We were recently asked a question by a client who wanted to know, Which traffic is more engaged, Organic or Paid?

We had a lot of data from another client who has been using both Organic and Paid and thought we should compare both to see the results.
We have used 12 months worth of data from the clients website analytics to see if visitors from Paid and Organic behave the same of different on the site, and in turn see which form of traffic brings in the most engaged visitors.

Bounce Rate

The lower the bounce rate the better.

Display – 83.98%
Paid – 76.71%
Organic – 53.45%
Referral – 65.49%

Bounce Rate

Organic/Referral Traffic have lower bounce rate, which indicates they are more engaged with the sites content.


Page Views per Session

Display – 1.36
Paid – 1.71
Organic – 3.05
Referral – 2.51

Organic/Referral Traffic is a lot more engaged, with 81% more page views on average.


Session Duration

Display – 0.27
Paid – 1.71
Organic – 3.05
Referral- 2.51

Organic/Referral Traffic stays on site a lot longer, 231% longer. Which again means the Organic/Referral Traffic is a lot more engaged.



Paid Traffic – Display, Paid – Is less engaged, Spends less time on site, Less page views but costs a lot more.

Organic Traffic – Organic, Referral – More Engaged, More time on site, more pages viewed, More likely to convert and costs a lot less.

(Direct and Social Traffic were not used to create any of the stats above, but if they were they would be included in the Organic Traffic)

Further data on Paid Vs Organic traffic shows people are still more likely to click on an Organic search result compared to a Paid search result.

The following data is taken from a blog post by Rand Fishkin, published on the Sparktoro blog on 30 October 2018.

The data is based on Google Searches in September 2018.

For every 100 searches on Mobile, there were:

  • 38.5 clicks on organic results
  • 3.4 clicks on paid results
  • 61.5 no click searches

For every 10 searches on Desktop, there were:

  • 65.6 clicks on organic results
  • 3.7 clicks on paid results
  • 34.3 no click searches

Organic = 10x Bigger than paid on mobile
Organic = 20x Bigger than paid on desktop

So in conclusion, you can clearly see that organic traffic is a lot more likely to convert than paid traffic.

I have seen Organic Vs Paid compared to Owning Vs Renting,

You own the organic traffic, and the results hang around a lot longer. But you only Rent the Paid traffic and when you stop renting the traffic goes away immediately.

Paid vs Organic Traffic – Which is more engaged?