Affiliate Marketing Glossary: 79 Essential Terms You Should Know

PPC, ROI, WTF, the terms and jargon used in affiliate marketing can be mindboggling at times which is why we’ve gone ahead and created our own affiliate marketing glossary.

It seems that each day we’re given a new term for the work we do.

How does one make sense of it all?


The bigger question is… “which are important?

We’re trimming the fat and bringing you only the essentials you’ll need to know.

The Affiliate Marketing Glossary: 79 Essential Items

We’re not going to bother with the minutia and tech jargon.

Most of these terms you’ll pick up as you’re developing your affiliate site, exploring affiliate programs, reading blogs, and following the industry.

It would be good to know them all but the essentials work just fine.

Here are the terms that should be in your affiliate marketing vocabulary:


A/B (Split) Testing

The process of testing two separate elements of a website with the purpose of improving conversions and optimization.



Any individual that acts as a salesperson for a company or a product.


Affiliate Marketing

The process of selling other people’s products in exchange for a commission; generally done with affiliate programs to aid sales tracking and through websites, email marketing, and other strategies that send leads to the sales page.


Affiliate Program

A collection of tools and resources for finding and promoting affiliate products.


Above the Fold

The area of your screen before scrolling; this is the prime real estate for getting your marketing message noticed.



Detailed reports and measurements of a website and campaigns using software and tools.


Anchor Text

The text used as a link to another page.


Article Marketing

Using articles to get website traffic; generally done through guest posting or submitting articles to article directories like EZineArticles or GoArticles.



An email service and general term used for sequential emails sent to list subscribers; hence: the automatic response.



Anchor links back to your website; often used in referencing SEO and gaining higher search engine results.


Black Hat

Unethical practices such as spam, shaving commissions, or just trying to “game” the system when it comes to marketing online.


Bounce Rate

The measurement of how many people leave your website or page.



The perceived idea behind your business/company; the process of building a better image.


Brand Ambassadors

Individuals that are enthralled with your brand and market your services without any personal gain aka. People that love your products or services.


Bum Marketing

A fun, play on the process of marketing your website or affiliate links through cheap methods that don’t require a lot of work or monetary investment such as article marketing or forum posting.



Blogs, audio, images, videos, and all other forms of media you create in-house or source through content creation services.

Content is what matters.

It drives traffic and gives you a way to promote your affiliate offers.


Contextual Link

A link within the context of your content – placing a link around what you’re talking about rather than calling it out with buttons or call-outs.



Using a third party tool to hide the destination address of an affiliate link or masking the page using an iFrame; helpful in affiliate marketing to avoid people stealing commissions.



Website copy and design that’s made to convert visitors such as an opt in box, social media button, or a simple line of text that asks for people to comment on a blog.



Content Management System –A dynamic platform for building websites that allow you to easily update and edit the entire website within a dashboard and without web development skills.



Really, any form of media you’re sharing online whether it’s a blog post, video, podcast, or graphics.


Content Marketing

The use of online content to market your website and gain greater exposure in social networks and search engines.


Conversions/Conversion Rate

The measurement and idea of converting visitors into customers or subscribers. Example: If 100 visitors all bought an item from your store – your conversion rate would be 100%.



What you earn when selling an affiliate product or service – your cut of the revenue.



Writing with the intent to sell a product, service or used to improve a call-to-action.



Cost Per Action – The cost you can pay (or earn) when someone completes a task such as imputing an email address, submitting zip code information, and any other form of information that businesses and companies are willing to pay for in their research.



Cost Per Click – The cost you will pay (or earn) whenever someone clicks on an ad.



Cost Per Mille (1,000) – A measurement of how much you’ll pay (or earn) for 1,000 impressions in advertising.



Click Through Rate – The result of measuring the number of impressions divided by the actual engagement aka: how many people clicked vs. only viewed the copy.



Customer Relationship Management – A term used for specialized software and services that aid companies in keeping in touch with their customer base.



A term to represent when a link shares PageRank to the destination page.


Domain Name

The name of a website – the URL.

These are acquired through domain registration and cost about $5-$15 else higher if you’re finding them through an auction or premium listing.


Duplicate Content

A highly debated item in affiliate marketing – duplicate content is content that has been posted multiple times within the same domain.



An electronic book.


External Linking/Linkbuilding

Building backlinks on websites with the purpose of increasing your website ranking in search engines.


Grey Hat

Individuals that employ a mixture of White and Black Hat techniques for SEO and online marketing.


Heat Map

A tool to see a visual representation of where visitors focus on your web pages.



The web hosts you choose to support your website and link your domain.


Internal Linking

Adding links to your own website to point to deeper pages on the same domain.


