What Are Category Entry Points, Why Do They Matter for Businesses, And How They Can Aid In The Success of Your Brand?

We all know marketing is crucial in selling products and services. You may have the best product or service available, however understanding category entry points (CEPs) may be the only path to hitting your sales targets. As such, it’s essential to understand the various marketing strategies and how to use them effectively. Let’s explore what CEPs are, their history and origin, and their benefits. And we’ll show you some examples of CEPs you can use in your marketing strategy.


What are Category Entry Points (CEPs)?

Category entry points, or CEPs, as they’re commonly known, are hints that individuals use to access their memories when faced with a buying situation. These entry points (or memory recalls) allow marketers to position and differentiate their product or service from other offerings in the market. They’re used to increase brand recognition, build customer loyalty, and the recall itself encourages customers to purchase your products or services. When you think of purchasing a product or service, the memory that comes to mind is where your search to fulfill your need will start – that’s a category entry point.


History and Origin of CEPs

The concept of category entry points was first introduced by LinkedIn Biz Institute. This platform provides business professionals with the skills and knowledge to help them succeed in their chosen fields. CEPs can be used to understand customer behavior and preferences better so marketers can create more effective marketing strategies.


Benefits of Category Entry Points

There are several benefits to using CEPs in your marketing strategy, including:

  • Increased brand recognition and awareness
  • Encouraging customer loyalty
  • Differentiating a product or service from competitors
  • Enhancing the overall buying experience
  • and more…

As we’ve seen, CEPs can be an effective way to improve your marketing strategy. Here are some examples of CEPs that you can use in your marketing efforts.

Examples of Category Entry Points


You can use this entry point to show customers that your product or service offers a higher quality than the competition. This can include using premium materials, craftsmanship, and technology in the design of your products or services.


With this entry point, you’re showcasing that your product or service is more affordable than comparable offerings in the market. By doing so, you’re appealing to customers looking for value and affordability.


This entry point focuses on offering customers more options when it comes to styles, sizes, and colors. This allows them to find exactly what they’re looking for without going from store to store.


Most of us know how vital customer service is today. This entry point focuses on providing customers with a personalized, friendly, and helpful experience when they purchase your product or service.


Convenience is also essential, especially in today’s digital world. Therefore, this entry point focuses on providing customers with an effortless way to purchase your product or service, such as offering online ordering and delivery options.


This entry point is about showcasing that your product or service offers something unique, such as a revolutionary new design or technology. By doing so, you’re appealing to customers looking for the latest and greatest offerings in the market.

While there are many category entry points that you can use in your marketing strategy, these examples should provide a good starting point. Remember that it’s crucial to understand your target audience before implementing any of these CEPs to ensure you use the most effective ones for your business.


memory association of coffee to starbucks - great brand recognitionHow to Leverage The Power of CEPs

Category entry points effectively differentiate your product or service from the competition, create customer loyalty and boost sales. As marketers, we should work to identify the most effective CEPs for our particular product or service. Doing so will help us create a more effective strategy. It’s that memory association and brand differentiation we want to create.

Take the time to research your target audience and determine which CEPs will be most effective for them. Find the entry point and focus on creating a natural association. For example, the smell of coffee in the morning triggers a trip to Starbucks, wanting a long lasting truck steers you to a toyota dealership, or wanting the latest and greatest technology guides your iphone launch purchases. Leverage the power of CEPs and create a successful marketing strategy that resonates with customers.

Increase brand recognition, improve customer loyalty and drive sales.


Need help?

And as always, we do this all the time. Reach out for guidance defining good category entry points in your marketing strategy.

Download our case study showing growth for our healthcare client while the industry loses organic momentum with the winddown of COVID pandemic

These are our top super bowl commercials from the bengals vs. the rams, 2021-2022 Super Bowl (FROM AN ADVERTISER’S PERSPECTIVE)

A lot of nostalgia going on in these commercials, so let’s get right into it.

NOTE: these are not in a particular order.

  1. E-Trade’s baby is back!

E-Trade is trying to catch fire again from their over-used baby commercials from years and years ago. It’s akin to the Budweiser folks trying to bring back the frogs. Both didn’t work. It’s fun, but not sure it’s enough to push the needle on people using sofi or robinhood instead.


  1. Toyota does well with emotions

A couple emotional commercials were produced for the super bowl by Toyota. The one that got me the most was the Paralympic brothers. Two brothers, one ages into macular degeneration, the other guides him through voice. Beautiful story and emotional.


