Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing Glossary – 100 Terms


When a beginner starts affiliate marketing, it can appear extremely complex due to the sheer amount of new terms and phrases they will encounter.

It seems like every new phase of learning buries the student in yet another batch of terms and phrases.

It is, however, not as bad as you may think.

Here is a glossary of 100 terms and terminology you will encounter when researching or practicing affiliate marketing.

Above the Fold

This is the part of the page a website visitor first encounters before scrolling down.


The advertiser, also known as a “Merchant” is the person or company who is offering products for affiliates to promote in exchange for financial compensation, (Commission or Bounty).


A person who use online platforms and techniques to promote third party products or services in exchange for commissions or bounties.

Affiliate Agreement

This is a set of terms that describes and governs the relationship between an Affiliate and a Merchant or/and an Affiliate Network.

Affiliate I.D.

A unique I.D that is embedded into an affiliate link. The I.D. indicates which Affiliate is responsible for referring a sale.

Affiliate Link

A tracking link (Sometimes called a referral link) URL that contains an Affiliates unique I.D. code that indicates the individual that referred a sale to a merchant.

Affiliate Manager

A person who is responsible for overseeing an Affiliate Program for a network or merchant.

Affiliate Network

A network that recruits affiliates and merchants and acts as an intermediary. The network will act as a hub for affiliates to browse a directory of merchant affiliate programs. The network also handles collection of payments from merchants and payment of commissions to affiliates that refer sales.

Affiliate Program

This is a program offered by merchants who will provide affiliates with tools such as banners and other promotional materials in order for them to promote the merchants products. The merchant will offer affiliates a commission or bounty in exchange for qualified sales or referrals.

Affiliate Tracking

How an Affiliate is tracked in order to credit referral for the sale. Usually achieved via an Affiliate I.D. embedded into an Affiliate Link

Alt Text

A label in HTML that is attached to an image in order to provide a text description to enable search engines to understand the image content.

Anchor Text

A clickable piece of text that is attached to a hyperlink. For example, a hyperlink to a Laptop website may appear as “Click here for laptop deals”


A service that allows a person to send out emails to lists of people who have subscribed and opted in to receive newsletters from them.

Banner Ad

An advertisement that appears on a web page or video that when clicked, refers the user to a product or service on another website. Usually contains an Affiliate I.D.


A hyperlink that links one website to another. Beneficial for SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Black Hat SEO

Techniques that are against search engine good practice guide lines. They are implemented in order to gain page rank in search results by using unethical methods. Usually result in penalties or even bans from search results.


A website that uses a series of posts to provide informational content for visitors to the site. Often considered as a diary format due to the posts being displayed in order of date created.


A type of compensation for affiliates that is a fixed amount of money rather than a percentage based compensation as in the case of commission. For example, a bounty may be $25 per referral, and a commission might be 5% of any sales referred.

Click Through

When a visitor to a site clicks on a link to an affiliate offer.

Click Through Rate CTR

The percentage of site visitors that click through to an affiliate offer. For example, if 1000 people visit the site and 50 click through a link to an offer, the CTR is 5%.


The practice of shortening an affiliate link URL to hide the affiliate I.D. in order to disguise the fact that it is an affiliate link.


A percentage amount paid to affiliates by a merchant on any qualified referred sales. For example, if an affiliate is in an affiliate program that pays 10% and refers $1000 in sales. The affiliate commission is $100.

Conversion Rate

The amount of site visitors that are converted into actual referred sales. For example, if 500 people visit a site and 50 end up buying a product, the conversion rate is 10%.


A cookie is a small file that is stored on a website visitors browser by the website when they visit. Some affiliate programs use I.D. cookies in order to qualify affiliate sales.

Cookie Duration

How long a cookie is active and the period of which an affiliate qualifies for the referral. For example, if a cookie has a 30 day duration. The affiliate will still get credit on a referral if the website visitor buys anything within 30 days.

Cost Per Click (CPC)

An advertising term that relates to the cost per click to refer traffic to a website. For example, if an advertiser pays $1.50 every time someone clicks on their ad that refers traffic to a page or product. The CPC is $1.50.

Cost Per Mille (CPM)

An advertising term that refers to the cost of 1000 impressions (views) of ads. For example, a website may opt to pay $10 per mille (1000 impressions) instead of per click. The viewer can still click through the ad, but, the advertiser is paying for 1000 views, regardless of how many clicks may or may not be produced.


