Digital Marketing Benchmarks & KPIs - How To Compare Your Performance







James Fratzke

Partner & Executive Strategist,

Head of Client Success



Marketing leaders continue to face historic pressure to deliver more results with less: less budget, less headcount, and less resources. Does this sound familiar? If you’re a marketer in the 21st century, it should.

Marketing leaders are under increased pressure to make every dollar count. Even after a slight rise in average marketing budgets in 2022, budget growth has slowed in our post-pandemic world, with economic uncertainty on the horizon.

With so many competing priorities, what's the best way to measure your performance, allocate your budgets, and make better strategic decisions? The answer is digital marketing benchmarks.

Benchmarking your marketing performance is a powerful way to clear the fog of war and get clarity about how your brand stacks up to competitors, industry data, and best practices. 

In this article, we will cover the basics of digital benchmarking and share some of the most important digital marketing KPIs to benchmark, audit, and track for your brand.

What are digital marketing benchmarks?

Digital marketing benchmarks are metrics you can use to compare your brand’s online performance to competitors and against best practices. Marketing benchmarking allows you to measure digital marketing performance and optimize your digital marketing strategy.

When comparing your online data to digital benchmarks, you need to look at the most important key performance indicators (KPIs) across critical marketing channels like your website, social media, and others.

Let’s take a look at the essential digital marketing KPIs to benchmark.

Top Digital Benchmarks

Below are the most important digital benchmarks to audit, track, and measure.

  1. Website Benchmarks
  2. SEO Benchmarks
  3. Content Marketing Benchmarks
  4. Social Media Benchmarks
  5. Email Marketing Benchmarks
  6. Paid Advertising Benchmarks
  7. Reputation Benchmarks
  8. Customer Experience Benchmarks

In today's competitive digital-first world, marketing leaders can use reliable benchmark data to help act as a guiding light for making better decisions, faster.

Digital Marketing Benchmark Audit By The Numbers Value Propositions Graphic

Website Benchmarks

Your brand's website is the cornerstone of a successful digital marketing strategy. When your site meets or exceeds industry benchmarks, it acts as an authoritative place for brand storytelling and can help build customer loyalty.

There are thousands of metrics you could benchmark, but here are the KPIs that matter most for digital marketing.

Website traffic and engagement benchmarks

Start by auditing your site's traffic and engagement performance with these benchmarks. Your audit results will tell you about your most engaging content and provide clues on how to optimize and create more of it.

  • New User Growth Rate - Measures the percentage of new site users you gain over a defined period of time
  • Returning User Growth Rate - Measures the percentage of returning site users you gain over a defined period of time
  • Traffic by Channel - Measures the percentage of site traffic you acquire from different digital channels such as organic, referral, and social media
  • Conversion Rate (CVR) - Measures the percentage of users who have completed a desired action
  • Bounce Rates - Measures how often users only view one page on your site before they bounce off your site
  • Sessions - Measures a period of time in which a user interacts with your website
  • Page Views - Measures the number of pages every time someone starts a session 
  • Average Session Duration - Measures the average length of sessions on your website
  • Revenue Growth Rate - Measures the percentage of revenue your site gained over a defined period of time

Mobile-friendliness and site speed benchmarks

Modern customers expect fast loading websites that look great on any screen size or device. Comparing your site with these mobile-friendly and site speed benchmarks helps ensure that your site meets customer expectations.

More traffic is coming from mobile devices, in fact, globally it’s more than half (58%). Additionally, 54% of users say their frustration levels increase as page load times slow down.

  • Mobile Friendliness - Measures the mobile responsiveness of your site
  • Traffic by Device - Measures the percentage of site traffic you acquire from different devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers
  • Page Speed Performance - Measures page loading times on your site
Responsive Website Design Example - Desktop to Mobile
Example of responsive website design - desktop website design versus mobile website design

Conversion rate benchmarks

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is the process of enhancing your website's ability to  generate more leads and customers. This process includes auditing key elements of your customer's user journey and looking for ways to remove friction.

To improve your sites conversion rate benchmark these site elements:

  • Homepage
  • Calls to action (CTA)
  • Lead Forms
  • Shop and Product Pages
  • High Performing Blog Pages
  • Retargeting Ad Campaigns

User experience benchmarks

When it comes to user experience (UX) your site visitors want to find what they are looking for in three clicks or less.  Benchmarking the below website elements against best practices will ensure the most enjoyable user experience possible.

  • Site Navigation - Includes all site elements, visual cues, and links that help users click through content on your website
  • Branch Locator - Helps users find branch location information, directions, products, and contact information
  • Site Search - Site functionality that helps users find content on your site using keyword searches 
  • Personalization Activations - Element on your website that can be customized to each individual users preferences and data
Website Experience Example of a Branch Locator
Example of branch locator following best practices - Service Partners Case Study

Ecommerce benchmarks

If your brand sells products online via an ecommerce store, it’s important to expand your digital marketing audit to include online shopping benchmarks and best practices. 