  1. BMW + Arnold

This is just good suspense more than anything, the commercial was kind of a dud. But the build-up was great. They used Arnold’s social media to tease that the Terminator would be playing Zeus in an upcoming movie and to watch the Super Bowl for the announcement. It’s an overused play in the play book that works most of the time. It worked here and had plenty of media coverage prior to the game.


  1. Coinbase QR Code Ad

This was the worst, best, worst again advertisement ever. I had people texting me reactions to this. It’s the worst because of how boring it is and some of the colors didn’t work on TV. It’s the Best because EVERYONE scanned the code – the site even crashed at one point. And then it’s the worst again because the payoff was insanely underwhelming. Memes hit the internet almost immediately.
Coinbase Failed QR Code

  1. Meta’s Quest 2 Dog

We got back to nostalgia with Meta’s dog. A fun story about an old pizza parlor animatronic that finds life in the metaverse. He’s reunited with his friends – after a museum curator saves his life – on the Quest 2 device.


  1. Michelob pays the big bucks

Michelob went all out spending money on a ton of celebrities (mostly sports). Payton Manning (Hall-of-fame QB), Jimmy Butler (NBA Guard), Steve Buscemi (Teddy from the Big Lebowski), and they drop the mic when they roll out Serena Williams at the end.


  1. NFL Gaming Animations

The NFL didn’t really have a point to this commercial. If you were to try and pull one out of this commercial it’s a male vs. female equality message. The kids play a video game, the characters come to life and wreck their house, the parents return home to find the house in shambles. It’s just a really fun and entertaining piece.


  1. Google Pixel 6 Camera (w/ Lizzo)

Just a great commercial for a new product. This camera tries to tackle the issues with darker skin complexions. It’s been an issue with photography since the beginning of time. Camera’s have a hard time with darker skinned individuals. With Google’s Real Tone technology, they’re claiming that’s a thing of the past.


  1. Greenlight’s Ty Burrell is going broke!

Really well executed way to show us all (young and old alike) that saving still has a place in this new economy. Ty’s character buys everything he wants, but ends up going broke. Switch to the scene with a parent instructed his children on how to manage money. Greenlight is a debit card for kids, so this worked really well in my opinion.


  1. Alexa can read your mind

Funny ad spot with the couple in which their alexa becomes part of the family, then takes it a bit to far when she starts reading their minds. The hilarity grows as it switches back and forth in the minds of each spouse. Really funny way to give a nod to conspiracy theorists out there without being condescending.


  1. Scientology’s inspirational(?!?) attempt

It’s not a question about supporting scientology or not. Taking an objective point of view, the ad heavily targets the youth by taking advantage of the mental health issues plaguing this generation. It doesn’t work at all and is by far the worst commercial of the Super Bowl block.

Here’s text messages I received in real-time from two different people:
“Yo, did you see that scientology commercial? Creepy”
“That scientology commercial was too funny (sarcastic), how massive was the check to get that on there?”



Runner Ups

Paul Rudd and Seth Rogan for Lays

Ana Kendrick for Rocket Mortgage

Dr. Evil for General Motors

A good batch of runner ups, just a little overplayed.

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A guide to picking the Best SEO Agency for your needs

Search Engine Optimization is vital to making your online presence successful. You may operate an online e-commerce site or a brick-and-mortar business. Either way, SEO can help you garner new customers and produce hot leads. However, managing your online presence can be a full-time job. Not to mention confusing if you don’t have a lot of experience with internet marketing.

Having the right SEO agency working for you can make a world of difference for your business. Did you know that 85% of consumers look online before they commit to a purchase? So if potential customers can’t find your site online, you can easily miss a sale – or many sales. Finding a great SEO agency can help you rank higher for Google search queries, plus attract more customers searching for the goods or services you provide.

We’ve put together a guide to finding the best SEO agency, including important things to look for and a handy checklist for selecting the right SEO company for your needs.



How To Choose an SEO Company

Picking the right SEO agency for your needs is all about selecting a company whose experience aligns to your business needs. Do you wish to rate higher on search engine results pages? Are you having difficulty turning leads into conversions? Or do you have a specialized niche product/service that you want to increase visibility?

A great starting point might be an SEO agency’s case studies. A good case study in your industry can provide vital information in your search. A case study can also give you a glimpse of an agency’s processes. Look for hints that may indicate that an agency is on top of current SEO trends and changes that search engines like Google make with their algorithms. Are they including Google analytics data? Is there an understanding or analysis that is easy to understand? The case studies should also be relevant to your type of business – if you’re an e-commerce site, for example, you may not need to see the results from promoting a B2B supplier or an in-person service provider. The results from businesses like yours can also give you a rough indication of the kind of conversion rates you can expect. However, if you don’t sell directly from your website and instead rely on your online presence to generate leads, then you should ask for examples of similar lead generators.