The web address of a website. For example, the domain of Google is

Domain Authority

A search engine ranking score developed by that predicts how well a website will rank in search engine results.

Double Opt In

When a person signs up to an email newsletter list on a website, the first opt in is the initial sign up on the site. The subscriber will then receive an email with a link asking them to click to confirm they want to join the newsletter.

Duplicate Content

Similar or identical pieces of content on multiple pages or sites.  For example, an article may be present on multiple sites either by design or plagiarism.

Email Marketing

The practice of building an opt in list of subscribers in order to send them emails with the aim of promoting products and content.


In order for a website to be present and able to be viewed on the internet, it needs a domain and hosting. The domain is the address of the site, and the hosting is where the data/content is stored.


Hyper Text Markup Language is used to create websites and apps.

Hyper Link

A link that can be clicked that transfers the user to another page or site on the internet.


Usually a reference to an advertisement being viewed. For example, an advertisement banner may be present on a web page. Every time a person visits the page and the ad is displayed that is classed as an impression.


When search engines crawl your website/blog they will index the content in order to provide search results.

In House

Refers to an affiliate program that is managed directly by the merchant as opposed to being outsourced to a third party affiliate network.

Internal Linking

Refers to the practice of connecting pieces of content, such as articles, on the same web site by using links that direct the site visitor from content to content.


A visual representation of data or information designed to present a topic or concept quickly and clearly.


A word used to identify the topic of a piece of content on a web page or to retrieve a piece of content via a search engine request. For example, a users search request in Google may be “Shoe Stores”. The words entered are keywords and will inform Google what the user is searching for. A website content creator would add “Shoe Stores” to their keywords in order to identify related content on their site. Google would then present the search results composed of the most relevant content that has been marked with the keywords.

Keyword Density

The amount of times a keyword is present in a piece of content. An article on cooking may have the keywords “chicken recipe” present multiple times in the article.

Keyword Stuffing

The practice of inserting keywords excessively in order to make content appear more relevant to search engines with the aim of appearing higher in search results. Bad SEO practice that often leads to penalties or de-listing from results.

Keyword Tool

A piece of software that displays how many search requests keywords get in search engines per month. Used by content creators in order to target desirable keywords for content in order to rank high in search engine results.

Landing Page

Usually a static web page designed to convert a page visitor into a customer or to perform a specific action such as to click on a link to a product or service.

Link Building

The SEO practice, used by website creators, of building quantity and quality backlinks in order to gain web traffic and also search engine rank to a website

Link Juice

The value of a backlink in terms of SEO. A backlink is more valuable (has more juice) if it is coming from a top ranking website than if it is coming from a low ranking website.

Long Tail Keyword

A search phrase as opposed to a single word. So a keyword may be “Shoes”, but a long tail keyword may be “Where can I buy cheap leather shoes”

Meta Description

A 155 character HTML snippet that describes what a website page is about and is displayed in search engine results. It also helps search engines understand what the content is about.

Meta Tags

A type of keyword that are included in the HTML coding of a web page in order for search engines to understand what a piece of content is about.

Meta Title

A piece of HTML code that informs search engines what the title is of a piece of content.


A topic that the affiliate is promoting within. For example, “Weight Loss” would be an affiliate niche.

Multi Tier

Some programs include the opportunity for affiliates to recruit other affiliates and earn from their sales via a tier system.

Manual Approval

A lot of programs will manually review the affiliate applicants website before admitting them into the program.


The person or company that sells the products that the affiliates promote.

On Page SEO

The practice of optimizing web pages, via keywords etc, in order to achieve rankings in search engines.

Off Page SEO

The practice of using techniques such as backlinks and social media in order to encourage favorable search engine ranking results.

Opt In Email

A term used to describe the practice of offering site visitors the ability to opt into receiving emails, usually newsletters, from the website.

Opt In Rate

The rate at which site visitors opt into email lists. For example, if your site receives 3000 visitors and 300 people opt in, then the rate is 10%.

Organic Search Results

Organic means content, such as pages, that are ranked in search engine results and produce traffic.

Outbound Link

A link that takes you away from the page you are currently on to another piece of content/page.

Page Authority

Same as Domain Authority (See above) but in relation to a single page rather than a site.

