Jargon Buster – Paid & Organic Traffic.

Traffic at night.

Jargon Buster – Paid & Organic Traffic.

Jargon Buster – Paid & Organic Traffic.


From YMG – The Award-Winning Digital Marketing Agency in Chelmsford, Essex.


Traffic is good. There, I said it. But no, I don’t mean road traffic.

Of course, I’m talking about website traffic. The sort of traffic that can be converted into customers, clients, and brand evangelists. There are two main types of traffic – called paid traffic and organic traffic.

So, we’re going to break down paid and organic traffic today in this bumper edition of Jargon Buster.


What Is Paid Traffic?

Paid traffic is exactly as you think it may be. Any visitor that visits your website through a paid advertisement or promotion is considered paid traffic.

Regardless of the platform, medium, or form of advertisement, if you have paid to display an ad, traffic from this is considered paid traffic.


What Are Some Examples of Paid Traffic?

The most common examples of where paid traffic may come from include:

  • Display Ads – Commonly seen as banners placed alongside the main content of the website. Often used as part of retargeting campaigns.
  • Influencer Marketing – Paying a key figure or influential person in your industry to make their audience aware of your product or service.
  • Paid Search (Google AdWords) – Displaying your website when certain words or phrases are searched in search engines.
  • Pay-Per-Click – Also used on search engines. However, this approach can be used across any platform. The business only pays when/if the ad is clicked.
  • Social Media Ads – Posts can be highlighted and promoted. By using social media profiles, your advertisement reaches more of your intended demographic.
  • Sponsored Content – Advertisements designed to be more subtle. Often blended in with the contents of the website or platform.

However, these are not the only examples of paid traffic. With the world of digital marketing always evolving, there are new methods of advertisements being developed on a regular basis. If the form of advertisement is paid for in any way, the traffic it generates is considered paid traffic.


What Are the Pros & Cons of Paid Traffic?

Paid traffic can yield several benefits to the business using them.

The main benefit of most forms of paid traffic is the tools used to create your advertisement. Meaning the ability to make your advertisement as widespread or niche as you wish. Being able to target and retarget people of specific interests, genders, locations, and even age.

Results are often faster with paid traffic, and the tools on offer with paid traffic often make it easier to analyse. Meaning that you can see just how good of a return your investment is having. After all, if you’re paying to attract people to your website, you want the best results possible.

However, paid traffic isn’t perfect. And there are some negative sides to this approach.

For example, if you don’t fully understand your target audience before paying for traffic, you’ll end up with a low rate of conversion. This is because your ads have not been targeted to the correct demographic. Therefore, the people that are being drawn to your website are not your target audience.

Also, not every form of advertisement will appeal to your target audience. So, once again there is a risk of your ads yielding a low ROI. If you use a form of advertisement that your audience doesn’t respond to, you’ll be wasting money.

Lastly, the final disadvantage of paid traffic is that, unsurprisingly, it costs. With forms such as pay-per-click, this is not so much of an issue. But, with most forms of paid traffic, you’ll be expected to pay before you see any potential benefits.


What Is Organic Traffic?

Organic traffic is the opposite of paid traffic. Often called earned traffic, these are terms for visitors to your website that have been directed there through an unpaid means.

Gaining organic traffic is generally considered a longer process than paid traffic. It’s generally achieved by posting quality content regularly to different platforms. Linking these posts back to your website and making sure they’re genuine and helpful will gain some form of organic traffic. Creating content such as evergreen blogs are a great example of how to gain organic traffic to your website.

Once again, this type of traffic can be gained through various platforms.


What Are Some Examples of Organic Traffic?

Organic traffic practices are less intense than paid traffic. What’s more, there are not many ways you can guarantee organic traffic to your website. Rather, you can ensure you follow these examples to help boost your organic traffic:

  • Be Active and Relevant on Social Media.
  • Build High-Quality Backlinks.
  • Post Regular and High-Quality Blogs.
  • Relate to Your Audience.
  • Share Relevant and Helpful Content.
  • Use Long-Tail Keywords.
  • Use Low Competition Keywords.

There are other methods of attracting organic traffic, but some of these are subjective. For example, some experts suggest focusing your efforts on finding your audience rather than optimising your SEO. However, others say that if you have no SEO optimising methods in place, your website will suffer. As search engine placement will gain a lot of traffic to your website.


What Are the Pros & Cons of Organic Traffic?

The main benefit of organic traffic is that, of course, you’re not paying directly for it.

Alongside this, many of the organic traffic methods will engage with your target audience more than paid traffic methods. It’s sustainable, gives you credibility, and will potentially bring in dedicated and appreciative customers.

However, the main disadvantage of attracting organic traffic is time. It can be very time consuming to maintain. Constructing and publishing content that is appealing to your target audience can take a lot of time.



There you have it, all the basics you need to know about paid and organic traffic.

However, it’s down to you which is better for your business. Organic traffic practices will likely please your audience more but take more time and effort to construct. Whereas paid traffic practices can cost a fair amount but save you from doing much of the work yourself.

So, the choice is yours.

If you want to speak to an expert or want to learn more, click here.


YMG are an award-winning and full-service digital marketing agency based in Chelmsford, Essex, and home of the Jargon Buster series, helping business owners to understand the technical terms of digital marketing.

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