What Are Organic Links & How to Get Them (Beginner’s Guide)

Payman Taei
Payman Taei
17 minute read

What Are Organic Links & How to Get Them (Beginner’s Guide)

Payman Taei
Payman Taei
17 minute read

Wondering what organic links are and how to get them?

Here’s a beginner’s guide to help you get started.

Inside, you’ll find:

  • A simple answer to what organic links are
  • Four benefits you need to know when it comes to organic links
  • A step-by-step process to getting high-quality organic links, fast

We’ve got a lot to cover so we better get started.

Organic links, also known as natural links, are dofollow and nofollow links that are given from a web page to another web page without a specific link building partnership between the two websites.

In other words, organic links are those links that are given to a website because the website owner who gives the link thinks that the resource is valuable and includes high-quality content.

These types of links are essential for every website, regardless of its niche. It could be a website providing SEO services, a fashion blog, a tech blog, or even a website that researches spy apps.

Natural backlinks are the type of links that you should definitely be focusing on, given the fact that their meaning lies in high quality content.

Also, no matter how many search engine algorithm updates Google does, organic links always score high.

To put it simply, you create content that’s worth sharing and people will want to link back to it without trying to trick the PageRank or any other ranking factor by Google.

No identical and mechanical anchor texts, no black and grey hat link building strategies (AKA low-quality links, unnatural links, bad links or toxic backlinks) in sight!

Just well-made and thought-through content that deserves to be linked.

Let’s use one of our very own blog posts to show you how acquiring organic links might look.

Let’s have a look at this blog post we posted a few months ago:

Respona blog post

As you can see from the title of the post, this one gives readers a number of ways that will help those interested in content marketing to get their blog noticed and boost their traffic.

We can easily assume that the post most likely includes tips and tricks that will be extremely useful for professional bloggers, publishers, marketers, and many other professionals out there.

We could say that the first step is to start by putting valuable and useful content out there.

We need to highlight that, as a piece of content gets organic visibility, i.e. ranks for more keywords in high positions, it has more chances of getting linked by other websites.

Consequently, as the piece acquires more links, it gets more organic visibility.

Ultimately, such a piece of content will work like a flywheel that brings in more links and more visibility, since there’s a high correlation between the number of links that are passively acquired and the level the organic visibility/rankings of a page.

The Ahrefs Overview you can see right below, informs us of the referring domains and backlinks from other domains to our blog post.

Respona blog post backlink profile

We notice that we’ve got a considerable amount of backlinks from a large number of referring domains.

The graphic below shows us the increase in organic links for this specific blog post:

Graph of increasing referring domains via Ahrefs

Additionally, here we can see the increase in organic keywords for our high link velocity blog post:

Graph of increased ranking keywords

It’s obvious that there’s a correlation between the number of acquired links and the number of organic keywords (and, consequently the number of organic traffic) that the post generates.

What you need to keep in mind when publishing your content is that organic traffic and consequently, organic links might not come from day one.

However, depending on your link building strategy and whether you do any outreach for promoting your content or not, you’ll have high chances of seeing the numbers go up.

Moving on.

We’ve already described what organic links are and what it means to get inbound links organically.

In this section we’re taking a look at four different benefits that organic links acquisition can bring to your business.

Let’s get into the first benefit.

Benefit #1: Increase your website’s authority

The first, and one of the most important, things the acquisition of natural links can do to your business is that it can positively affect your website’s domain authority (DA).

Put another way, having a piece that performs great in terms of being linkable, thus making people want to link back to it to enhance their content or support the validity of their arguments, can increase your website’s overall traffic and rankings.

The fact that a website may have some pages that perform better than others organically can lead to improving the website’s DA as a whole.

After all, on most websites, it’s only a handful of pages that bring in most of the links and traffic.

Let’s have a look at an example by online design tool, Visme.

More specifically, here’s the ‘best pages by incoming links’ report on Ahrefs.

Visme top pages via Ahrefs

We notice that there are some specific landing pages and blog pages that basically attract the most links in Visme’s website.

Consequently, the website’s overall authority grows.

We therefore understand that aiming for great content would probably mean that you should create linkable, informative content, like tutorials on how to do this or that, as well as blog posts that feature templates or infographics, and so on and so forth.

After all, you only need some pages that’ll increase the number of backlinks you’re getting, thus increasing your site’s authority as a whole.

Let’s get to the next one.

Benefit #2: Acquire referral traffic

Another great benefit organic links can get for your website is that they can help you acquire referral traffic.

