Organic And Paid Website Traffic: How To Differentiate?

By Mike Reiss- Jan 16, 2023 22

There are two main levers available to you to increase your website traffic: Boost your organic traffic and boost your paid traffic. Could both of these seemingly contradictory approaches be beneficial to your marketing strategy? To help you make the best choice, we highlight the main differences between these two strategies.


Organic or natural website traffic

Sometimes referred to as "natural", organic traffic is often the primary source of inbound traffic to a website.


What is organic website traffic?

When you type a query into your search engine, a list of links will appear below the ads at the top of that list. These links, which are displayed based on the quality and relevance of the page content, are referred to as organic search results. They, therefore, generate organic traffic to your website, otherwise known as "natural traffic".


Organic website traffic, therefore, refers to those visitors who come to a page by clicking on a link in a search engine without paying you to appear there.


In order to promote organic traffic and appear at the top of search results on Google, you need to offer high-quality content with high added value. Search engine optimization (SEO) strategies will allow you to feed your web pages with ample content. It must be relevant and match the purpose of the visitor's search. Finally, the content must be useful and come from a reliable source to encourage clicks.


Significant organic traffic means your site ranks well in search engines: your SEO is under control and your content is attractive.


What Are the Benefits of Organic Website Traffic?

The main advantage of organic website traffic is its excellent value for money. In fact, the amount you invest only once will have a positive effect in the long run. If you invest in your SEO through an effective SEO strategy, organic traffic will continue to exist and this investment will continue to grow even after the closure.


Unlike PPC advertising campaigns which are sometimes intrusive, the goal of an SEO campaign is to add value to your website and attract visitors through relevant, informative, and quality content. So it is a sure way to increase your brand reputation while generating significant traffic to your web pages.



What are the disadvantages of organic website traffic?

The slow pace of organic traffic results can be irresistible. The results of this strategy will be visible within weeks or even months of implementation. Investing in organic traffic can thus be considered a waste of time by rush.


Another major disadvantage of organic traffic is that it is not easy to measure accurately. This involves difficulty in predicting and estimating possible outcomes. So it is not possible to guarantee results after implementing the SEO strategy or to accurately predict when it will be effective.


Paid website traffic or PPC traffic

Used extensively by many businesses to increase their online presence, paying website traffic can be particularly effective.


What is paid website traffic?

Have you ever seen a link with a small "ad" banner at the top of search results? It is a paid advertisement created by a website to increase its paid traffic. Paid traffic is the traffic generated by a business that pays to get to the top of the search results list before organic results.


Since organic search has become very competitive in recent years, investing in paid search can pay off. This is because the ads fit perfectly into the list of search results and many visitors tend to click on the first result of the page. A real resource for those who want to increase their traffic.


Analyzing paid website traffic is a good indicator to test the effectiveness of your paid display promotion, otherwise known as Pay Per Click (PPC) strategies. These campaigns are run using Google's AdWords advertising program, which allows ads to be scheduled based on a predetermined budget. When paid traffic is important, your campaign is successful. Otherwise, your promotion settings should be reset quickly.


What Are the Benefits of Paid Website Traffic?

A well-researched setup is relatively inexpensive, PPC advertising can be a real resource for businesses that drive paid traffic. Advertisers only spend their budgets when the expected results are achieved: clicks, impressions, conversions, etc. In the absence of results, advertising platforms like Google AdWords do not charge the advertiser, thus avoiding unnecessary costs.


Platforms like Google AdWords have a great advantage. They allow advertisers to share with all users with the utmost precision just to address their core objectives. So every visit to your site will be more valuable.


Using tools built into the PPC platform, fast and efficient, paid traffic provides accurately measurable results. These results are predictable and thus your investment can be estimated before your ads go online.


What are the disadvantages of paid website traffic?

The final result is when the investment in PPC traffic stops. This is a major and significant flaw in paid traffic. Although the results are immediately noticeable, when the advertising campaign ends, the paid traffic remains low. So it is an immediate and short-term solution that may not be part of the broader vision of traffic acquisition.


Finally, even if its costs are generally quite low and easily manageable, the budget allocated to a particular sector is much higher. The higher the number of advertisers, the higher the cost of advertising. So a preliminary study is needed to evaluate the competition.


Comparison: organic traffic vs paid traffic

Each type of traffic has unique advantages and disadvantages, whether paid or organic. In a nutshell, we answer the key questions that arise in implementing a traffic acquisition strategy.


Which is the most durable over time?

Once your website is online, it stays on the web and naturally generates regular traffic. Of course, it's about optimizing all the pages on your website to ensure high-quality traffic. These optimizations are not usually aimed at achieving immediate results but are part of a long-term vision.


Paid ads disappear as soon as the ad ends. Thus, once the budget allocated for these ads is reached, they are no longer visible and do not contribute to the website traffic. So it is a short-term solution to boost a specific page on your site.


Which one produces a better return on investment?

It all depends on the length of the measurement. In the short term, return on investment through paid advertising is higher because they generate significant and immediate traffic.


In the long run, organic acquisition strategies are certainly more profitable because they cost less for long-term impact. Good optimization of your website will have such a significant impact on your SEO. This, in the long run, will generate three times more leads than a paid traffic acquisition campaign.


Which is the easiest to set up?

Since the acquisition of organic traffic is part of a long-term vision, the strategies applied today will have an impact on tomorrow's traffic. Thus, the context, goals and competitors must show an excellent analysis. It is also important to create a consistent schedule and learn how to adapt to changes that may occur in the near or distant future.


A paid campaign is undoubtedly easy to set up. In fact, the tools you have on hand are numerous and relatively intuitive. It can be planned for the short term and requires little planning.


Organic or paid traffic: which should you choose for your website?

Although the way they work is different, these two types of strategies can be helpful in increasing your traffic and your web presence. Have a favorite type of traffic? It all depends on your needs, your current online presence, and your short and long-term goals.


Our recommendation to boost your traffic

Two solutions to increase your traffic, organic or paid, are not antithetical. We recommend the combined use of organic and paid acquisition strategies through controlled SEO and effective payments campaigns.


While the first, more sustainable over time, will show its first effects in a few weeks to a few months, the second will give an immediate but temporary boost to your traffic. Thus it is wise to place bets on paid traffic on an ad hoc basis and in the season while ensuring solid and regular organic traffic.


Ultimately, a smart approach to marketing with a combination of balance and adaptability will seem to be the key to success in achieving optimal traffic. Clearly define your goals, analyze your goals, plan for the season as well as the timeline, and set a consistent budget. Also, keep in mind that these two strategies relate to variable and uncertain models of search engines. So be prepared to actively review your strategies regularly to increase your organic or paid traffic.