Discover the marketing channels sending traffic to any website. Reveal the site's traffic acquisition strategy, and find ways to grow your business.

Traffic Channels

Similarweb marketing channel data and insights can help you focus your strategic efforts to acquire more traffic and build brand awareness.


Overview of Marketing Channels traffic sources

Direct Traffic:

Traffic received from users who visit a website through a direct URL entered into a browser, saved bookmarks, or a direct link from outside the browser (such as on Microsoft Word or an app).

Direct traffic often comes from visitors with an awareness of, or affinity for a given site. Visitors arriving from direct channels are likely to be among the website's most loyal and engaged users.

Tip: This traffic metric can be used to help assess a website’s brand strength, both awareness and demand.


Referral Traffic:

Traffic sent from one website to another, through a direct link. This type of traffic includes visits from affiliates, content partners, and traffic from direct media buying or news coverage.

A website that receives a large amount of traffic from Referrals is likely to have a strong affiliate strategy or receive significant media coverage.

Tip: Drill into the list of Referrals to understand the type of partnerships the website maintains.


Organic Search Traffic

Traffic sent via organic, non-paid results on search engines such as Google or Bing (SEO).

Websites that generates a large amount of Organic search traffic is optimizing for top ranks in search results. These visits are often from high-intent users, with notably higher engagement rates compared to the site average.

Tip: View the list of organic keywords to the website in the SEO module to understand the split between branded keywords (often considered as “direct” traffic) vs. non-branded keywords.


Paid Search

Traffic sent from paid search ads on a search engine such as Google or Bing (SEM & PPC).

Websites that generate a large amount of traffic from Paid Search are spending advertising budgets to increase brand awareness and reach relevant audiences. Paid Search campaigns are often targeted at high-intent users and can result in higher PPC conversion rates.

Paid Search traffic can offering an indication an advertiser's ability to optimize a campaign’s KPIs (ad impressions, clicks, conversions, etc.).

Tip: View the list of paid keywords in and analyze search ads in the Paid Search module to understand a website’s product focus and competitive messaging.


Email Traffic:

Traffic sent from a URL of web-based email clients, such as Gmail.  So, if the referring domain is, for example, that traffic would be categorized as email traffic.

A website that receives a large amount of traffic from email is likely to have a large loyal customer base that engages via an owned mailing list.


Display Traffic

Traffic sent from Display and Video ads via a known ad-serving platform (i.e. GDN, Doubleclick).

A website that generates a large amount of traffic from Display ads is spending advertising budgets to increase brand awareness and attract a relevant audience.

Tip: View the list of top publishers and creatives galleries to understand a website’s targeting methods, product focus, and competitive messaging.



Traffic sent from social media sites such as Facebook or Reddit (organic and paid), including direct media buying from Facebook.

Visits from Social are considered to be easily influenced (as a result of a viral article, meme, image, etc.). Thus, a website that generates high and consistent traffic from Social is likely to have a loyal community of users.

Tip: View the list of social domains to understand the websites’ core communities.

Additional Resources

For more information on Similarweb Marketing Channels insights, visit Marketing Channels Overview.

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