Achieving good organic visibility within search engines starts with optimizing your own website. This includes technical optimizations to the website that make it as easy as possible for search engine ‘spiders’ to enter, efficiently crawl, and index. In addition to implementing technical optimizations, it’s crucial to equip the website with engaging textual and visual content to optimize organic visibility, but primarily to meet the needs of the search engine user.

The higher a website’s organic position, the higher the CTR (Click Through Rate) from search engine users. This means the number of users clicking through to the website from a search engine. Simply put, the higher you rank in search engines, the more traffic you attract. Achieving the highest possible position on your key search terms is therefore crucial. But if the content and technical aspects of a domain are already fully optimized, yet you haven’t achieved top positions, how can you further optimize these positions? A third possibility is by optimizing the authority of a domain, or in other words, link building.

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What is link building?

Linkbuilding is a process where backlinks are generated from (mainly external) websites to a specific domain. The purpose behind the 'linkbuilding' technique is to transfer (a part of) the authority from an external domain to the receiving domain. The links from external domains serve as support for the credibility and reliability of your own website's content. This is exactly what you want to achieve with your website or webshop. When external websites place a backlink to the content on your website, it supports the information specifically shared about a topic. Search engines will recognize this authority and assign a higher relevance to your website or page. All of this will lead to better organic positions.
Wouter Bok
Business Development

What is a backlink?

A backlink is a hyperlink originating from an external domain. The backlink thus refers to a specific domain, through a hyperlink, to another domain.

Example: LEQUAL receives a backlink from Wikipedia. This means that Wikipedia, somewhere on its website through a hyperlink, refers to the domain

How do you acquire backlinks?

Linkbuilding is the process by which an organization attempts to acquire relevant backlinks from relevant external domains to improve its organic visibility. However, how do you ensure that external parties want to place a hyperlink to your website? There are several ways to do this.

Organic acquisition, or link earning

The ultimate scenario for building authority is by obtaining backlinks organically. This means that external websites find the content on your website valuable and therefore want to reference it, for example, as a source. This is also why informative entities such as large news websites acquire a tremendous number of backlinks organically (link earning) and thereby build significant authority. However, this is more challenging to achieve for commercial entities with less interesting niches. However, this does not mean that there are no opportunities.

Buying backlinks

The fastest and easiest way to acquire quality backlinks is by purchasing references from external domains. This is one of the most commonly used techniques worldwide for building authority. Many content publishing websites, such as blogs and news websites, have established a business model where references (backlinks) are sold in a published article or blog, with a fee paid by the receiving party. The content does not necessarily have to be of value to the publishing party, as a fee is paid.

This form of obtaining backlinks is not tolerated by search engines such as Google. In other words, deliberately manipulating search engine algorithms can lead to penalties from search engines, resulting in significantly reduced organic visibility for the receiving party. However, in practice, we see that many organizations in competitive markets still use this technique and are not deterred by the potential penalties.

Realizing backlinks through your network

In addition to buying backlinks or organically obtaining them, there are other options that can often be realized for free. For example, by making clever use of your organization’s network. Organizations typically have many partners, suppliers, and customers. You can confirm these partnerships by referencing them.

To assess the opportunities, it is advisable to map out your organization. Which partners do you have in the fields of ICT, development, and hosting? Additionally, make it clear which tools you use and who supplies your coffee beans. This way, you can offer to write a testimonial for the relevant party to generate a backlink. Such backlinks are very relevant given the collaboration between the parties. Moreover, these backlinks are very difficult for competitors to replicate if they do not have the same collaborations with the same parties.

PR (linkbuilding)

Through PR linkbuilding, it is possible to obtain backlinks from the most authoritative domains. PR linkbuilding is a highly creative and sustainable strategy for acquiring backlinks. However, this strategy may not be suitable for every type of organization. The processes are often expensive and intensive. Nevertheless, successful PR campaigns can make a significant difference for a robust backlink profile.

But how does this work exactly? PR linkbuilding campaigns typically start with the formulation of several interesting propositions. These propositions are either newsworthy or tend to provoke a lot of discussion or controversy. Subsequently, these propositions are tested with a research panel. The results are then shared through a conclusive press release. Finally, this press release is distributed among the national media. Whether the message is actually picked up is often uncertain, but having good connections with editorial teams generally increases the chances of success.

