Does Organic Traffic Convert Better?

There are many traffic sources that can bring customers to your small business’ site. Google Analytics, among others, usesDoes organic traffic convert better? online algorithms to calculate website traffic. This post will discuss various channels and how you can use SEO to drive organic traffic, and eventually sales. Let’s break down some of the top sources of traffic to see does organic traffic convert better?

What are Traffic Sources & Channels, and How Do They Work?

Referral: This refers to traffic that is not obtained through search engines. It can come from websites, links, or emails. If a link is clicked, it will take them to your website.

Paid Search – This traffic comes from paid advertisements in search results. Paid search can get your website to the top of search results via paid platforms like Google Ads.

Direct: This describes traffic to your site that hasn’t clicked a link. There is no URL or referring website.

Organic: This is from people searching on Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

Does organic traffic convert better?

Going Deeper Into Organic Traffic

Most searchers won’t scroll through to the second page. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that you are at the top of the search engine results page. It is possible to achieve this through SEO. Your website receives organic traffic when someone searches a query and clicks your listing in the SERPs.

This channel uses Search Engine Optimization (SEO), to improve your website’s ranking on search engines and generate more organic traffic. You can use prediction techniques to help you target your customers with competitive keywords and by answering real questions that people key into Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

Organic Traffic Rates

Online marketing is all about conversions. This refers to any instance when your customer does something you want on your site. Any action you want, be it a purchase of a newsletter or a subscription, or a product purchase, these are all conversions.

Without knowing what to do, data can be useless. The current conversion rate is a good starting point to determine your next goal or if you have a new website you want to look in Google Analytics for the page views per month and your bounce rate. This will tell you how many visitors you are getting and which posts are popular under Behavior > Site content > All Pages.

Quality Content is the key to attracting organic traffic to your website. Hence picking keywords that are searched by people every day in questions is the trick to ranking on the first page. You can read my how-to-write killer content that ranks.

Benefits of Organic Traffic and Organic Sales

Paid search is a great way to get noticed and rank high, but it can also take you down. Organic search traffic has a lot of staying power. It’s durable and can help increase both quantity and quality website visitors.

People trust organic searches and will often ignore paid results. That is why 65.6% were organic desktop clicks during September 2018.

High-quality traffic comes from organic searches. When customers search for something, they look for results that satisfy their queries. By creating a website using keywords that reflect your customer’s interests, you can target the perfect audience.

SEO helps you get high-quality traffic to your website and even organic sales by identifying search intent.

Four keyword types are the most popular for people who search. These keywords not only can attract customers but also predict the type and age of your customer.

  • Informational Keywords – These keywords are for customers who are looking for information (tips, big, blue, cheap.)
  • Navigational Keywords – Customers who are searching for a website in a particular niche (small dogs, hardy plants.)
  • Transactional Keywords – Customers who will convert (buy, shop, sale, bonus.)
  • Commercial Keywords – Customers who want to purchase (price, package deal, delivery.)

Organic Traffic Overview

While all search traffic channels can provide some type of benefit, there are always costs. Paid searches can provide quick and broad services. This kind of traffic might be beneficial for companies just starting out, or those that have a short-term landing page.

But SEO is essential for organic traffic. This traffic source is not always easy to manage. However, by using the right keywords and the right approach to SEO, your company can reduce costs, optimize its product, and build a long-lasting business.

Which SEO Converts Better: Organic Traffic or Paid Traffic?

Businesses must decide how they will rank their website. They can use either SEO or pay per click (PPC), or both.


Your business’s best answer depends on many factors, including your budget, your target audience behavior, and marketing goals. The answer is not to choose between them, but rather creating a strategy that uses both. I have seen blog owners who use both SEO and PPC (Pay-Per-Click) get better, faster results.

87 percent of internet users explore search engines to find local products or services. Most people won’t look beyond Page One in search results. If you want people searching for your business to find it, you need to rank the business high in search engines.

Page One results receive 92% of all Google search traffic, while traffic to page two drops by 95%. 33% of all clicks on organic search results lead to the top Google listing.

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Your Budget!

To determine how much you should invest in PPC or SEO, take into account your budget for search marketing. You will need to stick to SEO if you don’t have the budget for paid ads.

It’s worth considering incorporating paid ads into your SEM (Search Engine Marketing) strategy if you have the budget. PPC advertising has many benefits:

Testing: To test new layouts, UXs, and products on your website, you will need to have a lot of A-B traffic. PPC ads can be a great way of driving that traffic right away. It takes time and resources to generate the same traffic if you are just doing SEO.

