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Essential Benchmarking Before You Furlough - Responding To Covid-19

Essential Benchmarking Before You Furlough - Responding To Covid-19

Although some industries production lines or sales have come to halt, our advice is where possible, carry on with your marketing. Google is not going to stop so the SEO shouldn’t be stopping.

If you put on the breaks and your competitors don’t, you’ve got a good chance of falling behind.

Dependent on your unique situation we recognise that some people can’t get onto their websites or it may be that the whole business has been furloughed.

If you’re in that situation we recommend you check out these things so you’ve got some data to go back to and compare how it’s impacted you and your business.


How To Benchmark Your Position In The Market

We understand that everything is a bit crazy at the moment with most people feeling like they’re in no man’s land. Things will go back to normal, it’s just not clear when.

When it does, it’s important to benchmark against where you’ve been pre-coronavirus so make sure to look at stats from the beginning of the year to the middle of March.


What Stats To Look At In Google Analytics

Get your information from Google Analytics (GA) and Google Search Console (GSC), these should already be plugged into your website for reporting. They are free, provided by Google, to help you understand your website performance and traffic.

On Google Analytics look at the following metrics to get a good idea of how your website is being used:

  • Most Popular Pages
  • How Long Are People Spending On-Site
  • Average Sessions Per Page
  • Bounce Rate

GA Stats Example

Look at the top 10 landing pages and top 10 most trafficked pages. This will give you complete clarity as to what pages are driving new visitors and which are the most popular.

This will allow you to understand what your website traffic has been for that last 3 months, particularly organic and direct traffic.


Using Google Search Console

Google Search Console shows you the key phrases people are using to find your website. It also shows you the impressions and actual click-throughs.

In GSC look at the key phrases, specifically the position they’re ranking for those phrases. To do this in GSC, go to ‘performance’ and download the data as an exported file. Try and measure from the start of the year to now to get a real insight.


Returning To Work

When business returns to normal, it may be difficult to know what to focus on first.

It could be tempting to just dive back in to posting on social media, creating new blog posts and organising new trade show stands.

But things may have changed.  you may be better off, or worse off.  There may be new opportunities for you to explore.

Review new data from GA & GSC to see if there are new trends in website visitor behaviour.  Are there more searches online for keywords that you’re not performing well for?  Have minor product pages on your site suddenly jumped into the top 10?  Have your page rankings improved or declined significantly?

These are signals that market behaviour has changed and you may need to respond by adjusting your marketing and communication tactics.

essential benchmarking before you furlough - response to covid-19

What Is Furloughing And What Can You Do Whilst Furloughed

The government has set up a Coronavirus Job Retention scheme to cover those that would otherwise lose their jobs.

You are still technically employed by your employer however you aren’t working. This is known as being ‘furloughed’.

The government will then only pay your employer if they have evidence you’ve been furloughed and aren’t working.


What Can You Do Whilst Furloughed

Whilst you are not allowed to undergo work for your employer whilst furloughed, you can still do training.

You might be thinking why now? There is a lot of uncertainty in all industries, it might be that the business you worked for has taken a big hit and has to get rid of part of its workforce when normality returns.

This means you may have to fight for your job or be amongst many others looking for new jobs. To make sure you get the job over a rival, get your training and certifications are up to date.

Is there more training you could do to further improve your skills?

Now is the time to prep your CV with high-quality accreditations that matter to your job role.

Many companies are moving their CPD to digital so people can continue their development.

Make sure you’re connected with the right people on LinkedIn to ensure you’re aware of the training that’s currently going on.


You can also spend this time to read some great books that will give you a different outlook on how things are done in your business, arming you with great strategy ideas.


There are currently a lot of people in the same boat, they don’t know what they can do to help or how to ensure they’ve still got their job at the end of this. Data doesn’t lie, so use the data you collect from Google to tell you how your market is reacting.

Use this as a benchmark when you structure your marketing plans when returning to work. If you are currently furloughed then concentrate on yourself, as you’re not allowed to work. Improve your skills with training, this can also lead to networking.

Reach out to people in similar positions and expand your network of people, you don’t know how valuable they may be in the future.