, as your goal for every page on your site might not be to keep the user there as long as possible.

So instead of looking at your site-wide bounce rate and average time on page, drill-down to individual pages and segment them by goal. Obviously you’d want blog content to have a low bounce rate and a high time on page. But signup pages should ideally have a low time on page and very low bounce rate.

You can drill-down on individual pages by navigating to Behavior > Overview and Audience > Behavior > Engagement.

Where to Find Competitor Data

We’re going back to Analytics to see how your competition measures up. As before, navigate to Audience > Benchmarking > Channels. Make sure your site information is correct and then check out the data!

 

seo-benchmarks
 

Hopefully these key SEO benchmarks have been helpful and you have a better idea of how you’re performing compared to your competition.

Now it’s time for you to get to work and put some space between your numbers and theirs!

Comments

Comments are disabled for this post

Monitor Backlinks

Free 30-day trial with Monitor Backlinks:

Discover your backlinks
Discover your competitors' backlinks
See Keyword rankings
Get E-mail alerts when you lose or gain new links

Use our free Backlink Checker to instantly get a list of backlinks for any website.