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What would you think if you discovered that up to 20% of your pay-per-click (PPC) money was being wasted on a monthly basis as a result of fraudulent activity? The majority of marketers today are aware that pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a beneficial and successful marketing technique that may increase visitors to your website while simultaneously improving search visibility and increasing consumer conversion rates. In fact, practically all websites and organizations on the internet today who are serious about online marketing will utilize pay-per-click (PPC) systems such as Google AdWords at some time in their operations.
Although a targeted PPC campaign can be an excellent strategy to increase your web traffic, it is not immune to the unscrupulous marketers out there who utilize the PPC model to destroy their competitors’ efforts. Click fraud is a major problem for anyone who is unfortunate enough to come into contact with it. Unnoticed click fraud can drain money from your marketing budget while giving the false impression that your schemes are effective – resulting in an even bigger problem.
What exactly is click fraud? Simply put, it is a strategy that competitors employ when they are dissatisfied with the fact that other companies’ advertisements show above their own. Through the use of bots or actual humans to commit click fraud, your competitors hope to deplete your daily budget before you’ve even had the opportunity to reach your true potential customers. Click fraud can also allow advertisement display networks to generate enormous amounts of fraudulent commission by tricking users into clicking on their ads. In an ideal world, ad networks would only be compensated for natural clicks created by their advertisements. However, by deploying bots to collect data on advertisements and then using other bots to click on these advertisements, massive sums of fraudulent revenue can be made.
In either case, the company paying for advertising efforts is left with a large number of clicks but none of the conversions that they should have gotten as a result of those clicks. The likelihood of totally eliminating the risk of click-fraud today is remote, but that does not rule out taking efforts to mitigate the harm and obtain more value out of your PPC budget. Here are some helpful hints that should be of assistance.
Select PPC keywords that are specific to your business.
It is important to understand that the first and most effective method of dealing with click-fraud is to reduce the amount of potential damage that bogus clicks might cause to your campaign. You should only bid on high-value keywords that are specific to your industry and targeted to your audience if you want to generate the highest possible return on your investment. Bidding on high-value keywords will generate more traffic and ensure that the majority of the clicks you receive will come from actual customers rather than bots. When researching PPC keywords, tools such as Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner can be extremely beneficial.
Keep an eye on your users’ behavior.
Remember that the first step in reducing click fraud is being able to spot it. If you want to eliminate erroneous clicks and maximize the value of your ads, you should make it a practice to monitor your PPC program on a daily basis. In any case, if you want to know which keywords and advertising are producing the most favorable results, you should perform this analysis nevertheless. However, make sure to check for click fraud at the same time.
For example, if you are using Google AdWords, you can start by looking at the dimensions, as well as the frequency and reach of the ads. Reach and frequency measurements should provide you with a solid indication of whether the majority of your clicks are originating from a single IP address or browser – which can be a sign of click fraud – and how frequently they occur. Try to compare the number of repeat click-throughs to the number of bounces for the day – this should assist you in determining whether or not you have been a victim of click fraud scam.
Create a budget for yourself.
Once you’ve compiled a suitable list of long-tail keywords for your campaign, you’ll need to devise a bidding strategy that is both effective and within your budget. If you’re unfamiliar with the notion of pay-per-click advertising, it entails paying a set amount each time someone clicks on one of your advertisements, with the amount paid varying depending on the popularity of the term you’ve chosen.
Click fraud can be prevented by setting a maximum cost-per-click bid. This will prevent you from mistakenly spending more money than you planned on a single click, which is the most common type of click fraud. In addition, you should think about creating a daily PPC budget cap so that you are never charged more than a specific amount each day.
This should assist to mitigate the impact of fraudulent clicks on your AdWords campaign, as well as allow you to more accurately analyze your AdWords campaign. Consider the following scenario: a huge influx of clicks in a very short period of time could be a symptom of click fraud, and by setting a daily budget, you may be better able to keep the damage under control.