Remember that good results mean different things to different stakeholders. Great results are those that help you achieve your goals. 



What Should I Look For in a Top SEO Company?

Rankings and increased traffic to your website are the basic measurements of success, and if an SEO agency can’t deliver those, you should look in a different direction. However, you’re in business to make money, so if higher rankings and better click-through rates aren’t generating more leads and conversions, then you won’t be able to meet your primary goals. The best SEO agencies can show you tangible, quantifiable success by helping clients increase revenues and broaden their reach for new customers.

Improving your SEO is a marathon (vs. a sprint), and a top SEO agency will constantly improve your digital presence. And SEO includes many aspects nowadays. A partner may evaluate your layout, speed/performance, content, and much more to drive more traffic and present new ways to improve. They’ll also be transparent with you throughout the process, using analytics and search console data to show improvements. Think of the number of unique visitors, behavior flow (how they found you), high-volume search queries, and the kind of content that’s most popular.



Do I Need a Specialized E-commerce SEO Agency?

Some SEO agencies specialize in e-commerce businesses, which have different needs than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Unlike physical stores, e-commerce sites rely solely on their internet presence for success. Often, E-commerce focused agencies have a deeper knowledge of what kind of SEO they need to optimize conversions from leads.

These agencies can also help you find additional unique keywords that gain interest across all the goods and services you offer, helping you find more niche customers and qualified leads. Visibility is also important, and often, e-commerce businesses find plenty of success including vibrant social media into their marketing.



What about an SEO Agency that specializes in B2B?

select an seo agency for b2b marketingB2B sales are a different animal (vs. B2C). Sure, people are people and reaching people and putting them through a funnel might be the same at an elementary level… however, having an SEO agency that understands the intricacies of the overall B2B sales cycle can be critical to your success. If your business works with larger corporations or if you’re a government supplier, having the right SEO to stand out from the crowd (and rank higher than your competition) is extremely important.

Business-to-business sales require a different approach than those designed to appeal directly to consumers. Often, business analysis and analytics can benefit B2B companies. Analytics data can be incorporated into an SEO Strategy to create rich and engaging content, giving further information about what each company delivers. Why is this important? To stand out from the competition. To find where the target B2B customer’s pressure point is and pushing on it to create sales.

SEO for B2B is all about understanding the intricacies of B2B buying stages. It impacts SEO, Content, Social, Email Marketing, Web Design, etc. Contact us if your SEO agency just doesn’t understand B2B!



Checklist For Finding the Best SEO Agency

There are a few things you can do to find the best SEO agency for your needs.


1. Ask Your Professional Network (People you Know and Respect in the Industry).

If you have a professional network, ask for recommendations about which Search Engine Optimization (SEO) agency to use. Or, look at successful businesses in your area, and ask them if they use a particular SEO company. Your professional network can give you an honest assessment of their experience with different agencies. LinkedIn is a great resource for such a thing, even if you don’t know a person, connect with someone you admire and ask their opinion on an SEO Agency referral.

Top SEO agencies will also show you their methodology for improving your SEO. This might include: site optimization, user experience and user interface suggestions, testing of headings/headlines, user flow and element placements, image optimizations, site link profiles, authority development recommendations, and much more. The more research that your agency does for your business and goals, the better they’ll be able to make the right choices for your website.

The best SEO agencies will also have transparent reporting, showing you how they calculated the increase in traffic. Your agency should start every engagement with a detailed scope that all parties agree to. And success can be measured by using several different tools or platforms to determine which keywords and content are contributing to increased traffic vs. which parts of your website need work.

2. Require an open, honest, and transparent estimate

Ask for costs upfront:

    • Where is your budget going?
    • Is there at least a description of services to be provided?
    • Is there recommendations vs. limits?

Some SEO agencies may be outside your budget, And be very cautious with low-cost SEO agencies. The adage, “you get what you pay for,” is most apparent in the world of Search Engine Optimization. If an agency isn’t charging much for services, they’re probably not providing the same quality of service vs. a reliable, cost-conscious agency would. A good agency will be able to determine how much work improving your website’s SEO will take, and price it accordingly.

An estimate should provide a line-by-line explanation of where your money is going, and how that money leads to success.

