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Affiliate Marketing Glossary - 100+ Terms You Should Know

Affiliate Marketing Glossary - 100+ Terms You Should Know


Check out these affiliate marketing terms that every affiliate should know. This list of terms will continue to be updated as the affiliate marketing industry continues to grow and mature. If you see a term thats not included in the list please let us know and we'll add it for you. 
 

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301 Redirect

A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect from one URL to another which passes up to 99% of the link juice (ranking power) to the redirected page. These types of redirects send search engines and visitors to a completely new URL than the one that was originally typed. Once a 301 redirect has been in place for some time, search engines learn to replace the old URL with the new one and show the new one in the search results instead.

301 Redirects are used when webmasters change an existing site domain name and they want to ensure all references to the old URL are redirected to the new URL. Webmasters also use 301 redirects when they change the structure of an existing URL on their site and want to ensure all references to the old URL found online are redirected to the new one.
 

302 Redirect

A 302 redirect is a temporary redirect from one URL to another URL and they let search engines know that a page has been moved temporarily. 302 Redirects are used when webmasters want to send users to a new page for a short period of time and they plan to eventually bring the old page back. These types of redirects are commonly used when webmasters are redesigning their website, making changes to an existing page or testing a new page to gain feedback and they don’t want to hurt the rankings of the original page.

 

A/B Testing

A/B testing is an experiment carried out using Google Analytics or another service where two different versions of the same webpage are compared to see which design has the best conversion rate. Each site visitor is directed to one page or the other and once the experiment is complete you can review the stats to see which page performs the best.


Above the Fold

Above the fold refers to the portion of the webpage that you can see without scrolling i.e. the first screen. It is recommended that you place your most important content, product or service here since this is what site visitors see first.


Ad Exchange

An Ad exchange is a technology platform that facilitates the buying and selling of advertising space between publishers and advertisers. Sellers aka publishers list the ad space they have to offer on their webpages to advertiser’s aka buyers. Buyers then bid on this media inventory offered by publishers and the highest bidder secures the available ad space. Ad space is often sold via the CPM pricing model, offering 1000 shows of an ad within the agreed space for an agreed price.


Affiliate Website

An affiliate site is a website that promotes the products and services of other company’s in return for commission when a site user goes on to purchase or use the products or services listed

 

Alternative Text (Alt Text

Alternative text is the html description text that you can assign to images using the alt”” tag. This is often ignored but it shouldn’t be. Search Engines crawl this text to determine if an image or page should be returned in the search results based on a user’s search query. This text also serves to describe images to those who are partially sighted or blind.

 

Anchor Text

Anchor text is the clickable text or description that’s assigned to a hyperlink. It is not the link itself rather the text that the user sees, for instance “click here” or “read more”. For maximum SEO benefits its advised that you optimise your anchor text to ensure the text is highly relevant to the page that the hyperlink goes to. For instance, “Best Weight loss Supplements” if linking to a page that promotes weight loss supplements.

 

Authority Websites

Authority websites are sites that are highly favoured by search engines for their content and the value they provide to users within their particular niche. Authority sites will often have their content crawled, indexed and ranked higher sooner since its deemed to be more important and relevant to users.

 

AOV (Average Order Value)

AOV refers to the average value of an order, its calculated by diving the total revenue by the total number of orders to give you an average order value. This is an important metric for e commerce sites as it can be used to determine advertising budgets, pricing models and a host of other variables.


BackLink

Backlink refers to a link which points to your website from another website. For instance, website A contains a hyperlink that points to website B, then this hyperlink would be a backlink for website B. Backlinks from authority sites that point to your website are one of the most important aspects of a strong SEO campaign. It’s not just the number of backlinks, but more importantly the quality of the sites that provide the backlinks that has the greatest impact on your SEO rankings.

 

Banners

Banners are rectangular advertising spaces shown on websites where banner advertisements can be displayed. Banner advertising has been around since the creation of the internet and this has resulted in industry set banner sizes and position’s being established on websites.

 

Banner Blindness

Banner Blindness is a relatively recent term referring to the practice where site users consciously or subconsciously ignore any banner ads shown but continue to browse the site as normal.

 

Baseline Conversion Rate

Baseline conversion rates are the initial conversion rates that a webpage receives and those which A/B testing are meant to improve. Once a baseline is established, site owners can quickly verify if their design changes have improved conversion rates or affected them negatively.

