Organic vs. Paid Traffic
When we look at it, there are basically only two ways of driving traffic to your website (no matter if it’s a one-layer affiliate site, or a massive online publishing and review magazine, or everything in between).
On one side, there’s paid traffic, and on the other, there’s free traffic (also known as organic traffic). And the most successful sites on the web have mastered both.
It’s beyond argument that if you have a new site and need some traffic to it fast, paid traffic is your answer. But if you’re after a steady long-term growth, organic traffic is the more scalable approach.
The Problem With Paid Traffic
No matter what paid traffic method you’re primarily using (be it PPC, media buys, solo ads, or whatever else), you’re basically exchanging dollars for clicks.
This means that if you’re attracting, say, 10,000 people for $1000, in order to bring in another 10,000 visitors, you’ll have to spend another $1000. This is quite basic and obvious.
With organic traffic, on the other hand, the investment made in SEO is much more scalable. Once you reach a given threshold, doubling your visitor base through organic methods won’t require doubling your budget.
However, just like with everything, there are some downsides too.
The Reality of Organic Traffic
Based on your niche, your site, and your competitors, it can take a very long while to see any organic traffic whatsoever. Although the web is full of success stories of sites that have grown massively in mere weeks, this is not the standard and shouldn’t be regarded as such.
The first thing to do when growing your organic traffic is to fine-tune your website internally. Making a great first impression is the keyword here.
Although this is not a popular expression, the book is still more important than the cover. In other words, if your website doesn’t “wow,” it will be very difficult to attract organic visitors in the long run.
A couple ideas on how to achieve this:
- professionally looking design,
- content that’s unique and doesn’t look spammy,
- good code structure of the site itself (using WordPress makes this much easier to do),
- following the good practices of on-page SEO and organic search engine optimization in general.
Next come the things you can do outside of your site, except for some good ol’ off-page SEO. You should also focus on social media mainly because that’s where the people are.
This sounds cliché, but true social interactions on Twitter or Facebook can really go a long way. People are constantly asking questions there, so why not stepping in with an answer?
The Value of Organic Traffic
It’s no mystery that organic traffic is very often the most engaged kind of traffic. And that the people visiting your site this way are the most likely to take advantage of your offers.
This is probably the main reason why you should devote a big part of your time to growing your site’s organic presence.