Getting organic links from websites and webpages that have a lot of traffic on their own can lead to increasing your referral traffic through that page.

Even though getting referral traffic from a referring website isn’t easy, given that a referring page should have a lot of traffic to pass on traffic to other pages, something like that can definitely happen.

Let’s say that somewhere in the following blog post, there’s a non-sponsored link to your own site.

Ahref blog post on earning search traffic
Image Source: Ahrefs

As you can see, the organic traffic of this blog post is massive:

Ahrefs blog post organic traffic profile

For that reason, to get an organic link for your blog from a page with such high organic keywords, backlinks and organic traffic simply means that your referral traffic will be increased as well.

Thus, it’s evident that a link from this page won’t only be a useful link for our backlink profile in terms of getting link juice from a DR 90 domain, but also because we may be acquiring referral traffic from this page as it does really well in organic search.

In other words, these quality links from sites with high organic traffic are very valuable links that can significantly benefit your site.

Moving on to the next great thing organic links acquisition might do to your website.

Benefit #3: Get higher rankings

Similar to what we’ve just mentioned, organic links can also get your pages higher rankings.

Natural links are the kind of links that can help you increase your ranking and the organic traffic to your website.

In a like manner, organic keywords – which are keywords that are used to attract organic traffic through search engine optimization (SEO) – can also help you rank higher.

To put it simply, the more organic links and organic keywords you have, the more chances you have of getting a place in the first page of results on a Google search.

Let’s have a look at the following example of a blog post that’s about new employee welcome kits:

PRG Store blog post on welcome kits.
Image Source: PRG

As we can see, this blog post gets significant organic traffic and ranks for a considerable number of organic keywords.

PRG Store blog post organic search profile via Ahrefs

As the page acquires backlinks from authoritative domains, it gets higher organic rankings for terms that are relevant.

Have a look at the graphic below that shows the page’s increase in organic rankings:

PRG Store organic rankings graph via Ahrefs

Also, check out the increase in organic keywords from the same period of time:

PRG Store organic keywords graph via ahrefs

Since organic keywords are used to bring more organic traffic, we can clearly see that the increase in organic keywords leads to an increase in organic rankings for this specific blog post we’re featuring.

Additionally, there’s a correlation between organic links and organic rankings.

Pretty neat, isn’t it?

Keep reading to find yet another thing natural link building could help your business achieve.

Even though following a white hat link building strategy can be incredibly beneficial for your website’s rankings, organic links might even come when you don’t actively invest in link building for a while.

That’s not to say that there’s no reason to invest in link building.

We’re simply saying that, if for some reason you decide to pause your link building activities for a bit, you should still try to put your time and effort into creating amazing content that will pay off.

No matter how time-consuming you might think content creation is, it’s definitely worth it.

Our example here is a blog post by B2B agency, MINUTTIA, that gives readers access to fourteen templates they can download and use:

Minuttia blog post
Image Source: MINUTTIA

As we’ve mentioned a little further up, templates and how-to posts tend to perform really well.

That’s why we can see that a blog post that’s not doing any active link building at the moment still manages to get eleven backlinks from nine different referring domains passively.

Minuttia blog post backlink profile

We’ve now completed our list of four benefits organic links can bring.

Let’s move on to the next, very exciting section of our guide.

In this section, we’re taking you through the process of getting organic links for your content by using Respona.

There’re lots of link building tips and tricks we want to share with you and lots of screenshots we want to show you, so you get a very clear idea of what each and every one of these steps might look like.

If you’ve been reading our blog, you probably know that we often use hypothetical scenarios that help illustrate the process we’re describing.

In this case, let’s say that we’re trying to build quality links for the following piece of content organically:

Chart of the Week: Who Will Win the Game of Thrones?

This means that we don’t want to reach out to people and ask for a link, rather we want to raise awareness for our piece of content through a smart, non-spammy, and non-promotional outreach campaign.

We’re confident about the quality of our content and so we want to send it to people who have talked about Game of Thrones predictions in the past.

By doing that, we’ll be trying to ‘indirectly’ build links to our resource, but without asking for them from our prospects.

Put another way, we simply want to get our piece in front of them and let them decide whether they want to link back to it, share it online, or do anything else that would help us acquire new links.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

Step #1: Define your target pages

We’re starting the process by defining the target pages that we think might be relevant to our content.

The first step we need to take, so we can start the process of reaching out to people that might be interested in linking back to our content, is to start a new campaign with Respona.

Creating an organic links campaign inside Respona

We then naturally need to give our campaign a name that’s relevant to the scope of our working and that’s easy to remember.

