Paid traffic, as the name implies, is traffic which you have to pay for in order to get to your site. The most common type of paid traffic is advertisements on networks such as Google’s AdWords. When people type in a specific keyword, an advertisement will come up for your site. If they click on it, you pay Google (or whatever ad network you go with) for the traffic. The price can range from a few pennies to several dollars per click. SEO, on the other hand, works by helping to get your site to rank well for specific keywords, so when people click your link, it doesn’t cost you a dime.
Choosing One or Both
There are benefits to both paid traffic and SEO for most companies. If you choose to purchase paid traffic, it can result in an immediate boost in very targeted traffic. It is important to have an expert there to help choose the right keywords to target, but once in place the traffic will keep coming in as long as you pay for it. SEO, on the other hand, can take several days, weeks or even months to start bringing in the desired traffic. Once it starts to come in, however, it will keep flowing without costing much (or even anything) to maintain the traffic.
It would be a mistake to say that SEO is free though, because in order to get your site to the top of the search engines, you’ll need to perform the SEO techniques properly. That’s where a high-quality SEO provider can be extremely useful. It will cost some money up-front, but if successful, can bring in steady traffic for years to come. Successful companies can actually benefit from using both paid traffic, and SEO. Choosing, for example, to purchase paid traffic for a month or two, until the SEO takes effect, is a great way to have the benefits of both of these options.
An Excellent Investment
As long as it is done properly, both paid traffic and SEO can be an excellent investment. These two traffic generating techniques can focus specifically on keywords or phrases which are targeted to your exact product or services. It is even possible to use local qualifiers so when someone is searching for a business like yours, in your city, your site will be displayed to them first. While it may seem confusing at first, paid traffic and SEO are actually proven marketing techniques which, when done properly, can bring in a consistent stream of new customers.