3. Determine What Success Looks Like Early

Ask how the SEO Agency quantifies results. Include tracking how your site ranks for Keywords over time (for Search Engine Results Pages’ sake) and what metrics they use to determine the success of their SEO campaign overall. The SEO campaign program/strategy is ultimately an effort to help your business make more money. And a top SEO agency will also show you how you perform with key performance indicators. These go well beyond tracking Organic Traffic only; also think about:

    • leads your site brings in,
    • conversion rates on contact forms,
    • direct, referral (and organic) traffic numbers
    • revenue generated (e-commerce),
    • and much more…

Ask the SEO agency for examples of recent websites that they’ve optimized with their SEO programs (and, if possible, the keyword rankings that they helped these sites achieve). Remember to look for the current examples – what worked five years ago for SEO is much different today. Some SEO programs in various marketing verticals simply take a while to show results. I think we all understand that. However, a good agency will still be able to show progress even if their business is in a difficult industry.

Once you have an idea of your desired results (KPIs establish, quarterly or bi-annual check-ins, etc.), pick the SEO agency that has experience helping other companies achieve similar goals. Remember, your SEO agency is your partner, and an SEO Program is a lot of back-and-forth collaboration. They get to know your goals and your business ins and outs. And that information drives some decisions. Combined with intuition and expertise, this should create a successful collaboration (over time) for both parties.

And if an estimated ROI isn’t part of the initial calculations for success… Contact us!


Do Your Own Research as the Final Step in Picking an SEO Agency4. Do Your Own Research and Make a Decision.

Check out the agency online. Peruse their social media presence and their website (note, some of the greatest ad agencies out there don’t post much on social – e.g., W+K, 72 and Sunny, etc. – that’s not the end of the world), but do you like what they’re posting? Does it align with your values? Are they making any political stances you disagree with?

Read reviews from other clients, and look at independent testimonials. It’s ok if they don’t have any reviews… remember, people usually post negative reviews before positive. So no reviews can be a great indicator. Also, look out for fake, overly positive reviews. They’re typically easy to spot and are done when an Agency (just like a product review) needs to balance out some of the bad reviews.

SEO agencies are primarily marketing businesses, so one without a strong online presence may indicate one without the experience or talent to make your business successful. It could also indicate an agency that’s just so busy they don’t have time to work on their digital presence. So ask questions:

    • Ask why pages or posts haven’t been updated (in the past week/month/etc.).
    • Ask if they’ve worked with businesses in your vertical (it’s probably ok if they haven’t, but sometimes an industry niche makes all the difference in a marketing program).
    • Ask if they specialize (maybe they focus on e-commerce, local SEO, or your industry niche)
    • Ask how often they’ll meet with you. Even the lowest budget clients have monthly touchpoints in our agency.
    • Ask what other services they provide. Usually, SEO isn’t the only service (but it just might be). If they offer other marketing mediums, does this help you?
    • Ask, ask, and ask again. Make sure you feel comfortable with your choice.


Time to Make a Decision

Compile all the feedback from Steps one through five and make a decision. And don’t wait too long; waiting too long can start to creep into the realm of unprofessional. There’s risk involved in everything. Selecting an SEO Agency to help boost your own career progression is just another risk. And while no one makes a decision hoping for failure, failure is part of progress. The Point? Don’t be afraid. Take your educated decision, stand by the agency you picked, and run with it. You should know within 3-6 months if the company you selected to represent the SEO arm of Digital Marketing was the right one. And if they’re not (for whatever reason), start the process all over again. Take what you’ve learned from this agency that you didn’t like, and make sure to look out for the undesirable attributes in your next agency.




Feel like we missed something? Have a little secret when selecting an SEO Agency you’d like to share?

We’re not perfect, but this has been our checklist (in five parts) of what we think a client should look for when selecting an SEO agency. However, feel free to share what you think on any of our social media accounts. And as always, we’re available to add new life to your digital presence. Each business is unique, and it’s important to us to understand each client’s goals so we can take specific steps to help achieve them.

Contact ENDURANCE to get started »


At ENDURANCE, we often get asked, “What’s the minimum we can do for x…” especially with anything related to SEO (search engine optimization), and Schema is no exception. So, let’s talk about the bare minimum Schema data you should implement on your website. If you do nothing else with schema, here are the top five microdata nodes you should implement on your website.

Also, in this article, I like using the word “node” vs. “type.” I think it makes more sense, but others might call these Schema types vs. nodes. That’s perfectly fine. Just understand they’re one in the same for the purpose of this article.



Breaking down a website into its core “purpose.”

If we look at any website in the simplest manner, a website is just one of the following three things:

  1. A business card: it can be a complex or simple business card, but the purpose is to let people know a company exists, provide simple business data, and contact information.
  2. Informational/Value Driven: provide technical information for customers, a blog, contact information, etc. (most companies fall under this overly simplified categorization).
  3. Product Sales (E-commerce): a company that is selling something online. Easy to understand, right?


