Guest posting is an effective SEO strategy marketers should consider when targeting the Netherlands. In this guide, we’ll explain how guest posting in the Netherlands works, how to approach outreach and choose platforms, and provide you with practical tips for crafting a high-quality guest post.
Go for quality content above quantity
When it comes to SEO, quality content is king. While publishing a large volume of content can help increase your website’s visibility, if that content is low quality, it can actually have a negative impact on your SEO. Especially since Google’s Helpful Content Update. So don’t just translate some English blog to Dutch or ask ChatGPT to scribble down some SEO content. Google’s algorithms are designed to surface the most relevant and valuable content to users, which means that high-quality content is more likely to rank well in search results. Low-quality or spammy content is more likely to be penalized by Google. In short: be sure your content is actually helping the reader.
Another good reason is that high-quality content is more likely to be shared and linked to by other websites, which can help improve your search engine rankings. And lastly, quality content engages users and retains users. This leads to increased traffic and conversions, as well as improved brand reputation.
Guest posting in the Netherlands: 3 big differences to consider
While the principles of guest posting are largely the same regardless of where you are located, there may be some differences in the way it is practised in the Netherlands compared to other European countries. Here are the key things to consider:
- Language: The Netherlands is a multilingual country, with Dutch being the official language. However, many people also speak English, especially in a B2B setting, so it’s possible to guest post in English on Dutch business websites and blogs.
- Culture: The Netherlands has a unique culture and business environment, which may influence the way guest posting is approached and received. For example, the Dutch are known for their direct communication style, so be prepared for straightforward feedback and responses when pitching your idea.
- Industry differences: The Netherlands is home to a number of thriving industries, including technology, logistics, and creative industries. This may affect the types of websites and blogs available for guest posting and the topics that are of interest to their audiences.
Do your research and understand the local context when guest posting in the Netherlands. This will help you tailor your pitch and content to the specific needs and preferences of the Dutch market.
Outreach in the Netherlands
With 17 million Dutch people, the Netherlands have a staggering 10 million websites and counting. You will find websites for every niche, but finding the right websites is tedious work. The more professional websites will have either a guest posting (gastbloggen), sponsored content or advertising (adverteren) section that outlines your options for getting your content on their sites. For those bigger, more important sites that you will find on a first Google Search, this direct approach is more favourable as it allows you to establish a direct contact for a long-term relationship. You can pitch your idea, negotiate the costs and ensure quality content that satisfies both your business goals.
Follow the next best practices for outreach in the Netherlands:
- Do some research before contacting. SEO is all about relevance. If your niche is gambling for example, don’t approach a business site that clearly wouldn’t post your content. Verify if your target site matches your intent, just like Google would.
- Don’t use Gmail. In the Netherlands, it is very uncommon for a professional business to use Gmail in establishing contact. This only happens when a new company hasn’t set up their website yet, or when a Nigerian prince wants to ‘donate’ some millions. Use your company email to establish trust from the start.
- Follow the process. When a site has a media kit that explains how sponsored content works, chances are your ‘free content for your site’ approach will be ignored. Sending a copy/paste email with general questions that can be found on the website, is considered wasting time.
- Authority: Look for websites and blogs that are well-established and have a strong reputation in your industry. Guest posting on a high-authority website can give your own website a boost in search engine rankings. Interestingly enough, authority in the Netherlands does not always correlate with high SEO metrics.
- Audience: Consider the size and demographics of the website’s audience. Is it a good fit for your target audience?
- Be precise. And personalize your pitch. Make sure to include a clear and concise summary of your proposed article, as well as any relevant links to your own website or previous writing samples.
In general, don’t be like Emma.
How not to approach website owners, kindly provided by Emma John:
How to measure your success of a guest post in the Netherlands
Was it all worth the effort? There are a number of metrics you can use to gauge the success of a guest post in the Netherlands. Ranked in both cost and effect:
- Backlinks: Building backlinks is an essential part of SEO, and guest posting is one sure way to do this. Use tools like Ahrefs or Majestic to track the number of backlinks you received from the guest post and see how it affected your website’s search engine rankings.
- Traffic: One of the second goals of guest posting is to drive traffic back to your website. You can use tools like Google Analytics to track the number of visits to your website from the guest post and see whether it had a positive impact on traffic.
