How do affiliate sites get traffic?

The affiliate industry is awash with a vibrant mix of websites and technology solutions but have you ever stopped to think how do these affiliates sites get their traffic and what might I be able to infer from such knowledge?

We’re here to share with you, our methodology for researching where an affiliate get their traffic from and sharing with you the deep dive we have done on all the major affiliate types that are likely to feature on your existing program. 

We start, by introducing a few concepts and definitions that will ease you into the possible ways that traditional affiliate sites *could* get traffic.

Table of Contents

Possible traffic sources for affiliate sites

Search traffic: The traffic a website gets from search engines either from ads (paid search) or from organic listings (based on how well they rank for keywords).

Direct Type-Ins: The traffic a website gets from users typing their websites address directly into their browser.

Email: The traffic a website gets from the emails they send out to their users

Social: The traffic a website gets from their social channels (Twitter, Insta, Youtube, Facebook, etc..)

Display: The traffic a website gets from display ads

Referral: The traffic a website gets from referrals or any other method not mentioned above.

For each type of affiliate websites, we will provide you with the breakdown (according to Similar Web) of how much traffic they get from each source.

Possible keywords for affiliate sites

Once we have established what percentage of an affiliate site’s traffic comes from organic sources (aka search engines), we want to further define whether that traffic is related to a brand’s name or the site’s own name. We define these two variations as follows:

“Affiliate name” terms: These are terms related to the website’s name such as “” or “myunidays” for example).

“Generic” terms: These are terms such as “best holidays to France” or “voucher code” or even “Black Friday”.

“Retailer brand” terms: These are terms that include the website name of a retailer. Good examples are “Uber voucher”, “M&S cashback” or “John Lewis discount”.

Methodology for checking types of keywords:

When we look at this data for websites, we will provide you with the breakdown (according to ) of the share between “affiliate name”, “generic” and “retailer brand” terms. The raw data we are working with, takes the form below (and we have gone through each row adding a label of “affiliate name” “retailer brand” or “generic” and you’ll be glad to know we are going to share these fascinating results with you! data from

What does an affiliate site's keywords tell us?

The distinction of “affiliate name”, “generic ” and “retailer brand” terms is significant. When you place yourself into the shoes of a consumer, a user who is searching for a “retailer brand” term already has a strong intent to purchase from the that specific retailer, making it much more likely that the sale which is about to happen is one that would have happened regardless of the affiliate site’s influence. 

It is in our interests therefore to establish how frequently this occurs and what percentage of traffic from affiliate sites is made up of searches related to “affiliate name”, “generics” or “retailer brand” terms.

The findings of how affiliate sites get traffic

Voucher code sites on average:

Deal sites on average:

When we combine these conclusions and think about what percentage of users already know the store they want to buy from before they visit these types of affiliates, Voucher code sites average 84% and Deal sites average 8%. 

We’ll also be adding breakdowns of other affiliate types over the coming weeks and will update this article when we do!

Tags: No tags

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *