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Organic SEO vs PPC vs Others: Which Search Marketing Strategy to Use?

What?s the best search marketing strategy?to?gain more?website?visitors?organic SEO,?paid ads?or social media???

Because Google has?over 5 billion searches per day, it?s easy to think that?all you need to care about is?organic SEO, target keywords,?meta descriptions,?etc.??

Or?since social media has more than?3.8 billion users in 2020, you choose to build your fanbase there?and post?your website links?multiple times a day.?

But given the high competition online, what if these ?free??search marketing methods prove unsuccessful for you???

Are you willing to wait 1 year or more before getting qualitied leads to your website??

In this article, I?ll share?about?the general sources/channels?to acquire visitors for your website. Plus a?suggestion on how organic SEO, social media and paid ads (PPC) should all play together as your overall search marketing strategy.?

Organic Traffic vs. Direct Traffic?and Others?

When you use a web analytics tool like?Google Analytics, it shows how your website receives visitors.?It could be through direct link, organic search, referral, social, email, etc.?

web traffic channels for search marketing strategy?

Direct Traffic?

According to?MOZ,??direct??traffic?usually happens?when?a user??directly? typed your website URL into their browser to visit it. These are probably existing customers or friends who already know your business.?

So obviously,?you don?t rely on?direct traffic?metrics if you want to target new leads and customers.?

Referral Traffic?

?Referral??happens when someone visits your website?through?other?sites?like Facebook or?blog sites.?

Let?s say your website got featured?in New York Times, and there?s a link that directs a user to your website.?When someone clicks that and lands on your website, that’s referral.?

Paid Search?and Organic Search?

Paid search and organic search both refer to the same place where your website gains traffic?the search engine results.?

?Paid search??traffic?basically happens when someone visits your website by clicking on your?advertised?links?on the search engine.?

?Organic search??traffic?happens when?a person clicks on your link on the search engine results?excluding?the paid ads.??

To better understand the difference between paid and organic traffic, check?this?illustration below.?


So which traffic?channel or strategy?should you target???

Many?marketers and SEO companies recommend organic traffic as?the?only?search marketing strategy to?focus?on?to gain more website visitors.?

But in comparing between organic SEO and pay-per-click?(PPC)?ads,?for example,?HubSpot?cites?different findings.?

Regarding PPC:?

  • The top 3 paid advertising spots get?46% of the clicks on the page?
  • PPC Ads can?boost awareness by 80%?
  • 75% say it’s easier to find?what they’re looking for from paid ads.?

Regarding organic search:?

  • Nearly 80% of users ignore paid ads in search results?
  • Search is the #1 driver of traffic to content sites, beating social media by more than 300%?
  • 36.2% of consumers recognize links that are paid advertisements, but don’t click on them.?

So to?answer?the question?which traffic channel to focus on?it depends?on your business strategy and budget.?

Organic SEO, paid ads, social media and other referral sites can?all?help you gain more website visitors. You?can?t fully disregard one?search?marketing?strategy?over the other.?

IMPACT?says it well:?

Realistically, it takes three to six months to start seeing movement in search rankings and most people just don’t want to wait that long. Paid search helps you get visitors to your website today and also speeds up the process of optimizing your landing pages for higher conversions, which pays off exponentially in the long run.?

For best results,?it’s a combination of strategies.?

  • Use paid ads?for?immediate website traffic?
  • Post?your links on?social media?for?consistent?engagement with?potential?web visitors?
  • Write guest blog posts and earn referral links to your site, then?
  • Improve organic SEO?regularly?for long-term?results.?

To get more ideas how to gain more website visitors, see this article.?

Organic search is by far the most efficient?search marketing?strategy.?When you appear on the top of search engine results,?you?establish?your online credibility?and?gain more traffic at no cost (unlike PPC).?

But building organic SEO?takes?a lot of?skill,?time and effort.?

So while working on it, start?building your traffic,?leads and customers through?another?search marketing?strategy.?

P.S.?If you want basic guidelines on PPC, check out?Wordstream?s guide here. But if you will?subscribe to our?Premium?suite,?our business specialist will?help you plan a social media strategy,?and?we?ll?also?configure your website SEO and?manage?your?PPC?ads.?It?s everything done for you.?Learn more here.

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