Generating backlinks

Everyone who is somewhat familiar with the world of SEO knows by now that backlinks are still one of the most important factors in generating better findability in Google. Generating sufficient backlinks is therefore a necessity. But how do you do this exactly?

Generating backlinks seems so easy these days. Advertisements that buy thousands of links at a time are popping up like mushrooms. This makes it seem as if everyone can get his or her website high up in Google without having to do anything. Nothing is less true though. Caution is advised when buying backlinks. If it were that simple, everyone would do it that way. Google, however, is very against it and - if it discovers that this is being done in large numbers - can even give so-called penalties for it. This will cause your website to sink further into the search results. It is therefore much better to leave link building to professionals and to build a natural link profile.

But how do you generate natural backlinks? And for the people who have only just entered the world of SEO: what exactly are backlinks? Here you can read everything you need to know about backlinks and we give 6 valuable tips to get started.

What are backlinks? 

Before we can tell you how to go about generating backlinks, it is first important to understand what backlinks are exactly. Because when do you actually call something a backlink? 

A backlink is a link that is placed to a website or another web page within that site. We can distinguish internal and external backlinks. Internal backlinks are placed on the own website and refer to a web page within that same website. An external link is placed on another website. 

Backlinks have long been used to make websites easier to find in Google. In the early days of Google, however, this was somewhat easier than now. Back then, the main thing was to collect as many backlinks as possible. Every backlink was considered a 'vote'. The more backlinks, the better. In this way, Google would believe that a website was valuable and relevant enough. After all, why else would it be mentioned so often on other websites? 

Meanwhile, Google also knows that there was a lot of fiddling around with this. People bought loads of links just to end up high in the search results. Even if they did not deserve it. Because Google also tries to keep the quality of its search engine as high as possible, it has constantly adjusted its algorithm over the years. Because of this, it is no longer so easy to generate backlinks these days. And those who do fall for such advertisements are often quickly punished. Building a natural link profile has never been so important. But how do you do it? Here are 6 tips. 

1. Use a backlink checker 

Before you start linkbuilding, it is first important to find out on which exact sites you can get backlinks. For this you can use a backlink checker. Maybe there are already backlinks available to your website. Backlinks of which you are totally unaware. By monitoring these, you get more insight into your current position. In addition, a backlink checker is also easy to use for monitoring your main competitors. Enter their domain name and quickly see how many links they have and where their best links come from. 

There are several online tools available that allow you to monitor your backlinks and those of other websites. Many of them are paid, but there are also backlink checkers available that are completely free. A good example is the backlink checker of Ahrefs. Although most functionalities within their software are paid, they also offer a free backlink checker. This one is definitely worth using. 

By discovering which websites link to your competitors, you also find possibilities to generate simple links yourself. If they were willing to link to the competition, chances are they are willing to link to your webpage as well. You can contact the owners of this website and check the possibilities. 

Be aware of the relevance to your website

The fact that these websites link to your competitors' websites does not mean that they are also relevant to your website. Try to avoid copying links indiscriminately and first assess the quality of the link before you write to the owners of the site. A link should always be relevant for your website. Moreover, there is also a chance that these links were obtained at a time when Google was not yet able to distinguish quality links. That is why it remains important to use your own knowledge to determine whether a link really adds value to your website. After all, it's not so much about the quantity of links, but more about their quality.

2. Ask colleagues, friends and family for links 

Almost everyone has a social media channel nowadays. Also the people in your immediate surroundings. Maybe there are even people who manage their own website. In that case, it is of course very easy to ask for links. Especially when they have some relevance to your website. 

You can also place links to your website yourself. For example, via one of your own social media channels. This takes little effort and is still very profitable. It is also possible to use so-called internal links on your own website. For example, link on the homepage to pages within the site that are of interest to the reader. This does not only provide a better user experience, but also a better link profile. 

3. Start a blog 

This is a method that is used in almost all countries and is one of the best ways to obtain valuable backlinks. It is also a great way to do international link building. 

If you want to generate backlinks, it is important that websites have a reason to mention your page. There are few websites that really give a reason to place a link. If you sell office supplies and you only have a webshop and a contact form, this will not give other websites a reason to link to you. Provided, of course, that they are not looking for office supplies themselves and then came across your web shop. It is therefore better to enrich your site with valuable content in the form of a blog. Write about things that are interesting for your target group and that can also arouse the interest of other people. 

