Paid VS Organic Traffic: Which Generates the Most Results?

A survey conducted by BrightEdge found that 68% of all trackable search traffic comes from paid and organic traffic.
With that in mind, our questions are: Do you know how to differentiate one from the other? Would you know which one to use in a marketing strategy?

Broadly speaking, both refer to the way your potential customers find your company's page when searching for similar products or services on search engines (such as Google or Bing).

As we'll show you, it's important to fully understand the difference between paid and organic results to ensure better results. So, take a few minutes to read this article.

What is paid traffic?

Paid traffic means investing in ads on specific platforms in order to attract visitors to a website, store or profile. We'll cover which platforms these are later on, but for now we'll focus on the concept.

Other terms used to refer to paid traffic are SEM (Search Engine Marketing) and PPC (Pay Per Click).

Its main premise is to offer website owners (which in this case are advertisers) the opportunity to pay a fee so that the page in question, as well as information about a product or service, will appear in the top positions of the search results.

Do you know when you do a Google search and the first results are identified with the tag “Ads”? Well, whenever a person clicks on one of these ads they are directed to a website. Thus, we say that the user arrived at that page through a paid result.

So here you can understand something important about this type of traffic: it requires an (usually large) investment of money.

Why invest in paid traffic?

To fully understand what paid and organic traffic is, we need to understand why strategies are important. Therefore, we have separated below two main advantages of investing in a paid share:

Quick returns

As paid search is faster to run, its return tends to be faster as well. That's because, as we'll see, organic traffic needs considerable time for search engines to find the site in question.

Paid search campaigns can be set up and activated in a day or two. For this reason, there are businesses that choose to invest in this strategy as a more aggressive first step in starting their marketing efforts.

Qualified traffic

Between paid and organic traffic, one thing is certain: generating qualified leads (which are the people who actually consider themselves to be your customer) can be easier with ads.

The reason for this is that they appear in the top positions of search engines. Also, there is the fact that these ads often provide an answer to users' specific questions, something that search engines value.

In addition, you can set specific targeting for your paid media campaigns, targeting your ads only to audiences that have the potential to become a customer.

How to get paid traffic?

Here we will talk about two tools:

The Google ads is Google 's ad platform. It is also the most used by marketers.

Remember when we mentioned that one of the advantages of paid traffic is a qualified audience? This is because on Google Ads companies are able to segment the audience they want to reach, for example, by interest, location, age group, among other criteria.

The steps to create a Google Ads campaign are:

  1. Create an account on the Google Ads page.
  2. Configure the campaign, ie the type of campaign. It can be search network, display network, Gmail, Google Shopping, among others.
  3. Set the campaign name and start and end date.
  4. Do the segmentation.
  5. Define what the investment will be.
  6. Define your keywords.
  7. Structure the ad, with the final URL, titles and description.

Also through Google Ads it is possible to [create campaigns on Youtube videos.

Social Ads (Facebook / LinkedIn / Instagram / Twitter / TikTok)

Social Ads are ads made on social networks. The tools for the advertisements are provided by the media themselves. Although not directly related to search engines, this strategy can also be used to drive paid traffic to your site.

Starting with Facebook, which is the most used network in the world, the prerequisite for creating an ad on the network is that the business has a page instead of a personal profile. The Facebook Ads also allows access to other media such as Stories, Instagram and Messenger.

The LinkedIn is designed for those seeking to reach a public decision maker.

Twitter also has a platform for editing and analyzing ads, Twitter Ads . Through it, it is possible to create targeted campaigns for those who are watching a program on television, for example.

In turn, TikTok, a network that has been rising in popularity, may be the option for those looking for a different and innovative way to make an ad.

How much does paid traffic cost?

The good news is that you don't have to invest a lot to create ads. The amount to be charged varies greatly depending on the platform to be used.

Before we talk about this, it's important to understand that there are two common billing options:

  • Cost Per Click (CPC): The advertiser will only pay when the user clicks on the ad. Cost can be set manually or automatically.
  • Cost per Thousand Impressions (CPM): The advertiser pays when the ad appears a thousand times in searches.

As in CPC the advertiser will only pay when someone clicks on the ad, it is very important to think about the persona it is intended for. After all, you don't want disinterested people eating up your budget, do you?

CPM, on the other hand, is well-suited when the company wants to gain brand recognition or increase its reach. We also highlight that in both options the campaign goes offline as soon as the budget is consumed.

It is possible to make an initial investment in Google Ads of a few dollars per day. The same goes for Facebook.

LinkedIn can be a little more expensive depending on the case. So far, the minimum daily value is R$20. Bids in CPC or CPM must be at least R$4.

For Twitter, campaigns do not have a fixed fee, as the values ​​are defined in an auction model.

What is organic traffic?