It’s no secret that online shopping has increased post-pandemic, and according to Google, 54% of shoppers say they visit multiple websites before settling on what to buy and who to buy it from. Comparing your site's performance to digital benchmarks will help you attract new customers and increase the bottom line.

  • Revenue Growth - At what rate is your site's revenue growing?
  • Shop Experience - How easy is it for customers to find the products they desire?
  • Product Page Experience - How detailed are your product pages?
  • Cart Experience - Does your cart experience follow best practices?
  • Checkout Experience - Does your checkout experience follow best practices?
  • Post-Purchase Experience - After a purchase is complete how does your post-purchase experience compare to competitors?

Related Resources:

SEO Benchmarking

In order to properly benchmark SEO performance, it is important to understand exactly what search engine optimization (SEO) is. In simple terms, SEO helps your website rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs) driving organic traffic to your website.

It's estimated that there are approximately 63,000 search queries every second on Google and 39% of purchasers are influenced by relevant searches. No wonder 69% of marketers believe investing in SEO is a top priority. Here are the SEO benchmarks that matter most.

  • Keyword Rankings - The position your pages rank in SERPs for relevant keyword searches
  • Organic Traffic - The traffic your pages receive from search engines like Google and Bing
  • Domain Authority - Measures how authoritative your site is to search engines based on backlinks and other ranking factors
  • Time Spent on Page - Average time that people spent viewing or reading your content.
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR) - Measures the percentage of people who saw your website in SERPs and clicked on the link
  • Bounce Rate - Measures how often users only view one page on your site before they bounce off your site
  • Returning Visitors Rate - Measures the percentage of returning site users you gain over a defined period of time
  • Branded vs. Non-Branded Keywords - Branded keywords contain your brand name. Non-branded keywords are words or phrases that relate to your products or services. Both are valuable, but for different reasons.
  • On-page, Off-page, and Technical SEO Best Practices - Does your site follow the essential SEO best practices?
Graph Displaying Top SEO KPIs According to Marketing Leaders
This graph shows what SEO benchmarks marketing leaders use to measure the success of their SEO strategy

Related Resources:

Local Search Benchmarks

Whether you're a multi-location or single-location brand you need a national and local SEO strategy.

Google’s algorithm is very complex. It incorporates the user's search intent, quarry, and location to determine the best version of the SERP to show. Data shows that people who search with local intent are likely to buy - 28% of local searches lead to purchases.

Comparing your search performance to the local SEO benchmarks below will allow you to optimize your local search strategy and stand out in local SERPs.

  • Keyword Rankings - The position your pages rank in SERPs for relevant keyword searches
  • Organic Traffic - The traffic your pages receive from search engines like Google and Bing
  • Local Search Ranking Factors - The essential list of best practices that factor into the local search algorithms
Table Explaining the Difference Between Local SEO and National SEO
This table explains the difference between Local SEO and National SEO

Google Business Profile Benchmarks

If a user is searching for an item “near me” or they include a city, metro, or some other local parameter, Google will often display the Local Pack in the SERP, giving marketers yet another opportunity to capture the attention of potential customers.

Optimizing your Google Business Profile will help you outrank your competitors in the local pack and on Google Maps, here are the most important profile elements to benchmark.

  • Reviews (ratings, quantity, and frequency)
  • Images (quantity and quality)
  • NAP Data (name, address, and phone number)
  • Account Verification Status
  • Products and/or Services Displayed
  • Primary Category Accuracy
Example of A Google Business Profile and Best Practices
Example of a Starbucks Google Business Profile and optimization best practices

Related Resources

Email Marketing Benchmarks

Email marketing is one of the oldest and time-tested digital marketing channels. Email marketing generates $42 for every $1 spent. That’s a 4,200% return on investment (ROI), making it one of the most effective strategies available to your marketing team.

Here are the email marketing benchmarks that matter most:

  • Delivery rate - Measures how many sent emails were successfully delivered
  • Open rate - Measures how many people opened your email
  • Click-through rate (CTR) - Measures how many people clicked on a link in your email
  • Conversion rate - Measure how many people took the desired action from your email campaign
  • Audience size - Measures the size of your subscriber audience
  • Opt-in Rate - Measures the percentage of site visitors who subscribe to your email list
  • List growth rate - Measures the percentage of new subscribers you gain over a defined period of time
  • Unsubscribe rate - Measures the percentage of unsubscribes over a defined period of time
Email Marketing Statistic - Every Dollar Spent Generates Forty-Two

Social Media Benchmarks

When benchmarking your social media strategy, make sure you focus on the platforms that are most meaningful to your brand. 

