It has been an issue of long debate whether paid traffic is better or organic.
However, as many experts will agree, it is not about either or in the case of traffic source. It is a matter of striking the balance as and when needed. Thus, there is a need to understand the requirements of the campaign and accordingly follow the strategy of either dedicating resources for SEO (search engine optimization) or PPC (pay per click).
There are a variety of factors such as audience behavior, available budget, and marketing goals which determine the nature of the campaign to follow.
For such confused people who wish to know which traffic source to follow when, we have compiled some pointers when implementing SEO and PPC. Before we continue, let’s freshen up with the basics.
What is Organic Traffic?
These people come on their own to your website either through directly typing in the website URL in the address bar or through searching for the relevant keyword in a search engine.
This traffic is highly valuable and considered the best in the world of marketing.
What is Paid Traffic?
Traffic which comes from PPC (pay per click) is not free. PPC ads are shown above organic search results or on the sidebar. Some factors which affect the spots of these ads are ad keywords, CPC bids, landing page keywords, and targeting influence.
Why Is There A Need of Paid Traffic?
Organic Results appear under paid ads and the position of your listing in the search engine result page depends on the quality of your website and its optimization.
Since the SEO or organic traffic source is valuable, it is most sought after. To get users organically, you need to write useful content and optimize it too as per the Google standards (because Google is the king, right?).
The more value your content has, the more organic traffic it will fetch. But what if it takes months to reach a considerable size of SEO traffic? Or what if the process fails even after your hard labor and unknown factors coming into play? The answer to this question is paid traffic.
Almost any site or app uses paid ads to buy traffic and earn revenue. There are multiple options in this path such as buying top placements in the SERP or buying banners or suggested posts in Facebook.
How To Decide Which Traffic Source Is Needed, SEO or PPC?
a. The Spending Power
If you are running short on money, it is better to stick to SEO optimization and gather organic traffic. PPC campaigns can be really expensive in the long run, and if you don’t run it right, chances of loss are high too. However, if you have some budget for paid traffic, you can very well combine it with your SEO strategy and get the ball rolling.
An advantage with PPC here is that if you are testing something new, you can perform A-B testing and drive traffic immediately. With organic traffic, it takes time and efforts to catch the same level of engagement.
Getting a good position for highly competitive keywords can be real tough especially when you have some great leaders fighting for it.
It may take a lot of time and mind boggling strategies to crack the code. To check the competition for your target keywords, you can refer to the Google Keyword Planner tool.
This tool will help you in researching as well as giving ideas for your product or service.
So, if your keyword competition game is small, focus on the SEO part and making your website more optimized. But if the competition is really neck-t0-neck, try buying traffic for PPC ads.
c. Industry CPC
You might want to consider how much your competitors are spending on the ads you are targeting.
So if you have PPC+SEO combo in your mind, better see the pricing factor as well. The price of PPC depends on the bids placed on them. Marketers bid for what they can pay for a single keyword click.
There are expensive keywords and then there are cheap keywords too. More expensive the click is, more should be your efforts on SEO.
To determine how much the industry CPC averages at, you can use the Google Keyword Planner tool again. If the average CPC comes high, optimize your site.
d. Numbers and Quality
PPC and SEO, both kinds of traffic sources, drive different kinds of traffic. The traffic goal of yours determines which way you tend to focus.
If your focus is on short term conversions, product sales, and testing, you can choose PPC but if you are building trust with your users and planning to go a long way in the game, SEO should be your move.
It has been observed that people coming from paid ads to a website are more likely to buy rather than people coming from organic link. So we can say that PPC drives more traffic and immediate conversions in comparison to SEO.
e. Short Term Planning v/s Long Term Planning
When you decide to use PPC or SEO or a combination of both, it is also essential to pay heed to your goals.
If you focus on increasing traffic in a short period of time, without much bothering about the longevity, PPC should be the best. SEO is better for establishing the name, brand value, or setting your website up as an authority.
Usually, the sites which begin fresh rely on SEO and PPC in the start and gradually move to only SEO after they get sizeable traffic from PPC. SEO takes time and efforts but it also saves your money. In conclusion, for faster results, choose PPC and for brand value, choose SEO.
The best marketers know that the comparison between SEO and PPC is not black and white. Each traffic source is of different importance and provides different value. This is why many established names follow up on both although the scale of PPC reduces with increase in web presence and authority.
You should work with both and try to find out which works best for you. Paid traffic gives a booster of traffic whereas organic traffic plays around slow but steadily.