The organic traffic refers to visitors coming to a site thanks to the results of unpaid search. In other words, it's the opposite of paid traffic.

Thus, organic search results appear right below the listing of ads. It is this type of traffic that we need to pay attention to in search algorithms. We'll talk about them below, but before:

Why invest in organic traffic?

According to the study by BrightEdge , B2B companies generate 2 times more revenue from organic search than any other channel.

Undoubtedly, this type of traffic has many long-term benefits. The main ones are:

Brand authority

As we'll show later, organic traffic is primarily based on content creation strategy. Through it, the company publishes materials that can help its customers to solve their doubts, solve a problem, etc.

By doing this, the business shows that it knows the segment it is in and, more importantly, cares about helping the audience.

Long term results and stable growth

One of the important questions between paid and organic traffic is how much strategies help a business to grow. If, on the one hand, the paid strategy can be a good option for short-term results, on the other hand, it will not allow for scalable growth.

In other words, to receive more paid traffic, it will always be necessary to increase the investment made in these channels.

That's because paid traffic thinks about the present, while organic traffic starts from the present to achieve future results.

How to make organic traffic?

For good organic traffic it is essential to focus on the business persona. The better her experience in dealings with the company's website, the more prominent the company will have.

Talking about algorithms, especially Google's, keep in mind that they determine your page's placement in search results.

Therefore, your company's position in the search rankings matters a lot, after all, it will be responsible for your website's traffic. To improve it and make a quality organic strategy, we have listed some actions.

Content Marketing

Briefly, this is an online content creation strategy with the objective of making the persona enter the company's funnel. It is known as one of the most effective actions to drive traffic to a website.

Creating blog posts, sending email marketing and posting on social media are all examples of content marketing. Remember that by adopting this strategy, quality information is essential for success.


SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is about the process of improving a website. Its purpose is to increase the visibility of the page when people look for products or services in search engines.

The relationship here is quite simple: the better the visibility of a website in the search results, the greater the chances of attracting good leads. That's why marketers always seek to take actions to optimize SEO.

Some strategies you can start doing right now are:

  • Check the usability of your website;
  • Make a mapping of keywords used and see if they are in accordance with the persona;
  • Invest in content marketing.

Social media

It is also possible to gain organic traffic through social networks. Some ways to do this is by creating posts sharing tips, starting a conversation, showing step-by-step images, sharing information of interest to the persona, among others.

It is on social media that content goes viral, so focus on creating materials that can attract as many people as possible to your profile. From there, they will want to know more about your business and will inevitably head to your website.

Don't forget that the more hits your page gets, the more Google will see it as relevant. Remembering that the contents published on the website can – and should – be published on social networks. Thus, further increasing the range.

How much does organic traffic cost?

As you can imagine, there is a whole cost behind good organic traffic that generates leads . To cite some examples, it will be necessary to invest in qualified professionals in content production, website optimization and SEO.

There are also marketing tools that can help streamline and automate some phases of the process. To put it in other terms, despite not involving ads, organic traffic also ends up reflecting in the marketing budget.

What is the difference between paid and organic results?

One of the differences between paid and organic traffic is cost. As we've shown, organic search focuses on unpaid rankings in search results. Meanwhile, paid search appears in the results list with the tag “ad”.

It is also worth noting that the digital marketing of paid and organic traffic varies by objective. Companies often use organic to optimize their site's visibility or rankings in search results, as well as to gain authority, be a referral and build relationships.

Paid results, on the other hand, are the focus of companies that want to have quick sales results, greater reach or increase brand visibility.

Which is better: Paid or organic traffic?

Why get paid traffic when you can get qualified leads with organic?
Yet why opt for organic results if paid ones are faster?

That's why between paid and organic traffic the answer is: opt for both strategies.
Understand that there is no magic formula when it comes to digital marketing.

For those who are focused on achieving the best possible results, the tip is to analyze paid and organic search tactics. We reinforce that:

  • Paid traffic is seen as a good way to target customers most likely to convert;
  • While organic traffic is ideal to ensure long-term sustainable results.

So don't forget that the two strategies can be complementary. It will all depend on the marketing plan and the goals to be achieved.

How to measure the ROI of both strategies?

The first step is to know what the purpose of the strategy is. It can be getting signed up for a webinar, increasing website hits, converting leads, closing sales and so many others.

For organic traffic, Google Analytics can help you assess visits to the site, the most accessed texts (for blog posts) and the most clicked links, for example. It is also possible to know where this traffic comes from, that is, from an ad, the social network, etc.

In paid traffic, platforms such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads also bring conversion information. This will help you define the ROI for each campaign.

Knowing about paid and organic traffic is essential to planning a marketing strategy that really brings results. Since the two serve different purposes and needs, each responds to a different need.
However, we emphasize that in general it is not a question of choosing between one and the other, but find what works for your sector and company.

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