In general, the three largest social media platforms with the most diverse audiences include Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Generally speaking, all three platforms will have similar engagement data that can be audited.

Below are the social media benchmarks that matter most.

  • Followers - How large is your audience on each platform
  • Activity (Post Frequency) - How often do you post on each platform compared to competitors
  • Engagement Rate - How often does your audience engage with your posts (likes, comments, shares, clicks, etc.)
  • Engagement by Post Type - Do certain post types get better engagement than others? (ie. videos versus static images).
  • Video Engagement by Length - Do shorter or longer videos get better engagement?
Graph Displaying Most Used Social Media Platforms For Brands
This graph shows the most used social media platforms for brands according to marketing leaders

Content Marketing Benchmarks

Content marketing is the practice of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain customers. This is why benchmarking your content marketing compared to your competitors is so important. When reviewing your content marketing strategy look at these benchmarks.

Content Performance Benchmarking

  • Visitors – The number of people that have visited your site
  • Conversion Rate (CVR) The percentage of site visitors who become customers
  • Opt-In Rate – The percentage of visitors who sign up for your email marketing
  • Traffic Sources – What channels your visitors come from
  • Rate of Returning Visitors – Visitors who return to your site more than once
  • Duration of Visit – How long visitor spend on your site

Content Creation Benchmarking

  • Content Output - Measures how often your marketing team creates and publishes content
  • Content Quality - Refers to the overall quality of the content your marketing team creates

Content Mix Benchmarking

When benchmarking your content mix, it’s important to compare what types of content you are creating versus your competition. Potential content types include:

  • Blogs
  • Videos
  • Downloads
  • Whitepapers
  • Podcasts
  • Webinars
  • and more!
Graph Displaying Most Used Content Types For Content Marketing Strategy
This graph shows the most used content types for content marketing according to marketing leaders

Related Resources:

Digital Advertising Benchmarks

The jury is still out on the future of digital advertising with industry leaders like Apple setting privacy standards higher than ever before and firing a massive shot across the bow at advertising companies like Facebook and Google

Even with uncertainty around technology and targeting capabilities, digital advertising is still a large piece of many marketing budgets. Here are the digital advertising benchmarks that matter most.

  • Average Reach / Impressions - Measures the number of people who saw your advertisement
  • Average Cost Per Click (CPC) - Measures how much you paid for each click on your ads
  • Average Click-Through Rate (CTR) - Measures the percentage of people who saw your ads and clicked on them
  • Average Cost Per Action (CPA) - Measures the cost you paid for each desired action taken by a user, like a form conversion
  • Average Conversion Rate (CVR) - Measures the number of users who converted as a percentage of the total number of users who interacted with your ads
  • Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) - Measures the amount of revenue earned for every dollar spent on advertising

Top digital advertising platform

There are many digital advertising platforms. Here are some of the most popular.

  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM) - Used to boost your brand's visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs)
  • Social Media Advertising - Used for paid social campaigns to boost your brand's visibility on sites like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and others.
  • Display Advertising - Used to build brand awareness by displaying ads with images, videos, or gifs to users on websites or apps.
  • Video Advertising - Used to help improve your brand's online visibility in search results, social media, and around the web on sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.
  • Shopping and Product Advertising - Used to promote specific products on sites like Google, Instagram, and Amazon.
Image Showing Examples of Different Digital Ad Placements
Four examples of different digital advertising platforms and their ad placements

Online Reputation Management Benchmarks

Auditing online reputation benchmarks like Google ratings and reviews is table stakes in today's world where bad news travels fast! Customers look for and trust online reviews. 

According to research from BrightLocal, 79% of consumers say they trust the reviews they read online as much as a personal recommendation. When benchmarking your brand's online reputation, you need to audit these three types of sites.

  • Customer review sites - Google, Yelp, Better Business Bureau (BBB), and Trust Pilot
  • Company review sites - Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and Indeed‍
  • Online court of public opinion - Google Search, Facebook, and Twitter
Three Examples of Online Reputation Platforms
Diagram showing three online reputation examples

Customer Review Site Benchmarking

Here are the customer ratings and review benchmarks that matter most on sites like Google and Yelp.

  • Average Star Rating
  • Volume of Reviews
  • Frequency of Reviews
  • Freshness of Reviews
  • Sentiment or Reviews
  • Review Response Rate
  • Review Response Time
  • Review Response Personalization

Company Review Site Benchmarking

Company review sites play a big part in a brand's online reputation. What your employees say about your company culture and your employer brand helps paint a picture of whether your brand's values match up with theirs.

Crafting the right internal communications strategy can go a long way in making sure your employees leave positive reviews and ratings on sites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn. 

When benchmarking these sites, a lot of the metrics above still apply, but you will want to put a special focus on these metrics.

