You can track your website’s SEO health compared to your competitors’ using Pardot – in other words, you can see how your content will likely display when prospects use a search engine. It’s a well known fact that the higher pages rank on search engine results, the more clicks it will receive, and so, increasing the chances of conversions.
With so many great features in Pardot, there are some that are often overlooked – my pick Pardot Competitor Monitoring. We’re going to go through this feature, and how you can interpret the data plus, how to enter competitors, and which metrics you should focus on for this particular report.
Pardot Competitor Monitoring Overview
The Competitor Monitoring report in Pardot displays the following SEO metrics:
- External equity links: Links from another website to yours, however, these links are from more reputable and popular sites, so their value is high.
- Alexa rank: A measure that compares how popular your site is compared to millions of other website.
- Page Authority: Grades how likely pages on that website will rank (display on higher on search engines results), out of 100 points.
- Domain Authority: Grades how likely the website will rank (display on higher on search engines results), out of 100 points.
- Links to Root Domain: The total number of internal and external, and both non-equity and equity links to the root domain.
- Root Domain External Links: The total number of links on your site that point to another website.
To find the Competitor Tracking in Pardot Lightning, navigate to: the Content tab → Search → Competitors. Below is an example of what the report looks like:
Add Competitors to Track
Once you’re on the Competitor Tracking page, click the ‘Add Competitor’ button above the table.
- Add the company name, followed by the URL.
- If you use tagging, like market, location, etc. then add these. Finally, click ‘Save’.
Keep in mind:
- Data can take up to an hour to populate.
- Once the data is there it is updated weekly by Pardot.
Now, let’s go through what this data means, and how to compare your data against the competition’.
External Equity Links
Links from another website to yours, however, these links are from more reputable and popular sites, so their value is high.
The interesting thing about external links is that experts believe they hold a significant amount of power when it comes to search engine rankings. If you have links to your website from an extremely high traffic, popular site (like Salesforce), it’s going to give you more credibility than a new site with little traffic. External “backlinks” as they’re also called, hold even more value than internal linking on your site, are considered a good metric of popularity and relevance to search engines, and likely increase your position SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
Desired outcome: The higher the better. You want more equity links (backlinks) to your site, it shows your site is a credible source
A measure that compares how popular your site is compared to millions of other website.
“Alexa rank is a measure of website popularity. It ranks millions of websites in order of popularity, with an Alexa Rank of 1 being the most popular. Alexa Rank reveals how a website is doing relative to all other sites, which makes it a great KPI for benchmarking and competitive analysis. Alexa rank is calculated…combining a site’s estimated traffic and visitor engagement over the past three months.” source: Alexa.
Desired outcome: The lower the number, the better. For example, Salesforce has an Alexa Rank of 88, while another of your competitors has a ranking of 348,109; Salesforce, with an 88 has a much better ranking.
Grades how likely pages on that website will rank (display on higher on search engines results), out of 100 points.
With page authority, the higher the value, the more likely the search engine will display your page higher in the results. The value is based on factors like keyword usage, links to authoritative sources, page load time, clearly defined sections, and an overall good domain reputation.
So, they’re not only grading the content and the links on your page but the structure and how long it takes to load.
Factors that can hurt your page authority are keyword stuffing, links to 404 errors, duplicate content, hidden text or links, and elements on the page that behave unnaturally.
Desired outcome: You want your grade to be closer to 100.
- Scores 40 through 50 are considered average.
- Scores 50 through 60 are considered good.
- Scores above 60 are excellent.
Grades how likely the website will rank (display on higher on search engines results), out of 100 points.
Domain authority, also known as domain rating, is a quick grade of your overall website’s health, in other words, it’s not just about an individual page. It’s an algorithm that scores your site based on the chances it could rank.
Domain authority is calculated by the following considerations: root domains, number of referring links, number of authoritative backlinks, and the overall trustworthiness of its links. Improving your domain authority can be done by producing consistent and good content on your site.
Desired outcome: You want your grade to be closer to 100. Domain authority shares the same thresholds as page authority.
Links to Root Domain
The total number of internal and external, and both non-equity and equity links to the root domain.
This one is all about quality. Let’s break this down a bit.
What is the root domain? The root domain is the main website URL (vs a subdomain). For example, roycon.com is our root domain, but a subdomain could be blog.roycon.com.
What’s the difference between non-equity and equity links? Some links will pass authority from one site to another. Previously referred to as link juice, it takes into consideration that s So an equity link can have a higher value than a non-equity link, this is based on factors such as the linking pages authority and content relevance. So when we’re looking at this metric, links to the root domain, it doesn’t just consider the number of links to the root domain, but the quality as well.
Desired outcome: The higher the number the better. You want to have more quality and equitable links pointing to your site.
Root Domain External Links
The total number of links on your site that point to another website.
The previous data point, Links to Root Domain talks about quality links pointing to your site, and so this data point is the opposite – it’s the quality links that you point to from your site.
Commonly referred to as an outbound link, this essentially means you’re adding a hyperlink on your site and pointing it to another site, but a quality site. This is one of the best ways to boost your ranking on SERP’s (Search Engine Results Pages) because when you link to reliable sources, it tells Google (and other search engines) that your website content is quality. In turn, it can also help you to earn backlinks from other sites, which creates a natural linking environment (improving your SERP).
Just keep in mind that excessive outgoing links can create a bad user experience, so be selective, and choose quality links. When you think about a quality link it would be one that is from a credible domain, authoritative in the subject you’re talking about, is relevant to the content on the page, and appears naturally in the text.
Desired outcome: The higher the number, the better. You want to link to credible sources, just be sure to sprinkle these links on your site, and not stuff them on specific pages – it should appear natural.
In some cases, I indicated where you’d want the metric to fall. It’s hard to give benchmarks because each industry, company size, and type will have different benchmarks. For example, a small local store wouldn’t compare itself to an international department store.
So, in order to find the right metrics to compare your company to, enter in some of your competitors and see where you stand against the competition. You’ll be able to see where you excel and where you may need improvement when it comes to your competition, so you can start to rank higher in SERPs.
Now you know how to access the Competitor Tracking report, enter competitors, plus interpret and compare your data to your competitors’.
There are so many different SEO and website analytics tools out there, but the reason I like the built-in Pardot one is that I’m generally always working in Pardot. Sometimes it’s nice to just hop over and see how we’re doing.
One thing to keep in mind is that the data refreshes every week, and once it does, it overwrites the previous data. So if you’re going to be looking at this data often I’d recommend keeping track of it elsewhere, to track who is improving/which metrics over time. You can export the data into a CSV/spreadsheet using the “Tools” dropdown → ‘CSV Export’.
This is important to do especially if you are making SEO optimizations – you need to prove your efforts are making a difference!
If you need help tracking your competitor SEO in Pardot, feel free to reach out to us, we’d love to help!