Key considerations in linkbuilding

Linkbuilding is a means to increase your authority and create better organic visibility. However, it is wise to conduct linkbuilding in a sustainable and natural manner, given the real risk of a penalty for intentionally manipulating search engine algorithms through linkbuilding. But how do you implement a sustainable strategy and stay within the lines?

Relevance of backlinks

The relevance of backlinks is an enormously important factor in link building. This means that the backlink originates from a domain where the subject of the domain and the content align with the subject or niche of the receiving domain. Additionally, you can increase the relevance of the backlink by placing it in the right context.

Naturalness and authority of external domains

The technique of link building has evolved significantly in recent years. Algorithms are becoming more sophisticated, making it easier to detect conspicuous manipulation techniques. Therefore, a natural and sustainable backlink profile is essential to reap long-term benefits from linkbuilding efforts. In addition to the relevance of the domain, it is important that an external domain from which you wish to receive a backlink also receives relevant traffic. If the domain is relevant and receives relevant visitors through quality content, then a backlink from this domain is likely to be a valuable addition to your backlink profile!

Relevance and naturalness of potential backlinks are important, but are there any other factors to consider when looking at ‘the ideal backlink’? A third important factor is the authority of the domain from which you receive a backlink. The higher the authority of that domain, the more powerful the link. But how do you measure the authority of an external domain? You measure the authority of an external domain using third-party tools such as Majestic, Ahrefs, MOZ, and SemRush. All these tools have their own metrics based on their own algorithm. The tools provide an indication of the authority of a domain. It is not clear to what extent this indication corresponds to the algorithms of search engines like Google. However, the indication is useful for determining the value of a backlink from an external domain. However, do not rely solely on such metrics from third-party tools.

Link velocity

Link velocity, or the speed at which you acquire backlinks, is generally based on the number of backlinks that come in from month to month. The extent to which link velocity plays a role in organic positions is unknown. However, what we do notice is that a stagnation or decrease in incoming links generally leads to declining organic positions. Therefore, it is generally advised to achieve a steady stream of incoming backlinks and thereby create momentum.

Anchor texts

Anchor texts, also known as link texts or anchor texts, are the text behind which the hyperlink is linked. When placing backlinks on external domains, you should consider the anchor text behind which the backlink is placed. Search engines are able to read the anchor text, so this anchor text provides search engines with an indication of what can be found on the page to which the backlink leads. However, using too many of the same anchor texts can lead to over-optimization.

Homepage- versus deeplinks

The focus of a linkbuilding campaign is an important part of the preparation. Which keywords are promising and commercially interesting? You may be visible on these keywords on your homepage, but there is a good chance that you are visible with a deeper page. If this is the case, you run the risk of ‘imbalance’ when the entire linkbuilding campaign is focused on the deeper pages. In a natural backlink profile, the homepage receives approximately 20% of all incoming backlinks, while the remaining backlinks are somewhat evenly distributed among the other deeper pages. Avoid imbalance by spreading the backlinks across the landing pages and the homepage.

Creative linkbuilding strategies

Creativity plays a crucial role in linkbuilding strategy. The more creative the campaign, the more unique the backlinks, making it difficult for competitors to replicate them.

Through creativity, you can outpace the competition and make your backlink profile truly unique compared to others. But what are the creative linkbuilding strategies exactly? We have listed them in the adjacent image for you.

Knowledge sharing

Knowledge sharing is a highly creative strategy for generating backlinks and creating exposure. If you have a wealth of knowledge about a specific topic, you can be valuable to external knowledge platforms. With this strategy, you seek out informative platforms willing to collaborate, where you share your expertise for exposure for your company, preferably with a backlink included in these collaborations. Such partnerships are generally beneficial for both parties. In addition to exposure and backlinks, you also build authority at an individual level, and search engines are more likely to recognize the content you publish on various platforms as authoritative.

