How to Evaluate a Prospective Partner: the Method of Website Traffic

Posted on May 1, 2019

By Tori Barlow

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There are many reasons why a partnership can fail, and there is only one way to prevent it: carry out a proper analysis beforehand. Accurate data will always be more reliable than anyone’s promises, or even your professional intuition. The question is, what parameters should you look at?


Knowledge of website traffic can give you a clear idea of your future partner’s audience and current position in the market, as well as help you set realistic expectations from the relationship. Below are the main metrics you should check when choosing a co-marketing, affiliate or business partner. Find each of them explained in the post or go straight to the cheat sheet to test the method in practice.


The parameters we suggest evaluating are all estimated with the SEMrush Traffic Analytics tool.


1. Total Traffic Volume and Traffic Quality

It’s pure arithmetic: the bigger the volume of a potential partner’s traffic and the greater its relevance, the more leads, purchases or customers you can receive. So, check the number of visits and unique visits of the researched domain, especially if you deal with an e-commerce business, a SaaS provider or a media outlet. For them, overall website traffic can reflect their total audience size.


Go on to measure website engagement metrics: number of pages per visit, average visit duration, and bounce rate will show you the quality of the user experience. If your potential partner’s audience is highly engaged, they may respond to your offer more actively too.


2. Trends in Demand

How do you know if a prospective partner will show the same performance when you finally set off? One technique will help you avoid unnecessary risks. Have a look at their website’s number of visits and unique visits in dynamics.

  • -Has it grown significantly over the last several months? If so, your future partner is in trend, and you may benefit from their increasing popularity.-
  • -If the graphs have been going down, it may not be the best time to start a partnership with this company. You don’t need to get into the reasons for this decline, just put the idea of collaboration on hold until things improve.
  • -More or less stable results can indicate a stable partnership as well. However, we would advise that you analyze more factors before rushing into the decision.
SEMrush graph

3. Geographical Markets

You don’t want to spend your budget on a foreign market unless you’ve actively chosen to. Check the geo-distribution of your prospective partner’s traffic to make sure their primary countries and regions are relevant for you.

These stats will also give you a heads-up on the need to localize your marketing material. Speak to the audience in their language, they say!


4. Traffic Acquisition

You can learn a company’s co-marketing potential even before you start negotiating. How? By looking at their traffic sources. The ratio will give you an idea of a prospective partner’s digital marketing mix: whether they focus on SEO, SMM, and paid advertising, or invest in referral programs. By looking at their volume of direct traffic, you can figure out how large their loyal customer base is.

Then, you can compare their key channels with yours. If your strategies meet on common ground, the future partnership can create synergy, bringing you relevant traffic with a high percentage of conversions.

If their key channels are completely different, you can still benefit from these new traffic sources – just make sure your ultimate goals align.


5. Audience Overlap

This is where strategic questions are raised: do you want to interact with a completely new or a relatively familiar audience? Depending on the goal you pursue with the partnership, the answers may vary. In any case, check the percentage of audience overlap between your and your prospective partner’s websites.

If it is high, it means that you’ve already made contact with many of these people. It may be easier to remind them of your company or even aim more direct CTAs to them.

  • -If it is low, this website’s audience doesn’t know you well. So, a co-marketing or affiliate partnership with this company will bring you the biggest value if you are trying to reach new markets or targeted groups.
  • -Another thing to do is to compare several potential partners with each other. Are their audiences similar? Does it make sense to get involved in several partnerships if all of them will present you to the same people?

SEMrush + Allbound audience overlap

6. Their Partnerships

Making a performance data-driven decision can be sound – or risky if you don’t consider any image and reputation factors at all. Learn who else your prospective partner collaborates with to finally decide on their trustworthiness. Take a look at the destination sites of the candidate’s domain: these will be the websites they gave direct links to. Would you call them credible and brand-safe?

If you currently have a partner that you are completely satisfied with, check the destination sites of their domain. This way, you can find some ideas of who else you could partner with in the future. A friend of my friend is my friend, right?


Download a free cheat sheet to summarize your findings on a potential partner and make the optimal decision.

Allbound’s next generation partner portal platform simplifies and accelerates a business’s ability to onboard, train, measure, and grow indirect sales partners. The innovative software enables collaboration among channel vendors and their partners to improve the performance of their indirect sales channels by automating the delivery of marketing content, sales tools and training at each stage of the pipeline. For more information, visit www.allbound.com


SEMrush Traffic Analytics is a tool designed to provide marketing, business development, and sales teams with valuable insights on any company’s website traffic and the efficiency of their marketing efforts. The available stats can be used for regular work optimization and strategic decision making. The tool provides 500TB of raw data on desktop and mobile traffic received from 190 countries and regions.



SEMrush is an online visibility management and content marketing SaaS platform that ensures businesses get measurable results from online marketing. Trusted by more than 3,000,000 marketing professionals, SEMrush offers insights and solutions for companies in any industry to build, manage, and measure campaigns across all marketing channels. The platform includes 35+ tools for search, content, social media, and market research.

Tori Barlow

Director of Marketing at Allbound
Tori Barlow leads Allbound's marketing strategy to cultivate awareness for the ultimate PRM solution. An experienced digital marketer with a passion for B2B, Tori thrives in a data-driven world.
Tori Barlow