Page Rank

Where a page appears in search results. Usually abbreviated to PR. A page that appears in second place on the first page of search results would be PR 2. Influenced by a variety of SEO factors including quality and quantity of backlinks.

Pay Per Sale

A form of affiliate compensation where the affiliate is paid a fixed amount per sale. Also known as a Bounty.

Pay Per Lead

A form of Affiliate compensation where the affiliate is paid per lead as opposed to an actual sale.

Pay Per Click

Usually abbreviated to PPC. A form of advertising where the advertiser pays each time the ad is clicked by a viewer.

Plug In

A piece of software that adds a feature or function to a website/blog

Pop Up

A feature on a site that produces a box on screen that usually prompts the site visitor to action. Usually to join a newsletter, but pop up advertisements are also used in some cases.


A site owner that promotes other third party products and refers traffic in exchange for commissions/and/or bounties. Also known as an affiliate.

Reciprocal Link

An agreement between two website owners to each post a backlink to the others site in order to benefit from each others traffic.

Recurring Commission

A type of affiliate compensation that provides ongoing payments from a customer rather than a one time commission or bounty. Also known as residual earnings.


A type of link that transfers the user to a different destination URL than the one requested.


A name given to a site visitor sent to a website via an affiliate link with the aim of them purchasing a product or service.

Residual Earnings

A type of affiliate compensation that provides ongoing payments from a customer rather than a one time commission or bounty. Also known as recurring commission.

Return On Advertising Spending

Usually abbreviated to ROAS. A term used to describe the return per dollar of advertising spending. For example, If a digital marketing campaign spends $1000 and it results in $1500 of sales, the ROAS is $1.50.

Robot Txt

A file that tells search engine spiders which pages to crawl and which ones to not crawl.

Search Engine

A software that retrieves information from the internet and displays the most relevant information in a list known as search results. Examples of search engines are Google, Yahoo, Bing.


An abbreviation of the term Search Engine Optimization. The practice of optimizing web content in order to appear high in search results and therefore achieve a high PR (Page Rank).

Search Request

A search request is when a term is entered into a search engine and submitted in order to to retrieve relevant information. For example “Where can I buy cheap Laptops”

Search Term

A search term is the text typed when submitting a search request to a search engine in order to retrieve relevant information. (See entry above)

Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

A page of results produced by a search engine after a search request is submitted. (See entry above)

Site Map

A file that contains a  list of pages for a website that a website creator can submit to a search engine in order to inform which pages are available for crawling, and indexing, in search engine results.

Social Media

A platform that allows people to connect to other users, form groups, and share content. Examples of Social Media platforms are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.


Any kind of unsolicited email, social media message etc. Can also be used to describe web page content that offers no relevant value to the reader.


Sometimes known as “web crawlers”. Search Engine Spiders crawl the pages of the internet looking for the most relevant information to index, and display, to fulfill search requests.

Squeeze Page

A page designed with the sole intent to encourage the reader to opt into an email marketing list, usually an email newsletter.

Super Affiliate

A super affiliate is in the top rankings for producing sales in an affiliate program.

Targeted Marketing

The practice of identifying customers preferences then promoting products and services to them based upon those preferences.

Text Link

A link that has a word or phrase displayed instead of the actual URL. (See Anchor Text Above)

Tier Program

A multi level affiliate program. (See Multi Tier Above)

Tracking Method

Usually cookie based (See Cookies Above). The practice of tracking a web users browsing habits in order to discover preferences with the aim of targeted marketing. Can also refer to tracking cookies used by affiliates to keep track of referrals to ensure credit for sales.

Tracking Url

A tracking url will indicate which links are bringing in your customers. For example, a tracking url may inform you that most of your traffic is coming from a certain article.


Web traffic is another term for site visitors.

Unique Click

The first time a link is clicked by an individual. So a person who clicked the same link several times would only be counted once as a unique click.


Universal Resource Locator. The address of a web page.

Viral Marketing

Is the practice of creating content with the aim of it spreading on social media from one use to another via shares.


A collection of content composed of pages each with their own URL that is hosted under the same domain name.


A type of software that is used to create websites. What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) is usually a drag and drop creation software. Examples of WYSIWYG are Wix and Weebly

White Hat SEO

The practice of performing search engine optimization using ethical methods and staying within guidelines set by search engines.


Extensible Mark Up language is a type of code similar to HTML

Don’t forget to bookmark the what is affiliate marketing home page!

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