Starting a blog is certainly not the fastest way to generate backlinks. However, when it is done in the right way it is very effective. In the end, it will give you lasting visibility within Google. And there is a lot to be said for that. 

For example, a webshop that sells office supplies can write a blog about furnishing an office. Or a list of real must-haves for the office. These are relevant to your industry and also interesting for other entrepreneurs within your niche to link to. Writing valuable and interesting blogs makes your website instantly more attractive to others. 

Write to relevant websites 

Of course, it is not enough to just post a blog and provide valuable content. It takes a long time if you have to wait for it to attract the attention of other websites. That is why it is a good idea to take the plunge and make your article known to other websites that are relevant to your article. Don't just draw their attention to your content, but also offer to write guest blogs (with of course a subtle reference to your own site). 

When writing blogs, it is important to provide unique content. If you write an article about saving money, then you know by now that the internet is full of them. There are even sites that offer more than hundreds of tips. It is therefore almost impossible to compete with this. Why would your article arouse interest if a similar article has already appeared more than a thousand times on Google? Therefore, deal with subjects that are just a little bit different or that are not yet very much talked about. In this way, you make your authenticity known and you arouse the interest of many other sites and a large part of your own target group. 

4. Make use of directories 

Directories are a very simple tool to generate multiple backlinks quickly. Directories are collection sites like that have hundreds of links to help the user make a choice between various sites quickly. Directories offer you the opportunity to get backlinks quickly by simply filling in a submission form. Moreover, there are many different directories available. Therefore you can spread a lot of links over the wide web in no time. 

Please note, however, that not all requests are actually honoured. The administrators want to keep the quality of their site high and will therefore only add websites that are relevant enough. It is therefore pointless to address all directories. Only address the directories that are relevant for your site. 

In some cases link requests are even refused when your website fits in perfectly. This is because directories are already full of links and therefore only want to add a few at a time. To really be added, you have to offer something unique. Something that has not yet been added to the site. 

Not always wise 

Using directories may seem easy, but be aware that often no more than 10 percent of your link requests are honoured. Moreover, the quality of these links is not what it used to be. In fact, Google sometimes penalises directories because they see it as a form of invalid link distribution. Some links from directories can even influence your ranking negatively. That is why it is good to have the right ratio between regular backlinks and directory backlinks. If the majority of your backlinks come from directories, Google will lower your ranking. 

Directory links can only be valuable if they are applied correctly and in moderation. Moreover, they have to be relevant to your website. If this is not the case, it is better to leave it alone to avoid a Google Penalty. 

5. Create a press release 

Is your company launching a new product soon? A product that is relatively unique within the current market and for which there will probably be a lot of demand? Then a press release is exactly what you need to generate a lot of quality backlinks easily. 

Always have a press release written by a quality copywriter so you can be sure that the quality is high. Create the press release and include a link to a relevant page on your website. Then use this press release to send to digital newspapers. These can be large newspapers but also small local newspapers. 

You can also send the press release to other specific news sites and blogs within your industry. Provided you have really interesting information to report, such sites are more likely to include your press release than a large general newspaper. 

If you succeed in publishing your press release in a major newspaper, it will immediately have a huge impact on your ranking in Google. Online newspapers have an enormous authority position within Google. One link in a digital newspaper is therefore often more valuable than dozens of other links. 

Provide really valuable information 

There is no point in thinking up something new just to publish a press release. You really need to take into account your company's reputation and the guidelines you need to follow when drafting a press release. Otherwise, a digital newspaper will never make use of it. 

Moreover, the information you share must be truly newsworthy. Newspapers and blogs are flooded with new requests and 'newsworthy' reports every day. They are obliged to separate the wheat from the chaff, because they simply cannot publish everything and a wrong press release can also damage their reputation. Therefore, make sure that your message really stands out. Otherwise, investing money and time in creating press releases will have little or no effect. 

6. Respond to other blogs 

Many blogs allow you to leave comments. You can also use this to strengthen your link profile. Be very active on blogs that are relevant to your industry. Many blogs make it possible to leave do-follow links in the comments. By doing so, you can also place a backlink to your website by giving a substantive response. 

Comments on blogs that are not relevant to your industry will be seen as spam by Google. That's why it's important to only look for relevant blogs and at the same time not to randomly post a reaction, but to discuss the content of the article. 

Also make sure that you do not do this too often in one day. Post a comment now and then, but don't make it a sport to spread dozens of links every day. Even if you pay attention to relevance and content. Google will soon realise this, which can have a negative effect on your ranking. 





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