Immunity: Google and other popular search engines constantly think of ways to improve their algorithms to ensure that searchers get the most relevant content to their needs. PPC campaigns, on the other hand, are completely immune to SEO strategies that rely on existing algorithms.

Bottom line: It’s worth considering PPC campaigns if you have the budget.

Industry CPC (Cost-Per-Click)

Consider the amount of money your industry’s competitors spend on PPC and SEO if you are interested in PPC.

PPC platforms are not based on fixed prices but on bids. Marketers pay what they are willing to pay for one keyword click. There are some industry terms that are more expensive than others. SEO is more effective at driving traffic to your company if the key phrase is more costly than others. Google’s keyword planner tool can help you find industry average CPCs.

Bottom line: If your average CPC is very high, you should rely more on SEO to produce results for your company. Bid away if it’s possible!

It’s not certain that you will ever achieve top rankings overnight. Depending on your niche and competition, it may be difficult to get to the top spots. The real winner is to invest time and resources in an SEO strategy, with or without PPC.

Why SEO?

SEO is a great option if you don’t have enough budgets to pay for search advertising. SEO isn’t free. You can still do it in-house, even if you don’t want to hire an agency. However, it is time-consuming and requires the expertise of writers who have worked with optimizing content.

The downside of SEO is how long it takes to be indexed for different phrases. You will need to keep working on your SEO to improve your rankings and increase traffic. You may have to fight hard depending on the competition. Supplemental PPC is your best friend if you don’t want the wait to see results for months.

Google is constantly changing its ranking algorithm in order to provide quality results for its users. These changes won’t have much impact on you if you are focusing on quality content that is useful to your site visitors and building links naturally, instead of trying to manipulate the system to rank higher.

If you have been involved in black hat SEO, one small change to the algorithm could spell doom.

It will take more effort to get steady organic traffic to your site today than it did a few years back, but it is definitely worth the effort.

Here’s a quick overview of organic traffic stats:

  • 35% of users don’t go beyond the first page of search results.
  • 70% to 80% of users choose organic search results over paid ads.
  • Blogs have 434% higher indexed pages than companies without them, while those with more pages are more likely to get leads.
  • Outbound leads are 61% more expensive than inbound leads. SEO is a great source for inbound leads.
  • The close rate for SEO leads is 14.6%, compared to the 1.7% rate for PPC leads.

Why PPC?

PPC ads appear above organic search results. If you have the budget, they can be a great way to get traffic to your new site.

PPC is a way to bid for the chance of appearing for relevant queries. You may or may not win every time. You will be competing for certain phrases, so you need to be prepared to pay more per click and ensure your best chance of being shown.

If you are in a highly competitive area, even though you only get charged for each click on your ad, it can add up quickly. SEO is a great option if you feel that your industry or competition has a high cost per click.

If you do it right, you can drive targeted traffic to landing pages faster than relying on organic search. There is a lot of room to make mistakes, which can lead to costly results.

You can make the most costly mistake when you set up an AdWords account. A study found that only 29% of accounts had effective conversion tracking. It is essential to be able to identify which keywords convert and which do not.

Do Your Keyword Research

You should focus your PPC budget on high-intent keywords that are earning conversions. Keyword research is a must if you want to maximize your PPC spend.

Let’s do some math for a second. The logic says that a 10% waste of ad spending would result in a 10% increase in the cost per conversion. It’s not as simple as that. Instead, every 10% increase in wasted advertising spend will result in a 44%-72% increase in the cost per conversion.

Your cost per conversion for $10 will increase from $14.40 to $17.20 if your wasted advertising spend is 30% and increases to 40%. If you start bidding on keywords to increase traffic, but the results are not as good as you expected, your conversion cost will jump from $53.79 to $120.20. What’s the secret to such a huge difference? It’s simple.

If your website’s content isn’t written well and designed to encourage visitors to convert, then you have paid for traffic. However, it may not be possible to justify the cost of the traffic if it doesn’t convert.

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Why is Organic Traffic Important?

There are a few reasons why organic traffic is important. You can be certain that it comes from real people. This means that visitors to your website are real people looking for solutions to problems.

Some businesses actually use software to increase clicks in PPC (pay-per-click advertising) so they can earn more. This isn’t human traffic, so it won’t have a conversion rate.

It makes no difference to your site analytics and leads to zero growth. This is why you should implement SEO techniques to increase organic traffic to your site.

Organic traffic also leads to a higher ranking in search engine result pages (SERPs). Paid traffic can cause a decrease in visitors to your website if you make changes to your advertisements and promotions.

