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Why link building?

Monday 8 november 2021

Link building is a well-known term within online marketing. It is an integral part of SEO and is often used in combination with other SEO techniques to improve the findability of a website. The use of link building has become more and more important over the years. In this article we will explain what link building is, how it can be used to improve the findability of a website and why link building can be so important for your online business. 

Link building involves obtaining various links to your website. This is of course very flat, because there is obviously more to it. It all has to do with Google's algorithm. Every link that is placed to your page, is seen by Google as a 'vote' for the authority of the page. When other websites place a link to your page, this indicates that it contains important information. Information that is of real use to the target group. The more qualitative links that are placed, the more important your website will be found. This is not directly about the number of links, but about their quality. A link on a news website for instance is much more valuable than a link from a brand new and badly read blog. This is because a news website has amassed a lot of authority. In addition, the so-called anchors and the relevance also play an important role for the quality score within Google. Link building is therefore not only important for your online business, but also the way it is applied. 

4 reasons to start link building 

That link building is important, is known by most companies. But why should you as a (starting) entrepreneur pay extra attention to it? It may be that you have not thought about it at all or that no extra attention has ever been given to it. In that case, there is more to be gained than you think. Simply by involving the right people and giving link building more of a chance. Still not convinced of the 'why'? Then it is time to change this. Here are the four main reasons to start link building. 

  1. Setting up the right link building strategy not only has an effect on the findability of your website or specific pages, but also on the brand awareness of your company. If your company is mentioned on several major websites, this will lead to more brand awareness. Consumers like to choose companies that ring a bell. They get a good feeling about them, simply because they have heard of them before. As a new name on the market, you usually have less chance, because there is less consumer confidence. By investing in link building, you increase your name recognition and thus generate more visitors and turnover.
  2. Link building is an important part of SEO. Chances are that your competitors are also using it. If you fail to do so, you will lag behind the competition. Something that makes your website sink further and further into the search results of Google and also into oblivion. By applying the right link building strategy, you will remain active within the competition and you will be able to put your website on the digital map.
  3. Perhaps you recently launched a brand new product and added a new page to your website. The traffic to this page is still very low. To improve this, you can use link building to make the page better known to the general public. You can do this by recruiting links to this specific page within your website. This way, you will not only increase awareness of the page, but it will also end up higher in Google.
  4. One of the biggest advantages of link building is that you often see results within a short period of time. This is in contrast to other online marketing strategies, which often take a long time before you can actually see the effect. Moreover, the result is also easy to measure. Because of this, you can often enjoy better brand awareness, better findability and higher visitor numbers within just a few weeks. Enough reason to start link building. 

In short, link building can mean a lot for your online business. There is one caveat however. Because it is not only important that link building is worked on, but also that this is done in the right way. You can choose to tackle part of your link building strategy yourself, but it is also wise to get the help of an expert. By making a plan of approach together, you know how to set up the best strategy and thus achieve the best results. 

Difference from the past 

Link building has been used for many years as the way to end up higher in Google. However, there are big differences compared to the past. If we use 2010 as a reference point, a lot has changed in the field of link building. In the past, people mainly looked at quantity. Link building was about collecting as many links to your website as possible. In essence, this is of course still true. But there is a change. In the meantime, Google's algorithm is so advanced that it knows exactly which links are relevant and obtained in the right way and when they are spam. This was not the case in the past. 

The result? People bought large quantities of links that were spread haphazardly over the wide web. These were not relevant links. The authority of such sites did not matter either. Every link was a vote. As a result, companies could end up higher in the search results by investing a lot of money, but the quality of these search results declined considerably. This is a danger for the authority position of Google itself. That is why they have adjusted the algorithm a little bit more over the years. Meanwhile, Google's robots know very well when it is spam and when it is not. So-called bought links can even be punished with a Google Penalty. This has a negative influence on your findability. 

Therefore, in the year 2021 it is very important to think about the quality of the links. Moreover, they should be acquired in the right way. If you do buy links, this should also be done in such a way that it is not noticed by Google. If you really want to score with link building, it is important to improve the quality of your website. Share content that is interesting for your target group and interesting for other websites to link to. Only this way can you build a strong link profile and secure your authority position within Google. There are no shortcuts when it comes to link building. It's all about quality and that sometimes takes a bit of time. But if it is done in the right way, it will pay off handsomely in the years to come and the effect will be lasting.  

Using internal links 

There are also many things you can do yourself to build a natural and good link profile for your website. It starts with your own website. You can already place many internal links on your website. By using good internal links, you start the link structure that Google considers so important. Moreover, it also provides a better user experience for the visitor. They no longer have to look through the entire website to find the information they are looking for, but can easily click through to the most relevant page for their query. Place many relevant links within your website that redirect to the most important pages. 

Keep in mind that the internal links should actually have a purpose and should help the reader in their search. So there is no point in having content with dozens of internal links if it doesn't lead anywhere else. It is not only annoying for the reader, but it will also have no added value for Google. Therefore, be cautious when placing internal links and make sure it really adds value for the reader. Only then will this method be effective. 

