Organic Vs Paid Web Traffic: Which Traffic Source Gives You the Biggest ROI?

Before we deep dive into different types of traffic sources and traffic-getting methods, let us start by agreeing that the best website traffic source is a targeted traffic source.  Without that, your bounce rate will be through the roof.

If you ever hear a top 1% marketer talk about traffic, they’ll probably say something like this:

“I’d rather have 1000 targeted buyers than 1,000,000, unmotivated browsers.”

What this means for your business is this: Both organic and paid traffic can deliver the right or wrong type of visitor to your site. The right kind of visitor, then, is based on the customer avatar the marketing team creates.

Creating Keyword Silos For Generating Organic Traffic (SEO) — Based On Your Customer Avatar

The following keyword research principles for organic traffic can be translated to any product or service.

For this explanation, imagine if you will, that you’ve got a  SAAScompany offering project management software. And the marketing team has given you a detailed psychographic breakdown of your customer avatar, and what [they] want. The task at hand then is to turn that data into the most relevant keywords possible.

Search Traffic

Okay, here’s how that would work. Let’s say your customer avatar is a man named Colin, and his role is to investigate and present project management software options. Chances are he doesn’t know what software he wants to go with, so rather than direct traffic (going directly to a website), he is going to utilize search engine traffic (get to the website via a search engine.

First off Colin is human, he wants to expend as little brainpower as possible, so he’s going to search the most straightforward terms that pop into his head, like:

“Cheaper than…”

“Alternative too…”

“Better than…”

“Free trial…”


“Top 10…”


Then, Colin is going to click on the search results, and then scan the article until he finds a subheader or picture that gives him the next piece of information he wants. It’s worth noting at this point that Colin might not even know what he’s looking for, and that’s why we help him.

In this example (but works for most things) the next bit of info Colin wants is a comparison chart. How easy is that for him to present a comparison of project management software to his boss? Super easy.

We don’t need to go any further with Colin’s journey. What I want is for you to think about the journey your customer takes, because the customer journey is the key to picking the right keywords. Remember our little ditty at the start about having a low number of super targeted people, well, that principle holds for keywords and organic traffic.

Look at these search results for “project management software” using Answer The Public as an example. The majority of keywords and phrases will have little to zero search traffic volume in an organic search, but anyone who searches using these succinct phrases is more likely motivated to take action.

Keyword Silo

To recap then, here’s how you create keyword silos to maximize organic search traffic.

Create a customer avatar

  1. Research all your competitors and the features/benefits they offer
  2. Differentiate your product from your competitors
  3. Think about the journey your customer avatar is taking
  4. Plan your keywords to help the avatar along the journey
  5. Be sure to use internal linking on your website, so the avatar always has the next piece of information, instead of clicking away from your site and performing another organic search
  6. Always remember that people use search engines to get answers to questions, even if they are not sure of how to ask the right question.

As a final note on organic search traffic, it’s worth cementing the idea of internal linking as generating “internal traffic.”

For example, the keyword “website traffic.”

The image below shows that the search term has zero, yes zero monthly searches, yet the competitiveness of the keyword is 48/100, and the second image shows that the biggest companies in the world are targeting the keyword.

organic vs paid traffic organic vs paid traffic

To rank for the keyword “website traffic,” you have to be able to outperform:

  • Alexa
  • Similarweb
  • Ahrefs
  • Semrush
  • Wikipedia

If you cannot do you have to do two things:

1. Build long-tail keywords around your focus keyword, which you do by getting more specific in your focus. That could be as simple as adding “2019” to the end of the search phrase.

2. Use internal linking to push traffic around your website. Writing an article on website traffic is super valuable even if it’s going to be almost impossible to rank. (In a moment, I’ll show you how you can rank #1 for this keyword instantly)

The point of this demonstration is to get you thinking about the keywords you can win, and the keywords you probably cannot win organically. Push 80% of your resources into those articles which you stand a chance of ranking on page one, and 20% to those articles which drive internal traffic throughout your site.

Using Data To Maximise Traffic & Conversion Opportunities (Internal Traffic)

Google analytics truly is a fantastic piece of software. With GA’s functionality, the segmentation of your audience is almost endless. And you can use that data to make sure you’re best serving your audience. The more you know about the people who are visiting your site, the actions they take, and the content they consume, the more you can use that data to keep them on the site longer and lead them towards a conversion.

What are your most popular articles? If you know this, you push resources into making that page even more valuable for your audience.

What are your exit pages? Figure out how to make that page better and encourage your visitors to stay on your site for longer.

Those are the main metrics to know, yes there are a lot more metrics and a heck of a lot more  segmentation you can do, and yes average time on page is important, but as long as you know where people arrive, where they go next, and where they leave you’ve got a solid foothold in your customers behavior.

If SEO & Internal Traffic Is So Good, Then Why Use (PPC) Paid Traffic?

Have you ever used a search engine to research a product, and then, as you scrolled through social media or any of your social networks the next day, seen an ad for that or a similar product? Those are paid media advertisements. Advertisers will target a keyword search because the conversion rate on a warm audeience (someone who already is thinking about purchasing) is better than a cold one. This is a highly valuable source of traffic, and advertisers are smart to integrate it into their social media marketing campaigns.

You’ll notice the same phenomenon while reading a blog post. As you read content you are interested in, you will see display ads on the company’s website or blog. These practices are common in digital marketing and content marketing campaigns, and if you haven’t already adopted them, you should.

Earlier in the article, we highlighted the keyword “website traffic.” We said this keyword was almost impossible to rank for organically, but it is a great article to write for your internal traffic efforts. And the competition level for this keyword is crazy hard, and organic search is slow, especially if you’ve no traction in the SERP and are just starting. Paid traffic then, will get you to the #1 spot in the SERP instantly. And that comes with massive benefits, here’s a huge one.

Have you heard of Google’s Rankbrain algorithm? — No problem, if you haven’t, here is a quick summary. Rankbrain is a machine learning algorithm that assesses how people interact with your website and makes the decision whether or not to show your site to a searcher. And that means what exactly when it comes to paid traffic?

Let’s say you pay for the keyword, “website traffic” and people click, they read the article in full, and they follow the internal links, and they share one of your articles, and they spend a decent amount of time on the site. Well, your website is going to be looked at favorably by Rankbrain, you’ve proven to Google that you can satisfa ctorily answer the customer search query. And that is the entire basis of Google’s business model, serving up results that answer questions.

The Key To Maximising Free & Paid Traffic And Turning Customers Into Lifetime Cash Machines

In this article by my theme shop, they list 149 ways to increase website traffic, yep, 149. But I’ll save you the trouble of reading it by telling you right now the key to maximizing both free and paid traffic.

High-quality content. Gosh, I wish I could have pulled back the curtain and revealed something that you did not know. But well-thought-out content that answers the reader’s questions, entertains them a little, and tells them what to read next (internal linking) is what separates the winners from the losers.

You can give up your annual vacation and spend the money on advertising banners, copywriters, FB ads or PPC, but if the destination content is weak, you are wasting your money.

However, if you create content that gives value to your readers, then people will share it. You might get lucky, and an influencer could share or link to your content. You could use software like Ahrefs to find backlinks, or linking opportunities to promote your content. You could also use software like Ninja Outreach and connect with influencers.

But the result is the same. If your content is strong, people will read and share it. If your content is mediocre, people will click away.

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