Organic Search: Driving 51% Of All Web Traffic, Social? Only 5%.


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search or social?

If I were to ask you right now, “where does most website traffic come from; social media, paid ads, or organic search?” what would you say?

I’m willing to surmise that most of you would guess paid ads or social media.  I feel like all I see are ads on Facebook about “how to” get results from ads on Facebook. Almost every article I’m reading pertains to paid advertisements and landing pages. With all the hype that paid ads (on Google or Social Media) are I wouldn’t blame you for assuming social media and paid ads are what bring in the most traffic to a website.  

But guess what? You’re wrong. In fact, the majority of our focus is wrong.  The majority of website traffic doesn’t come from social media or paid ads; it’s coming from organic searches. Yes, organic search.

And now, there’s a study done that proves what SEO experts have known all along- that organic searches are vital to your business’s growth and profits.

Bright Edge Local recently did a study on “Billions” of articles of content and found, again, exactly what SEO experts have been saying all along- you cannot ignore organic searches.    According to their study, 51% of all traffic to B2B and B2C came from organic searches, 10% came from paid ads, 5% from social, and whopping 34% from “other.”  

Website Traffic Sources:


I’m not going to say, “I told you so” but I *might* be dropping my mic while listening to the “womp womp womp” of all ad only based agencies.


Let’s not stop there though- Bright Local went deep and broke it down even more for us.

73% of all traffic to business service sites came from organic searches.  What’s even more interesting is the business services sector didn’t get much traffic at all from emails or referrals, only getting roughly 20% of its traffic from those “other sources.”

Think about that- all those email campaigns and all that effort to get referrals still doesn’t even come close to the results of the organic search. I’ve personally heard stories from business owners that tried their luck with Facebook ads and literally blew hundreds of thousands of dollars for little to no result.  So then what do they do? They hired an ad expert that charges an arm and a leg to run ads for better results.  

But riddle me this- if Facebook or Google ads are so successful, why are their numbers so low on this study? It’s because no matter how successful ads are they will never come close to the success and growth you achieve by having your business website ranking on page one.  And let me add that organic ranking is far more sustainable than running ads, and also converts much higher.

So what does this all mean?  It means that page one of Google is still where the money is at.  It tells us that even though email campaigns and social media all have their place but that place is in addition to already dominating the organic search results. You simply cannot ignore the organic search and only do social media and Google Ads.  We’ve always known it, but Bright Local’s study just confirms that if you want serious growth, then you need to be investing in a solid SEO campaign.

Traffic Sources by Industry:


About the Author

Sam Romain

Sam Romain

Digital marketing expert, data interpreter, and adventurous entrepreneur empowering businesses while fearlessly embracing the wild frontiers of fatherhood and community engagement.

Sam Romain

Sam Romain

Digital marketing expert, data interpreter, and adventurous entrepreneur empowering businesses while fearlessly embracing the wild frontiers of fatherhood and community engagement.

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