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.