Affiliate Marketing Glossary – Acronyms, Terms, and Definitions
Our evergreen list of terms that all affiliate marketers need to know. From 301 redirect to white label …. and everything in between.
An eternal redirect from a URL to another. These redirects will send website visitors and also search engines to a whole different URL than the one that was originally typed on their browser or picked from one of the results from the SERP.
The response when a page can not be found
ABOVE THE FOLD
The section of a website or blog that appears in a browser when someone lands on a page on your site without them having to scroll. Never put ads or affiliate links above the fold as Google may feel this is spammy.
The company that makes the products or services that you promote. Usually referred to as the Merchant.
This is the link provided by the merchant. It contains your affiliate id for tracking and commission credit.
A company that provides affiliate program management to a merchant. The affiliate network brings merchants and affiliates together and manages the program for the merchant. Affiliate networks provide the technology for tracking affiliate activities and tracks the affiliate sales. They may or may not make the payments to the affiliates. Examples include Share a Sale, Clickbank, and JV Zoo.
Application Programming Interface. This is a set of tools that a software developer can use to integrate with. Examples include Amazon’s Product Advertising api that tools like Prosociate use to import products to your website.
Another word for an affiliate. Also the name of Amazon’s affiliate program — Amazon Associates
Merchants approve or deny affiliates an affiliates access to their program via automatic approval or manual approval.
AVERAGE ORDER VALUE (AOV)
The average order value is the sum total of all orders divided by the number of orders. It’s a handy metric to know for forecasting your sales.
A graphical ad that an affiliate puts on their website to advertise a merchant.
BLACK HAT SEO
SEO techniques that if discovered would be violations of Google’s or other companies rules. Examples would include PBN and cookie stuffing. If discovered you will be reindexed by Google or reauthorized by the merchant.
The reversal of a commission when a customer returns a product to the merchant.
For affiliates, this is usually used in the PPC programs. Click fraud is when you (rather than a customer) programmatically or in some other way click on links to get credit.
When someone clicks on your affiliate link and are taken to the merchant’s website.
CLICK-THROUGH RATE (CTR)
The number of times your affiliate link has been clicked on as compared to the number of times the link has been viewed. Your CTR is calculated by dividing the number of impressions (times the link was shown) by the number of clicks to the merchant. The result is then multiplied by 100 to get your CTR percentage.
Hiding affiliate tracking codes in a link to shorten the link and make it more user-friendly and easily tracked by the affiliate. Pretty Links is a common WordPress plugin to shorten or cloak links.
A text link placed in your website content such as in a review article. As opposed to a sidebar or banner link.
Getting a user to take the merchants desired action or commission paying goal. Such as buying a product or service, signing up for an email list or filling out a form,
The rate that shows the number of times your affiliate link has generated a conversion vs the number of times the link has been viewed. Calculated by taking the number of sales a link has and dividing it by the number of impressions the link received. Then multiply the result by 100 to get your conversion rate percentage.
A text file that is sent from a website to a file within a user’s web browser. Cookies are used to track your affiliate activity by the merchant, to install a Facebook pixel and other goals.
The amount of time an affiliate Cookie lives for the purpose of sales credit. If a user visits your site and buys from the merchant during the cookies lifetime you get credit. Typically an affiliate cookie expires in 30-90 days. Some are as short-lived as 24 hours.
A practice that somehow adds a cookie to a user when the user did not go to the merchant’s site. An example would be adding an affiliate cookie to all of your site visitors. Then if the user visits the merchant site at any time in the lifetime of the cookie the affiliate would get credit. This is a violation of all affiliate programs and a blackout technique.
Cost Per Action or Acquisition. It is the amount of money paid to the affiliate when the user performs the action desired by the merchant such as visiting the site or filling out a form.
Cost Per Click usually is used to measure ad campaigns effectiveness. It is the amount of money paid to generate a click or the number of clicks generated divided by the cost of the ad campaign.
Cost Per Thousand or the amount of money it costs to show an ad per 1000 impressions.
Comma Separated Value file. A list of items like products with their values separated by commas. Tools like spreadsheets can create these files and many software programs like Prosociate can import files in this format.
A file or electronically supplied information resource. Often a list of affiliate offers or products.
When you are removed from all Google search results. Typically Google does this for unnatural backlinks, PBN usage or other blackout techniques.
A page or notice on your website to disclose to your visitors that you are an affiliate marketer and may receive compensation when they visit a merchant. Many affiliate programs like Amazon’s have rigid rules about disclosure notices for transparency reasons.
A number from 1-100 that attempts to define the authority of a site. It helps to understand where you will rank for a specific search term in Google and best used as a comparison to other sites. MOZ is the best-known DA ranker.
Content that is either not original or already exists on your site.
An affiliate link in an email sent to a prospect. Some programs like Amazon do not allow affiliate links in your emails and require that the links go to your site.
