Organic Traffic vs Paid Traffic! What are the pros and cons?

In the previous article, we went through 10 of the most popular questions regarding SEO! Now we’ve thought to take it to the next level and go through each question and analyse it in more detail. Today we’ll talk about the difference between organic SEO and paid traffic as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each method. If this is something in your interest area, then scroll down! But first, let’s start with the basics.

Organic SEO traffic refers to your website visits coming from a search engine’s organic results (e.g.: through Google, Bing, Yandex, Baidu etc.), where results coming from visitors who actually clicked in an ad/advert (e.g.: through Facebook, Instagram, Google Search & Display Ads, etc.) are considered paid search traffic.

Still, the main difference between these two is related to how they ended up there. Meaning, the first results you see when you search for something are ads (they mention the word “ad” in the Google Search result) that the search engine believed were more relevant, while the rest came from people clicking on organic search results which Google found more relevant to the search query and hence ranked them in the top search results positions.

When it comes to deciding on which method to use, the most logical answer depends on a variety of factors including audience behavior, available budget, and your organization’s needs and goals.

To help you decide from the two strategies, we’ve put together three important factors to consider:

1. Budget

In order to decide whether to invest in organic SEO or paid ads, you should consider your total online budget. If you don’t have any budget or a limited one maybe you should consider purely SEO optimisation. If you have a budget available maybe you should consider investing in both!

2. Company’s Needs & Goals

Are your company’s goals short or long term? Are you patient enough to wait and see your business take off gradually or do you want to see results immediately? If you belong in the second category, then paid traffic strategy is your best option- running ads results are instant. If you are looking to build more valuable traffic over time, SEO might be a better option.

3. Quality vs. Quantity

Is your main focus short-term conversions and product sales or do you want to build trust with your future clients? In the first scenario, a paid campaign is your go-to option, whereas in scenario no.2 an SEO strategy will work.

Organic SEO Vs. Paid Traffic: Pros and Cons

In order to have the desired results in today’s digital world, marketers must utilise both paid and organic search strategies. It’s also crucial to understand how and where your customers look for solutions online, therefore it is wise to do a bit of background research deciding on each strategy.

Organic SEO

Pros

1. Organic SEO will bring you long-lasting results and loyal customers.
2. People have a preference for organic search results over paid search results/ads.
3. Organic SEO adds value and credibility to your online presence.
4. A consistent online presence leads to a continuous flow of traffic.

Cons

1. Results are hard to see immediately, they take time and the strategy needs to be maintained and sometimes to be altered.
2. Results are highly dependent on your SEO skills
3. Your company may end up not ranking high (especially if the right words have not been used or for every keyword used).

Paid Ads
Pros

1. Easy and quick to set up
2. Provide instant traffic
3. Results are seen and measured immediately for everything you’ve spent.
4. With paid campaigns you can target your audience according to their age, are, preferences etc. Example: Women who live in Nicosia and are interested in buying a wedding gown.

Cons

1. Once a paid campaign ends there might be no long-term benefits to the site or the company.
2. Add no credibility or web authority
3. To ensure that incoming traffic is converted to consumers, the product/sales service funnel must be optimized.
4. Traffic may not be as sustainable as with organic SEO traffic.

Taking into consideration the above points, organic SEO traffic can be built gradually but takes significant time to deliver desirable results. However, paid traffic can be delivered immediately and can drive quick conversion outcomes when having a significant budget. Nonetheless, both strategies complete each other. The data generated from a paid campaign can be used to direct your SEO activities and provide you with useful insights about what your customers find most appealing. Depending on your company and whether you are a new business looking to grow, one strategy can work well while the other cannot perform as strong, and this is why both complete each other, forming the ideal combination!

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