Naming a campaign inside of Respona

In this case, we’re naming our campaign with a pretty straightforward title: Organic Links Outreach.

Yes, it can be that simple!

Organic Links Outreach title

After having set the name and other elements of your campaign, like the campaign priority which allows you to keep on the top the most important of your activities that might be running at the same time, we click on the Continue button and you’re ready to go.

Finish setting up the organic links campaign

You’re now at the stage of the campaign that means you need to use the Respona built-in search engine.

Your whole campaign basically starts with your search query in this search engine.

Respona search engine and import button

Here, you can add your search queries and advanced search operators that’ll allow you to better define your search, depending on whether you’re looking for link prospects, bloggers, influencers with large following on social media, and so on and so forth.

The first thing that we need to do to start setting up Respona’s search engine is to select a Source.

Your options here are:

  • Blog
  • News
  • Trending Content
  • Influencers
  • Podcasts
  • Web Search

We’re looking for news content so we’re going  for the News option.

News source in Respona search engine

Additionally, we don’t really seem to need an advanced search operator so our search query will be the following:

relevant keywords search

Since we’re looking for authoritative websites that might have published relevant content in the past, we also need to activate the SEO metrics for our search query.

Turned on SEO metrics button

We’ve now got our results and we’re ready to review them and see which ones will be the ones we’re going to use for our organic links outreach campaign.

News search results

When reviewing the search results, we can have a look at the title, search ranking, backlinks, DA, and Respona’s score of each opportunity.

Having access to all these means that we’re more likely to find opportunities that’ll help us identify the most relevant opportunities for our campaign.  

We can select any opportunity we want to include in our campaign by ticking the boxes on the left hand side of the screen.

Exactly as shown below:

Selected opportunities

After having gone through all of our potential opportunities, we’ve selected 20 of them that we want to proceed with.

The reason why we’ve selected 20 opportunities is to do with efficiency.

Depending on the scope of your campaign, we’d recommend that you try to include as many authoritative and relevant opportunities as possible.

Doing so will maximize your chances of getting a reply to the outreach emails you’ll be sending.

Completed opportunity search for organic links campaign

We now have the chance to review our selected opportunities one more time and then click on the Next Step button:

Moving to the sequence step

Let’s get to that next step.

Step #2: Create an email sequence

This step of the process is a fun, hands-on one.

It’s about crafting your email sequence.

Personal templates tab

When we get here, we can either choose one out of the many different premade outreach email templates Respona offers and customize it, or we can create an entirely new one.

Let’s go for creating a new email sequence.  

Creating a new personal template

Creating a new template is as straightforward as writing an email, but much easier, since Respona will autograde your email based on the length of your subject line, the word count, as well as whether there’s a question or a spam word in the email.

Blank template

We’re moving forward by adding our email content to Respona, where we can also see that Respona has given our email the content a grade we noted, helping us make sure that our content won’t end up in the recipient’s spam folder.

Completed organic link outreach pitch

It looks like our email has high chances of getting a response from our prospects:

Respona response estimator

As you can see, our email includes a few variables that’ll be adjusted when we get to the personalization step of the process a little further down.

To give you a bit of context, the {curly braces} represent information that’ll be adjusted automatically by Respona. These are called variables.

When you’re done working on the content of your email, you click on the Save button and you’re ready to move forward.

Saving the organic link template

After having saved our email, we can check out our email sequence as a whole.

This is basically an overview of our email sequence which includes information in relation to the day that our email is going to be sent.

Moving to the contact finding step

Author’s Note: In case there’s also a follow up email as part of your email sequence, it’ll be right under your initial outreach email.

Let’s get to the next step of the process, which is to find contact information for your prospects.

Step #3: Find contact information for your prospects

Finding contact information for your prospects can generally be a time consuming and challenging process.

However, using Respona to identify contact information for your prospects can be a hassle-free step in your workflow.

The whole process starts with the automation setup.

Have a look:

Automation setup for news sources

The automation setup process includes the questions shown on the screenshot above.

Let’s have a look at the question in a bit more detail.

The first question is:

Should Respona assign opportunities to authors of URLs?

Our answer here is “yes”, regardless of whether they work for the company.

The reason for this can be easily explained.

We’re looking for people who have blogged about Game of Thrones predictions in the past, no matter if it was a guest posting or blogging on their own website.

In other words, we want to reach out to anyone who’s been interested in the topic, regardless of whether they work for the company that published their Game of Thrones post.

In a like manner, the second question Respona ask us is:

Should Respona assign opportunities to people who work for the companies associated with the article domain?

