What CPG Brands Should Know About Amazon’s Grocery Operation

Did you know that groceries are one of Amazon’s fastest-growing categories? Just as groceries have fueled Amazon’s growth, ecommerce sales have also been… > Read More
The post What CPG Brands Should Know About Amazon’s Grocery Opera…

Did you know that groceries are one of Amazon’s fastest-growing categories? Just as groceries have fueled Amazon’s growth, ecommerce sales have also been... > Read More

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Identity management investment can pay off, here’s how

Marketers must examine how people-based IDs differ and how quality impacts identity through activation. Learn how to evaluate your program.

The post Identity management investment can pay off, here’s how appeared first on Marketing Land.

The marketing industry has been awash with articles and papers talking about marketing technology and the importance of linking identity management across an enterprise’s investments. And rightfully so. Brands should be laser focused on these topics because, simply put, they are the fundamental building blocks for establishing a meaningful, direct relationship with customers and, in turn, gaining competitive advantage.

The challenge, like many past inflection points in our industry, is how to capitalize on this. What is needed, beyond the actual physical technology and people? In my experience, the “how to activate” is often the last consideration, but really, it should be the first place to start. Let’s take a deeper look at how this impacts the need for a tactical, ground-up data plan for identity management.

Identity as a whole is impacted by the level of fidelity of your data and how it’s able to paint a clear picture of your customers, their brand interactions and the end-to-end customer journey.

Let’s use the analogy of music to help bring some clarity. I’ve always appreciated sound quality and the impact it has on my listening experience. There are multiple areas that impact the sound quality, from the environment you’re in (e.g., subway vs. home) to the device with which you’re listening (e.g., Apple earpods vs. home speakers). Most important, though, is the source. If the source file (e.g., MP3 vs. FLAC) is not high quality, your listening experience can suffer.

It’s the same with identity. Identity necessitates the highest fidelity source of data. In this case, moving from a cookie-based to a people-based world is like moving from music on cassette tapes (remember those?) to high-quality digital music files.

Today’s world of marketing is complex, with multiple ways to link customer data. These range from cookies to offline transactions IDs, all the way to people-based, one-to-one linkage. As marketers progress in adoption to 100 percent people-based marketing, they must think about why all people-based IDs are not equal and how the fidelity (i.e., the cleansed one-to-one view of a customer) impacts identity all the way through activation.

As you continue on your journey, there are many identity-related considerations, including the four key areas listed below. They illustrate the impact identity has on your people-based marketing activation, using as an example a group of customers who are top-tier loyalty members:

1. People-based platforms must be connected to activation. If an ID is not linked directly to activation, drop-off and de-duplication can occur, impacting one-to-one marketing and marketing ROI results.

Example: You want to cross-sell into this group with a new premium product by leveraging an integrated campaign with paid display and measuring the incremental impact of display on sales. To enable activation, you’ll need to turn the loyalty-based PII to anonymous IDs, such as cookies, and activate them via platforms like demand-side platforms (DSPs) for paid display targeting.

This process of turning a known loyalty audience to cookies needs to be seamless and is the point where media marketing ROI can be impacted. Industry challenges like cookie deletion and changes in devices (e.g., a new tablet) necessitates that your PII data be linked and refreshed continuously with your customers’ cookies, otherwise breakdown can occur.

If cookies are lost, it will adversely affect your ability to measure downstream engagement and the incremental effect of paid display ads on sales.

2. People-based platforms need to bring higher fidelity audience profiling capabilities from rich third-party data, leading to better insights and more precise models.

Example: Let’s say you want to use third-party data to get a deeper understanding of your audience’s interests in your new product segment. What happens if a high percentage of individuals just got a new mobile device, and they don’t authenticate for several weeks? Audience-based platforms need to continually link between known and unknown IDs; otherwise, customer insights will not be precise.

3. People-based platforms should be connected directly to offline martech PII data, enabling one-to-one resolution at the anonymous ID level.

