Paid, Owned or Earned. How Do You Drive Traffic?

Jul 1, 2022
SEO Marketing


Welcome to SEO Spectrum, the industry leader in providing comprehensive SEO services to businesses in various sectors. In today's digital landscape, driving traffic to websites is crucial for success. With the increasing competition, it's important to understand the different methods of traffic acquisition — paid, owned, and earned. In this article, we will explore these strategies in detail and help you discover the most effective approach for your business.

What is Paid Traffic?

Paid traffic refers to the visitors that land on your website through paid advertising campaigns. This approach involves investing in various paid channels, such as search engine marketing (SEM), display ads, social media advertising, and sponsored content. By leveraging these platforms, businesses can increase their online visibility, attract relevant audiences, and drive traffic to their websites.

The Benefits of Paid Traffic

There are several benefits to incorporating paid traffic into your overall marketing strategy:

  • Immediate Results: With paid traffic, you can start driving visitors to your website almost instantly. This is particularly useful for new businesses or those with time-sensitive promotions.
  • Precise Targeting: Paid advertising platforms allow you to narrow down your audience based on demographics, interests, and behavior. This ensures that your content reaches the right people and maximizes the chances of conversions.
  • Increased Brand Exposure: By appearing prominently in paid search results or banners on popular websites, your brand gains exposure and builds awareness among potential customers.
  • Metric-Driven Performance: Paid advertising campaigns can be closely monitored and optimized based on key metrics such as click-through rates (CTR), cost per click (CPC), and conversion rates. This provides valuable insights for refining your marketing efforts.

Best Practices for Effective Paid Traffic

While incorporating paid traffic into your digital strategy, it is essential to follow these best practices:

  1. Thorough Keyword Research: Conduct extensive research to identify relevant keywords that align with your business objectives. Targeting the right keywords will enhance the effectiveness of your paid ad campaigns.
  2. Compelling Ad Copy: Craft persuasive and compelling ad copy that highlights the unique selling points of your products/services. Engaging copy often leads to higher click-through rates and conversions.
  3. Landing Page Optimization: Create optimized landing pages that align with your ad campaigns. The landing page should provide a seamless user experience and encourage visitors to take the desired action.
  4. Budget Management: Set clear budget limits and regularly monitor the performance of your paid campaigns. Adjust the budget allocation based on campaign performance to maximize return on investment (ROI).
  5. Continuous Testing and Optimization: Implement A/B testing to identify the most effective ad variations. Continuously optimize your campaigns by analyzing the data and making data-driven decisions.

What is Owned Traffic?

Owned traffic refers to the visitors that come to your website through various organic channels that you have control over. These channels include search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, content marketing, and social media presence. Owned traffic acquisition focuses on establishing a strong online presence and attracting visitors through non-paid efforts.

The Benefits of Owned Traffic

Incorporating owned traffic strategies into your marketing efforts provides numerous advantages:

  • Long-Term Results: Unlike paid traffic, owned traffic strategies aim to build a sustainable online presence. Once established, these strategies can generate long-term traffic and leads without continuous investment.
  • Cost-Effective: While it requires effort and resources to implement owned traffic strategies, they are generally more cost-effective compared to constantly paying for ad placements.
  • Builds Credibility and Trust: Owning your online presence through consistent branding, informative content, and positive user experiences helps build credibility and trust with your audience.
  • Increases Organic Search Visibility: Implementing effective SEO techniques can improve your website's visibility in search engine results, driving organic traffic from users actively searching for related keywords.
  • Establishes Thought Leadership: Publishing valuable and informative content positions your brand as an authority in the industry, attracting visitors seeking expertise and knowledge.

Best Practices for Effective Owned Traffic

To drive the maximum amount of traffic through owned channels, follow these best practices:

  1. Optimize Your Website: Conduct comprehensive on-page SEO to ensure your website is easily discoverable by search engines. This includes optimizing meta tags, URLs, headings, and content.
  2. Create High-Quality Content: Invest in creating valuable and engaging content that addresses the needs of your target audience. Use relevant keywords naturally within your content to improve search engine rankings.
  3. Build a Strong Social Media Presence: Utilize social media platforms relevant to your industry to share your content, engage with your audience, and drive traffic back to your website.
  4. Implement Email Marketing Campaigns: Build an email list and regularly provide subscribers with valuable content, promotions, and updates. Drive traffic to your website through well-crafted email campaigns.
  5. Monitor Analytics: Utilize analytical tools to track website performance, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions for optimizing your owned traffic strategies.

What is Earned Traffic?

Earned traffic, also known as organic traffic, is the result of positive word-of-mouth, brand recognition, and customer referrals. This traffic is driven by others who voluntarily share your content, mention your brand, or recommend your products/services. Earned traffic is the outcome of providing exceptional experiences and valuable content that resonates with your target audience.

The Benefits of Earned Traffic

Incorporating earned traffic strategies into your marketing efforts can yield substantial benefits:

  • Higher Conversion Rates: Visitors acquired through earned traffic have a higher likelihood of converting into customers due to the trust and credibility associated with positive recommendations.
  • Cost-Efficient: Compared to paid traffic, earned traffic typically doesn't require direct financial investment. However, it necessitates building relationships and consistently delivering value.
  • Brand Advocacy: When satisfied customers become advocates, they help amplify your brand message, share your content, and bring in more referral traffic.
  • Long-Term Growth: As your brand reputation grows, the potential for earned traffic increases. Continuous focus on enhancing customer experiences and maintaining a positive brand image fuels long-term growth.
  • Creates a Community: Building an engaged community of loyal customers and brand advocates allows you to leverage their influence to drive traffic and expand your reach organically.

Best Practices for Effective Earned Traffic

To encourage and nurture earned traffic, implement the following best practices:

  1. Provide Exceptional Customer Experiences: Go above and beyond to delight your customers at every touchpoint. Positive experiences create loyal customers who are more likely to promote your brand.
  2. Create Shareable Content: Craft high-quality and shareable content that resonates with your target audience. This could be through blog articles, videos, infographics, or interactive experiences.
  3. Encourage Social Engagement: Prompt your audience to engage with your brand on social media through contests, interactive campaigns, and user-generated content initiatives.
  4. Develop Influencer Partnerships: Collaborate with influencers or industry experts who align with your brand values to amplify your reach and gain exposure to their audience.
  5. Monitor and Leverage Online Reviews: Regularly monitor online reviews and testimonials. Address any negative feedback promptly and leverage positive reviews to build trust and attract more customers.


Driving traffic to your website is a multifaceted endeavor that requires a balanced approach. Paid, owned, and earned traffic strategies each offer unique advantages and contribute to a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. SEO Spectrum, as a leading provider of SEO services in the business and consumer services industry, understands the importance of driving traffic through all these channels and can help you implement effective strategies tailored to your business goals. By leveraging paid, owned, and earned methods, you can maximize your online visibility, attract the right audience, and ultimately drive the success of your business.

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