As you can see, we’ve chosen the No option, given that, as we’ve already said, we’re not as interested in the companies that might have published such content as much as the writer.

We’re mostly focusing on getting in touch with the people who actually wrote the content.

In terms of our automation setup, we also get access to some advanced settings:

Advanced search buttons

Here is where we can tell Respona to assign a catch-all email, a company generic email, or a personal email if there’s no valid email address found or if a specific person to assign the opportunity to hasn’t been found.  

Finished contact automation setup

As soon as we’re done with the advanced settings, we’re ready to click on Next.

Let’s review our automation and let it run.  

Contact automation review

As you can see, the tool has assigned nineteen out of twenty opportunities and used eighteen credits to do the task.

Finished contact automation

Let’s click on the Continue button and get to the stage where we can actually review our assigned opportunities.

Fiding last contact manually

First of all, you can see below in the box that’s highlighted with red the number of our opportunities with a contact, as well as the unassigned opportunity – that is one opportunity for which we haven’t been able to assign a contact person.

Identifying one opportunity without contact information

We want to focus on the one opportunity that’s without contact.

We definitely don’t want to give up on any of our opportunities, so let’s see what we can do to make this up.

We’re going to do some domain-level searching manually.

Domain level contacts search

To be more precise, we’re choosing one of the several contacts that have been found with that domain.

get contact button

If we click on the Get Contact button that’s highlighted above, we can get a number of different email addresses for that person.

Direct contact information

Although we have made sure to cover any personal details for privacy reasons, you can still see that Respona has given us various email addresses that can be both personal and professional.

This means that we have the opportunity to choose between the different emails of the prospect and pick their business one to reach out to.

After having done that, we can see that our opportunity has been assigned a contact and we have no other unassigned opportunities.

Assigned contact information

However, in case we still had unassigned opportunities, we could also add a contact manually.

This can be particularly helpful when you already have the contact details of the person you want to reach out to.

Adding contact manually

As you can see, in some cases, Respona has also given us a link to the LinkedIn account of our prospect.

This is great; it gives us the opportunity to connect with the prospect before reaching out to them, thus creating and establishing a relationship with them.

The feature to add a contact manually is very easy to use – you can simply add the full name of the prospect and a domain.

Add contact manually tab

This will get you additional information like their company name, job title, location, and so on and so forth.

Filling in contact information fields

Now that all of our opportunities have been assigned a contact person, the majority of them directly from Respona and one that we needed to do some manual setup for, we’re ready to click on that Next Step button.

Moving to the personalization step

Let’s get right into the final step of the process.

Step #4: Personalize and launch your campaign

The final step in crafting our campaign is one that’ll bring us one step closer to people that might be interested in our resource, thus increasing our chances of getting organic links.

Before you get to launching your campaign, you need to personalize your email sequence.

How?

Let’s get into it.

As we covered earlier in this post, our email includes some variables that need to be personalized before the email is sent.

Personalization includes all sorts of things that will increase your chances of getting a reply.

From adding the prospects first name or specific details you might know for them in the opening line, to adding excerpts from their work and resources to show that you’re familiar with it – you’ve got lots of options to work with.

Inserting an article summary snippet

After having completed this, you’ll see that each opportunity you personalize will move to the Personalized category.

Personalized an unpersonalized messages

We need to do this with all of our 20 opportunities until there’s no opportunity that’s not been personalized.

Once that’s done, we’re ready to launch our personalized organic links outreach campaign.

Launching the organic links campaign

We’ve now completed all the steps in the process of crafting our campaign that will help us reach out to prospects that will most likely be happy to read our well-made Game of Thrones resource and check out our infographic.

By putting our great content out there, we’re hoping to get organic links to it from a number of authoritative domains.

It’s now time to wrap this post up.

Now Over to You

There you have it.

You now know what organic links are and how to get them.

Getting organic links may primarily be a case of creating the best content out there and distributing it accordingly, but as you’ve seen, there are indirect ways to achieve organic link building for your content.

All in all, you have to keep in mind that you have to create something that’s really valuable to both the search engines and to people visiting your website.

This is the first and one of the most important steps in building links organically.

Looking to start building your own links?

Then you might want to take Respona for a test drive.

Just schedule a demo and see what Respona can do for you.

Payman Taei
Payman Taei
Payman Taei is the co-founder of Respona, the all-in-one PR and link building tool that combines personalization with productivity. He’s also the founder of Visme, a DIY platform that allows everyone to create and manage presentations, infographics, reports, and other visual content.

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