Search is the single largest traffic driver to websites, according to SimilarWeb’s Global Search Marketing Report 2016. The findings are based on billions of site visits to a global sample of websites and reflect both mobile and desktop traffic.
The report is focused on a variety of metrics surrounding paid search. It also shows the breakdown of traffic from a broader range of sources. Below, for example, is the relative share of traffic from paid search and display advertising in a variety of shopping-related categories. As a general matter, paid search generates more traffic than display except in the “general merchandise” category.
Source: SimilarWeb Global Search Marketing Report 2016
What I find most interesting is that, in contrast to a number of bullish reports on the role of email and social media in shopping, the SimilarWeb data argue these channels drive only modest traffic compared to search. Unfortunately, the report doesn’t give any insight into which channels are most effective