What to watch out for when link building in Belgium
Link building abroad cannot be done in the same way as in the Netherlands. There are several things to take into account. The most important factor is the social culture of the country in question.
A big advantage of Belgium is that the cultural differences with the Netherlands are relatively small. Also in terms of language, we are pretty much on the same page. However, in Belgium they also speak a lot of French and German, in contrast to our country. This has to be taken into account when determining the right anchor texts and adapting the website. In addition, typical Flemish expressions can be used to better appeal to the imagination of the target group. There are also differences in the expectations of Belgian and Dutch consumers. Belgians, for example, attach much more value to a customer service that is easily accessible and they are also more likely to address this before buying products. This should also be taken into account when optimising the website.
It is also good to have a .be domain and a bilingual website. This will quickly give you a higher ranking in the Belgian search engines.
Link building Belgium: the main advantages
In most cases, optimising your website for Belgian visitors is not enough if you want to be visible to our southern neighbours. Much more is needed. Link building can play an important role in this. But why? What are the benefits of link building Belgium? We list them below:
Higher quality score in search engines
Google, the largest search engine in the world, tries to keep the quality of its search results as high as possible. If users have the right information as quickly as possible, this will ensure their valuable position worldwide. Therefore, it is not enough just to build a beautiful website. After all, this is something that almost everyone is capable of these days. It is much more important to deliver quality content and to show that your website is worth looking at. Google's algorithm can assess this in different ways. The most effective method is to collect links on other quality websites that are relevant to your business. The more qualitative links, the more valuable Google will find your website. This way you will enjoy a higher quality score and a correspondingly higher position within this search engine.
When you have obtained this higher position within the relevant search results in Google, this will in turn also result in more visitors. And the more visitors, the greater the chance that more products will be sold. In short, more visitors ultimately leads to more turnover. Another big advantage of link building is that it allows you to focus on a specific target group. By using the right keywords, you reach the right audience. This increases the chance that these leads will actually deliver something. This is in contrast to when you try to appeal to a relatively large audience.
At the same time, you should realise that making a name for your company is also much easier online. If you suddenly open a brand new shop across the border, you will have to rely on word-of-mouth advertising and people getting curious when they walk by the shop. However, this hardly ever produces the desired effect. In that respect, a webshop is much easier to introduce across the border. Everyone searches for products online these days. This is no different abroad. More than 90% of the population uses Google to search for products or services. You can therefore put your company on the digital map quickly by using various SEO techniques, including link building. Make sure that you use the right anchor texts. Do not optimise these texts for Dutch terms, but use words that have a high search volume in Belgium. This, combined with an optimised website, will immediately make your company more visible to our southern neighbours.
Build relationships with other companies
Link building does not only contribute to better findability, it also ensures that you are in better contact with other companies. By placing links to relevant and qualitative websites you ensure that you become better known to other companies. In addition, this often results in an interaction. You place links to other companies, they place links to your company. This way you can easily build new relationships with other companies. Something that can be very profitable in the end.
Be aware that in Belgium you are starting from scratch with your link building. Perhaps you already enjoy enormous brand awareness in our country and people regularly search for your own brand name, but in Belgium they probably don't know your company at all yet. Therefore, you will have to intensively apply SEO techniques and set up a good link building strategy. It is especially important to research the right anchor texts. It makes little sense to use your company name as an anchor text abroad. That is why anchor texts that make the reader curious have to be chosen. A link building specialist can help you collect the right anchor texts with a high search value.
A major advantage of link building is that it is not as much a matter of maintenance as many other SEO techniques are. When we talk about maintaining link building, we often mean keeping track of whether the links are still working and whether the web page is still working properly. Of course, you can also expand further. But in principle you will reap the benefits of a few good links for years. These are usually placed on a permanent basis and will therefore not disappear from the web. Provided, of course, that the website is not taken off the air. So when you have received a very good referral from a very qualitative site in Belgium, you will reap the benefits for years.
