When it comes to attracting new traffic, you have two main options. The first is to utilize paid traffic, and the second is to aim for organic traffic.
So, what’s the difference between paid and organic traffic and which is better for your local business? Find out everything you need to know in this useful blog.
What is paid traffic?
Paid traffic is basically traffic that arrives on your website via paid advertisements. This could be from paid search ads, social media ads, or sponsored content to name just a few.
With this type of traffic, you typically control how much you spend on advertisements. You can set daily limits, or run an ad campaign until you reach your limit.
The most common type of paid traffic comes from Pay Per Click advertising. You set specific keywords for your ad, then when consumers type those keywords in, your ad shows up. If they click on your advertisement, you will need to pay a set amount, agreed upon when you set up the ad.
What is organic traffic?
Organic traffic are visitors to your website that come from sources you haven’t paid for. It could be your site appeared on a search engine, or they found your page on social media.
Usually, organic traffic comes from Search Engine Optimization. Businesses create SEO-friendly content, making it easier for them to be found on search engines.
Types of content you can produce to gain organic traffic include:
- Blog articles
- Landing pages
You’ll find that organic traffic is more interested with informational content, while paid traffic focuses on promotional content.
Is paid or organic traffic better for local businesses?
Now that you have a good idea of what paid and organic traffic is, how do you know which is right for your business? The truth is, it pays to invest in both paid and organic traffic.
Paid traffic is much easier to measure than organic traffic. This means you’ll find it easy to see where your efforts are paying off, and where you might be wasting your time. You’ll also find paid ads provide an increased short term return on investment. As an additional benefit, paid ad campaigns are also easier to set up.
Organic traffic is more difficult to measure, but it offers outstanding sustainability. Unlike paid ads, your organic content will continue to deliver results for as long as they are published. This means that while it does take longer to start seeing a return on investment, the returns can potentially be a lot better than paid advertisements.
In terms of cost effectiveness, organic traffic tends to be the better option. While it takes around six months to start seeing results from SEO, you can potentially do it for free by learning the skills yourself. Even paying for SEO content can work out considerably cheaper than your advertisements.
Things to consider
When you’re trying to decide which type of traffic to target, there are a few factors to consider. They include:
- Your budget
- The amount of effort you are willing to put in
- How quickly you want to see results
- Your goals
Paid traffic can be risky for local businesses, especially if they are new to PPC methods. While you can easily set your budget, it is also easy to go over it. Many small local businesses also don’t yet have the budget to run paid ads. If budget is an issue, focusing on organic traffic is a better idea.
You also need to think about the amount of effort you want to put into your marketing. If you are looking for the easiest option, stick to paid traffic. Paid campaigns are easy to set up and they take very little time in comparison to building up organic traffic.
Similarly, if you are looking to see results quickly, organic traffic isn’t going to help. However, if you are willing to wait to reap the rewards, you can get much better returns from organic methods.
These are just some of the things to consider when trying to decide whether you should target paid or organic traffic. Generally speaking, it is good to implement both types into your marketing efforts. Remember, the more effort you put into marketing, the better the returns.
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