What Is an Affiliate Site?
An affiliate site is a website that promotes affiliate products to earn commissions for each visit, signup, or sale they generate for a merchant. Affiliate sites allow website owners to make money without having to sell their own products or services.
Affiliate sites are a popular business model because they are easy to set up, have low ongoing costs, low risk, and have a high return on investment (ROI). Affiliate site owners use any combination of search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to drive traffic to their affiliate offers.
There are five common ways affiliate sites earn commissions:
- Pay Per Lead: This method refers to generating leads for a merchant through a sign-up form, phone call, or another lead collection method. The affiliate receives a flat fee for each lead. No conversion is required.
- Pay Per Click: This method refers to affiliate sites earning money each time an advertisement or link is clicked by a user. The affiliate receives a flat fee for each click. No lead or conversion is required.
- Pay Per Action: This method refers to a user taking a specific action, such as joining a newsletter, submitting a form, making a contact request, downloading a file, installing software, etc. The affiliate receives a flat fee for each action. A semi-lead and/or conversion is required.
- Pay Per Sale: This method refers to earning a commission for each sale that is made after clicking on an affiliate link. Each merchant’s attribution policy and cookie period are different. It may include first-click attribution where credit goes to the affiliate whose link was first clicked in the buyer’s journey or last-click attribution where credit goes to the affiliate whose link was last clicked before the sale is made. As for cookie duration periods, they can range between 7 days to 60 days or even a full year. The affiliate either receives a flat fee or a percentage of the total sale. A conversion is required.
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Go to the SEO Glossary to find more terms and definitions that relate to the field of search engine optimization.
The Editorial Staff at SEO Chatter is a team of search engine optimization and digital marketing experts led by Stephen Hockman with more than 15 years of experience in search engine marketing. We publish guides on the fundamentals of SEO for beginner marketers.