Example: Relating to our first key area, connecting your offline PII to anonymous IDs is critical. If you have a high-value group of known customers you want to activate and cross sell, the need to speak to them one-to-one in any channel is critical. If you’re speaking to someone in a display ad and you can’t be certain it is the person you are targeting, then your ability to extend your conversion is highly limited to known channels, such as email.

4. People-based platforms should be able to easily interact/activate with offline segmentation models that incorporate a mixed set of martech data from DMPs to loyalty programs enabling seamless activation and optimization of marketing ROI insights.

Example: The adage “what’s old is new again” is a key theme in the way CRM principles are being extended to today’s ecosystem of digital marketing. Many organizations have invested a lot of time and effort into “offline” models. Whether they are credit risk models or customer segmentation across product offerings, the ability to take offline PII based-models and bring them into a digital ecosystem is critical.

While these considerations are just a starting place, I hope they help bring some food for thought in our exciting and rapidly changing marketing ecosystem. Here’s to continued success in 2019 and beyond.

The post Identity management investment can pay off, here’s how appeared first on Marketing Land.

Let us grow your business

As of today, we are accepting clients for the 2019 edition of our service If you’re impatient to get a huge success under your belt, then now’s the time. We always become fully booked within several days of publishing a message like this. For details, …

As of today, we are accepting clients for the 2019 edition of our service If you’re impatient to get a huge success under your belt, then now’s the time. We always become fully booked within several days of publishing a message like this. For details, JUST REPLY TO THIS EMAIL (or click here to complete a […]

Why Vendors Should Pay Attention to the New Amazon Price Protection Policy

If you’re a Vendor on the Marketplace, you likely received an email from Amazon earlier this month outlining the new “Amazon Price Protection… > Read More
The post Why Vendors Should Pay Attention to the New Amazon Price Protection Policy…

If you’re a Vendor on the Marketplace, you likely received an email from Amazon earlier this month outlining the new “Amazon Price Protection... > Read More

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Fab-UX 5 – Issue 116

The weekly UX Design newsletter from Loop11. Create your free account today! The Fab-UX Five The weekly UX Design newsletter from Loop11 Top 3 Reasons Your Team Needs A UX Designer From The Beginning Watch Video How Uber built a product that is light, …

The weekly UX Design newsletter from Loop11. Create your free account today! The Fab-UX Five The weekly UX Design newsletter from Loop11 Top 3 Reasons Your Team Needs A UX Designer From The Beginning Watch Video How Uber built a product that is light, instant, and simple Read Article The Immutable Rules of UX (Jakob […]

New Features Roundup: Valentine’s Day Edition

 It’s no secret that it’s become harder, more expensive, and more challenging to build and grow a business in recent years. At Crazy Egg, we believe the answer is to focus less on volume (more emails, more ads, more pop-ups), and focus…

February release notes Crazy Egg

 It’s no secret that it’s become harder, more expensive, and more challenging to build and grow a business in recent years. At Crazy Egg, we believe the answer is to focus less on volume (more emails, more ads, more pop-ups), and focus more on paying attention to the people who are paying attention to you. […]

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The State of Marketing Training in 2019 [Original Research]

U.S. companies spend billions on training each year. What about marketing departments? How much do they spend? What are they getting out of it? And what are they struggling to solve? We surveyed 462 marketing leaders—CMOs, VPs of Marketing, Marketing Directors—to find out. Respondents completed a 10-question survey that covered: The perceived skill level of […]

The post The State of Marketing Training in 2019 [Original Research] appeared first on CXL.

U.S. companies spend billions on training each year. What about marketing departments? How much do they spend? What are they getting out of it? And what are they struggling to solve?

We surveyed 462 marketing leaders—CMOs, VPs of Marketing, Marketing Directors—to find out.

Respondents completed a 10-question survey that covered:

  • The perceived skill level of marketing teams.
  • Processes and accountability for training marketers.
  • Budgets for marketing training.
  • Primary challenges when upskilling marketing teams.

