If you’re doing any Pay Per Click advertising (PPC), there’s a dirty secret most PPC managers aren’t going to share. Why? Because their payment is generally tied to the amount of ad spend businesses run on a monthly basis.
As we’re diving into the 4th quarter and PPC costs go up, it’s important for you to be educated about click fraud, how to identify it, and how to recover your mis-spent advertising funds.
What is Click Fraud?
When you set up an ad campaign on google, bing, or Facebook, you’re specifying targeting criteria such as keywords, location, language, and other demographic criteria. As clicks come in, the ad platform rings up your bill, click by click. Unfortunately, some of those clicks are coming from robots (which won’t be buying your products or services) and outside of the location or demographic data that you specified. Other times the clicks are coming from malicious competitors looking to run through your budget either so that they can buy up traffic for a lower cost or run you out of business.
You’re Not Getting the Whole Story
In our research, we’ve found that sites relying on Google analytics for their traffic data are missing as much as 50% of the traffic to their site. If you’re getting all sorts of organic traffic, why would google want you to know how much is arriving daily? Wouldn’t it be helpful to have an unbiased way to see who’s really visiting your site?
How Prevalent is the Abuse?
It depends on a lot of factors. In some instances, local small business owners using google adwords are paying for 300x more clicks than their target advertising market included. In cases like these, the abuse is so obvious, there is little question that business owners must have a way to oversee and audit the ad platforms to protect themselves.
The only way to know if you’re paying too much is to perform a PPC audit.
Can You Get Your Money Back?
The good news is yes. In most cases, you can get your money back. Each ad platform has a feedback mechanism to examine potential click fraud. If you have a third party system in place to monitor your traffic, you will be able to provide that information to the ad vendor. Working together with them you can prevent future click fraud and also get reimbursement for prior fraud.
Protect Your Business Advertising Budget
One great thing about PPC is that you can track every visitor to your site. With other advertising methods, you don’t have the same visibility. For example, if you’re spending $500/day on ads, and 30% of the clicks are fraudulent robots or coming from another country, you can save $4500/month right off the bat. The implications of click-fraud are substantial.
If you suspect that your business is paying for bad traffic, contact us today for a free PPC audit. Depending on your ad spend, it may only take a few days before we get a sense of the amount of click fraud taking place in your account.