  • Retention rate
  • Employee engagement
  • Employee satisfaction
  • Overall company rating
  • CEO approval rating
How Internal and External Reviews Makeup Your Brand Reputation
Both internal reviews and external reviews make up your brand reputation

Online court of public opinion

When benchmarking your brand's online reputation, it’s not enough to audit your customer and company reviews and ratings. You need to go one layer deeper. 

I call this category the online court of public opinion. 

Your brand's online reputation can be made or broken by the articles that show up when you Google search your company, the press coverage you receive from the media or fan bloggers, and even what people are saying on social media. Make sure you benchmark these corners of the online universe.

  • Google SERPs
  • Press coverage
  • Blog posts on other websites
  • Forums
  • Social media

Customer Experience Benchmarking

One common thread that connects all the digital benchmarks mentioned above is Customer Experience (CX). Marketers and organizations alike are putting more emphasis on customer experience as a key differentiator in today's competitive landscape. Some of the best CX metrics to benchmark include.

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS) - Measures customer experience of your brand and provides a single metric to anchor your customer experience management efforts.
  • Customer Ratings and Reviews - Are your customers sharing positive or negative reviews online?
  • Social Media Sentiment - What do your customers say about your brand on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter?
  • Customer Journey Maps - A visual storyline of every engagement a customer has with your service, brand, or product.
  • Customer Satisfaction Surveys - Who do customers feel about your brand? The best way to measure, analyze, and benchmark your satisfaction is with customer surveys.

CX Strategy continues to grow in importance as brands try to map and optimize every touchpoint, emotion, and experience across the customer journey.

Flowchart and Examples of the Customer Journey Online
As potential customers navigate through the Customer Journey, provide valuable resources and content to help encourage their movement from Awareness to Loyalty.

Net Promoter Score Benchmarks

One way to keep a close eye on your customer experience is to use a Net Promoter Score (NPS). NPS is a widely used metric that is based on a single survey question asking respondents to rate the likelihood that they would recommend a company, product, or service to a friend or colleague.

By establishing your NPS, monitoring it, and benchmarking it over time your brand can have its finger on the pulse of how your reputation is trending.

Image Showing NPS Benchmarks
This chart shows how to measure and benchmark your NPS compared to other brands

Digital Marketing Benchmarks by Industry

One way to superpower your digital benchmarks is to use industry-specific data. At Fratzke, we’ve curated thousands of data points across many industries, allowing us to customize our Digital Marketing Benchmark Audit, for digital channels such as website, SEO, email marketing, social media, and digital advertising. Some of these industries include.

  • Agriculture and Food Services
  • Beauty and Personal Care
  • Business and Finance
  • Construction
  • Education and Training
  • Entertainment and Events
  • Health and Fitness
  • Home and Garden
  • Legal
  • Manufacturing
  • Non-Profit
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Restaurant
  • Retail
  • And more!

Using Digital Benchmarks to Perform a Digital Marketing Audit

In this article, we discuss what digital marketing KPIs and benchmarks are. Briefly, let’s discuss what you can do with digital benchmarks. One of the best ways to use the benchmark metrics discussed above is to conduct a full Digital Marketing Benchmark Audit or individual Digital Channel Health Audits, like an SEO Audit, Social Media Audit, Content Marketing Audit, or Website Audit.

Most digital marketing audits focus on tactics and bug fixes instead of comparing strategic benchmarks and best practices. Audits that include performance benchmarks provide reliable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that help set the context for your team's efforts and identify gaps. With benchmarks, you can bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to go.

Digital Marketing Benchmark Audit Value Propositions Graphic

Benchmark Marketing - Frequently Asked Questions

What is benchmarking in business?

Benchmarking in business is the process of comparing your company's performance metrics against those of your competitors or industry best practices. This can help identify areas for improvement and set goals for future performance.

What is benchmarking in marketing?

Benchmarking in marketing involves comparing a company's marketing performance or processes against those of its competitors or industry standards. In digital marketing, it involves comparing digital channel performance like websites, social media, email marketing and others to industry data and best practices. The aim of benchmarking is to measure, compare and improve marketing performance.

What is the definition of a benchmark?

A benchmark refers to a standard or point of reference against which things can be compared or assessed. It can also refer to a test or evaluation used to measure the performance or quality of something.

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The Takeaway

If you have more questions about digital marketing benchmarks and how you can use them to better understand your brand’s marketing performance, the Fratzke team is standing by to help. We have curated hundreds of the most important benchmark metrics across dozens of industries into one easy-to-understand Digital Marketing Benchmark Audit.

Our Digital Marketing Benchmark Audit has all the benchmark data and expert analysis you need to Measure, Benchmark, Compare, and Accelerate your digital marketing strategy forward - Leading to transformative growth.

The results we drive for our clients are real and measurable, check out our marketing case studies for yourself!

Visit our Digital Marketing Benchmark Audit page to learn more, and submit a contact form. We look forward to connecting with you.

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