Express Links vs Implied Links 101

It’s been recently discovered that Google has submitted a patent that should change the way linkbuilding is done in a drastic manner. We’ve all been aware of the linkbuilding penalties that Google has been handing out for the abuse and misuse of links, so it’s no surprise to see them taking action. In fact, this has been coming for a while, it’s just unclear how many people truly expected this kind of superb fix: implied links.

Under our current understanding of linkbuilding, ‘express links’ are the only types of links that are beneficial to a site’s ranking. An express link is your standard link that leads back to the webpage by embedding (or just plain pasting) the URL on a page. For example, http://www.Google.com is an express link. These are the links that are being used in negative SEO and link building schemes, as well as by honest internet marketers like you and me.

Enter the Implied Link

But now, Google is poised to swing the emphasis from express links to what are being called ‘implied links.’ Implied links do not actually have to include the URL to the website, they are simply implied by the mere mention of the website (or brand, product, service, etc.). This means that mentions and citations are going to be the next wave of linkbuilding, mostly because they are much harder to manipulate in order to score higher rankings in the SERPs.

This isn’t to say anything of nofollow links, we expect these to stay pretty heavy in the algorithm, but just to say that implied links are going to weigh a lot more than express links. Granted, this is mostly educated speculation right now, but the patent filed by Google certainly makes it clear that implied links are a real thing and will matter.

Reference Queries and Brand Mentions

But the changes aren’t stopping there. Not only does the Panda patent talk about express and implied links, but authority calculation will now also be affected reference queries. This is essentially a road map that starts with a very specific query that ends up in a very specific location. In other words, if 80% of all queries into “soda pop” end up on Coca Cola’s page and not Pepsi’s, Coca Cola will benefit from the reference query weight of “soda pop.”

This helps ensure that Google is directing searchers to the right pages by sending them to the places that others have found success. This determines popularity of the page by query entry, thus adding to the authority of the site. Basically, this is just another way to improve the visitor experience so keep focusing on making sure you are giving your audience exactly what they want. The better you answer their questions and meet their needs, the better your reference query scores will be.

As for brand mentions, this is just another term for implied links. They are also called mentions and if you want your brand to carry authority, you simply need other sites to talk about your brand and/or website. This is going to change the outlook on blogging since now you don’t really need anyone to place an express link in their blog, only talk about you as an authority or in some similar form.

Ways to Create Fresh Content to Keep Visitors Coming Back for More

Creating new content is critical to the success of your web pages, but let’s face it: It’s also a pain in the butt.

It often seems like you’ve already said everything you want to say about your blog or website’s subject matter. Yet if you don’t provide a constant stream of fresh, engaging content, you risk alienating your regular visitors and you could stop attracting new fans.

‘Refresh’ Your Pages with Engaging Content

Here’s some easy ways to keep your blog or website engaging and interesting to new fans and loyal return visitors:

– Engaging Content Is Critical – This is something you hear a lot, but what does it really mean? Engaging content can mean any number of things, such as a lively debate about a controversial subject relating to your niche to reviews of the latest news. It could mean stories from your own real life or somebody else’s that are relevant to your subject matter.

Developing engaging content is something that should come organically to you. If you are the author of a popular blog or website, you probably already are constantly on the lookout for articles, images and other content you think your readers might find interesting. But you don’t always have to give your readers long blocks of text. In fact, it’s probably better if you don’t.

Infographics are one of the hottest types of engaging content being used online right now. These are images that present information both textually and with engaging graphics. The purpose of infographics is to make your content easier to be absorbed by your visitors.

Videos are another great type of engaging content, especially if you don’t usually post videos of yourself. If your readers have following your blog for a long time and then suddenly, BOOM!, there’s a video of you in your own home or office, it can be like: Mind. Blown.

– Put Your Visitors First – The most successful sites make their readers the blog or website owners’ top priority. This pays off because when visitors feel valued, they are much more likely to come back another time.

Did you ever read a blog or website and think, “Boy, this person is such a know-it-all?” How did that make you feel? Now compare that to a blog or website where the author is actively responding to visitors’ questions, sharing stories about interactions with fans, and inviting visitors to share their stories or tips as they are relevant to the blog’s subject matter. Big difference. Much more inviting.

– Mix It Up A Little –If you’ve been using the same theme since the first day of your blog or website, or always use the default layout, it may be comfortable for you but it can be a real turnoff for your visitors. People like it when you shake things up every once in a while.

Think about the way Google will change their home search page for special holidays or just for fun. You can do the same thing with your blog or website to make it more engaging for your visitors. At the very least, change your theme to reflect the season, such as having a snowy background in winter, a sunny one in summer, and so on.

Okay, these techniques of enhancing the users’ experience when they arrive on your pages may take a little time or effort on your part. But they will pay off royally when you build your subscriber list and start attracting hundreds of new visitors every day. See for yourself!

Three Enormously Bad Landing Page Copy Techniques

Do you have a landing page that is under-performing or not converting at all? If so, consider the fact that many landing pages out there follow three extremely flawed approaches for content creation. If your landing page falls into one of these three categories, it’s likely that any promotions, ads or other monetary boosters you try will fail as well, sinking more of your hard-earned money into a failing endeavor. Similarly, it’s unlikely that changing the design or aesthetics of your landing page will help.

 

Three Bad Landing Page Copy Strategies

So what are these three horribly horrible approaches to creating landing page copy?

1. Guessing at What Your Lead Wants to Read. This is how many landing pages are done: simply trying out random messages that might or might not have worked on other landing pages, to see the results. Unfortunately, this takes a lot of time and ultimately, costs you a lot of money in sales. Sure, guessing right the first time can be extremely easy and lucrative, but what are the odds you’ll guess right? Do you really know what you consumer wants to read, or are you too close to the sales aspect of the product to listen to the true consumer needs? Remember, guesswork is costly and most of the time, flat out wrong. If this is how you created your landing page, it’s time to reevaluate your under-performing copy.

2. Looking to the Competition. Okay, so every online marketer looks at what their competition does in order to keep their finger on pulse of the industry, but some of us use the competition as our basis for research. Figuring that the competition has done their marketing homework, we “borrow” from their landing pages and rewrite copy in the same vein as their copy. We figure, “They must know what they’re doing, so I’ll just do the same, we have the same demographic, after all.” But what if they are just guessing? Or what if they are dead wrong? You just anchored yourself to your competition’s success and furthermore, there’s now nothing to truly differentiate your two landing pages. Why should customers go to you instead?

3. Cliché Ad Copy. Finally, many marketers will turn to tired, old, boring and used cliché messages that they think sound good, they don’t. These messages don’t scream, “Buy me now!” They scream, “Help! I was written by a lazy marketer who might also be extremely corny!” Your message and copy need to mean something. If you aren’t the best-selling product, don’t call yourself that. Empty copy leaves prospects guessing. Be specific in the problems your product solves, it’ll be that much more impressive.

 

What’s the Right Way to Approach Landing Page Copy?

Now that you know the wrong way to approach writing copy for your landing page, what’s the best way? A little technique called Voice of Customer, or VOC. VOC is a marketing technique that relies on knowing your customer demographic in order to create viable copy that speaks directly to them in a language they prefer. VOC writing relies heavily on your understanding of your prospect’s problems and pain points, in other words, what do they need solved and what problems do they have with the solution you’re presenting.

When you know this, you can market the product or service in a manner that speaks directly to the lead, thereby eliminating friction. When you know their wants and needs, you can prioritize them accordingly, deconstructing each bit of friction with every line of copy on your landing page. This brings greater satisfaction to the lead as they read down the landing page and ultimately, all but guarantees the sale.