Here are seven key takeaways. If you want the full report, download the PDF.

7 things we learned

1. Bigger companies feel better about their skills.

Do larger organizations have greater in-house marketing skills? They certainly think so. Companies with 1,000–5,000 employees have the highest average estimate of marketing team skills.

Overall, the larger the organization, the higher the perceived skill:

It’s easy to speculate why this may be the case:

  • Larger organizations are more likely to have employees with specialized training and experience compared to smaller organizations, which may feel the lack of deep expertise acutely for some marketing challenges.
  • Larger companies have deeper pockets to afford top talent.

2. Training budgets aren’t big, but they’re getting bigger.

Each year, the average company spends $994 per employee on training. More than half, however, spend significantly less, if anything:

  • 61.9% spend $500 or less.
  • Nearly 1 in 5 spends nothing at all.
Note: We asked respondents for the training budget on a per-employee basis; some responses clearly provided a total training budget (e.g. $1 million). We omitted responses we believed did not reflect a per-employee budget.

Larger organizations tend to spend more—62.5% more than small businesses and 16.1% more than medium-sized companies:

Our current career development budget for our 60-person agency is $1,000/person/year. We find this is the right budget to get them to a solid conference in the area, or do an online course if they prefer that.

Ross Hudgens, Founder and CEO of Siege Media

For almost half of all respondents, budgets are getting bigger. Only 1 in 16 companies is reducing its upskilling budget in 2019:

Most of that added investment is coming from large enterprises. Nearly two-thirds (66%) of enterprise organizations plan to spend more on training in 2019 than they did last year:

Does more money translate into a higher perception of skill? Not really. There was only a weak correlation (0.20) between the amount spent on training and the perceived skill of the marketing team. Why?

  • Small companies may have urgent needs that siphon off resources from long-term investments in training. Individual practitioners at those organizations may spend more time learning through experience.
  • Teams that overestimate their skills—those, perhaps, that are convinced every member is a “10”—may not think there’s anything left to learn.

Being a successful marketer [. . .] demands a solid grasp of a multitude of different disciplines. Acquiring all these skills can seem overwhelming, unless you get the proper training. If you ask me, upskilling your marketing team is one of the best investments your company will ever make. 

Michael Aagaard

So what does correlate with strong marketing skills? The amount of business you do online.

3. Companies that live online have better marketing skills.

SaaS, B2B, and ecommerce organizations had the highest perceived marketing skills:

Government and non-profit sectors trailed for-profit businesses. (The sector listed a “limited budget” as their primary training challenge.)

It’s easy and common for even the most experienced marketers to gloss over the basics and lose touch with the fundamentals of good marketing. A good training course is rooted in these principles, even if the topic is more tactical or execution in nature.

Hana Abaza, Director of Marketing at Shopify Plus

Earning more resources often requires demonstrating ROI, something far easier for online companies that can tie marketing efforts and revenue tightly together.

The three industries with the highest skill levels were also near the top when it came to having a “clear, structured process” for training. Surprisingly, agencies trailed all industries: Only 2 in every 5 has defined a process:

That means that roughly…

  • 3 of every 5 agencies
  • 1 of every 3 B2B, SaaS, or travel companies
  • And half of all ecommerce, media, non-profits, and governmental organizations

…are struggling to create a structured training program. So who’s responsible for those programs?

4. Direct managers own marketing training.

In 2 of every 5 companies surveyed, direct managers are accountable for training their teams. In nearly three-quarters (74.7%) of all businesses, either the direct manager or a marketing leader—who, in some instances, is also the direct manager—is accountable for the skills of their team:

Only 5% of organizations reported having no accountability, although an additional 14.3% reported autonomy (anarchy?) when it came to training.

Accountability was especially lacking in small organizations.

