Terms of the Biz

If you are relatively new to the affiliate marketing world, you probably noticed there is a lot of slang, jargon, and terms you may not have heard before. These terms can be hard to keep track of unless you are using them on a day-to-day basis. So we put together a few main terms for you as you navigate your way in the affiliate marketing world. 

Let’s start with a few affiliate abbreviations. Abbreviations are shortened forms of a written word or phrase. They are typically associated with business jargon. 

Some common abbreviations in affiliate marketing include: 

CPA or cost per action

CPA or Cost per action is the cost of a particular action carried out by a visitor. The term is common in affiliate marketing and other online marketing. The Action in CPA is always a form of conversion. Customer orders a product, clicks a link, watches a video, signs up for a trial, or shows interest in an offer. 

CPL or cost per lead

Cost per Lead is a payment model used in online advertisements per lead. The definition of a lead can mean an e-mail address, a request for a quote, or contact form, or a click for a a like. This basically means a potential customer is looking for more information. 

PPC or pay-per-click advertising

PPC stands for Pay Per Click. Pay-per-click is an advertising method in which the advertiser pays per click. This form of advertising pays for every visitor who clicks on your advertisement.

Google AdWords is a good example of PPC. 

Now let’s cover a few common affiliate marketing terms: 

Above the fold

Think of when you open a website, everything you see without scrolling down. This is what is called ‘above the fold’. This is basically the first thing a visitor sees when opening a site. Content and ads above the fold are desired advertising space and are often more expensive.

Conversion rate

A conversion is the main action that you want visitors to perform. An example of this is the number of times a form is filled, an order is made, or a card is entered. A conversion is also often expressed as a percentage (and called the conversion ratio). This is the ratio between the number of visitors and the number of completed conversions. 


Every time a user sees content or an advertisement on the site you guided them to or advertised on it counts as an impression. The user doesn’t have to do anything. It simply means the ad was seen. 


A pixel, also known as marketing pixels, tracking pixels, web beacons, or web bug are snippets of code or tiny invisible images that are placed on web pages used to gather information about website visitors. Pixels can be placed on the checkout or thank-you page by an advertiser and allow the affiliate network to determine whether the transaction was generated via an affiliate so they can allocate fees.

Traffic source

A traffic source is every place that sends visitors to your website. It can be an affiliate site, blog, social media, promotion site, Google, or a paid or free advertisement. By knowing where your traffic comes from, you can gauge which campaigns are successful.