However, if you rank your website using organic methods, your popularity will grow and it won’t be easy for another business to take over your top rank in search engines.

What Are Your Goals?

PPC and SEO can drive different types of traffic to your site. Therefore, you should determine the way you choose how to work with your traffic needs. PPC is best if you are only interested in product sales or short-term conversions.

A paid ad is half the chance that a visitor arrives at a retailer’s site from an organic link. If you are more concerned with building trust and credibility with your audience and increasing traffic over time, then this is the right place for you. A solid SEO strategy is your best choice.

You need both to create a well-rounded marketing strategy. But if you have a low budget to get started then focus your attention on creating quality content that is maximized for SEO, you will get growing organic traffic over time.


PPC is a good choice for the short term. You’ll see results as soon as your ads go live. However, if the money stops flowing, those results stop. PPC can prove costly in the long term. That’s why SEO is so valuable. While you can use both to generate traffic, it is unlikely that you will be able to sustain your PPC efforts over the long term without SEO.

Starting your business and growing it are two different stages. You can just start with excellent SEO and add PPC later, it’s all a matter of patience!

If this has helped you in your research, I would love you to leave a comment, or a like and share. Don’t be shy, tell me what you think!

Thanks for visiting.


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11 thoughts on “Does Organic Traffic Convert Better?”

  1. Is there a lot more to ranking on page one than just great content? I understand that SEO covers so much more than good key words in this content. How can you go about getting a good rank on the search engines? You article cover a load of great information. I spent a lot of extra time not just reading it but also studying it.

    • I’m so pleased that you found some great value in my article Walt. I often slow down and study a good article and even make notes of the tips. After a while, they really stick if you are applying them regularly.

  2. Hi Lily, thanks for your in-depth explanation of SEO and PPC, organic traffic and paid traffic; referal traffic and direct traffic. Organic traffic seems to be the best, and least expensive. Paid traffic will decrease right away as soon as you stop paying for the ads. The ultimate goal is to get traffic that converts, and to do it in an economical fashion.

    • So true Carolyn, if you want to be making profits and not paying for ads then SEO is the way to get the most organic traffic to your website and build on that over time.

  3. Thanks for this very informative article on organic traffic. Part of it I did know, however, there are a number of items that needed some confirmation. I suspected as such, but it was good to read that organic traffic converts better. I feel stronger now that I know that PPC does less so. And yes, SEO is the all-important basis for driving traffic. That and enough quality content.

    My website has a 86% SEO ranking and my articles range between 80 to 100%. I read somewhere that between 50-70% is considered to be a good ranking.

    • Learning about good SEO is key to anyone wanting to build a successful business online and in all the writing it is easy to miss. I’m pleased that you found a few reminders in my article Jerry.

  4. I am learning all about this currently and this article was very helpful in explaining the importance of having a strategy that implements both PPC and SEO organic ranking.
    I have been working on my site for almost a year now and have finally started ranking in the 4-10 position for some of my articles. Last week I decided to purchase a PPC ad, at the lowest budget possible, to see if this helped at all.
    At first I seemed to get a few more clicks, but then it kind of dropped off. It may be a day of the week thing, I am not too sure.
    At least I can run reports on Google Ads to try to figure some of it out. Gosh, it is overwhelming. There is just so much to learn and it seems to be all trial and error.
    Thanks for the help though, this article cleared some things up for me.

  5. I am learning all about this currently and this article was very helpful in explaining the importance of having a strategy that implements both PPC and SEO organic ranking. I have been working on my site for almost a year now and have finally started ranking in the 4-10 position for some of my articles. Last week I decided to purchase a PPC ad, at the lowest budget possible, to see if this helped at all. 

    At first I seemed to get a few more clicks, but then it kind of dropped off. It may be a day of the week thing, I am not too sure.

    At least I can run reports on Google Ads to try to figure some of it out. Gosh, it is overwhelming. There is just so much to learn and it seems to be all trial and error.

    Thanks for the help though, this article cleared some things up for me.

    • Hi Ashley, you were correct to wait a year before learning about PPC as it is involved and you can really not get the results that you hoped for and it can cost a lot of money. Wishing you well on your journey. Lily

  6. I have always struggled to get traffic to my website. It always fluctuates so I believe that this article was meant for me. I have picked up a few pointers that I will definitely use so thank you for this. It is truly appreciated. Can I also just say that I absolutely love your website. 

    • You are so kind Daniel. It certainly has been my aim to create a knowledge base for anyone building a website business. It does take time to attract great organic traffic but it is worth the effort in the long run and I know that you will succeed in your venture because you like helping people.


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