Click fraud is a problem in the modern age. It’s a recent phenomenon that is causing businesses in all sectors an issue. You will have heard of it, but you might not know what the term means.
If you are dealing with people clicking through your adverts to your website, then not doing anything, and they seem to do it multiple times? You are likely dealing with click fraud. It’s a way of dealing with the competition or even making your company payout to other businesses, just so that you waste money.
Pay Per Click advertising (PPC) is a form of online ad, where you only need to pay the advertiser if someone clicks on your link. It is a tried and true method that works well for businesses of all sizes. But click fraud is causing everyone problems.
Click fraud is when someone, whether bot or human, clicks on a link to waste up your advertising money. It is rarely a case of a single human clicking your link open multiple times. It tends to be a complicated operation with plenty of people involved.
How Does Click Fraud Abuse PPC Ads?
Click fraud means that many of the clicks onto your page will not lead to a return in income. Because these clicks are not from someone interested in your business, they will not help you. The point of click fraud is to try to use up a business’s ad revenue.
It may be so that the victim will use all their ad revenue early in the day, and another company can reach the sponsored searches later in the day. Or it could be something more serious, where groups of people are just trying to cause chaos for reasons unknown.
How Does Click Fraud Affect My Business?
Wasting your ad revenue is not the only way that click fraud can affect PPC. If you run a website, you can offer other companies the chance to upload their ads. If someone clicks on their link, you then need to pay them. Groups are abusing this form of PPC advertising to try to make more money. It is not something that tends to happen with most businesses. More times often than not, this will be an individual offering this sort of service. But it is best to keep this in mind.
Around 20% of total ad spend winds up wasted because of click fraud. That is a large sum, and it is not a cost we can erase. Companies will always have to deal with some form of click fraud; because some bots appear human to the system. They know to spend a little longer on the page or to click around. These bots will not get spotted. But we can lessen the amount of click fraud we experience and boost our income return.
Click fraud is most commonly committed by bots. These can either leverage multiple stolen IP addresses or hide their location. Because a bot isn’t human, they aren’t limited to how many times they can click at once. And they also don’t get bored. Some of these may be obvious and easy to catch through the sight of a repeated location. But many of them will change their details each time and have been designed to appear almost human. Google Ads can’t always catch on to this sort of thing.
There are also click farms. These are groups of people, usually from lower-income locations, who get paid to sit and constantly click on certain links. These can be easy to catch unless the group has chosen to use a VPN, as you will see a repeated location. You do have the possible impact of human boredom, but this is more serious than a single individual trying to harm your business.
How Can I Prevent Click Fraud?
Keep an eye on your stats. – That is the simplest and the most obvious way to prevent click fraud. But it is worth saying. If you watch your stats, then you can notice repeated locations. If they do not seem to spend very long on your site but do seem to visit regularly, they are probably fraudulent. Google Ads will allow you to block IP addresses, and you can even limit where people can view your ad. If the visits from a particular country all appear to be fraudulent? Then you can select your adverts to appear only in countries with ‘true’ visitors by selecting those countries.
Google Ads and other ad services do have things in place to prevent click fraud. Google Ads is the best one to choose because it is the largest service with the most tools. And they have spam fraud protections in place.
However, these don’t always prevent them. And it can take some time for the service to catch who is committing the fraud. With this in mind, you can’t trust that the prevention is strong enough. You can use the tools offered and keep an eye on your stats. But it will be safer to find a more concrete method.
A great way to prevent ads is to install a program that can stop click fraud for you. There are a few different tools out there, such as PPC Shield. This kind of software keeps an eye on your stats for you and automatically blocks any users that they think might be fake. It works like a spam blocker but prevents fraud instead. It’s easy to sign up and there is usually a variety of different plans.
Ways To Limit Click Fraud And Promote Your Business
The point of ads is to get business. We all know that, and we’re willing to pay to put our business in the public’s eye. But with fear of click fraud, it can be awkward to know what to do and what is worth it. There are plenty of good decisions you can make that will not only prevent a lot of click fraud but will help your business gain more customers too.
One trick is to try running retargeting ads. These are adverts that will only appear to people who have previously visited your website. It’s not uncommon for someone to use your services, then it slips their mind unless they see you again. Retargeting ads work well, as the only people who see them will be people who have chosen to visit your site before. If they have chosen to visit your site once, the ad may make them want to return. And this will also mean that your ads will not show up for those who haven’t, which makes most bot tricks invalid.
It essentially works because it targets specific audiences. If you sell better in one location than another, then you can focus on sharing ads there. If your products do better at a particular time of year, you can try to get more ads out around that time. If you want your ads to do well, you need to make sure that the people you want to see your business do.
Some people say to bid on a lot of keywords. Even keywords that may not seem like they have much of a connection can help. But too broad keywords can mean that fewer potential customers see your ads. One keyword could make the difference in what someone is searching after. When bidding for Google Ads, you should bid on multiple keywords, and they should be a mix of terms. But they should be carefully curated so that the keywords will relate to your business.
On this note, try bidding on your brand as well. If another company buys up your brand name, you could lose out on customers. It won’t prevent click fraud, but it does mean that the searches you appear in will be more targeted, which will help boost your revenue.
You can also try to buy more ads on social media. The general population uses social media a lot. If you have adverts on Facebook or other social media platforms, people will find your website. However, you will generally only been seen on those sites by users with registered accounts. Though there are bots and fake accounts on these services, these are less likely to be click fraud. It makes social media adverts a worthwhile investment.
For your business to succeed, PPC is a great way to get advertised. But it does come with a lot of pitfalls. You will want to keep a few of these tips in mind to be best protected. Having the protection software and targeting your ads to previous buyers, locations, or social media can help push your campaign forward.
If you are interested in even more business-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.