5. Autonomy at small companies applies to training, too.

Of the 89 respondents who stated that there was no formal oversight of training, a disproportionately large share came from small businesses:

“The best thing you can possibly do for your career is also one of the easiest things [. . .] which is spend the time to learn something. If you spend an hour every single day—or 30 minutes or maybe even 25 minutes—you’re going to be leaps and bounds ahead of your competition in two years.”

Chad Sanderson, Microsoft

Still, about two-thirds of small-business respondents (67.8%) had some oversight of skill development programs. The management challenges, however, extend beyond top-level accountability.

6. A structured process doesn’t guarantee training success.

Having a “structured process” for training programs isn’t the only organizational challenge, as marketers made clear in their open-ended responses:

  • By the time everyone gets trained, the knowledge may be outdated. Marketing leaders highlighted the challenge of identifying what their teams needed to learn next, or how to find a program that could help future-proof their department.
  • CMOs and VPs of marketing also struggled to measure whether training knowledge translated into more profitable marketing strategies—or to test retention months down the road.

We have our own internal academy with our own execution recipes run by our Director of Training. The most important part of their job isn’t to add new content [. . .] but to actually audit the students and make sure they know everything we teach as second nature. You’d be shocked at the lack of knowledge retention unless you make sure you audit, and audit repeatedly—we do every three months.

Johnathan Dane, Founder and CEO of KlientBoost

The other major challenge? Finding the best employees and getting them to stick around.

7. Finding talent that wants to learn—and keeping them—is hard.

See if this sounds familiar:

  • You struggle to find capable employees who are willing to learn new skills. Highly trained employees are often out of your price range, and undertrained employees need a structured, well-funded program to progress.
  • You worry that highly trained employees will jump ship after you invest in their development. Training makes your employees more productive—and more attractive to companies trying to lure them away.

When you invest in your teams, you don’t just build loyalty and engagement—you build a force that grows with your business, stays ahead of the market, and seizes opportunities that keep you ahead of your competition.

Ryan Engley, VP of Product Marketing at Unbounce

Other HR challenges, many respondents told us, ranged from long-tenured employees unwilling to adapt to fresh college grads without technical skills.

What else is there to learn? Download the PDF with all the details from the 2019 State of Marketing Training survey.

The post The State of Marketing Training in 2019 [Original Research] appeared first on CXL.

Amazon Advertising Introduces New-to-brand Metrics

Do you know how much it costs to acquire new customers on Amazon? Unfortunately, many brands today do not know the answer. Luckily,… > Read More
The post Amazon Advertising Introduces New-to-brand Metrics appeared first on Retail Performance Marketin…

Do you know how much it costs to acquire new customers on Amazon? Unfortunately, many brands today do not know the answer. Luckily,... > Read More

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Porkbun: Get a Free .design Domain Name

Thinking of building a professional design portfolio? A .design domain name is the perfect way to build your own brand and showcase your work.

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Link Building Is Not Always the Best Way to Boost Rankings in eCommerce

In some situations, additional backlinks won’t do much for your rankings. Here’s how to know if backlink building is the right move — and other tactics to use when it’s not.

Typically, when eCommerce marketing teams strategize about improving Google rankings and growing SEO traffic, a lot of the conversation inevitably focuses on link building.

Link building is important, but, we’ve found from helping hundreds of eCommerce sites with their SEO, that for many sites with good domain authority and a solid foundation of existing backlinks, there are other tactics that can often move the needle better or faster than link building.

In fact, for some websites, we recommend not spending time just building general backlinks. When we’ve worked with companies like these, we’ve instead spent time on other, non-link building SEO tactics and have generated nice results.

In this article, we discuss how to determine when to focus on link building vs. when not to. Then, we outline the other tactics besides link building that we often deploy on eCommerce sites that have yielded good results.

Note: If you’d like to talk to our SEO experts about whether they’d recommend link building or other SEO tactics on your eCommerce store, contact us here.

