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What Are Pay-Per-Click Affiliate Programs?

By Jacob Queen
Updated Feb 19, 2024
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Pay-per-click affiliate programs are a kind of web-based marketing technique. People who have websites will sometimes partner with advertisers who pay a small commission if someone clicks on their links. The webmaster may use special HyperText Markup Language (HTML) code that shows many different revolving ads on a single page, and the ads will typically be relevant to the subject of the website. Webmasters and advertisers can both potentially benefit from these programs, but there are other marketing methods, such as pay-per-action and paying based on views, that are sometimes preferred in certain situations.

When webmasters decide to monetize a site based on pay-per-click affiliate programs, they will generally start with a search of different keywords. This keyword search is normally focused on both the monetary value of the words or phrases and the likelihood of getting good search engine ranking. In the cases where webmasters find a keyword that's both profitable and niche enough to allow for easy ranking, he will generally build a site optimized around the keyword and put affiliate links on it.

Once the webmaster chooses some pay-per-click affiliate programs and sets them up on his webpage, he will get paid every time someone clicks on one of his links. The amount paid for each click is often extremely small, but these webmasters will often be relying on a massive volume of clicks. In order to get this type of volume, a webmaster might set up hundreds or even thousands, of web pages, and each one may be based on a different set of keywords.

Pay-per-click affiliate programs are often beneficial for those trying to advertise their businesses for a lot of different reasons. These programs take a lot of the advertising work out of the hands of the company by enlisting a whole army of people to do the work on their own time. In addition, the company only has to pay if someone clicks on the ad, so this can be much more efficient than hiring a marketing team to do all the work.

There are also some disadvantages to pay-per-click affiliate programs. Some advertisers have come to prefer programs that pay based on customer actions after they click. For example, if a customer clicks on an advertisement and then proceeds to buy something from the company, then the owner of the referring web page would get a small percentage of that sale. There are also schemes where the company pays based on the number of times a page with an advertisement on it is viewed, although these are generally less popular than pay-per-click affiliate programs and may often pay lower rates.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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