Google Analytics Website Benchmarking Newsletter

Google have just sent out the first Analytics Benchmarking Newsletter. This is a monthly newsletter seeks to analyise the statistical log data taken from hundreds of thousands of websites from around the World.  There isn’t a huge amount of data in this newsletter, however one itel of interest is the decline in the average no of page views per site visit, with a reduction from 4.9 pages per visit in 09 – 10 to 4.5 pages to visit in 10 – 11. This is probably simply a reflection of the ever growing depth of content on the web, making it increasingly more competitive to get a visitor and then to keep them.

Here is the Newsletter itself:
Google  Analytics Benchmarking Newsletter2011, Volume 1, July 2011

1. Introduction

Welcome to the first volume  of the Analytics Benchmarking Newsletter!

This month, we are replacing the standard “benchmarking” report in your Google Analytics account with data shared in this newsletter. We are using this
newsletter as an experiment to surface more useful or interesting data to Analytics users. Data contained here comes from all websites which have opted-in anonymous data sharing with Google Analytics. Only those website administrators which have enabled this anonymous
data sharing
will receive this “benchmarking” newsletter.

You may be wondering, how  many websites are in this “anonymous data sharing” pool? Currently, hundreds of thousands, and we’ve endeavored to make all of the metrics here statistically significant.

The date range of  comparison for this newsletter is from November 1, 2010 – February 1, 2011.
Comparison is done with data from November 1, 2009 – February 1, 2010.  Absolute metrics such as total # visits, pageviews, or conversions for all
opted-in websites are not reported.

To simplify the prose, the phrase “websites” will represent “websites which have opted into anonymous data sharing with Google Analytics” for the rest of this
newsletter.

2. Site Metrics

Compared to a year ago, websites have seen reduced pages / visit, average time on site, as well as
bounce rate.

11/1/09 – 2/1/10

11/1/10 – 2/1/11

Difference

Pages/Visit 4.9 4.5 -0.4
Bounce
Rate
48.2% 47.0% -1.2%
Avg
Time on Site
5:49 5:23 -0:26

2.1 Breakdown by Geography

Our anonymous database has aggregated geographic breakdown at the country level. Here are a few representative countries and their respective aggregate metrics. The first number in each cell represents the metric for the date range 11/1/10-2/1/11.
The parenthesized number is the Year over Year delta compared to a year ago.

Country

Pages / Visit

Bounce Rate

Avg Time on Site

United
States
4.7
(-0.1)
42.5%
(-6.1%)
6:06
(-0:10)
United
Kingdom
4.9
(-0.3)
41.5%
(+0.2%)
5:38
(-0.27)
France 4.4
(-0.4)
49.7%
(+1.4%)
4:40
(-0:08)
Brazil 4.1
(-0.1)
47.8%
(-2.9%)
5:20
(+0:03)
China 4.1
(-0.1)
58.2%
(+1.0%)
3:46
(+0:37)
Japan 3.9
(-0.1)
48.6%
(-9.0%)
3:47
(-2:59)

For bounce rate, the distribution by country is plotted below:

The distribution above is annotated with some countries — which seem to indicate a story of leisure and stage of economic development.
For a related metric: average time on site, the distribution by country is  plotted below:

The type of countries  annotated in the average time on site graph above seem to be in reverse order  as those in the bounce rate distribution.

2.2 Breakdown by Traffic Sources

Traffic sources below are  identified by how the “source” and “medium””” parameters are received by the Google Analytics collecting servers. Here is
an article  describing what these designations refer to.

Traffic Sources

Pages / Visit

Bounce Rate

Avg Time on Site

Direct 4.0
(-0.5)
47.2%
(-4.0%)
5:21
(-0:07)
Referral 5.0
(+0.1)
43.1%
(-1.1%)
6:36
(-1:48)
Organic
Search
4.9
(-0.1)
47.9%
(-1.1%)
4:43
(+0:06)
CPC
Search
5.6
(+0.0)
41.4
(-1.7%)
3:57(+0:07)

2.4 Conversion Rate Distribution

Many marketers’ favorite  metric is conversion rate. Here is the worldwide distribution of Google Analytics “goal conversion rate” by country.

Would anyone have guessed that states which are known for conversions are also high for their citizens’ goal conversion rate? Note that for some states with few population, the statistical significance of the conversion metric comes into doubt.

3. Traffic Sources

Traffic sources below are identified by how the “source” and “medium” parameters are received by the Google Analytics collecting servers. Here is an article
describing what these designations refer to.

% Visits from Sources

11/1/09 – 2/1/10

11/1/10 – 2/1/11

Difference

Direct 36.5% 36.8% +0.3%
Referral 21.0% 19.4% -1.6%
Search
Engines
27.0% 28.0% +1.0%
Other 15.5% 15.8% +0.3%

4. Operating Systems

Browsers and Operation Systems (OS) are identified by the “referrer” string sent by users’ browsers.

% Visits from OS

11/1/09 – 2/1/10

11/1/10 – 2/1/11

Difference

Windows 89.9% 84.8% -5.1%
Macintosh 4.5% 5.2% +0.7%
Linux 0.6% 0.7% +0.1%
Other 5% 9.3% +4.3%

5. Comments

This is the first volume of our Analytics Benchmarking Newsletter. We hope that it provides useful isights. If you have specific comments or suggestions on how to improve this newsletter, please send your feedback to: analytics-benchmarking@google.com.

Happy analyzing,

Google Analytics Team


Email preferences: You have received this
message as part of the Benchmarking feature in Google Analytics. To stop
receiving the Benchmarking report, you can turn off Anonymous data sharing in
Google Analytics account settings. Google Inc.

Copyright
2011. Google is a trademark of Google Inc. All other company and product
names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are
associated. 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View, CA 94043

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