When Backlinks Matter

First of all, it’s important to remember that acquiring many high-quality backlinks is still foundational to achieving a high SERP ranking.

For newer sites, building up high-quality backlinks should be one of the very first things you focus on. To rank on the front page of Google, you usually need at least one high-quality backlink.

But at some point, aggressive link building could yield diminishing returns because the site may already be attracting links to quality content passively.

That’s not to say there’s no place for ongoing creation of new content that also continues to attract links. But investing resources in additional aggressive link building may not be the best use of their time and some of the alternative SEO tactics discussed below may yield a higher business ROI for the company.

Let’s explore why.

What It Looks like to Have a ‘Strong’ Backlink Profile

To find out if link building is worth the effort for your site, you’ll want to open up a tool like Ahrefs and check your site for the following signs:

A High Domain Authority/Domain Ranking

Domain Rating (DR) in Ahrefs is an estimate of your site’s reputation in the eyes of Google’s search algorithm. It’s not a perfect measure, but it will give you a sense of the strength of your backlink profile. The same is true of similar metrics such as Moz’s Domain Authority (DA).

Generally speaking, the higher your DR or DA, the more high-quality backlinks, and linking root domains you have.

For the purposes of this article, it’s actually quite telling to look at the distribution of sites in different DR ranges and how many referring domains (links from unique domains) that sites in each range have, on average.

In the following table by Ahrefs, you can see this distribution:

Generally, the higher your DR or DA, the more high-quality backlinks you have, as shown here. 

DR 0–5: 146,455,043 domains (1 d.ref.domains)

DR 6–10: 10,322,431 domains (30 d.ref.domains)

DR 11–15: 5,171,577 domains (44 d.ref.domains)

DR 16–20: 3,085,066 domains (57 d.ref.domains)

DR 21–25: 2,499,437 domains (85 d.ref.domains)

DR 26–30: 2,493,952 domains (137 d.ref.domains)

DR 31–35: 1,377,630 domains (547 d.ref.domains)

DR 36–40: 861,493 domains (314 d.ref.domains)

DR 41–45: 494,599 domains (263 d.ref.domains)

DR 46–50: 313,324 domains (352 d.ref.domains)

DR 51–55: 268,988 domains (444 d.ref.domains)

DR 56–60: 152,985 domains (708 d.ref.domains)

DR 61–65: 93,021 domains (956 d.ref.domains)

DR 66–70: 64,713 domains (1,374 d.ref.domains)

DR 71–75: 64,898 domains (2,789 d.ref.domains)

DR 76–80: 21,209 domains (6,761 d.ref.domains)

DR 81–85: 7,368 domains (16,425 d.ref.domains)

DR 86–90: 3,175 domains (36,811 d.ref.domains)

DR 91–95: 967 domains (637,650 d.ref.domains)

DR 96–100: 22 domains (8,891,919 d.ref.domains)

The most important thing is the number of referring domains you must acquire to continue improving your DR, which is the number in parenthesis in each line (the “N domains” next to the DR is the number of domains that Ahrefs has indexed that have a DR in that range).

You can see that as DR increases, the number of additional referring domains you need to move to the next tier of DR grows exponentially. For example, sites with DR 6 – 10 have on average 30 referring domains, and the tier just above it (DR 11 – 15) have on average 44 referring domains. That’s a difference of 14 linking root domains.

But that difference keeps growing as you go up in DR.

Look at the difference between DR 86 – 90 and DR 91 – 95. Sites between those two DR ranges have, on average, a difference of 600,000 referring domains!

So, this begs the question: if you already have a large mass of high quality backlinks from a variety of linking root domains, is an SEO strategy that can be summarized as “Let’s just keep building more links” really the best use of resources?

It may not be. SEO is complex, so of course there are certain situations that call for more link building, but in this article, we want to challenge eCommerce marketers, directors, and founders to think beyond the view of “link building is always most important”.