Earnings Per Click. EPC is the amount you earn when someone clicks on your affiliate link and go to the merchant. It is the amount you have earned in commissions from an affiliate link divided it by the total number of clicks.
A tracking code in the form of a cookie that allows you to create custom audiences in your FaceBook ad campaigns.
A first click affiliate programs pay the affiliate who’s visitor first clicked on the affiliate link. As long as your cookie has not expired the user visiting another affiliate and then the merchant will not override your cookie.
The automatic redirection of the user to a specific page based on their location.
A file in your website home directory that sets 301 redirects and other rules.
How many times an ad is shown to a visitor on a page.
A merchant who runs their affiliate program by themselves rather than an Affiliate Network.
An independent affiliate program the same as an in-house program.
JOINT VENTURE (JV)
A business relationship for one event such as when a developer teams up with an affiliate and share the commissions or profits.
The terms, word or phrase that describes the contents of a Web page. In SEO you target keywords that people often search for.
The percentage of times a keyword appears on a web page as compared to the total number of words on the page
Researching the number of times and other metrics related to a keyword’s use in documents for search engine optimization.
The page that a user is sent to that is usually specific to a particular product or affiliate offer. Typically a landing page has no additional sidebars, headers or navigation to distract the visitor from the offer.
As opposed to first click. It sets the affiliate to be paid as the last one that a user visits. Previous affiliate cookies will be overridden by the last affiliate visited. This is the most typical setup.
A phrase as opposed to a single or short head keyword. For the keyword dog training, a long tail variation would be dog training for pit bulls.
LSI KEYWORDS or SEMANTIC KEYWORDS
These are related keywords such as synonyms. Google is now focused on inferring a page’s meaning vs. a simple match of literal keywords.
When a merchant reviews potential affiliates on a case by case basis prior to approval.
The company that makes the product that is offered to the affiliate.
The page description that you want Google to use in their search results page.
These are the tags or metadata that Google uses to learn about the meaning and context of your page. Examples are meta description and title. Not to be confused with HTML meta tags which are no longer relevant to search results.
The meta tag that represents the title you want Google to use in their search result page for your document.
A company that does SEO research and data analysis. They provide DA ranking of sites.
A specific topic or vertical that your website is about.
The part of SEO that relates to links back to your document from other sites and social media.
All of the technical SEO items that relate to your content. Including meta descriptions, image alt attributes, etc. See our Prosociate on-page SEO.
The percentage of people who subscribe to your mailing list compared to the number of people who were presented the signup form.
The strength of a particular page as measured by MOZ.
Private Blog Network. These are websites whose sole purpose is to provide backlinks to your site and improve your ranking and authority with Google. If discovered you will be deindexed by Google. Effective but dangerous.
Pay Per Sale. In a PPS affiliate program, the affiliate is paid a commission when a sale is made such as Amazon’s program.
PAY PER CLICK (PPC)
A PPC based affiliate program pays a commission whenever someone clicks on their affiliate link also refers to advertising program payouts like Google AdWords.
The dollar amount of commissions an affiliate must earn before being paid.
Private Label Rights. This is content that you can purchase and market under your own brand.
With recurring commissions, you are paid on the initial sale and you also receive commissions on future payments by the purchaser to the merchant. This is common with SAAS products and Hosting. We have a post with over 125 recurring commission programs.
REVERSAL RATE (RR)
The percentage of sales that get reversed by the merchant. This can help you understand the quality of the offering.
A file in your website home directory with instructions for Google and other crawling agents. Tells the crawler if they have permission and any files to ignore
Software as a service. Cloud-hosted applications that often pay commissions for on a monthly basis. Dropbox is a SAAS application
Search Engine Optimization. The practice of optimizing your website to get it to show up higher in the search engines for specific topics and keywords.
Search Engine Results Page. This is the page a user receives from a search. You want to always be on page one of the SERP as most user never go to page 2 and beyond.
Sending your affiliate offer to a rented email list. USually segmented for your affiliate offer. Payment can be by the click, the number of e-mail sent, opened, or other metrics.
Also called A/B testing. This is the testing of two versions of content with different copy, design, etc. to search which converts better.
These are like landing pages with only the information about the product or offer. Typically shorter and mostly text. These pages are more specific in goal than a landing page which may have multiple objectives.
A domain below your main domain. Such as demo.yourdomain.com
The top affiliates in an affiliate program, typically the top 5% who combined often generate more than 75% of the total sales for the affiliate program.
Is an affiliate link that is text-based vs an image or banner ad.
Terms of Service. These are the rules of your affiliate program. Breaking these can get you reauthorized and you may forfeit payments due you. See our post, Amazon rules don’t get banned.
This is the affiliate code assigned to you by the merchant.
Backlinks that are manipulated. PBN networks and paid guest posts are examples of natural backlinks.
WHITE HAT SEO
SEO that does not violate any Google or other terms of service.
Whitelabeling is when a merchant allows an affiliate or reseller to sell products under their own brand with no mention of the original merchant.