Paid Traffic vs. Organic Traffic: What Is Better?

Reading Time: 5 min

You have a website – yay! Now it is time to grow your website traffic. But, how do you do this? Paid Traffic vs. Organic Traffic? There are so many amazing tips available but differentiating between what is best and what works for you can be a little bit of a challenge. What works for one person and their available time to work their online business may not work for the next person.

One thing to consider is whether you want to dive into paid traffic or organic ‘free’ traffic. After all, you have to make decisions based on what is best for your business and schedule. That is why we have devised some informative information to help you learn the difference between paid vs organic website traffic and what is better for your business in general. Let’s dive right in.

What is paid traffic?

Just as it says in the question ‘paid’ traffic is paid advertisements that amount to a certain number of clicks per day. These are usually called ‘pay per clicks’. You might have heard of pay per clicks before. You would hire an advertising company to advertise your business and pay for each click you receive throughout the day. You would set a budget for each click. Prices depend on the agency and of course, the quality of clicks.

Paid traffic may also be paid advertising through search engines. This works by placing an ad say on Google. When someone searches one of your keywords your link is displayed at the top. You have probably seen one of the Google Ads before.

Another Paid Traffic Source is social media. You can run an ad through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and even Instagram. These ads can be specific to a web page or a product. You can also run an ad for newsletter sign-ups. Honestly, there are endless ways to run paid traffic ads to gain the traffic you are looking for.

With paid traffic you have to consider your budget for the business overall and how much of that budget can be utilized specifically for paid traffic. Another important factor is to decide if paid advertising is right for your business. One of the biggest factors in paid advertising is whether or not you will see the results you need and reach your target audience.

What is organic traffic?

Organic traffic is a term typically referring to visitors to your website as a result of free (unpaid) search results. As you can well imagine organic traffic is the opposite of paid traffic. Typically, organic traffic visitors find your website through search engines after they do a search. These search engines can be Google or Bing. Organic traffic also means that the visitor has not been ‘referred’ by another website.

With organic traffic, there are easier ways to increase the traffic of your website and one of the easiest ways is to have a blog. But having a blog is not just the only key. The biggest way to gain visitors is to post quality, relevant content that is helpful for your visitors. Think about it: what do you normally search online? Something you are looking for to help you do something. For example: how to get traffic to your website or the best gluten-free recipe for bread. Those two very different topics are helpful for the person searching for it at that moment.

Another great way to gain organic traffic is on and off-page search engine optimization. Within the online marketing world, the focus of directly improving organic traffic is SEO.

Quality VS Quantity?

Paid traffic will get you the quantity and quickly. But the question is whether or not those visitors will actually stay on your website long enough to know more about your business. Yes, paid advertising can be beneficial and it can pay off, in the long run. However, the one thing that should be pointed out is that often visitors from paid advertising tend to spend less time on the website than organic traffic.

The real question here is: do you want to have a lot of traffic over time or build trust and authority with your website?

Paid traffic will you get the amount of traffic over time but it does not help you to build trust with your audience or build authority with search engines.

Organic traffic, on the other hand, will take longer but you will have a long-term payoff as well as authority and trust. With authority search engines will trust your website and it will help you rank higher. Think of when you did a Google search last and the results on the first page were ranked highest, minus the paid ads on the very top of the results. Those top-ranked sites are not only trusted they receive the most traffic. Trusted websites will have more traffic because their brand and business is trusted. It also means that if your website is trusted friends and family will share your business online with others. Giving you another way to gain traffic organically.

My favorite report to see where my site users are coming from and their behavior is the source/medium.

Why you should focus on organic traffic vs paid traffic?

Focusing on paid traffic is great if it’s what you are looking for. It will definitely get you the traffic. But organically traffic will pay off in the long run. That is because you are building trust and authority. So a post you did two years ago if it was trusted and you have authority will still give you traffic and can convert into another sale even five years from now. Paid traffic will only get you the traffic for the day and will not guarantee you have traffic years later down the road from the same source. I usually recommend people don’t focus on traffic at all, but instead, focus on delivering value.

It is up to what you feel your business will benefit from. And now hopefully you have a bit of a better understanding of paid vs. organic traffic.

Need help measuring the results of your efforts? Check out our Traffic Insights Dashboard!
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