As we explain below, you can often find lower hanging fruit by thinking more strategically about how to deploy SEO resources. To be fair, you may end up deciding that building additional backlinks to certain pages is the best use of time, but even if so, that is a far more strategic approach than just focusing on link building as the be all end all of your SEO strategy.

An Example of a Naturally Large Amount of Backlinks

Knowing the above concept of diminishing returns, we first check to see how many backlinks and referring domains an eCommerce site we start working with has.

What we’ve found is that many established online stores with high-performing content often already have organically attracted plenty of backlinks, so spending our time doing manual link building for them likely isn’t the best way to increase organic traffic.

For example, Moving.com has done a lot of great blogging and therefore has a variety of foundational and strategic content designed to optimize their SEO.

Using Ahrefs, we can see how their content strategy has helped them acquire nearly 10 million backlinks from 10,400 referring domains with 91% of them coming from dofollow links, giving them an Ahrefs DR of 83.

Moving.com's content strategy has helped them acquire nearly 10 million backlinks from 10,400 referring domains.

As we see from the table above, with a DR of 83, sites in the higher DR tiers have, on average, tens of thousands (or for even higher tiers, hundreds of thousands) more backlinks than Moving.com.

So, in situations like these, you should ask two questions:

  1. How is our link profile and site quality (DR, DA) relative to our competitors?
  2. How much effort would it take to build the amount of backlinks necessary to equal or outperform competitors by moving up to higher DR ranges?

In the example above, anyone who has done link building knows that tens of thousands of backlinks is non-trivial. So this would be a good situation to explore other SEO tactics and site optimizations that could boost SEO results, and give us a greater ROI on time and resources spent.

As a final note, make sure to check where your backlinks are coming from. One very easy way to optimize your SEO is to see if you have any broken referral (incoming) links and if there are any significant clusters of links originating from the same IP range.

Fixing these small issues can greatly enhance the SEO of your eCommerce site. Again, if you want us to look for you, feel free to reach out.

3 Ways to Improve SEO without Building More Backlinks

At Inflow, once we’ve identified that an eCommerce site may not see huge returns from additional link building, we’ll explore the following 3 SEO tactics:

1. Create or Improve Strategic Content

At Inflow, we often refer to two types of content types on eCommerce sites: foundational and strategic.

  • Foundational content refers to key pages in your store—like product and category pages.
  • Strategic content, however, are pages where you’re strategically targeting mid to long tail keywords that aren’t best represented by a foundational page in your store.

This content can come in a variety of forms: blog posts, buying guides, infographics, videos, resource sections — whatever fits your audience and brand the best. Good strategic content resonates with your target audience(s), educates them, and builds trust in your brand.

The key is that the content is strategically designed to rank for certain mid to long tail keywords that your foundational content (product and category pages) are not or cannot rank for (because including those keywords on product and category pages, for example, may not make sense).

At Inflow, we often look for keyword gaps as opportunities to create strategic content. One way to find keyword gaps is by conducting keyword research on your competitors to see what keywords they rank for that you either don’t rank for at all or don’t rank as highly.

While these keywords will typically have a lower search volume, they will let you rank for terms that your target customers are searching for but your foundational content would not otherwise rank for.

Think about a yoga store wanting to rank for “how to do sun salutations” — their yoga mats, yoga clothing, or yoga accessories product or category pages are likely not going to rank for that, but a blog post could.

So while just general, active link building may increase the overall rankings of all keywords you rank for, often strategically creating content to go after new, specific keywords that your target customers are likely searching for could give you better ROI on your SEO efforts.

Finally, these new strategic content pieces can often be crafted to attract natural links – e.g. data-based or resource-based blog posts on a keyword gap you identify. These types of content pieces often attract links naturally over time, without you having to spend time proactively finding link building opportunities.

2. Remove, Improve, or Consolidate Pages

One of the very first things we do at Inflow during our content audit process is to locate and weed out any low-performing pages that may be lowering the overall “quality” of the website.