 

Behavioural Targeting

Behavioural targeting is an advertising strategy that targets ads towards users based on their previous browsing history and preferences. Essentially it shows the user advertisement’s for products or services that they’ve already expressed interest in the past to improve the likelihood of conversions.

 

Below the Fold

Below the fold refers to the portion of the webpage that you a user can only see by having to scroll down i.e. (any content below the first screen)

 

Bounce

Bounce refers to the situation when a user enters a website and then leaves without viewing any of the other site pages.

 

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate refers to the percentage of site visitors which only viewed one page on the website and then left. This is a very important metric when evaluating a sites performance. A high bounce rate often indicates that the site lacks value to the site visitors.

 

Breadcrumb Navigation

Breadcrumb navigation links represent the user’s path through a website and allow users to quickly navigate back to a certain section. Breadcrumb links are also useful for SEO since they clearly show search engines the navigation structure.

 

CTA (Call-to-action)

A CTA or call to action is a prompt or message specifically designed to make a site user act or click on something. Whether it be visiting an external site, fill in a form, purchase a product or sign up the list is endless. CTA buttons are the cornerstone of a conversion driven website and they should be used smartly throughout.

 

Canonical URLs

Canonical URL’s are used to prevent websites from having duplicate content issues from an SEO perspective by telling search engines which version of a URL they want to use.

 

Cart Abandonment

Cart Abandonment is the situation when a site visitor fills up their basket or cart with products but they don’t ever complete the purchase. This is a frequent issue faced by large ecommerce sites

 

Churn Rate

Churn Rate is the percentage of clients who stop using a service within a certain time period. A high churn rate is a strong indicator that there is something wrong the product or service.

 

Click Bait

Clickbait refers to content whose main purpose is to encourage interest and attract attention so that users click on the link to go a webpage. Its frequently used in headlines to provoke visitor interest

 

Click-to-call

Click-to-call buttons are buttons on a website or mobile application that when clicked enable users to initiate a direct call to a specific phone number or person.

 

Click Map

A Click map or heat map provides a graphical representation of site visitor behaviour by highlighting where exactly website visitors click on a specific webpage. It shows which buttons, links or images have been clicked and represents this in a percentage format. This is useful when looking at user flow and user experience testing

 

ClickStream

Clickstream shows every link that a site visitor clicked on whilst navigating through a website. Site owners use this to determine the preferences and interests of their target audience.

 

CTR (Clickthrough Rate)

CTR is the percentage of clicks to views for a particular link or banner. It’s an important metric and can be used to determine which ads or banners perform the best.

 

Clickthrough Page

Clickthrough page is a webpage that encourages visitors to clickthrough to another page. A clickthrough page normally provides introductory information with a strong call to action to encourage the visitor to convert on the next page.

 

Cloaking

Cloaking is an SEO technique designed to show search engine spiders different content to that which is shown to the site users. It is essentially content swopping

 

Confidence Level

The percentage of time that a statistical result would be correct if you took numerous random samples. In statistical terms and A/B testing, it is the expected percentage of time that your range of values will be correct if you were to repeat the same experiment over and over again.

 

Confidence interval

The confidential interval is an estimated interval of A/B testing values that is likely to contain the true value of an unknown population parameter

 

CMS (Content Management System)

A Content management system is a form of software that allows website owners to manage and update the sites content via an admin area

 

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a form of marketing which focuses on attracting and retaining customers by creating valuable, informative and unique content. Remember content is king when it comes to affiliate marketing and creating quality content is a great way to improve your websites authority.

 

Control Page

A control page is the original webpage used when carrying out A/B testing

 

Conversion

A conversion is the primary action that website owners want site users to take. Actions that lead to conversions come in many forms, there are micro conversions such as completing a form, registering an account or adding items to a shopping cart. Then there are macro conversions such as purchasing the products or subscribing to a service when actual payments are made

 

Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is the percentage of site visitors that go on to make a conversion action. Its calculated by divining the number of interactions i.e. clicks to a product divided by the number of actual product purchases. Conversion rates are a very important metric to look at when optimising affiliate marketing campaigns. For instance, a network may offer a higher commission rate for a product and another network slightly lower commission. If, however the lower commission product has a much higher conversion rate it might make sense to promote the product via that network instead.

