In web analytics, it’s best to focus on your own data and on improving. Use yourself as the benchmark. This is your best strategy for two reasons:
Lack of accurate benchmarks
Accurate, internet- or industry-wide data on keyword searches, or competitors, or just about anything else, is scarce. Non-existent, really.
- ‘Panel’-based statistics like Compete.com (which I love) and Alexa (which I’m starting to like again) sweep in an incredibly wide range of web sites. The bounce rate on your online bike shop won’t compare to, say, the bounce rate on the New York Times web site.
- Statistics within your own industry will include outliers at both end of the spectrum: At one end are the companies that have invested 100x your budget to become the shining pinnacle of conversion rate optimization. At the other, you’ll be comparing yourself to the sites designed according to 1992 best practices. Even if you can narrow down the data in #1, it’ll be inaccurate..
- Keyword data from Google is about as trustworthy as a credit default swap.
- Keyword data from other sources may be more trustworthy, but shows you a tiny sliver of total search traffic.