Tracking Terms

Just a fair warning, tracking can get fairly technical. So, before anything else, let’s get you speaking the language of tracking.

Tracking Link

A tracking link is the link that users will be directed to when they click on your ads. It’s a redirect link, which means that the user will first be directed to your tracking site. Then, after your tracking system has collected the necessary information, a script will redirect them to the page that you specify (an offer page or your own website)

Affiliate Link

This is the link that will send the user to the offer that you are promoting. You’ll get it from your affiliate network. It will have specific information that tells your network to give you credit for the clicks and any conversions or sales. You’ll plug your affiliate link into any third party tracking system you have, and the tracker will ultimately send the users through this link. If you are using the network’s built in tracking system, you affiliate link and your tracking link will be the same (more on that later…)


A conversion is when the user completes whatever action is needed for you to earn a commission. This could mean making a purchase, creating a profile, downloading a piece of software, or even just entering their email address. When more is required of the user, the more difficult it will be to get conversions, but you’ll also get paid more.

Direct Linking (DL)

Direct linking is when users click on your ad and they are taken straight to the offer (not counting any automatic redirects in your tracking system)

Landing Page (LP or Lander)

For the purposes of tracking, a landing page is your website where the users are taken to when they click on your ad. Your LP will have links to one or more offers that you’re promoting. You won’t always need an LP, but there are many offers that will convert better when you use own lander to presell them.


An impression simply means that your ad has been displayed.

Click Through Rate (CTR)

CTR is often expressed as a percentage. It can be the number of clicks your ad receives divided by the number of impressions. If you use a lander it can also mean the number of clicks that go to your offer divided by the number of click that your landing page receives.

Conversion Rate (CR)

Also stated as a percentage, the CR is the number of clicks that produce conversions divided by the total number of clicks.

Cost Per Click (CPC)

The CPC is the average amount that you pay for each click.

Earnings Per Click (EPC)

EPC is the average amount you earn for each click. To find the EPC, divide the total amount of earnings for your campaign by the total number of clicks it receives. When a campaign’s EPC is higher than its CPC, the campaign is profitable.

Return On Investment (ROI)

ROI is a percentage that tells you how much you earn in profit for every dollar you spend. To get the ROI for a campaign, divide everything you spend on advertising by your total earnings. You can also divide EPC by CPC. Then, convert it to a percentage and subtract 100%. An ROI of 100% means that for every dollar you spend, you earn back one dollar to cover advertising and make an additional dollar in profit. An ROI of 0% means that you’re breaking even. Any negative number means that you’re losing money.


Subids are used to pass information into your affiliate network through your affiliate link. They can be an important part of tracking conversions.


When users who have clicked on your ad abandon the connection, we call that breakage. This is usually due to the extra time it takes for them to pass through all the different redirects before they reach the offer or your LP. It’s an issue with all campaigns to some extent, but much more so with mobile campaigns.

Go here for the section on understanding tracking links.

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