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Paid vs. Organic Traffic: Which Generates More (and More Qualified) Leads?

by Samantha Smith  |  
December 2, 2016

As an inbound marketer, I believe that non-intrusive, organic traffic is at the core of marketing's future. It's the best way to become a thought leader in a digital, global society—and connect with prospects and leads at the various stages of the buyer's journey.

But I also see the many pros of relevant paid traffic efforts that lead visitors to high-quality content. Such advertising can be an undeniably successful part of a marketing strategy.

Paid traffic isn't about clickbait or spammy links. It can be a healthy method of reaching a new audience if you feel your brand and solution get lost in the spider web of the Internet.

So, in the debate of paid traffic versus organic traffic, which wins?

Basics of Paid vs. Organic

Paid traffic comes in many forms: Some of you may instantly picture spam popups circa 2004, others may think about affiliate links in blog posts, influencer marketing, or pay-per-click ads.

All those boil down to a simple concept: Via a "middleman," whom you pay, you place your marketing content in front of an audience that wasn't necessarily looking for you. That can be an effective tactic for reaching people who haven't yet found your site, or those who are shopping at competitors.

Organic traffic, on the other hand, to a large extent results from the practice of creating search-engine-optimized content (SEO) that earns high-ranking links in search results. You appear when prospects cast their "net" into the Google sea, looking for answers to their questions.

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Samantha Smith is an inbound marketing strategist for inbound marketing agency SparkReaction.

Twitter: @Sami_Smith22

LinkedIn: Samantha Smith

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  • by Manohara Wed Dec 14, 2016 via web

    Very informative, Samantha. The definition of a lead or sale varies for different industries. But, when the buyer personas of any industries are right and laser-focused on the targeted customers, both organic and paid traffic will generate more leads.

    This is more important than before because the new generation of B2B marketers and buyers is extremely fragmented across a lot of different channels.Leads from your website, referrals, email marketing, social media, ad campaigns and other sources all need to be mopped up and fed into a CRM, and then the lead management process takes over.

  • by Nummero Fri Aug 11, 2017 via web

    Great advice! I especially love this one. But in my point of view both are equal in their ways. Organic traffic that comes to you naturally, via your content ranking in the search engines & offline marketing efforts. Paid traffic that comes from ads in the search engine results pages.

  • by Pushpraj Singh Verma Thu Jul 5, 2018 via web

    Amazing blog!! Great work. The topic specifies all the details of this post; Paid vs. Organic Traffic. Here the strategies and the techniques you've shared is really effective. You also described the difference between Paid vs. Organic traffic. Thanks for sharing this innovative information. Keep posting this type of amazing stuff.

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