AdWords Conversions Data Skewed by Fraud?
Successful pay-per-click ad campaigns share something in common - AdWords. Unfortunately, you need to pay for that. In marketing, AdWords is an investment and just like any other investment, you expect returns from it. Otherwise, why would you spend your budget on it? You wait impatiently to check out the conversion rates and enjoy the long awaited return on investment.
Had you been specialized in marketing or advertising, you would know that in addition to AdWords, you also need detailed research and testing for a better outcome. You have done your research, picked the keywords that you need (hint: don’t forget to use the negative keywords) and tested the page that the ad directs to.
You give it some time and then look at the results. Bummer! The conversion rates are low, you had done everything correct, the overall quantity of clicks is high, yet the rates are low.
PPC ads generating suspiciously low conversion rates can mean one thing - click fraud. In other words, the clicks that you see are not from potential customers. Instead, they are either from your competitor, publisher or hackers. Each of these fraudsters has its own reasons to disrupt your traffic and the potential conversions.
Competitors keep clicking on your ads until your budget for them is over, so more people end up seeing their ads instead of yours. Publishers get money per click in spite of the conversion rates: the more clicks, the higher their revenue is. They become beneficiaries and you become a victim. As a result, you end up wasting money on AdWords and on setting up the ads, being left with steadily low conversion rates.
How Can You Stop the Skew
Click frauds can do a lot of damage but they are not untouchable. After all, the unwanted clicks come from the same source, creating a pattern that you can detect. The most effective way of defeating fraudsters is the constant inspection of clicks.
Google AdWords, for example, does this on its own. The search engine has the capacity of identifying skeptical clicks and blocking them. For other sites, you might need to do this manually.
If the clicks keep coming from the same location, IP address, zip code or account, then your fight is no longer against a wall: identify them and block them instantly.
Ignoring the monitoring because you have other things to take care of is no good. You can turn to special software like ClickGuard, for assistance. The software will run the data on clicks through special algorithms, which will detect the repetitive sources of clicks, allowing you to have click fraud protection.