There are two main ways of trying to achieve the same objective when it comes to marketing, either driving more traffic to your site via the organic route or using paid traffic as a quick and easy way to get the results you are looking for.
As any good marketing agency will no doubt confirm, you need to have your SEO tactics spot on in order to deliver more organic traffic, and the fundamental difference between the two approaches is a case of investing your time when it comes to organic traffic or investing your cash in the case of paid traffic.
Here are some key points to consider that might help settle the debate.
Understanding Organic Traffic
A good starting point would be to have an understanding of what organic traffic actually is.
In a nutshell, organic traffic is defined as visitors who find your website as a result of using a search engine, which is why you need to try and achieve a good level of visibility so that you have a chance of being found when someone uses either Google, or Bing, for example, to find what they are looking for.
There is little doubt that organic search traffic does tend to produce more engaged visitors and it is obviously a more cost-effective option because you are not buying each visitor when they arrive organically.
However, organic traffic doesn’t really happen by accident and to achieve organic traffic you will almost certainly have to spend money on good SEO.
It Takes Time
It should also be noted that SEO is not an overnight process and it takes time to find your way to the first page of Google.
Recent updates to their algorithms have helped ensure that you can’t take a shortcut to success via spamming and you would be penalized if you attempted that tactic anyway.
Paid Traffic Explained
The definition of paid traffic is much easier to define.
You will be spending money to achieve the result of sending visitors to your website via search engine marketing efforts, in much the same way as organic traffic, but this way you are paying for a variety of traffic sources.
An established practice that still retains a high degree of popularity and success is using Google Adwords, but the obvious drawback is the cost per click, which makes it a risky tactic if you don’t manage to achieve a worthwhile ROI.
You can set your budget, so you do have an element of control over this and other paid ads that you use to drive traffic to your site, but it can get expensive when you are competing for space against some high-profile rivals who have extensive marketing budgets.
Which One Wins the Argument?
It is not a straight black or white answer as to which method is best as it depends on a number of factors such as how much of a marketing budget you have and what sort of timescale you are working to.
Organic traffic takes longer to achieve meaningful results but the rewards are there to see for your patience. In contrast, paid traffic is the more instant-results option, so it is a case of which one works for you and your business.