 

CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation)

Conversion rate optimisation is a strategy that looks to improve the attractiveness, benefits, landing pages of a product in order to increase the conversion rate. This comes in many forms and user experience and user flow testing is very important here.

 

Cookies

Cookies are small files stored on a user’s computer that contain information about their browsing history and preferences. Cookies are used in affiliate marketing to identify which affiliate referred a particular user to a website and to allocate referrals accordingly.

 

CPA (Cost per acquisition)

Cost per acquisition or cost per action is an affiliate marketing pricing model where the advertiser pays the publisher or affiliate a set commission based on a certain action being performed by their site visitors. For example, a product sale, form submit or site registration etc.

 

CPC (Cost per Click)

Cost Per Click is an affiliate marketing pricing model where advertisers pay publishers or affiliates a fixed commission for every click that their site visitors make on there ads. Payment is made to the site owner where the ads are placed. Another form of CPC pricing model is for paid ads on search engines such as Bing, Google AdSense, Yandex and Yahoo where you pay the search engines for every user that clicks on your ad.

 

CPM (Cost per 1000 Impressions)

CPM is an affiliate marketing pricing model where an advertiser agrees to pay a set commission based on every 1000 times their ad is shown. They may show their ad on websites in the form of a banner, on You Tube or on Facebook etc.

 

Customer Relationship Management (CRM Tool)

A CRM tool is a form of software that allows marketers and business owners to keep track of their communication lifecycle with clients via all available communication channels. It helps companies organise, analyse and optimise their sales pipelines and structure which clients to focus on.

 

Cross Sales

Cross sales or cross selling is the action of selling a related product or service to an existing customer in addition to the original product or service they purchased.

 

Directional Cues

Directional cues are visually appealing elements on a website page that are designed to draw the user’s attention to a specific area containing a CTA for a product or other required action.

 

Dynamic Content

Dynamic content or adaptive content refers to web content that changes based on the behaviour, preferences, and interests of the user. It refers to websites as well as e-mail content and is generated at the moment a user requests a page. For instance, dynamically personalising the users name in an email blast.

 

E-mail marketing

E-mail marketing is a marketing strategy that focuses on attracting, retaining and converting customers by sending promotional emails. This is often in the form of mailshots to large mailing lists of opt in subscribers which website owners build up over time.

 

Exit Popup

An exit popup is a popup window that appears when a user tries to leave to website. It often shows a promotional deal or prompts the user to subscribe to the site in a last attempt to capture the user.

 

Exit Survey

An Exit survey is normally a pop-up widget containing one or two questions that’s displayed to a visitor when then try to leave a website. Its purpose is often to gain information as to why the user might be leaving the site.

 

Eye Flow

Eye Flow is a technique that aims to track a site visitors gaze to identify how users view websites.

 

Friction

Website friction refers to website elements that conflict with one another and cause the visitor confusion or distraction thus lowering conversions rates. Examples include confusing website navigation, un clear call to action buttons and lengthy sign up forms.

 

Funnel (Sales Funnel)

A sales funnel represents every stage a user goes through when purchasing a product or service from initially viewing an ad to purchasing the product in question.

 

Gamification

Gamification is the method of applying game-design principles and elements into non-game contexts to encourage increased brand interaction between existing and prospective clients.

 

Geolocation Targeting

Geolocation targeting in internet marketing is the method of determining a website visitors location and delivering specific content according to it. This might be in the form of language, location specific landing pages and currency etc.

 

Growth Hacking

Growth Hacking refers to significant business growth within a short period of time. This can be achieved through various techniques such as combining aggressive pricing strategies with increased advertising spend and extensive SEO.

 

Heat Map

A heat map or click map provides a graphical representation of site visitor behaviour by highlighting where exactly website visitors click on a specific webpage. It shows which buttons, links or images have been clicked and represents this in a percentage format. This is useful when looking at user flow and user experience testing

 

Hero Image

A hero image is the largest banner or image on a website and its normally the first visual element on a website that a visitor sees. Due to its prominence it normally contains the most important message that a site wants to get across as it aims to keep visitors on the site within the first couple of seconds. Having an effective hero image is a great way to keep bounce rates low

 

Impressions

An impression or ad view is a term that refers the point in which an ad is displayed once to a visitor, or the single view of an ad on a webpage. Impressions are tracked to evaluate ad coverage, ad performance and to determine the pricing of ads if a CPM pricing model is used.

