PPC or Pay-per-click is an internet advertising model, where advertisers pay for their ads to the publishers only when their ads are clicked. This is a way to get more traffic on to the site. Advertisers bid on keywords or keyword phrases, or decide on a fixed price per click.
Most marketers are using this form of advertising to improve search visibility and drive more traffic. Although useful and effective but, this practice of driving more traffic to a site is also prone to fraud, and this fraud can cost a high amount of your budget, nearly a 20%. Known as click-fraud, it is a very serious issue that can drain a lot of your money if you fail to notice it. Moreover, it lets you stay under the impression that you are succeeding in your plans of driving more traffic.
Who can be responsible for click-fraud of your ads?
There are many people and many reasons why click-fraud takes place. But, the aim of doing so remains the same – to get your money wasted by clicking on your ad several times without the intention of buying from you.
- Competitors – Your competitors may be conducting a research by clicking on your ads, without any intention of converting. They may want to cause you financial loss because you are standing above them at present.
- Ad hosters – These people click on your ads to generate more money from you for themselves at the cost of the advertisers.
- Robots – Generally, robots are programmed to perform click-frauds by any of the two people mentioned above.
All this will result in spending up your daily budget without even being able to reach out to potential customers. Thus, you won’t be able to achieve the results you expect from actual conversions.
How can you identify click-fraud?
First and foremost, remember that you must check your PPC program every single day. Daily checks will not only help you to check for click-frauds but, will also let you know which keywords and ads are yielding the most positive results. Check if a lot of clicks are coming from a single IP address or browser. If this is the case, then this could be a warning bell. Also check for the bounce rate for the entire day. If this is high too, then you sure are in for a click-fraud.
How can you reduce click-fraud on your site?
- The first thing that could help you is if you can identify the IP address, where you are getting numerous clicks from. Once you have found out, you can block your ad from being shown to that IP. All you need to do is go to the ‘IP Exclusions’ in the ‘Settings’ tab and mention the IP address.
- Similarly, you can make changes to your target locations. If you find that a lot of click-fraud is coming from some particular geographic region, you can exclude these locations from being able to visit your ad. Also, if possible, exclude the zip code and city you find the fraud coming from.
- Next, bid only on the most industry-specific keywords since these keywords will be of high-value and will bring in a majority of clicks from genuine customers. You can use tools like AdWords Keyword Planner to research these keywords.
- Also, set a maximum cost-per-click bid to ensure that you won’t be spending a whole lot of money if you become a victim of click-fraud. You can also set up a daily maximum budget to avoid great loss.
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