While Google continues to remain secretive about what variables affect a site’s search engine ranking, we know that having a significant number of low-quality pages will damage your SEO.

Often, we’ll have new clients come to us with thousands of pages that generate little to no organic search traffic and in many cases have little to no value to users. This is content that does nothing but damage their search rankings.

Using the Cruft Finder Tool we found that one of our eCommerce clients had over 38,000 useless pages on their site — 90% of which we ended up removing entirely.

Sometimes, the answer isn’t as easy as removing the page from your site. If the page in question is strategic content or vital to your online store, we’ll either “improve” or “consolidate” it.

Improving a page can be as simple as republishing that piece of content or increasing the number and variety of the targeted keywords. If there are multiple pieces of content on the same or similar topics, we will consolidate them into one big authoritative post.

3. Improve Internal Linking

Finally, we often look to see if we can improve the internal linking architecture of an eCommerce client’s site to strategically improve the rankings of high converting pages which also have an opportunity to drive more organic search traffic.

Here are a few reasons you might undertake an internal linking strategy for your site.

  1. Improve your site’s architecture; ensure good link equity is being fairly spread across important pages to the site.
  2. Increase the number of links to high priority pages – in general, the more internal links a page has, the higher its relative value to Google. This could include product pages, category pages, Page 2 Opportunities (see below), high revenue pages or new pages being launched.
  3. You have page(s) that receive a lot of organic search traffic and/or attract external links, but the page(s) have little conversion value. By strategically placing internal links from these pages to relevant “money” pages, you can create more value from those pages as well as funnel some of the “link juice” to these pages as well.
  4. You want to remove internal links because pages (typically in the header and/or footer) are sending internal link juice in too many directions. Wayfair recently reduced the number of internal links on certain page types and it resulted in a 10% increase in Organic traffic.

At Inflow, we’ll often use this for client pages that are ranking at the bottom of page 1 or near the top of page 2. We call these “Page 2 Opportunities”. In those cases, if strategic internal linking can move the page in question up a few spots, that can exponentially increase the amount of click throughs it’s getting – in particular if it makes to the top half of page 1 (where the vast majorities of clicks go).

How does this work?

Well, internal links can carry value, similar to how external links can carry value. In particular, we’ve found that keyword rich anchor text can send a very clear signal to a crawler about what it can expect when it goes from page A to page B (but don’t overdo it). We’ve found his can often boost rankings of page B.

(This effect is similar to best practices in paid search: having the ad copy include the search keyword and have the landing page also have that keyword so all 3 steps align around the same keyword.)

We’ve found that sending those keyword rich signals with a handful of internal links can often be enough to boost a certain page up the rankings a few spots, without building any external links.

Another way to apply this tactic and give certain pages a boost is by having those links come from your best-performing pages. Although, do keep in mind that this tactic can only be used a handful of times as the more links you add, the more diluted their effect becomes.

Revamp Site Architecture to Scale Internal Link Building

Finally, in addition to using internal link building strategically to improve the rankings of certain pages, there are times where we have revamped the entire site architecture to improve internal linking on a site-wide basis.

This is, one could say, a way to do internal link building “at scale”. We only do this in certain situations where we think the resource investment in fixing this will pay off. If you’ve curious if your site could use this, contact us, and we’ll give you our honest opinion.

Conclusion

Link building is still a very important aspect of SEO for eCommerce brands. However, in our experience, after a good foundation of backlinks have been built, opportunities arise to get a higher ROI on your time and resources by deploying other SEO tactics besides link building.

Where this cutoff happens is dependent on each specific site and how much other “low hanging fruit” they have in terms of under performing pages, strategic content opportunities and more. But we encourage all eCommerce marketing teams to take a hard look at other factors that can improve SEO results besides backlinks.

You may find many opportunities you otherwise could have missed.

Note: Want a custom in-depth assessment of your search ranking performance? Contact us to get started.