Currently, it's difficult to compare your own metrics to industry benchmarks other than at the highest level of traffic. Yes, you can use some of the different competitive data providers, such as Compete, comScore, and Hitwise. Outside a few specific industries, though, it may be difficult to compare your conversions with others'.

And when industry reports poll different companies on performance, the results must be taken with a grain of salt. You must determine how they define the action, cross your fingers that everyone followed the same methodology, and hope to measure yours the same way. Again, this can be done a lot more easily when looking at higher-level metrics, but it becomes difficult when you look at the more granular ones.

Standards help define industry benchmarks and allow people to more easily compare themselves to others, to establish best practices, and to improve site performance.

Get the full story at ClickZ