After twenty years in the business I understand this is a vague way to bucket websites but humor me. This article is all about understanding which schema should be implemented at a minimum. When we speak of the lowest possible effort, we should speak in the simplest terms! And with this understanding in mind, here’s the top five Schema (aka Microdata, aka structured data) nodes you should implement on your site (at a minimum).



1.      The Schema/Structured Data “ORGANIZATION” node

Regardless of the type of site you have (see above), all websites should have an organization node. In practice we have found success by creating a graph and including the organization node on every page. At the very minimum it should be on the contact us page of every site.

Here’s an example of how we implement the organization schema type:

organization schema type - code example

Download the organization schema node code example.


Is the “ORGANIZATION” structured data node supported by Google?

Yes (within the gray area). The organization node is not in Google search documentation under advanced SEO like other structured data (check out the feature guides section) per se, however, it is in many of the examples and is recognized and checked by the old Google structured data testing tool and the new Google rich snippets testing tool.



2.      The Schema/Structured Data “WEBSITE” type

In practice, we use the “website” node on the homepage only as a signal to describe to search engines that this page is the homepage of an entire website. We include the site’s purpose and what makes the site special (vs. the competition). Think of it as the entire site’s elevator pitch.

organization schema type - code example

Download the website schema node code example.


Is the “WEBSITE” structured data node supported by Google?

Yes (within the gray area). The website node is not in Google search documentation under advanced SEO like other structured data (check out the feature guides section), however, it is recognized and checked by the old Google structured data testing tool and the new Google rich snippets testing tool.



3.      The Schema/Structured Data “WEBPAGE” type

The “webpage” node should describe what each page on a website is (kind of like the over abused meta description). It should be used on every page except:

  • Do not use on the homepage
  • Do not use on product pages.
  • Do not use on blog articles.

webpage schema type - code example - thumbnail

Download the webpage schema node code example.


Is the “webpage” structured data node supported by Google?

Yes (within the gray area). The webpage node is not in Google search documentation under advanced SEO like other structured data (check out the feature guides section), however, it is recognized and checked by the old Google structured data testing tool and the new Google rich snippets testing tool.



4.      The Schema/Structured Data [Blog article] “NEWSARTICLE” type

The blog article node (“NewsArticle” type) should be used for blog articles, sports stories, and news posts.

blog article schema type - code example

Download the blog article schema node code example.


Is the [Blog article] “NEWSARTICLE” structured data node supported by Google?

Yes (100%). The newsarticle node can be found in the “Article” section of the Advanced SEO documentation.



5.      The Schema/Structured Data “PRODUCT” type

This might be the most important of the five schema types mentioned in this article. Or, to put it another way, if you do nothing else on your E-commerce site, implement product schema; you’re not competing if you don’t. Product Schema only goes on product pages. It is a way for your site to do the hard work for google. Product Schema not only tells google about the product name and product price, it also shares review information, short and long product descriptions, inventory data, and so much more. But at a bare minimum, implement this product structured data information:

product schema type - code example

Download the product schema node code example.


Is the “PRODUCT” structured data node supported by Google?

Yes (100%). The product node can be found in the “Product” section of the Advanced SEO documentation.



RECAP: The 5 Schema/Microdata/Structured Data Types every website needs at a bare minimum.

A summary of the five schema nodes every site should have (for SEO) at the bare minimum:

  1. “Organization” TypeAll Sites should have this – on every page (contact page at a minimum).
  2. “Website” TypeAll sites should have this – homepage only.
  3. “Webpage” TypeAll sites should have thisdo not implement on the homepage, product pages, or blog pages (only basic/info pages).
  4. “NewsArticle” [Blog article] Type All Sites with a blog should have this – on every blog article.
  5. “Product” Type All Ecommerce Sites should have this – on every product detail page (PDP).


I need help with Schema Data!

We all need help sometimes; it is perfectly understandable.

Contact us by shooting an email to info@thinkendurance.com or give us a call.


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Introducing Facebook Advertising Tips.

Part of the ENDURANCE Marketing Tips series, we’ll explore tips (and tricks) to make your Facebook Ad Campaigns pop in the era of sensitive AI and even more insensitive advertisers.


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ENDURANCE has brought on four of Arizona’s brightest minds to help with Paid, Search, and Account Management.


Janssen Manno - Search at ENDURANCE

Janssen Manno

Search Director

Kristy Galea - Account Director at ENDURANCE

Kristy Galea

Account Director

Veronica Belshaw - Paid Strategist

Veronica Belshaw

Paid Strategist

Nate Wheeler - Search Strategist

Nate Wheeler

Search Strategist

Please join us in our much belated welcome to the team…