Establishing your business doesn’t end with creating the best product or service for your customers. While you may have the best one on the market, it’ll be a total waste if you’re not able to reach your potential customers.
Online advertisement is a digital marketing strategy targeting internet users. They usually appear on different websites and social media accounts, in hopes of directing some of the heavy traffic towards your site.
Currently, online advertisements appear on your screens through a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) method. PPC means that the advertiser will only pay when someone clicks on the ad. However, invalid clicks will make the advertiser pay higher, when traffic to their website hasn’t improved.
What is an Invalid Click?
Invalid clicks are an activity detected by Google AdWords as irregular and not genuine. Google has developed an algorithm that detects when a specific click on an advertisement is done by a click bot, or when it’s an accidental click. On the bright side, if Google has detected any invalid clicks from your advertisement, they’ll filter them out and won’t charge you for it; you may even get some free traffic out of it.
What is Click Fraud?
Click fraud is somewhat similar to an invalid click. The only main difference is that click fraud has the intention of driving up the advertiser’s cost when it comes to paying their PPC ads. In shorter terms, a person or a company intentionally clicks on an ad, forcing the advertiser to pay more.
One way that click fraud can happen is when the publisher of the ad intentionally clicks on the PPC ad so that they’ll be able to earn a lot more on their end. Click fraud can also happen when competitors deliberately click on an ad so that the budget for the online marketing campaign will turn into waste.
Click fraud can be done through a bot or paid people to carry out the task by clicking continuously on a specific ad for their benefit.
How Invalid Clicks Can Lead To Click Fraud
An invalid click can turn into a click fraud when the invalidity of the click turns from accidental to intentional. When an invalid click is suspicious as it’s going on to your ad for a hundred times a day or week, then someone is most probably targeting your advertisement.
How to Prevent Click Fraud
Of course, paying for a hefty amount of money for your online marketing campaign that leads to nowhere can be very frustrating. When you release an advertisement on the web, you expect great results for your website.
Unfortunately, click fraud happens to almost everyone, most especially those with extreme competitors. Listed below are some ways in which you can prevent click fraud:
1. Switch to Facebook/Twitter Ads
If you’re tired of websites intentionally clicking on your PPC advertisement so that they can earn more, you should switch to placing your ads on Facebook or Twitter. Don’t worry; you can still reach a lot of people through social media. Also, you can specify your target audience so that competitors will have difficulty playing with your ads.
2. Set Up IP Exclusions in Google Ads
If you’ve already placed your PPC ad on Google Ads, and you’ve already experienced a ton of click fraud, you might want to block the IP address to your ad so that they aren’t able to see it anymore. It’ll save you a lot of money if those IP addresses only intend on clicking your ad continuously.
3. Adjust Your Target
If you notice that your ad has a ton of suspicious traffic in a specific region, you might want to exclude those locations, so that they won’t be able to see your ad. Along with this, if you suspect that a competitor is behind the click fraud, you may want to block your ad from their zip code.
However, you mustn’t block out good traffic, as it can break your ad campaign. Make sure that you create the right target for your ads for the highest possible chance of website conversions.
Invalid clicks and click fraud are an unfortunate reality that everyone deals with when it comes to launching an ad on the internet. Some publishers just want to earn more money by clicking on your ad all day, and competitors just want to minimize your benefits from online marketing.
When you experience click fraud, you must do everything that you can to stop it from happening, so that you can make the most out of your online marketing budget.
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