What is the difference? Organic vs. Paid Traffic

Feb 14, 2022

If you have looked into marketing your business you have probably come across the terms organic traffic and paid traffic. Both can be extremely important in terms of generating business, but what exactly is paid traffic and what is organic traffic? And what kind of traffic should you be focusing your resources on? 

This simplest way to explain the difference in organic and paid traffic is through the metaphor of watering a garden using rain versus a hose. 

Organic Traffic – Let it rain (but not too much please)!

Organic traffic is like watering your garden with rain. It’s refreshing. It’s beautiful. BUT you have no control over when or where it falls and sometimes it can cause a flood. Organic traffic happens when people find your website or social media channels on their own without any paid promotion. This sounds like a great thing, and most marketers try really hard to build a steady flow of organic traffic through engaging content – so what’s the problem? 

The problem comes from getting too little or too much. If you put a lot of money and effort into creating great content but nobody interacts with it – you have wasted your resources. At the other end of the spectrum if you create a piece of content that goes viral and creates a demand for your products or services that you can’t support, that can also be a serious problem. 

Top ways to generate organic traffic:

  • Blogging – write articles about topics your audience might be searching in google
  • Social media – post consistently on your social media channels and utilize a smart hashtag strategy (We give a lot of great tips on this in our own social media find us on instagram and facebook: @psychedigitalmarketing 
  • Google MyBusiness – This free tool is a great way to pop up in local searches. Don’t know how to set up your account? Check out our blog post! 

Paid Traffic – Perfect for the control freak in you! 

Paid traffic, on the other hand, is all about control. It’s like watering your garden with a hose. You can decide where the water flows, how much comes out, and when it turns off. This sounds great right? So why doesn’t everyone do it? The truth is It can be expensive and without a focused strategy it can be ineffective.  

If you want to learn how to build an effective paid traffic strategy, subscribe to our monthly newsletter. We regularly send over tips and tricks for just how to do just that! 

Top channels for paid traffic: 

  • Google Is Like the Yellow Pages – Because Google is a search engine, people start there when they’re looking for information. To drive traffic through Google, you’ll bid on keywords that will help people find you and can lead to an ideal sales conversation.
  • Facebook Is Like a Billboard – Scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed is a bit like driving down the highway. As you scroll, you see ads, promoted posts, as well as random comments. For a price you can place these ads in front of your target audience! 
  • YouTube Is Like Television – YouTube’s top metric is the number of minutes watched. Their goal is to keep you on the site consuming videos, so they operate a lot like traditional television, playing ads in the videos, interrupting people’s viewing.

So that’s it – your “marketing 101” look at paid vs. organic traffic. Obviously there is a lot more to it and we would love to help you figure out a winning strategy for generating leads for your business. If you need help developing your strategy — let’s chat! 

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