One form of fraud every advertiser who engages in pay-per-click marketing should be wary of is click fraud.
What is click fraud? And how can you prevent falling into the trap of criminals who commit it?
Let’s find out in this article about 5 ways to fight click fraud!
Before we get into click fraud, here’s a brief explanation of pay-per-click advertising.
Pay-per-click, or PPC, advertising is an internet marketing model consisting of advertisers paying a small fee anytime their ad gets clicked on.
The advertiser invests in a PPC ad campaign that will be shown among Google search results or social media platforms, for instance. Then, whenever a user clicks on an ad, they’ll be directed towards the company’s website, while the advertiser will pay the platform or search engine that’s hosting the ad a certain amount.
PPC advertising is a great marketing model because it generates traffic to a company’s site, thus it can convert said traffic into paying customers.
For example, mobile ads on Google have an average conversion rate of 3.48%. This means that you’ll probably be able to make at least 3 sales for every 10 clicks on your ads.
How click fraud works
The problem arises when ill-intentioned people start abusing this model by committing click fraud.
In this type of fraud, the criminal will deliberately click on the ads without any intention of making any purchases.
People, bots or web crawlers that do this will make you pay for clicks that aren’t organic, so you’ll unknowingly use up your entire daily ad credit without ever reaching your potential customers.
Click fraud is often used by competitor companies that want to prevent you from getting customers by sabotaging your advertising strategy and depleting your investments. They tend to employ bots that are programmed to search for and click specifically on your ads.
Here are 5 ways to fight click fraud
With that said, let’s explore the solutions to this problem.
1 — Use IP Exclusions in Google Ads
Google Ads offers an IP Exclusions setting that allows you to block IPs associated with click fraud from seeing your ads.
Once you’ve identified the offending IPs, you’ll just have to report them through the IP Exclusions setting.
2 — Monitor your campaign in Google Ads
Track your ad campaigns with the Google Ads tools Campaign Performance Report and Account Performance Report.
Among other things, these features allow you to see Invalid clicks, meaning illegitimate clicks that were performed by malicious software.
3 — Get a software for click fraud detection
A software program that detects and blocks click fraud is definitely very useful.
Such programs identify fraudulent IPs and send them to Google in real time. ClickCease, Clixtell and Lunio are especially recommended.
4 — Avoid advertising on shady websites
In some cases, owners of low-quality sites might commit click fraud on your ads themselves in order to get paid.
5 — Rule out certain countries for your ads
“Click farms” consist of large groups of low-paid workers that are hired to commit click fraud.
If it seems to you that the clicks on your ads are coming en masse only from a specific country or geographic region, you might want to re-adjust your ad target by cutting out such places and their languages. There’s a pretty high chance that your ads are being targeted by a click farm somewhere, in fact.