 

Interruption (pattern interrupt)

Pattern Interrupt is a marketing strategy that aims to grab a viewer’s attention by interrupting how they normally view a site page. A good example of this is pop up windows and how they can recapture a site users’ attention.

 

Landing Page

A landing page is the first webpage that a user is taken to upon clicking on an ad or link

 

Latent Conversion

Latent conversion refers to a conversion that occurs at a later date rather than on a user’s first site visit. This may occur through delayed purchases, reaching a sale amount, performing the required set of actions etc

 

Leads

Leads refer to potential customers that require follow up interaction with the aim to make them convert. Examples include customers who have left their contact information with regards to potential interest in a product, those who request a call back or those who request further info via live chat.

 

Lifetime Value or Customer Lifetime Value (LTV, CLV)

Customer lifetime value provides a prediction on the potential net profit that can be earned from the entire future relationship with a customer.

 

Link Building

Link building refers to the strategy of acquiring backlinks from external websites that point back to your site. Link building is arguably one of the most important aspects of off page SEO and acquiring back links from authority websites to yours is a sure-fire strategy for SEO success.

 

Live Chat

Live Chat refers to live chat software that’s available on websites where you can message customer support and communicate with them in real time. Live chat is a common feature on most reputable sites and it has replaced communicating via email for numerous websites.

 

Long Tail keywords

Long tail keywords are keywords that are targeted from an SEO perspective that contain more than three words. When starting an SEO campaign, it is advised that you focus on longer tail keywords since they aren’t as competitive and gradually shorten the keywords you target as your SEO back link profile becomes more established.

 

Meta Tag

A meta tag is an HTML tag that allows webmasters to assign a meta title, meta description and meta keywords to a single webpage. Meta tags are very important for on page SEO since they tell search engines what the page is about. They also inform users on search engines if the page is relevant to their query since the meta titles and meta descriptions are shown in the search results. These provide a snippet of information about the webpage to users so it’s important that they are set up correctly.

 

Microsite

A microsite is a small website within a larger site that shows content that’s specific to a certain event or specific advertising campaign. A good example of this might be a micro site about Wimbledon within a larger site covering tennis in general.

 

Multivariate Testing (MVT)

Multivariate testing is a version of A/B testing where more than one element of a webpage is modified and tested alongside each other simultaneously. For example, the hero image, title and call to action button.

 

Null Hypothesis

A null hypothesis is a hypothesis in A/B testing. The term refers to the following outcome, where no statistically significant difference in conversion rates will be seen between the page variants after running a test. This means the changes won’t affect conversion rates in any way.

 

Organic Traffic

Organic traffic refers to all unpaid traffic that comes to a website from search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. This is un paid traffic so it doesn’t include visits from paid ads such as Google AdSense etc.

 

OutBound Links

Outbound links refer to all links on a website that take visitors away from the site to an external website.

 

Personalisation

Personalisation refers to content that customised according to a particular user interests and preferences. For example, a user might request to only receive information about a specific topic when receiving emails etc.

 

Proximity

Proximity is a concept in web design where related elements on a webpage should be grouped together and unrelated elements should be separated.

 

Responsive Website Design (RWD)

Responsive website design is a concept in web design where all page elements should be responsive and re size according to whatever device the visitor is viewing the website on. For instance, desktop, laptops, tablets or mobiles to give optimal user experience regardless of device.

 

Retargeting

Retargeting is an online marketing technique that continues to show users products and services across different channels while they browse, based on their previous browsing history and preferences. For example, a user may have browsed through smartphones on a website, then they go to see an ad on google for 20% of iPhone when they continue browsing.

Retargeting is also commonly used to cross sell products. For example, a user purchases a flight to Sri Lanka on one site and whilst browsing on another sees an ad for hotels in Sri Lanka.

 

Sample Size

Sample size is a metric used in A/B testing. Sample size refers to the minimum number of people that the test must be carried on before you can reliability determine the conversion rates of the different pages.

 

Scarcity

Scarcity is a marketing term that refers to the psychological trick of trying to make the consumer make a purchase by creating the impression of hurry. For example, creating an ad based on the impression that the stock or product is about to run out. Scarcity will often include phrase such as “Price only available today”, “Limited stock”, “Last Chance” etc.