- Engagement: Look at the comments and social media shares your guest post receives to gauge the level of engagement it generated. High engagement is a good sign that your content resonated with the audience.
- Leads: If your guest post includes a call to action, such as a newsletter sign-up form or a request to contact you, track the number of leads generated to see the impact of the guest post.
In all fairness, most guest blogs are focused on building backlinks. Direct traffic from your guest blogs, (called “referral traffic” in Google Analytics) is often sparse, even from large business platforms like Emerce.nl or Dutch Cowboys where an article easily gets 10.000 views (and if you’re interested, our sister organization Bloeise offers ghostwriting services). Only when you directly offer a next step to your audience in the shape of a CTA such as a PDF download, LinkedIn connection or a free consult, will you be able to create engagement and leads. And that comes with a price tag.
Ethical considerations for guest posting in the Netherlands
In short: when you are representing a small brand or webshop: don’t worry about using the proper sponsored tags or making the backlink nofollow.
When it comes to guest posting in the Netherlands, only big brands should keep the following key considerations in mind:
- The Reclame Code Commissie: The Reclame Code Commissie, a self-regulatory body for advertising in the Netherlands, is responsible for enforcing the Dutch Advertising Code, which outlines ethical guidelines for advertising in the Netherlands. If a company or brand is found to be in violation of the code, it may be subject to sanctions or fines.
- #Sponcon: Sponsored content, or #sponcon, refers to content that is sponsored or paid for by a company or brand. In the Netherlands, it’s required to clearly label sponsored content as such to avoid misleading readers. The Reclame Code Commissie has guidelines for labelling sponsored content and requires that it be clearly distinguishable from editorial content.
- Prosecution for advertising without proper tagging: Prosecution for advertising without proper tagging is relatively rare in the Netherlands. It certainly won’t concern a small time brand or webshop. However, it’s wise to follow the guidelines to avoid any negative consequences for your business and to maintain trust with your audience. If you are having a branded money making website, take the time to consider the pros and cons.
Always avoid plagiarism when creating content for guest posts in the Netherlands. Plagiarism is the act of using someone else’s work without proper attribution and can lead to legal issues and damage your brand reputation. And its bad for your SEO. To avoid plagiarism, ensure that all content you create for guest posts is original and properly cited. You can use ChatGPT, but only assofar it results in a Helpful text.
It’s worth noting that in the Netherlands, many small businesses rely on law insurance to protect their rights. However, authorship is not typically covered under these policies. If a business wants to pursue a copyright infringement case, it must hire a specialized lawyer, which can be costly as Dutch lawyers do not offer “pay if you win” options. The only way for an individual or business to bring a case is if an organization initiates a class action and they join in.
General best practices for guest posting in the Netherlands
- Create a content calendar: Creating a content calendar helps you plan out your content marketing efforts, including guest posts. Set goals, identify potential websites and blogs, plan out your content and outreach and track your progress.
- Use a variety of content formats: In addition to guest posts, consider using other content formats, such as blog posts, infographics, videos, and social media posts, to reach a wider audience and meet the needs of different types of learners. For example, turn your guest post into a video or podcast to reach a different audience and provide a new way to consume the content.
- Promote your content: Be sure to promote your guest posts and other content through social media, email marketing, SEO and other channels to maximize their reach and impact.
- Republish on your own or another website: If you have permission from the original website or blog owner, consider republishing the guest post on another website or blog to reach a new audience. You can also consider republishing your guest post on your own website, either as a blog post or as a page on your website. This can help drive traffic back to your site and give you more control over the content. If the website prefers unique content, you can also rewrite the text using ChatGPT or other AI writing tools.
Lastly, always be respectful and professional when approaching any websites and blogs for guest posting. Consider the time constraints of the people behind the sites you’re contacting and be clear and concise in your pitch to increase your chances of a successful match. It’s okay to ask for a discount, but be honest about your reasons and don’t make false promises of future work, like Emma did in the bad example above. While you may be able to secure a discount, misleading the website or blog owner could result in your guest post being taken offline sooner than you expect.
Want to skip the hassle of contacting website owners yourself? Our Dutch linkbuilding webshop holds some 130 options in 15 categories for sponsored content, either including or excluding content.