Although not new news, I still encounter folks who question if traffic from organic search or ppc is more valuable. In general, I find that people believe that traffic from organic search results is higher quality than traffic from ppc. In fact I’ve even heard folks says things like “studies show people trust organic search results 70% more than ppc ads”. I have yet to read any empirical studies that prove this, but overall I wouldn’t find it surprising if close to true.
From managing ppc and seo campaigns, I believe that in most cases there’s an optimal mix of both traffic sources. However, I find the following stats from a b2c service site supportive of the claim that organic search traffic is higher quality. Consider:
|Source/Medium||Pages/Visit||Avg. Time on Site||% New Visits||Bounce Rate|
Organic search traffic looks at more pages than cpc traffic, stays on the site almost 3 times as long and has a lower bounce rate than cpc traffic. Direct-to-site traffic views the highest number of pages, spends (by far) the longest time on the site and has the lowest bounce rate.
Is this conclusive? No. In fact, taking things a step further, it doesn’t include conversion data. But based on time-on-site factors alone, it’s another example of the higher quality of organic search traffic over that from ppc. And, it also illustrates that traffic from customers/referrals as reflected in ‘direct traffic’ is the most stickiest of all.