This is also the advantage compared to offline marketing. If you advertise in a Belgian newspaper or magazine, this will generate more visitors for a short time. However, when the newspaper is outdated and thrown away, your company will slowly sink back into oblivion. Link building ensures that your website can still be found years later via the same link. Especially when it is placed on a quality site or in a popular article.
Generate more growth
As an entrepreneur, you always try to generate more growth. However, sometimes you have to come to the conclusion that much more growth is no longer possible. If your company is already very large in the Netherlands, little further growth will be possible. If you are really ambitious, you can then choose to expand your market position and look outside the existing borders. Belgium can be a good intermediate step if you want to discover whether your company might also be positively received abroad. If this is the case, you can always aim for other countries. The sky is the limit!
A big advantage of expanding your business is that it also offers entirely new opportunities. In Belgium, there might be more demand for your products or it might be possible to offer a completely new line. By doing so, you learn more about the people there, but also about your own flexibility and the way you dare to make changes so that you can accommodate everyone. Some companies do indeed make sure that they adapt their products to the population. So also when they try to expand their borders abroad. This may seem complicated and time-consuming (and maybe it secretly is), but it also offers a lot of new opportunities. A challenge to seize and not to let go.
Starting small with a big result!
Of course, that all sounds fantastic, but where on earth do you start? After all, linkbuilding Belgium does not only mean finding the right websites and making good contacts, but also adapting your website and possibly even your product range. Be aware, however, that you don't have to take elephant steps right away. Mouse steps will get you to the top, only at a completely different pace. Therefore, our advice is to think in small steps and to slowly start your way up. You don't have to change everything right away.
Always start with finding the right team to help you. Link building may not seem too difficult, but mistakes are easily made. Especially when you hope to be successful abroad. Therefore, engage link building specialists who have experience with link building abroad. Start by creating a link building strategy. Tell your wishes and plans for the company. Explain to what extent you want to make a name for yourself and what your marketing budget is. Based on this information, they can create an effective strategy.
There are also things you can do yourself. Doing link building yourself might seem a bit tricky, but when you do it the right way, you can have some small (and big) successes. Think for example about the use of internal links. If done properly, it can be very easy to strengthen your position within Google. Do not expect miracles from this yet, but every little bit helps. Moreover, this also improves the user experience of the reader. With the help of well-placed internal links, they can quickly switch between the homepage and other relevant pages within the website. This way, their search query is quickly answered.
It's always the little things that make the difference. A little of yourself and a little of a professional team. Then you don't have to set aside a huge budget and you can still achieve success. Win-win!
Can I cross the border with my company?
The sky is the limit, we like to believe that is true in all cases. However, as an entrepreneur, sometimes you have to take a step back and admit that not everything is the right choice for your company. That is why it is good to ask yourself whether there is really something to be gained from our southern neighbours or whether you would be better off releasing more marketing budget for your company to improve your position in the Netherlands. You can do a lot to adapt your website and get the link building in Belgium on point, but will your products then be received well? That is the most important question you can ask yourself. There are always companies that do well in the Netherlands, but hardly get any attention in our southern neighbourhood.
So first ask yourself whether there is any interest in your products in Belgium. You should also be aware that, due to cultural differences, the target group here may also be different. Where in the Netherlands you might mainly focus on people over 55, in Belgium it might suddenly be a much younger generation. That is why it is wise to first do thorough research into the consumer behaviour of Belgians. Or have someone do this research for you. That way, you will soon find out whether it makes sense to cross the border.
Also bear in mind that in Belgium they often have different expectations of companies. The Dutch are often a bit of a stubborn people who like to make their own plans. Customer service? They only call on them if they really can't work it out. They would much rather use their own insights or call in help in some other way in making a choice. This is different for Belgians. They attach much more value to good customer service and make frequent use of it before they actually buy a product or join forces with a company. That is why it is good to understand the cultural differences and to act accordingly. If you cannot meet the expectations in Belgium, the company will soon be judged for this.