A good way to build a link structure within your website is by keeping a blog. Write articles that are relevant to your target group and that fit the products and services on your website. Then it is also no problem to place an internal link in the article to a relevant page on your website. 

How do you get relevant external links? 

Obtaining external links is somewhat more difficult. Yet there are many possibilities to obtain these links. Obtaining real relevant and qualitative links is a whole different story. But how do you go about this exactly? Where can you go when you are looking for websites that want to place an external link to your website? We have put together a number of useful tips for you: 

  • There are several pages where you can register. These are called directories. They refer to various pages on the world wide web in order to help visitors to fulfil their search query. These include start pages and overview pages. The Netherlands has a lot of directories and they are already full of different links. That is why it is not easy to get a link here. You can of course request one. Make sure that your website is relevant for the directory. Otherwise the request will be rejected anyway. Please note that only a few percent of all your requests will actually be accepted. So this is not a one-size-fits-all solution.
  • Talk to your immediate surroundings. There are plenty of people in your area who have a social media channel or perhaps a website. They may also want to place a link to your company. You can also ask suppliers, partners or customers to do this.
  • Write interesting articles and blogs to attract more customers. You can share these via social media or put a reference to your company in them. Be aware that there are a lot of articles and blogs online. Therefore, you must ensure that your information is truly newsworthy. Something that really attracts attention. So don't share the umpteenth blog about saving money, but share interesting tips & tricks that you can't find everywhere. Be creative!
  • It is also smart to occasionally link to other relevant websites from your own. Moreover, you can sometimes count on a link back. But be careful with this. Exchanging links is not officially allowed. Google will quickly notice when there are dozens of links pointing to you and vice versa. This can be a great method, but do it in moderation. 

Every method has to be coherent. You can't just focus on one method. If you only have backlinks on directories, this will eventually yield little. So make sure you have a good mix of backlinks on other relevant websites, blogs, social media and directories. This way you build a natural link profile and the findability of your website will improve immediately. 

The most important thing is of course to really earn the links. There are many different tricks to get a large amount of links quickly, but in the end Google looks for relevance and authority. Therefore, pay a lot of attention to your own website. Share information that is really useful. Provide unique content. By doing so, you will ensure that other companies will share your content more quickly. This will not only save you a lot of work, but will also lay the foundation for an effective link building campaign. 

Try to set up as natural a link profile as possible 

As we said, there are no shortcuts when it comes to link building. Of course, there are various tricks you can try to get more links as quickly as possible. But the most effective form of link building can only be achieved by taking enough time. Collecting relevant links. Investing in valuable content on your own site and thus earning the right links. 

Also be aware that Google keeps a close eye on all websites. Be aware that Google also benefits from valuable websites. When websites with less relevant content end up higher in the search results than they actually deserve, this also hurts Google's authority position. It is not for nothing that they come up with new algorithms every year to continuously optimise their services. 

Google is very strict when it comes to link building activities of websites. The robots know exactly when links are paid for and when there is a link exchange. Google would prefer to see only honestly earned links. Of course, this is not the reality. But in order to build a natural link profile, it is important to pay as much attention to this as possible. There may well be a combination of qualitative and less qualitative links. As long as they are honestly earned and it is clear that they have been obtained over a longer period. 

Buying links! 

There are still plenty of companies that buy backlinks. If you look into buying links, you can buy huge amounts of links for a small amount of money in no time. It seems simple. Just invest some money and benefit from a higher position within Google. Of course it is not that simple. Otherwise every company would make use of it. 

Buying links is not recommended by most marketers. It is not only against the rules of Google, but if it is discovered, it will also be punished severely. Not only will the quality score of the link source be reduced, but your business will be adversely affected as well. 

If you do decide to buy some links, it should be done in the right way. This means that there is sufficient relevance between your links and the website on which they are placed and that it is not about huge amounts, but that they are placed and processed in a natural way. For example, don't put a link to a football gear shop on a home accessories blog. The relevance is lacking, so this is not relevant for the reader and can be punished by Google. Moreover, it will then become very clear that this is spam. 

Want to know more about link building? When drawing up a link building strategy, always get help from real professionals. Online marketers who know everything about link building and can work with you to create an effective SEO campaign. Would you like to know more about link building or are you curious about the various possibilities? Then feel free to read more on our website or contact one of our specialists. 

Brandon Bessem
Online marketeer
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Marketing was altijd al een kant die hem heel erg aansprak. Wat is nou leuker dan de verkoop van producten of diensten te bevorderen op een creatieve manier? Juist!

Brandon is 5 jaar geleden via zijn HBO studie Ondernemerschap & Retailmanagement in aanraking gekomen met een nieuwe tak (voor hem) in de marketing, namelijk: online marketing. Hij vond het geweldig en is sindsdien niet meer uit het online marketing vak weggegaan. Brandon zijn specialisme ligt binnen SEO.
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