Is it better to pay for traffic or to come by it naturally?


That’s the question that a lot of people ask when planning a digital marketing strategy for their business. On the surface, it may seem as if paying for it is the way to go, as you don’t have to put in a lot of effort to get to the top of those search engine results pages (SERPs). However, if you choose to go that route, you may be missing out on some of the benefits of drawing in traffic organically.


The truth is, while the main difference between organic and paid traffic is the cost, there are also other factors that set them apart. Keep reading to learn more about organic vs paid traffic, and to help determine which is right for your business.


What is Organic Traffic?

Organic traffic refers to the visitors that come to your site via unpaid sources. These sources are often free search engines such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo.


While you may not have to pay for organic traffic, you do need to know a little something about search engine optimization, or SEO. SEO can help you improve your ranking on SERPs, often increasing the amount of organic traffic to your site.


What are the Advantages of Organic Traffic?

There are many benefits to drawing in traffic organically, including the following:


  • It’s free. If you’re willing to learn about SEO, you don’t have to pay anything for organic traffic.
  • It improves your site’s credibility. Appearing at the top of organic search results signals to users that you are a credible, authoritative source in your niche.
  • Over half of all web traffic comes from organic search, while only 27% comes from paid search.


And this is just a short list of the advantages! As you can see, drawing in organic traffic can be an important part of a site’s digital marketing strategy. However, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a place for paid traffic.


What is Paid Traffic?

Paid traffic is, in a way, the opposite of organic traffic. Paid traffic refers to those who have come to your website as a result of paid sources, like ad campaigns. This kind of traffic still often comes from free search engines like Google, but their ranking is mostly influenced by money, and not SEO.


What are the Advantages of Paid Traffic?

Like organic traffic, paid traffic comes with its fair share of advantages, such as:


  • Fast results. You can often see a boost in paid traffic almost immediately after putting an ad campaign in place. This is quite different from organic search, as SEO methods may take awhile to produce results.
  • It allows you to target a specific audience, which can be difficult with organic search. For example, with Google Ads you can target by age, interests, habits, and more.
  • It attracts quality leads, which can increase conversions. In fact, users that reach a retailer’s site from paid ads are 50% more likely to make a purchase than those who find them organically.


Overall, if you’re looking to enhance your digital marketing strategy, it may be a good idea to take advantage of the differences between organic and paid traffic. After all, you can’t have too many potential customers!

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