Joint Venture

Working together with another affiliate marketer or business owner to improve your affiliate marketing campaigns.



A word that is the main focus of a website, link, campaign, etc. The keyword is generally the name of a product, service, or term used for finding information online.


Keyword Density

Although becoming outdated, this is the measurement of how many of your keywords fill your content. The perceived “ideal” keyword density for content is around 3 – 5% of your total words.


Landing Page

The destination page for your visitor; can be anything from a single page with offers or a thank you page after a sign-up. In essence, where people “land” on your website.



A link to an inner/outer page or website; also loosely used when referencing SEO i.e. “you need a lot of links to get better rankings”. Essentially, a “thumbs up” for your website when linked to.


Link Bait

Content/headlines/hooks that entice people to click through and visit your website.



I.E. List building, list management, etc – The database of your followers; generally mentioned when talking about email marketing.

Lists are built using email marketing tools (like Aweber or ConstantContact) which automate the delivery process of your newsletters and one-off messages.


Long Tail Keywords/Search

A precise use of keywords when finding content. For example “books” vs. “where to find books” is an example of long tail keywords.


Money Page

A reference to a page on a website that is converting sales.



A small, segmented group from within a larger network. For example, ‘fiction books’ is a niche category under ‘books’.



A term used when a link does not share Page Rank with the destination page.



The process of someone signing up for a subscription service by sharing their information such as their email address or phone number.



The process of someone signing off your subscription and/or list.


Permission Marketing

Marketing is done when individuals give permission for a company or business to send them marketing messages.


Page Rank

Google’s “ranking” of a website to determine its value; the higher the rank = greater chances of ranking well in search engines.


Pay Per Click (PPC)

An ad format which you pay each time a user clicks on your ad.

The intent is to convince and convert.

PPC campaigns are do-able through a manual process but it becomes quite tedious which is why many choose to use PPC advertising tools to make sense of the platforms and reporting.



Private Label RightsContent created and sold to individuals as a white label which gives the owner the ability to republish on their own but without the ability to resell the content.



An online radio show or program.



A new window that appears on top of a web page (for marketing/advertising purposes).



New windows that appear ‘under’ a web page (for marketing/advertising purposes).


Reciprocal Links

Trading links with another website owner to improve search rankings.



A method of redirecting visitors from one page to another; often used in 301 redirects to tell search engines that a page has moved.



The people (or process) of referring people to a product or service.


Reseller Rights

Content, programs, software, and more that you can purchase, white label, and resell as your own.



Really Simple Syndication – A method of content delivery using a specialized RSS reader or program.



Return on Investment – The amount of money/effort you put in vs. how much you get back.



The unfortunate event of having a website de-indexed or listed from search engines (usually the result of an error or malicious activity).



Unethically “lifting” content from online sources in hopes of gaining search traffic and content for a website.



Search Engine Marketing – The blanket term for those that generally do online marketing.



Search Engine Optimization – a collection of strategies and methods to improve a website’s search engine ranking.

Most SEO is done in-house through on-page optimization tactics and link building efforts.

Scaling the SEO campaign typically means working with search engine optimization tools which streamline the strategies and process – resulting in higher traffic and affiliate conversions.



Search Engine Results Page – The page in which a website is ranking for a particular keyword.


Social Bookmarking

The act of submitting content to websites like Digg, Reddit, and other aggregation websites.


Social Commerce

The notion that online shopping is heavily influenced by social media.


Social Media Marketing

Typically referred to as SMM.

This is the combined tactics of using social media tools to create engagement with communities on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and many others.



Any unwanted information sent to recipients such as spam email, blog comment spam, and so on.



A term and measurement of people that visit your website or landing page.


Video Marketing

The process of using video to market your business or affiliate marketing campaign.


Viral Marketing

The explosive sharing and distribution of content across social networks and websites.



A small application or area of a website that houses condensed information such as a blogroll or author bio (generally in the sidebar).


White Hat

The ethical approach to marketing online where rules are respected and the information is transparent to its users and clients.



A term for “what you see is what you get”; generally mentioned when talking about the blog post editor in WordPress but can also be for visual website builders and other programs that let you drag and drop vs. strictly code.


Got More Questions?

There are a lot of small factors that play big roles in affiliate marketing.

The core of affiliate marketing is building a following and promoting products you feel the community could need or enjoy. Though, it’s not that simple once you begin to break down all that’s needed to build traffic, find the right products to promote, and keep your followers engaged.

We have thousands of detailed posts covering all types of affiliate marketing topics.

Be sure to dig around the blog!


Head on over to our Facebook page or send us an email if you have any questions.

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