Organic vs. Pay Per Click

  • January 29, 2018
  • Bradley Taylor

If you have spent any time trying to promote your site then you know the meaning of these two words. But just in case you don’t here is a quick primer: Organic traffic is clicks that come from the regular search results in the main body of the page. Pay Per Click traffic is the traffic that comes from the “sponsored” section of the search results.

Fifteen years ago you could really get your bang for your buck with pay-per-click advertising. You could get clicks for as little as .10 -.25 cents. The main drawback to the method of getting traffic was that there was a large amount of click fraud perpetrated by the pay-per-click companies themselves as well as your competitors. Even the well-regarded Google was a part of this terrible practice and had to settle a $90 million lawsuit

Flash forward 13 years and pay-per-click advertising has cleaned up its fraudulent activities but the prices have skyrocketed for traffic. Regular local businesses are paying ten dollars a click. Ten bucks for a single click!

Organic traffic is free! Well, technically it is free. But the amount of work you have to do to get your site listed well enough to get clicks is not free. It can take years to get in the results of the first page for your most important keywords. That is tens of thousands of dollars of work (whether you are doing it or someone else is – it equals tens of thousands of dollars).

Which is Right for You?

Basically I lean heavier to organic traffic. Once you have achieved the first page, it isn’t easy to get knocked off, although I have seen it happen when people’s work output declines. Also, plenty of research suggests that traffic from organic results is better quality. These are people who are looking for real results and not results influenced by a direct bribe to the search engine.

If you have the funds and you want to try the double prong approach, I cannot condemn that either. People do get conversions from PPC.