High-quality traffic is the hallmark of nearly every successful website. It provides websites with real human visitors who are engaged and ready to take action. Whether you're simply trying to sell a product online or attract readers to your blog, you need high-quality traffic to succeed.
While there are dozens of ways to drive traffic to your website, major search engines like Google and Bing typically offer the highest-quality traffic. They allow you to capture and attract users who search for specific keywords.
Not all search traffic is the same, however. There are two primary types of search traffic, including paid and organic.
What Is Paid Search Traffic?
Paid search traffic consists of users who find and visit your website by clicking an ad somewhere in the search engine results pages (SERPs). To generate revenue, search engines sell advertising services to business owners and marketers.
Google's advertising service is known as Google Ads, whereas Bing's advertising service is known as Bing Ads. Both are considered self-serve platforms, meaning you create and manage your own ads.
Ads displayed by search engines look similar to regular, organic website listings. On Google and Bing alike, ads consist of a headline, description and display URL.
Because of their similarities, many users mistake ads for organic listings. But you can distinguish between them by searching for the "Ad" tag. All ads on Google and Bing are labeled with "Ad."
Reports show 84 percent of revenue generated by Google's parent company, Alphabet, comes from Google Ads. While Bing's advertising revenue is unknown, Bing Ads has become a popular alternative to Google Ads in recent years.
Using either of these advertising services, you can drive high-quality search traffic to your website.
What Is Organic Search Traffic?
Organic search traffic, on the other hand, consists of users who find and visit your website by clicking an organic listing in the SERPs. Organic listings aren't ads. They are regular, unpaid listings.
You'll typically find organic listings sandwiched between ads in the SERPs. If advertisers are targeting a search query, the organic listings for that query will be placed in the middle of the SERPs, and the ads will be placed at the top and bottom of the SERPs.
To determine which websites or web pages should appear as an organic listing for a search query, search engines use a ranking algorithm that analyzes hundreds of on-page and off-page elements, which are also known as ranking signals.
Benefits of Targeting Paid Search Traffic
You can easily drive paid search traffic to your website by purchasing ads on Google Ads or Bing Ads. Whether you want your website to appear in the SERPs for a search query with 100 monthly searches or 10,000, you can purchase an ad while bidding on that query.
Targeting paid search traffic allows you to display your website in a variety of ways. With organic search traffic, you can't make major changes to your website's title tag or meta description without it affecting your site's rankings.
On Google Ads and Bing Ads, you can create multiple ads with different headlines, descriptions and display URLs.
You can also drive paid search traffic to your website more quickly than organic search traffic. To rank your website as an organic listing in the SERPs, you'll have to perform search engine optimization (SEO).
And even after optimizing your website and building backlinks, it may take a year or longer for search engines until search engines rank your website high in their organic listings. In comparison, Google and Bing typically display new ads within 24 hours of their creation.
While paid search traffic isn't free, it often delivers a positive return on investment (ROI). In an economic impact report published by Google, the company revealed that Google Ads advertisers generate an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 spent on advertising. In other words, the average ROI for Google Ads is 200 percent.
Benefits of Targeting Organic Search Traffic
Because organic listings are curated by Google's and Bing's algorithms, users tend to trust them more than paid ads.
Any webmaster can create an ad to promote his or her website in the SERPs, but only websites vetted by Google's or Bing's algorithm will rank high as an organic listing.
Search engine users are more likely to click an organic listing than an ad in the SERPs. According to a study of over 1 billion search queries conducted by Nielsen and GroupM, 94 percent of all clicks occur on an organic listing, with only 6 percent occurring on an ad.
Organic search traffic offers long-lasting benefits for your website. With paid search traffic, other advertisers may increase their bids for the same keywords on which you are bidding, thereby knocking down your ads so they are no longer viewable on the first page.
Your website's organic rankings may change as well, but fluctuations with organic listings are typically minor.
Of course, the most notable benefit of targeting organic search traffic is its low cost. On Google Ads and Bing Ads, you'll be charged a small amount every time someone searches for one of the keywords on which you are bidding and clicks your ad.
Clicks on organic listings are free. You may still have to purchase SEO software, tools or content, but you won't have to pay for clicks with organic search traffic.
Target Both Types of Search Traffic
While some webmasters focus on attracting either organic or paid search traffic to their website, you can use both types of search traffic to take advantage of their unique benefits.
Google and Bing allow websites to appear as an organic listing and an ad for the same search query. Using SEO and paid ads, you can double your website's visibility in the search results.
Even if you've purchased ad to promote your website for a search query, you can perform SEO to achieve a high organic ranking for that same query.
Don't restrict your search engine marketing (SEM) activities to either organic or paid search traffic. By targeting both types of search traffic, more users will find and visit your website, which means more conversions for your online business.
If you don't know where to start, get in touch with our SEO Agency in Thailand, we are here to help you define your goals and enhance your online visibility.