The Synergy of Search and Affiliate Marketing is Key to Increasing Performance

Dec 1, 2022
Written by SitePlug

Not all search behavior starts and ends with Google. Marketers who understand this can increase bottom-of-the-funnel sales by leveraging the cross-channel continuity that exists between search and affiliate marketing. Here’s how.


Search and Affiliate Marketing—Better Together

Finding consumers to nurture through a sales funnel has always started with an effective search strategy. And affiliate marketing offers compelling value as consumers explore content beyond the initial search engine results page. But how and why the two work in tandem is where savvy marketers are discovering incremental growth.

Consider this:

  • As user behavior evolves, 83% of consumers who know what they want to buy skip the search phase entirely and go directly to the bottom funnel.
  • Despite this increasing opportunity to convert bottom-funnel users, there’s still a major imbalance between search and affiliate ad spending.
  • In fact, marketers committed just 9% of their 2021 budgets to affiliate marketing.

Marketers who want to increase revenue must remain aware of these kinds of changes and continually coordinate the alignment between search and affiliate marketing budgets—in this case, logic would suggest increasing affiliate budgets.

By strengthening the relationship between search and affiliate, marketers can overcome consumer avoidance of irrelevant ads and remain visible when high-intent users are ready to engage and shop.




Plugging Funnel Leaks Leads to More Revenue

Before making a purchase, consumers research the web for reviews, coupons, and social media inputs, creating opportunities for more touchpoints. Each step offers marketers an opportunity to capture a consumer’s interest and win the conversion. Brands that create the optimal number of touchpoints to nudge a user to the product’s purchase page are more likely to drive incremental sales.

Once consumers know what they want, they’re considered high-intent prospects who have entered the lower part of the sales funnel. According to eMarketer, consumers at the bottom of the funnel go directly to sites where they can make a purchase, skipping search marketing entirely. As mentioned, 83% of users don’t even go to Google once they know exactly what product they plan to purchase. While they may not start their search at Google, the good news is there are plenty of commerce publishers and alternative “search-like” products available to help marketers increase conversions from high-intent users who are ready to purchase.

Expanding affiliate marketing budgets gives marketers access to platforms that can help plug bottom-funnel leaks. By using “search-like” performance marketing products and contextual ads initiated by keyword searches, marketers can direct consumers to relevant content and coupon pages containing the product or service they want.


Leaning Into Affiliate Channels

By 2024, marketers will spend an estimated $122 billion on search marketing, compared with just $15.7 billion on affiliate marketing. By increasing affiliate budgets, marketers have a clear opportunity to boost sales by capitalizing on an area of the market with high-intent users and lower competition.

With four out of every five bottom-funnel users skipping the search marketing phase entirely, marketers who align affiliate budgets with search budgets will have an advantage over their competitors in converting these users and increasing revenue. Investing in the power of affiliate marketing as a complement to search allows brand and performance marketers to capture their most valuable traffic: high-intent users when they’re at the height of their readiness to convert.

The way consumers use, search, and interact with content has changed, making search marketing and affiliate marketing more integrated than ever.

SitePlug can help you capitalize on the potential of aligned search and affiliate marketing by:

  • Increasing touchpoints across more than 10,000 unique content and coupon publishers' sites
  • Creating a frictionless shopper journey
  • Boosting bottom-funnel conversions of high-intent users
  • 100% transparency for brands to make efficient and data-driven decisions

Visit us at to find out how.



SitePlug drives incremental sales from high-intent users by leveraging the power of search and content. Our key performance products—Site Discover, Site Direct, and Site Suggest—help brands enable a frictionless path to purchase and conversions.

SitePlug is trusted by leading brands, has partnerships with over 10,000 unique content and coupon publishers, and has integrations with key affiliate platforms. Today, brands drive over a billion dollars in incremental revenue leveraging SitePlug’s proprietary technology to achieve higher ROI.

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