Barter deals

No budget for “buying” backlinks or paying for collaborations? Fortunately, there are multiple paths to success. Through barter deals, you can offer relevant products or services to platforms in exchange for a blog post. The success rate for such collaborations is generally slightly lower than when paying cash, but a barter deal for a brand is typically cheaper than paying in cash. A barter deal can also lead to exposure and potentially sales, for example, when a giveaway or discount code is shared in the collaboration.

Branded citations

Large brands and companies are often mentioned in the media, especially when the PR department is active. Branded citations are mentions of a brand or company on external websites. Often, branded citations do not include backlinks, even though the company is mentioned. It can be worthwhile for the PR department to contact publishing platforms to add a backlink to the citation. This is a very straightforward and highly effective strategy, but generally only suitable for larger organizations.


The skyscraper technique involves publishing highly extensive, informative content on your own website. With this strategy, you gather inspiration from external sources (competitors), aiming to essentially copy their content but then make it better and more comprehensive. With this comprehensive information, you approach external platforms that have also written about the topic, requesting a link to the skyscraper content. However, the content must be of such high quality and value that a potential link is valuable to external domains. With the skyscraper technique, it’s important to update the content as much as possible and ensure it is as complete and original as possible.

How do you start with linkbuilding?
Linkbuilding is still unfamiliar territory for many organizations, which is why you may consider outsourcing it. If you still wish to do it yourself, however, the barrier to starting linkbuilding can be high. Nevertheless, it's possible to start relatively easily and see the first results fairly quickly. But how do you start exactly?
Baseline measurement

A linkbuilding campaign starts with a precise baseline measurement. Map out all relevant terms as accurately as possible and create a baseline measurement of positions. Clearly note the positions and dates or use a dashboard with the ability to track positions. If desired, you can also track other important data after the baseline measurement, such as traffic per page or domain-wide, authority metrics, number of referring domains and backlinks, etc. However, much of this data can also be viewed retrospectively in supporting SEO tools.

Competitor analysis

A competitor analysis is a valuable tool for uncovering and learning from the strategies of competitors. Some aspects covered in the competitor analysis include:

  • – Current positions and position development of competitors
    – Benchmarking metrics compared to competitors
    – Deep-dive: what strategy does the competition employ?
    – What backlinks has the competition generated?
    – What does the anchor profile of the competition look like?
    Based on the above insights, the own strategy can be refined. It also provides insights into potentially interesting backlinks that can be replicated.
Establishing strategy

Once the baseline assessment and competitor analysis are completed, it’s time to develop the final strategy. At this point, it’s clear which keywords are of interest, what you may still lack compared to the competition, and what strategy the competition is employing. Based on this information, the linkbuilding strategy can be formulated. Determine the amount of effort needed for linkbuilding, decide which link-building techniques to employ, plan how to structure the anchor texts, and identify the pages to focus on. Once all of this is clear, the strategy can be formulated.

Measuring and adjusting

Measuring and adjusting is an aspect that is often underestimated. However, measuring results is crucially important. By measuring results, you can assess how much effort is still needed to achieve certain outcomes, and as we know, the difference in CTR can be enormous when, for example, you move from position 2 to position 1. Once you have achieved the maximum result, you can consider switching strategies. As rising is no longer the goal, you may switch to a “maintenance” strategy. This allows you to allocate your budget and efforts to new categories.

Frequently asked questoins about linkbuilding

Internal linkbuilding is the process of strategically placing and connecting hyperlinks within a website to create a relevant internal link structure. The goal is to improve navigation, enhance user experience, and guide authority within a website.

The costs for linkbuilding vary widely and depend on several factors, including the strategy employed, the quality and relevance of the backlinks, the number of backlinks being placed, the platform used, or the agency providing the service. Prices range from a few hundred euros to several thousand euros per month.

Free backlinks can be generated by submitting your website to business directories, web directories, or by participating in link exchange programs like the ABC link exchange method. Additionally, regular links can be obtained from partners, suppliers, and customers due to existing collaborations.

Backlinks are hyperlinks from external websites to one's own website. Backlinks are a crucial indicator for search engines to assess the reliability of a website's content and the authority of a domain. The process of obtaining backlinks is called "linkbuilding."