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Digital Benchmarks – What and How to Measure

By May 9, 2024Digital

At HS, we love to talk about the importance of digital in your advertising mix. Be it in the form of social media, search, online content, website, e-mail marketing and more, it’s an important element of what you do. But how do you measure it? And how do you set digital benchmarks to help you make the right decisions?

Here, we discuss digital benchmarks and how you can best set your business up for online success.

Setting and Tracking Your Benchmarks

A digital benchmark is simply a goal you set for your online interactions. To set and hopefully exceed your benchmarks, it’s essential to track your history. Here are several benchmarks to consider tracking:

  1. Website Traffic – Number of visitors, popular pages
  2. SEO – Search rankings, organic and paid
  3. Content Marketing – Interactions with videos, white papers, etc.
  4. Social Media – Likes, shares and comments
  5. Email Marketing – Open rates, link or CTA interactions
  6. Paid Advertising – Digital ad clicks, views
  7. Reputation Ranking – Star reviews, comments
  8. Customer Experience – Broad ‘extensive’ research, customer surveys

While you may not have all of the above in your advertising mix, it’s important to measure the things you do have. The HS digital team works with our clients to do monthly reporting and analysis on the above benchmarks. We help not only set them, but measure them and adjust accordingly. This is invaluable knowledge that helps you determine what’s next and ensures the most efficient advertising investment and effort.

Social Media Benchmarks

Social media platforms have become indispensable tools for businesses to engage with their audience and drive brand awareness. Here are three key benchmarks to track:

  1. Engagement Rate: This metric measures the level of interaction your content receives relative to your total audience. It encompasses likes, comments, shares, and other forms of engagement. The national average engagement rate across industries is approximately 1.5% to 3%.
  2. Click-Through Rate (CTR): CTR indicates the percentage of users who click on a link or call-to-action (CTA) after viewing your social media content. The average CTR varies across platforms but generally ranges from 0.5% to 1.5%.
  3. Follower Growth Rate: Follower growth rate measures the rate at which your social media audience is expanding over a specific period. While there’s no fixed benchmark, a healthy growth rate is typically around 1-2% monthly.
  4. Average Video View Duration: This metric measures the average length of time users watch your videos on social media platforms. It provides insights into content effectiveness and audience engagement. The national average for average video view duration varies across platforms but generally ranges from 6 to 15 seconds.

Google Ads Benchmarks

Google Ads is a powerful platform for reaching potential customers actively searching for products or services. Here are three crucial benchmarks to monitor:

  1. Click-Through Rate (CTR): Similar to social media, CTR in Google Ads indicates the percentage of users who click on your ad after seeing it. The average CTR across all industries on Google Search Ads is around 1.91%. Breaking these down into different sectors is important as well:
    1. Healthcare Industry – CTR Range: 2.41% to 3.48%
    2. Financial Services – CTR Range: 2.65% to 3.71%
    3. Retail – CTR Range: 2.09% to 3.36%
    4. Business-to-Business (B2B) – CTR Range: 2.55% to 3.65%
  2. Conversion Rate: Conversion rate measures the percentage of users who take a desired action after clicking on your ad, such as making a purchase or filling out a form. The average conversion rate varies widely by industry but typically falls between 2% to 5%.
  3. Search Impression Share (SIS): Search Impression Share measures the percentage of impressions your ads receive compared to the total number of impressions they were eligible to receive. It indicates the extent to which your ads are reaching potential customers searching for relevant keywords. The national average SIS varies by industry but generally ranges from 50% to 80%.

Google Analytics Benchmarks

Google Analytics provides comprehensive insights into website performance and user behavior. Here are three key benchmarks to consider:

  1. Engagement Rate: Engagement Rate measures the level of user interaction with your website, including page views, time spent on site, and interactions with various elements such as videos, forms, and downloads. It provides insights into the overall effectiveness of your content and user experience. The national average engagement rate varies by industry but generally ranges from 2% to 4%.
  2. Average Session Duration: This metric indicates the average amount of time visitors spend on your website per session. The national average varies but typically falls between 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Goal Conversion Rate: Goal conversion rate tracks the percentage of users who complete a specific goal, such as signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase. The average conversion rate varies widely by industry but generally ranges from 2% to 5%..

Email Marketing Benchmarks

Email marketing remains one of the most effective channels for nurturing leads and driving conversions. Here are three essential benchmarks to track:

  1. Open Rate: Open rate measures the percentage of recipients who open your email. The average open rate across industries is approximately 15% to 25%.
  2. Click-Through Rate (CTR): CTR in email marketing indicates the percentage of recipients who click on a link or CTA within your email. The average CTR typically ranges from 2% to 5%.
  3. Conversion Rate: Email conversion rate measures the percentage of recipients who complete a desired action, such as making a purchase, after clicking on a link in your email. The average conversion rate varies but generally falls between 1% to 3%.

Don’t Forget About the Importance of Content

Whatever benchmarks you set and hope to achieve, don’t forget about content.

In an online world of algorithms, analytics, data and rules, creative messaging is still important.

  • Is your message short and to the point?
  • Can it break through the clutter?
  • Are you asking someone to act with a strong Call to Action?
  • And are you playing by the rules that will make sure your content isn’t flagged?

These are important, especially in an online world where rules, specs, platforms and best practices are constantly changing.

While industry benchmarks provide valuable reference points, it’s essential to remember that every business is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Regularly monitoring and measuring your own statistics month to month is critical for assessing the effectiveness of your digital marketing efforts and making informed decisions to drive success.

Do you need help navigating the complexities of digital advertising and digital benchmarks? HS can help.

Book a meeting today or email us at to see how.

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