‘Organic traffic’ refers to visits to a website that come from organic search results and not from paid ads.
Users of search engines (such as Google and Bing) are typically presented with a set of results that includes both the pages ranking on the top organically and a set of ads (usually denoted with the word Ad) to differentiate them from the organic results.
Differences between organic and paid search traffic
The main difference between organic and paid search traffic is that organic traffic is free, whereas paid traffic must be purchased.
You can get traffic from search engines in two ways. You can use SEO to rank your website high in search results and you can also use Google Ads to place ads on top of organic results.
You can get free traffic from SEO 24/7, but it isn’t instant. SEO takes time to work and generate results.
With PPC advertising, on the other hand, you can get faster results, but you will have to pay every time someone clicks on your ad and visits your website.
Another difference between organic traffic and paid traffic (also referred to as SEM) is that once you stop paying for ads, traffic to your website will drop, whereas with organic traffic, traffic is generated as long as you rank high.
Marketing your website organically or through paid ads on search engines is called search engine marketing.
What is the importance of organic traffic?
The most important form of traffic you can get to your website is organic traffic. In fact, it is more important than paid traffic, Facebook traffic, or traffic from other social media networks.
It’s simple: Organic traffic is targeted.
A search engine user has a very specific intent when they type a query, so if you can offer them a solution or answer to their question, you are more likely to gain a new customer, email subscriber, or follower.
In addition to the above, organic traffic is important because it increases trust in a website.
Google is trusted by users and websites that rank in the top positions of Google organically are trusted by users. An organic visitor is more likely to convert than a visitor coming from Facebook or another source.
Organic traffic versus other traffic sources
Organic traffic is not the only type of traffic. Your analytics reports will also show you:
Paid Search: This type of traffic comes to your website from paid search ads.
Direct Traffic: When someone visits your website directly by typing the URL in a browser, this is recorded in Google Analytics as direct traffic.
Referral Traffic: When someone clicks a link on another website and visits your website, this is recorded as referral traffic.
Social: Traffic coming from social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.).
Refers to traffic coming from paid advertisements on other websites. If you advertise on Google Ads, you have the option of displaying your ads on other websites. Display traffic is recorded in Analytics when someone clicks on one of your ads to visit your website.
Email: If you use email marketing software (such as Mailchimp or Sendy) to email your subscribers and have connected your software to Google Analytics, any email traffic generated from clicks on your emails will be recorded.