Organic and Paid Search Traffic Up – Social Traffic Remains Flat

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Mandy Wilson

Mandy is a Director and Content Manager at Cree Digital

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A new study by BrightEdge indicates that organic and paid search drive more than 70% of revenues for B2B (Business-to-Business). The study says organic and paid search still deliver far more traffic to websites than other channels, including social and display advertising. BrightEdge state that organic and paid search are responsible for 68% of all trackable website traffic.

The report indicates that organic traffic has grown slightly over the last five years since BrightEdge began this research. According to the SEO Research company, organic search delivered 51% of site traffic in 2014. That number has grown to 53% this year (2019) with paid search providing around 15%.

BrightEdge’s sample data was gathered in May 2019 from thousands of domains and tens of billions of sessions. Direct traffic was excluded from the research.

Organic and Paid Search Verticals

The report analyses traffic data across five verticals;

  • Retail and eCommerce
  • Media and Entertainment
  • B2B
  • Technology
  • Travel and Hospitality

In the case of B2B sites, the report shows organic and paid being responsible for over 76%  of the entire traffic distribution.

BrightEdge Research


Social Media Traffic and Revenues

In terms of social media traffic, the headline take away is that it has remained flat since 2014 at around 5%. Media and Entertainment was the only segment to drive more traffic than that at 8.2%.

BrightEdge also calculates revenue by channel for general traffic and in specific verticals. The company estimates that paid and organic search are responsible for 72% of revenues for B2B and the other verticals. The worrying statistic for those companies investing heavily in social media is that BrightEdge estimates that on average, social media delivers less than 1% of revenue.

Assuming the methodology is sound – and BrightEdge have a fine reputation in this regard – this report underlines the continuing value of organic and paid search and lends weight to the argument for more realistic expectations when it comes to social media campaigns; that they are a key tool for promoting brand awareness but not necessarily the magic key to volume traffic and sales.

You can download the BrightEdge report here.

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