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Step-by-Step: How to Set Up Affiliate Conversion Tracking, Fast

Step-by-Step: How to Set Up Affiliate Conversion Tracking, Fast

By Monica Lent · Updated Jan 3, 2024

So you've got a bunch of affiliate sales coming in, but you're struggling to figure out exactly where they came from?

You're not alone.

But you might be surprised to know that a huge majority of affiliate sites out there are more or less a black box.

The website owner may have a hunch of what's converting, but they don't know which content is making them money, which on-page elements are working, and how exactly to replicate their success.

In short — they're flying blind.

But clearly, you're here and you want to see exactly how to track affiliate conversions in a fast, sane, and accurate way. So let's do it.

What is affiliate tracking?

Affiliate tracking is the process used by affiliate networks and software to attribute conversions. Besides attributing conversions to the correct affiliate or partner, affiliate tracking can provide super useful information about your conversion rate, best performing campaigns or content, and which promotion strategies are working and repeatable.

Most affiliate networks only track a limited number of pieces of data next to every commission, like the number of clicks or the name of the product solt.

So if we want better visibility into what's working, it's up to us.

And the main way we'll improve our affiliate conversion tracking is through SubIDs.

How SubID Tracking Works

In order to know what's converting on your website, you have to adapt every one of your affiliate links to contain a SubID.

SubIDs have different names on different networks (for example, it's called sid on CJ Affiliate, afftrack on ShareASale, and clickref on Awin — but they all serve the same purpose).

SubIDs are extra data you, as the affiliate, can append to your affiliate link to record information you want to see next to each conversion that results from a click on that link.

Usually, but not always, a SubID exists as a query parameter you add to the end of the URL. For example, if you were an affiliate for, your affiliate link with a subid might look like this:

In this example, the URL has two query parameters:

  1. aid parameter, with a value of abc123
  2. subid parameter, with a value of best-product-review

Now if you're thinking that changing every single affiliate link by hand sounds like an awful waste of time, you're not alone.

This thought is exactly how Affilimate came to be.

How to Automate Your Affiliate Conversion Tracking, Fast

Affilimate is an affiliate analytics tool that helps you create super rich SubIDs that contain more than just the name of the page the sale happened on.

They can tell you which element on the page led to the sale, the product that was originally clicked, and a ton more.

To get set up, you just create an account, install a JavaScript snippet that updates your links inside the browser anytime someone loads the page, and then flip a switch called Smart Label:

Automate SubID tracking

Affilimate uses the same kind of database as Google Analytics for affiliate tracking, meaning we can store and analyze a ton of data on your behalf.

Affilimate doesn't change your links in your database or have access to your WordPress installation, so you can turn it off at any time.

With Smart Labels activate, when you load your affiliate dashboard, every new conversion will be linked back to the exact point of conversion on your website.

Automate SubID tracking

It's so precise, you can see exactly which elements on your website converted so you know which visual elements and conversion copy are making you the most money.

Automate SubID tracking

At that point, you can replicate those strategies across more posts, and create or commission new content with confidence it's going to convert.

Believe it or not, it's actually that simple. Because we're hiding the mess that is affiliate tracking, so all you get is clean data.

For deeper analysis, you can also export the data into Excel and do your spreadsheet wizardry on it.

Do you want to finally get attribution for your affiliate site handled?

Ultimately, you can actually have end-to-end affiliate conversion tracking on your website set up in just a couple of minutes with the power of software.

It not only saves you time but shows you exactly where you're making money today, so you can double-down on it and earn more tomorrow.

Affilimate helps you collect your affiliate data (clicks, revenue, and content analytics) into a single place so you an optimize conversion and monitor performance.

Try it out below!

Monica Lent

Monica Lent

Monica is the co-founder of Affilimate. Here to share data-driven tips and strategies for earning more from your website as a content publisher.


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