Ultimate Review of Affiliate Marketing Traffic Sources

Affiliate marketing traffic sources
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Affiliate marketers’ major challenge is getting quality traffic that converts. The good news is that there are multiple affiliate marketing traffic sources to choose from.

Anyone who wants to enter and work in the affiliate marketing world will be faced with these multiple traffic choices of affiliate marketing to use and the most successful strategy to apply.

In fact, these traffic sources are platforms through which users “land” on a specific site that contains an offer of any kind, with the aim of convincing the customer to take action.

These are therefore the elements that can allow operators to obtain positive results and consequently a profit.

The following article will allow you to better understand the world of affiliate marketing and to analyze the different sources of traffic, both paid and organic, allowing you to understand which affiliate marketing traffic sources are best for your business. Enjoy reading it!


Affiliate marketing is a business agreement generally established between two or three parties:

Affiliate marketing traffic

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  • Advertiser or merchant: the company that provides goods or services and has its products promoted by affiliates in exchange for a sales commission;
  • Affiliate or publisher: the online seller who publishes banners and content on their site with the aim of recommending third-party products or services, being paid a commission as a percentage of sales;
  • Affiliate network (in some cases): the portal that unites these two figures and deals with all technical and economic aspects.
How Affiliate Marketing works

This agreement provides for payment as a percentage of each sale from the affiliate platform, i.e. the affiliate’s website that creates the content and promotes the advertiser’s products through web marketing techniques (Seo, Advertising Campaigns, Social networks).

Between advertiser and publisher there is often the affiliate network, which regulates every transaction and acts as guarantor between the two parties.

On the other hand, there are cases in which the advertiser has its own affiliate program and manages its own fleet of affiliates (e.g. Amazon).

The techniques used by the affiliate are different and multiple but identical to all those used in web marketing, the only difference is that instead of promoting its own products, it promotes those of merchants.

The final aim of affiliate operators is to find the best traffic sources to get solid and consistent results over time.


Within this area, there are several traffic sources that affiliates can use to increase sales.

A traffic source is defined as any platform through which users, i.e. traffic, “land” at the promoted offer or affiliate site.

Affiliate marketing traffic sources are divided into two macro categories:

Affiliate marketing traffic sources


Organic search is the free section of Google’s search results pages, which is created based on ranking factors, and is that part of Google’s search for which you cannot buy rankings.

Affiliate marketing traffic

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Google in fact wants to show inside it, the websites that correspond as much as possible to the user’s request (query), ordering them according to the Ranking algorithms so that the most relevant information is at the top.

The search engine optimization (SEO) sector is focused on this type of search.

Organic and paid traffic sources

Search engine optimisation (SEO)

SEO (Search Engine Optimization defines all those optimization activities on a website that serve to improve the positioning of its pages in the organic results of search engines (such as Google, Yahoo!, Bing, etc..) that are then returned to users through search queries.

The goal of SEO is the achievement of #1 organic position by keywords that identify the needs of each company’s customers.

In the definition of SEO 3 main concepts come into play. Let’s analyze them together to better understand what we are talking about:

  • Quality. One of the objectives of SEO is to bring qualified users to the website, i.e. in line with the target audience of our company. It would be useless and expensive, in fact, to try to position oneself on search engines for keywords far from our core business;
  • Quantity. Once we have structured our strategy around our target audience, we will try to position ourselves by multiple keywords in order to increase the qualified traffic that reaches our site;
  • Organic results. SEO acts on “natural” results, which Google decides to position without any payment, as it instead happens in sponsored campaigns.
How SEO works


Paid traffic is all the traffic we get from advertising sources that we are willing to pay for. In the field of web marketing, we use the internet as a means to show our promotional messages to potential consumers.

There are 6 types of paid traffic sources for affiliate marketing:

  1. Display Advertising;
  2. Social Media Advertising;
  3. Search Engine Marketing (SEM);
  4. Native Advertising;
  5. Video Advertising;
  6. Email Marketing.

1. Display Advertising

Display advertising is the most common form of online advertising among affiliate traffic sources, being the one that shows visual banners among the content you are viewing or reading. These are advertising banners of different sizes that can vary in the following forms:

  • Static images;
  • Text;
  • Floating banners;
  • Backgrounds;
  • Popup ads;
  • Flash;
  • Video.

