What Are Organic Links? (+ Best Practices)
Increasingly, as Google and other search engines’ algorithms continue to evolve and improve, organic links are being held in a higher regard than ever before.
Well, organic links are seen as a vetting process that reflects the quality and user-friendliness of content found on the SERPs.
To break this topic down further, here we
- explain exactly what organic links are,
- detail organic link best practices,
- as well as show you how to use organic links.
What are Organic Links?
In the online world, backlinks are a key component of search engine optimization (SEO). The higher the quality and quantity of links, the better your site will rank in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Notably, though, not all links are created equal.
There are two main types of links: organic and inorganic, or natural and unnatural. Organic links are those that are earned through merit – that is, they are obtained as a result of high-quality content and a strong backlink profile. Inorganic links, on the other hand, are artificial links intended to artificially boost a site’s rankings or manipulate the SERPs.
Unnatural links can include backlinks that come from spammy domains, link farms, or websites that are run by practitioners who choose to incorporate black hat tactics into their approach to SEO.
For these reasons, organic links are considered more valuable than inorganic links. Not only are they harder to come by, but they also carry more weight with search engines.
Organic Links Best Practices
The practice of obtaining organic links is, in a way, a passive one. In essence, not actively seeking the endorsement of other domains, but instead securing backlinks by being a resource to others within a particular niche.
More specifically, instead of using link building strategies like guest posting, pitching link exchanges, or submitting responses to HARO requests, securing organic backlinks involves concentrating largely on producing high-quality, informative, and helpful content.
This is largely why Google values this kind of natural link building. By incentivizing websites to produce highly informative content, it is improving the experience of its users and continuing to position itself as the most widely used search engine in the world.
Something Google has done exceptionally well. Since 1997, worldwide the platform has held more than 90% of the search engine market share.
All this is to say, the best practice to obtain organic links is to center your backlink building strategy around being as helpful as possible to both your own audience and the audiences of your fellow niche-relevant website owners, blog managers, and authors.
How to Use Organic Links (3 Tips)
Here are a few tips on how to secure those most valuable organic links:
1. Follow On-Page SEO Best Practices
One of the most effective ways to attract organic links is by following on-page SEO best practices.
On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing your web pages to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Here are several tips for optimizing your webpages for on-page SEO:
Hit the Right Notes With Your Title Tag
- The title tag is one of the most important on-page SEO factors.
- It tells search engines what your page is about and influences how your page ranks in SERPs.
- Make sure your title tag is keyword rich, attention-grabbing, and accurately describes the content of your page.
Optimize Your Meta Description
- The meta description is the text that appears under the title in search engine results pages, and it’s your chance to convince people to click through to your page.
- Make sure your meta description is keyword-rich and enticing, and be sure to keep it brief – no more than 155-160 characters.
Write Engaging-Informative Content
- The body of the article, the copy, should also include target keywords, as well as synonyms and related terms.
- The keywords should be used in a natural way that does not sound forced or artificial.
- While the content itself should be informative and helpful to the reader.
Use Images to In-Rich Your Written Content
- Another important on-page SEO element is the use of images.
- Images not only tell a story but also offer another opportunity to rank.
- Webmasters should include keyword-rich alt tags that accurately describe the image.
- By doing so, optimized alt tags help Google understand what the images are about and will rank them accordingly in Google images.
Optimize for Page Speed
- Google has explicitly stated that site speed is a ranking factor, and slow websites are penalized in search results.
- You can also use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to get recommendations for improving your website’s performance.
Prioritize Internal Linking
- Internal linking is the process of linking from one page on your site to another page on your site.
- When you do this correctly, you’re not only helping visitors to navigate your site, but you’re also telling Google which pages are the most important.
- Very basically, the more internal links you have pointing to a particular page, the more likely it is that Google will rank that page higher in its search results.
2. Go Beyond Written Content
When you’re creating high-quality content, it’s important to go beyond just the written word.
Keep People On Your Site
- Images, infographics, and videos can be great tools to help reduce bounce rate and to keep an audience on your web pages longer.
- In fact, research shows that adding a video increases time on page by 2.6x.
- Even if you aren’t a vlogger or graphic designer, using other people’s content to support your own content is a great way to build relationships with fellow websites.
- Why? Well, of course, you’ll give the content creator credit for their work by adding an outbound link.
- Essentially, a backlink from your site to theirs. In doing so, they may just notice this favor and return it in kind.
3. Write Informative Copy
We’ve covered it briefly here, but I wanted to break this down further. Why? Because informative written content is possibly one of the most effective ways of building organic links.
There are a few reasons why written content is so important for SEO:
Search Engines + Quality, Relevant Content = Rankings
- The first reason content is important for SEO is for those sweet sweet rankings.
- Search engines use algorithms to determine the rank of websites based on the quality and relevance of the content.
- The more relevant and high-quality your content is, the more likely you are to rank higher in search engine results pages.
- Another reason why written content is important for SEO is because it helps to establish your website as an authority in your given discipline or field.
- When you publish new blog posts and articles regularly, you’re providing your website with fresh content that can help it rank higher in search engine results pages and attract more visitors.
- Additionally, by writing about topics that are related to your business, you’re presenting yourself as a helpful resource, as well as signaling to Google where your expertise lies.
Can Help Build Backlinks
- Finally, of course, written content is an effective way to build backlinks to your website.
- When you produce great content, Google is likely to rank it high in the SERPs
- Incentivizing other websites to naturally link to it as it provides value to their readers and adds credibility to the points they are making throughout their own written content.
Not all link building tactics have to be based on pitching, spruiking, and metaphorically screaming your brand name from the rooftops.
Instead, by creating valuable content people wish to share, you can attract organic high-quality backlinks from reputable websites and improve your website’s visibility in search engine results pages.