It’s no secret that Google is the lead generator when it comes to online search engines. And in this rapidly expanding digital hemisphere, Google has fleshed out two main traffic sources to inbound marketers: paid search and organic search. Additionally, there are two methods to acquiring traffic through these platforms; search engine optimization, or SEO, and search engine marketing, or SEM, respectively.
If you’re in the digital marketing sphere, or quite frankly, even have a shred of an online presence through your business or organization, you’ve no doubt heard one or both of these terms. Optimizing your searches to reflect the best possible chances of drawing traffic to your brand is imperative for growing your business.
But when it comes to SEM, SEO, paid, and organic traffic, if these terms are not in your wheelhouse, it can feel overwhelming and intimidating on where to even begin. Which option is a better choice for you and your business? Which one will further the bottom line of your company and draw in more traffic?
Let’s take a look at these options and evaluate which one is more beneficial to your growing business needs.
What is Organic Traffic?
Simply put, whenever you type anything into Google, any of the links that come up below the ads are considered organic results. The order of the links depends on the quality of the content (which, adversely, is where search engine optimization comes in). “Organic traffic” is the result of users finding your links among these results and clicking on your content specifically.
Some of its advantages include:
- Google takes care of the legwork, directing the highest amount of traffic, and they are the most trusted search engine for people researching a product or purchase.
- Google is fairly particular about its rankings. Ranking in the top five search results means that your content is of the highest quality within that industry or topic.
- If you are high in the ranks, you will be reaping the benefits of that for years to come.
- Organic search drives over ten times more website traffic than organic social media.
However, it also comes with its own set of tribulations. Some cons to generating organic traffic include:
- It’s extremely difficult to move up in the rankings, and it takes a lot of time.
- Search results on the first page of Google receive 92% of all of the search traffic on Google.
- One-third of clicks from organic search results go to the very first listing on Google.
- The first result on a Google SERP has a 28.5% click rate. The tenth result generates an average of 2.5%. This makes it extremely difficult for most businesses and industries to drive traffic to their site organically.
What is Paid Traffic?
Paid search, on the other hand, is all of the search results that appear at the top of your page that companies have paid for. They are tagged with a small box labeled “ad,” and fits seamlessly into the rest of the search results. Since organic search has grown to be more competitive, paid traffic has increased in popularity, as it is a surefire way to appear at the top of the search results.
Some advantages of paid traffic include:
- You do not have to spend years perfecting and changing your SEO strategy.
- 27% of website traffic comes from paid search results.
- Paid search advertising exists with Google Ads, which means that Google evaluates your maximum bid.
A few disadvantages of paid traffic include:
- The charging model is based on cost-per-click, not per lead. This means that each click-through to one of your advertisements costs you money.
- It is more costly than organic traffic. Organic traffic is extremely inexpensive, or free, whereas, Google charges you to post your ads on their search results.
- As a result, this could lead to temporary listing results. When your budget runs out, your advertisements will disappear from the Google rankings.
The Bottom Line
So, which route is a better option for you and your company? After evaluating your department’s budget and needs, You’ll likely find that paid traffic is a better route to go than organic. It may seem like a larger financial investment upfront, but in the end, you are not only generating more traffic to your website (which, could lead to more sales), but you are saving a salary (or two’s) worth of money by not employing a content marketing team to keep up with all of the changing algorithms. You don’t know where to start, Schedule a Free Strategy Session today and let’s work together to create a unique strategy for your business.