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How to balance organic results and paid ads

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Every website owner wants traffic. Specifically, web traffic that will earn them qualified leads. 

The two main categories which can drive leads include organic traffic and paid traffic. 

As the name suggests, organic traffic is generated naturally as a result of visitors finding your content and clicking through to your website. 

Paid, on the other hand, is when you’ve created the likes of paid ads, whereby you’ve exchanged money to reach specific audiences with your campaigns. 

All forms of marketing require a careful balance. With organic vs paid, this can be likened to a recipe in that every method is going to add in something different. Also, together, each combination will deliver different results.

So here’s how to use each method individually and combined to get results for your marketing campaigns. 

Organic Traffic 

– Content marketing

– Email marketing

– Podcasts

– Recommendations (user sharing)


– Social media engagement

Video marketing 

– Word of mouth

Organic traffic is mostly associated with any web traffic which originates from search engines. These aren’t paid search ads, rather, when someone has clicked on a SERP (search engine results page). This result appeared because Google deemed to it be helpful result for that particular user query.

So for instance, if someone Googled ‘web design agency Dubai’ they may find the Imaginaire website and click through to our website. The page could be our homepage or even a blog we’d written, rather than a sponsored advertisement. 

When a website has done the work to appear organically on search engines, so long as it retains a good search position for its most relevant keywords, there is no paid work involved to get search engine visibility. 

As users click on the content of their own accord the results can appear more helpful to them. If the result matches their intentions (informational, navigational, transactional or commercial investigation) – they are more likely to stay on the page and convert as a customer. 

Outside of search engine optimisation, social media interactions, digital sharing of your content, video marketing and even word of mouth can all help your business to grow online organically. Some of these methods can also be classed as inbound marketing, whilst also being organic.

Organic Traffic Advantages

Cost-effective – While you may need to pay for the initial content creation (unless you can write, shoot or record it yourself) organic content continues to work hard on your behalf. A well researched and executed piece of content will offer a long-term ROI.

Sustainable results – Organic ways of building traffic won’t disappear as soon as the ad budget runs out. In fact, your organic traffic may continue to grow from pieces of content you created months or even years ago. 

Higher click-through rates – When users see organic content they are more likely to click on it because it seems more trustworthy than a paid ad. 

Organic content can help your website as a whole – If other websites link to or share your content, this can improve your domain authority. A high domain authority (DA) will make it easier for your content to rank higher in the future. 

Organic Traffic Considerations

Organic results take time to build – When a piece of organic content is published (website pages, blogs, videos and podcasts), it takes time for search engines to index that content. Even when the pages are live on search engines, it can take a while to get that content ranking highly. Frequent optimisations are needed to ensure SEO-friendliness. Plus, content also needs backlinks and shares especially if the domain authority of that website isn’t very high.

Lots of competition – Some niches have a lot of competition for both web traffic and keywords. The higher the difficulty of the keywords being targeted, the more time it will take to see results. 

Limited control – Even the best content creators or SEO experts cannot ‘guarantee’ search engine results. That’s because ultimately, Google and other search engines have the final say about where content ranks and why. Algorithms and content guidelines are frequently changing also, meaning content creators need to be able to keep up. 

Paid Ads

– Affiliate marketing

– Display advertising

– Native advertising

– Pay-per-click (PPC)

– Retargeting 

– Social media paid advertising

It’s always been possible to pay to advertise and advertising in the digital world is no exception.

Paid ads can appear on search engines, websites and on social media. There are also other ways of paying to promote your business along with its products and services which don’t appear to the user as a paid ad. For instance, by using affiliate marketing and paid backlinks.

On search engines paid adverts allow you to bid for keywords to get ahead on the search engine results pages. Although the adverts will disappear as soon as you stop paying for them, paid ads can help you get ahead, especially for time-sensitive campaigns or competitive niches. 

The key to getting paid traffic right is to have a clear idea of your audience, along with their wants and needs. Therefore, it’s not the case that by paying for an advert in itself, this is enough to get clicks, visitors and ultimately conversions. So similar to organic methods of getting visitor traffic a strategy is needed. 

Paid Ads Advantages

Immediate results – When you’ve paid for an ad and it goes live it will immediately be visible. There is no waiting for the page to index on Google, and you can even control who the advert goes out to in terms of audience demographics.

Competitive advantage – If you’re entering a niche with lots of competition, paid advertising can help you get to the top. Even though the paid ads will stop running at some point, brand awareness will have still been generated.

Best for time-sensitive campaigns – Sometimes you don’t have time to wait. Paid ads will launch immediately, making them great for advertising sales and other time-sensitive promotions or information. 

Paid Ads Considerations

Cost – All paid traffic methods involve some kind of cost, and to get maximum visibility or compete with tough niches, a higher amount of investment will likely be needed. 

Potential for ad blockers to disrupt your campaigns – Depending on the type of advertisement, it may appear as spam or an advert. If users are using any ad blocker technology they may not see the adverts you’ve paid to send them. 

Paid ads can sometimes lack trust – Some paid ads need to be labelled as an ‘ad’ or ‘sponsored’. These types of descriptions can seem less trustworthy than organic results, seen as users know the companies have paid to target them with that ad. 

Sharp learning curve – Getting paid ads right is not a case of throwing lots of money at a campaign to achieve guaranteed success. As with any other kind of marketing method, many aspects need to be considered, implemented and monitored to get good results from paid advertising. 

Organic VS Paid – Which Method Is Right For My Marketing Campaigns? 

The answer to this question is that neither method is right or wrong. Rather, most businesses require a combined approach, depending on the type of campaign, who they want to reach and whether they want their results to be immediate or continual. 

Taking a multidimensional approach to your marketing campaigns ensures no stone is left unturned when it comes to connecting potential customers with your business. In contrast, only relying on paid ads or organic exclusively may miss growth opportunities on either side.

When you build a website, the content of your landing pages and blogs will work towards getting traffic organically. A good strategy will see this traffic continue to build at a steady rate, with users finding your website for the right (and relevant) reasons.

But to bolster any organic marketing techniques, paid ads can add the cherry on top. They can be used to support existing campaigns, promotions, new launches and anything else of interest. In addition, paid ads can be used to counteract any of the disadvantages of organic methods such as the time it takes to see results or even a competitive niche. 

Imaginaire – Organic & Paid Ads For Your Next Marketing Campaign

Are you interested in exploring organic or paid marketing methods for your business?

Imaginaire is a marketing agency based in Dubaishire, serving clients across the UK and beyond. 

We offer specialist services such as SEO, PPC and more covering all aspects of organic and paid lead generation. 

To discuss more about organic or paid ads or any of our other services please drop us a message or give us a call on 0115 697 1367

Rachael is a content executive with Imaginaire. With hands-on experience with all things marketing, she has the knowledge and know-how to explain and advise almost any topic you can think of!

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