 

Search Engine Result Page (SERPS)

A Search engine results page is the page which is displayed in the search results following a user’s search query. SEO aims to improve the ranking of your SERPS so that your webpage appears at the top of the search results.

 

Site Map

A site map shows the navigational structure of a website similar to a table of contents and helps ensure that search engines correctly crawl all available site pages. Its very important for SEO that you submit your site map correctly to all available search engines.

 

Social Proof

Social proof refers to testimonials left from previous clients, reviews, ratings and comments that assist in helping other users to make a purchase decision. 

 

Split Testing

Split testing is a term that refers to the combination of A/B testing (testing different variations of a webpage against each other) and split URL testing (testing different URLs)

 

Split URL Testing

Split URL testing is a split testing technique where different variations of a webpage are shown on entirely different URLs. This is the opposite to A/B testing where page variations are shown on a single URL.

Split testing tends to be carried out when major page variations are being tested and multiple elements have been changed. Whereas A/B testing tends to be carried out when the impact of a single variation of an element is being tested.

 

Standard Error

The standard error of a statistic is the standard deviation of its sampling distribution. If the standard error in an A/B test is significant, we can no longer be confident in the results since they may have been affected by random factors.

 

Statistical Significance

Statistical significance is a parameter that refers to the overall validity of an A/B test results. This is dependant on test duration and sample size.

 

Test Hypothesis

A test hypothesis is the assumption that changing a particular element on a webpage will in fact improve conversion rates

 

Title Tag (Meta Title)

Meta titles are HTML tags that determine the specific title for a webpage that should be shown in the search results. This is the title that users will see in the search results if your webpage is returned for their query.

 

Trust Badges

Trust badges are symbols or graphical badges that are shown on websites if the site has been verified or marked as safe by external software. They provide increased reassurance to site users and increase site reputability.

Test Duration

Test duration refers to the length of time that an A/B test is run for.
 

Unique Visitors

Unique visitors are a metric shown in Google Analytics and similar software that refers to the number of unique individuals that have visited a website. Although accurate it doesn’t give a completely accurate indication since the same user can visit the site on different devices (desktop, tablet, phone) and there is no way to know it’s the same person. Unique visitors can be tracked via Google Analytics and similar software.

 

Upselling

Upselling is a sales technique where customers are offered extras or a more premium version of the original product or service they intended to purchase. Upselling enables companies to maximise their revenue per product sold and its effective since customers feel they’re getting something extra.

 

Usability

Usability is a term related to the design of a website and how easy customers find it to use. In particular how easy it is for customers to navigate through a website and quickly find the information they need.

 

User-Generated Content (UGC)

User-generated content refers to content such as images, text, links and videos that website visitors personally add to the website. For example, Facebook is made up primarily of user-generated content and Trip Advisor is a good example of user generated content as well.

Site visitors can review hotels, restaurants and other places and other website visitors can read them. This provides a great source of information from individuals who have no connection to the businesses reviewed thus increasing the validity of the content for other readers. 
 

User Intent

User intent refers to what a user is specifically trying to find when carrying out a search query via a search engine. Understanding user intent is very important for optimising your SEO campaigns and selecting relevant keywords for your pages.

 

User Testing

User testing or user experience testing refers to testing carried out on a website’s usability by actual website visitors. Often companies recruit users from their own site members to carry out testing and gain invaluable feedback. Alternatively, they might also use special tools and software such as heat maps, click maps, user funnels etc.

 

Variation

Variation is a term used in A/B testing to refer to the new page that contains the variation of the original element who’s impact needs to be tested.

 

Webmaster

Webmaster refers to the person who is responsible for maintaining, updating and building the website

 

Whitespace

Whitespace is a concept in web design that uses blank white spaces in order to draw a user’s attention to a particular element or call to action. Essentially the whitespace makes the element stand out amongst it. Google is a prime example of this, showing the Google search box amongst a large white space.

 

Having been an affiliate for over 10 years, i know all too well the challenges that affiliates face on a day to basis, from maintaining your campaigns, checking reports to liaising with affiliate managers, sometimes the life of an affiliate can be chaotic. I'm here to offer free advice to anyone that needs it and hopefully build on my own skill set in the process as well. We hope you like the Affscanner site and welcome any feedback you may have.