Display advertising is a type of promotion that generally has moderate costs. Alternatively, there are advertising networks such as Google Ads for example, which allow you to create advertising campaigns where your banners will be displayed on all sites using AdSense. You will then have a much larger amount of traffic available.

Examples of display advertising

2. Social Media Advertising

Very similar to display advertising, here too we find formats such as banners, images, or videos that are displayed in the content of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, …).

The paid advertising from Social Media, especially the one made on the Facebook platform, is one of the best means of communication to promote your product or service.

Facebook Ads, for example, allows you to tag your audience based on interests and behaviors.

You can distribute your advertising message according to age, place, interests, behavior, social status, work, and many other demographic.

The costs of this type of traffic are very low compared to other sources of paid traffic.

Example of social media advertising

3. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Paid traffic in search engines is the most reliable and high conversion form among affiliate marketing traffic sources that can exist in web marketing. You cannot have traffic more in the target audience than this source.

For example, if you have created an e-commerce store and sell leather wallets as products and a user searches on Google for “leather wallets”, you can create an advertising campaign by displaying your advertisement sponsoring your product, in this case, a leather wallet.

Everyone who searches for that keyword on Google will display their leather wallet even before the organic results.

The disadvantage lies in the high cost (costs per click, “Pay Per Click”) and the volume of traffic limited by interest.

The most popular search engines that offer the advertising service are Google and Bing.

Ads can appear at the top or at the bottom of the page. Depending on the position and the competition that there will be among the keywords, the price will fluctuate.


4. Native Advertising

Native Advertising is a type of paid traffic born in recent years. It is high conversion traffic because it is integrated with related articles present in the sites you have always visited. 

It aims to confuse the reader and make him believe that what he is reading is nothing more than an article of the site itself, instead it is real advertising that will push you to buy a product.

In order to increase the CTR and the conversion rate with this type of paid traffic you have to play a lot on the image in evidence and especially on the title.

It is, therefore, necessary to study well the persuasive science of copywriting to have the greatest possible impact on the reader.

Examples of native advertising

5. Video Advertising

Using videos to promote a product or service is one of the most powerful ways among the discussed traffic sources for affiliate marketing used to persuade the user to buy.

Video advertising is advertising made through video, in platforms that show videos. An example is YouTube.

Every time a user types a word on YouTube it may happen that before seeing the video clicked, your promotional video may appear.

In fact, by typing a keyword in the search bar, YouTube shows as the first element the promotional video inherent to the search object.

Just as it makes another advertisement appear in the right sidebar always inherent to the keyword itself.

Example of YouTube advertising

6. Email Marketing

Email marketing is another powerful form of high conversion paid traffic. What’s more personal than email?

Although we are used to trashing advertising emails by now, email marketing still plays an important role in promoting products or services.

It will therefore be necessary to create a list of targeted emails, through the creation of advertising campaigns to get leads (email contacts) from one of the sources analyzed in the previous points.

After that, you will have a list of contacts to whom you can send emails whenever you want and for as long as the user remains interested and/or subscribe to your list.

It is, therefore, a powerful tool and option among the affiliate traffic sources, as you will have a list and an audience that once acquired, will remain “forever” in your list of contacts that you can use several times.


In this article, you had the opportunity to see the main affiliate marketing traffic sources and the most used by affiliate marketers.

As you have noticed, each source is different, and only with practice and by entering the affiliate marketing world, you can test which source is best for you.

Your goal must surely be to not choose which affiliate marketing traffic source for the desire to make an immediate profit but to focus on the one that best suits your product and your target, in order to achieve solid and consistent results over time.

We hope this article has been helpful to you to understand the features of affiliate traffic sources. Come back and visit us anytime!

See you soon!

Alessia Virgilio

Alessia Virgilio

Master's degree in Marketing Management at the University of Foggia. Currently doing a traineeship in Kaunas. 23 years old.

2 Responses

  1. Here is the ultimate guide for who are interested in making money online with affiliate marketing. The traffic sources tips are great and thanks for sharing this great piece.

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