Why use SEO benchmarks to set objectives?

There are typically two types of benchmarks in digital marketing to better understand your SEO performance. The first type of benchmark involves comparing your current site metrics to your historical metrics on a yearly, quarterly, or monthly cadence. This benchmark is a singular view of your brand’s progress. The second type of benchmarking compares your brand against an industry standard.

Benchmarking against competitors can be challenging to navigate in SEO. There are a wide variety of differences in digital marketing strategies that companies deploy to drive digital awareness. Industry-specific benchmarks are an incredibly valuable way to compare your brand to competitors within the same space and fine-tune your SEO strategy to maximize visibility in SERP.

SEO is an ever-changing landscape that requires both a methodical sound strategy and the ability to pivot and adjust with agility. Benchmarks allow digital marketers and SEO practitioners to create reasonable, measured goals. Leveraging benchmarks also helps you understand where your domain stands in the industry and whether the strategies you’re implementing are helping or not. Industry benchmarking makes it possible to analyze competitors’ digital strategies to unveil which tactics enable them to rise in the ranks and how to tailor your search strategy accordingly.

Organic search traffic benchmarks by industry

Website traffic comes from many different channels, including organic, direct, paid, referral, and social. Organic traffic consists of the total amount of visitors coming to your website from search engines. Organic is arguably the most crucial form of traffic since it connects the right audience to your site and helps you answer pertinent questions your future customers are asking. Organic is the only channel that produces reliable long-term traffic; in other words, this channel is not finite like paid or social. People are constantly searching, and—as long as your content stays live—it can continue to rank well for years when SEO practices are executed successfully.

Conductor analyzed over 450 domains and categorized them into five industries: finance, healthcare, retail, technology, and travel & hospitality. These industries were then further categorized into 22 subindustries to unlock more granular-level insights.

We found that, on average, organic search produces 44% of overall website traffic for these five key industries.

Overall Organic Benchmarks

Download the full report to dive into industry-specific insights such as:

  • Enterprise real estate domains fell within a range as wide as 23% to 65%, on average.
  • Domains related to the medical field (including hospitals and software) tend to receive about 50% of their traffic from organic. 
  • Organic traffic is the top traffic-driving channel for restaurants.

In understanding organic traffic trends, brands must also take into account fluctuations in total monthly organic traffic by industry. By comparing your domain’s organic traffic increase/decrease percentage to others in your industry, you can uncover insights into traffic decreases (like algorithm updates) or validate optimizations your team has made to your site.

Organic Marketing MoM Traffic Trends in 2021

This type of data analysis helps marketers understand if organic traffic is showing a pattern of moving towards a positive increase. For example, we found that both insurance and investment subindustries closed out the year with an increase in overall traffic going into 2022. 

Bounce rate and pageviews per visit benchmarks by industry  

This report focused on two site engagement metrics: bounce rate and pages per visit. Bounce rate is a metric based on when a user visits a page but leaves the site without interacting with the content or visiting other pages. Analyzing bounce rates allow digital marketers to understand more about the user experience and if their content aligns with the user’s search intent. The industry benchmarks for bounce rates provided in this report will help you evaluate how your site performs compared to others in your industry.

Overall, the average bounce rate across the five key industries is 44%. Finance and travel domains are seeing higher pages per visit and lower bounce rates compared to the other industries.

average bounce rate across industries

Pages per visit are also commonly referred to as: “pages per sessions” or “pageviews per visit.” The way to calculate this metric is by taking the total pages and dividing it by the total number of sessions. The result represents the total number of pages someone clicked on while visiting your website. This can be very telling for the user experience, and how engaged the user is with your site. Depending on the industry, pages per session can even correlate with conversions if a customer is farther along in their buyer’s journey.  

Overall, we found that 5 pages per visit is the average across all industries. After using Conductor’s research to find your industry’s pages per visit benchmark, use tools like the behavior flow chart in Google or Adobe Analytics to gain a better understanding of the user experience and journey users are going through to navigate the site.  

How does your site stack up?

Download our 2022 SEO Website Traffic Benchmarks report to find out where your site stands. Conductor compiled and analyzed over 90K searches per industry to determine which device types are bringing in the highest traffic, what top result types appear most often, and of those result types, which domains are owning the conversation.