Jason is the CMO @ ClickGUARD. He is passionate about all things PPC, SEO and has extensive customer acquisition experience. When not writing about SEM he can be found surfing the wildest ocean waves of the South American coast.
Lets talk the truth behind this poor little sheep and if really "competitors clicking on your ads" stack is a real or not?
So, here we go again: the 8th session of our podcast, brought to you by ClickGUARD. Find us on Youtube and Spotify. Our Digital Marketing Guru and the extraordinary King of Data are going to turn on all the lights on a topic we were looking forward to being uncovered: are competitors clicking on your ads?
This thousand of words come from an image meant to explain and convince marketers and PPC advertisers that competitors DO click on your ads, out of spite for your business and potential success.
Before you tremble and fear that your PPC efforts are in vain, let our masters of ceremony clarify some key elements:
Let us acknowledge that the ad is pretty well done. It doesn’t violate animal rights, as Jason amusingly suggested, but actually appeals to a popular idiom - the wolf in sheepskin. Miloš sees right through it: the sheep represent legitimate customers and potential conversions, while the wolf in sheepskin is a competitor clicking on your ads, masquerading as a legitimate customer.
“Great cartoonish graphics, superficial message.”
You know by now that we’re not making assumptions nor claiming to be doing what cannot be done. When we say that:
1. Not all waste is click fraud, it’s because the software cannot “catch competitor clicks” per se;
2. Competitor clicks are likely to be less than 30% of all fraudulent traffic, it is based on data and not confirm with 100% accuracy.
Have no doubt that this is shown by our thorough internal analysis, which allows us both a global and a granular observation of the click fraud magnitude.
Globally, let us be upfront: PPC implies financial transactions and, though unfortunate, it’s a fact that where there’s money, there’s a high chance for fraud.
On a more granular level, it’s unreasonable to think that competitors are the puppetmasters of your ads.
Wondering who are the “far worse players in this game”?
Could it be a search engine that profits from every single click?
Or maybe a social media platform that was bashed for delivering fake click reports?
Could it be one of the many apps and games conning tens of millions of dollars from the advertising community?
Not only your Google, Facebook, and Android apps and games are likely to turn a blind eye to fraudulent or bad traffic in general. And certainly, your shady competitors are not the big bad wolf. So, before trusting our competitors’ ads, get informed and request access to data.
If you find yourself having traffic from underperforming ad placement, stop serving ads to it. Just like Google Ads marketers use negative keywords to exclude searches that dilute their audience or demonstrate a lack of intent to convert, you have a simple yet effective way of dealing with conversions and lack of conversions. That is, collecting and interpreting the data, aka click forensics.
Armed with post-click analysis data using our click forensics, focus on:
What happens if I exclude a genuine customer because of false positives, you may ask. Jason must be a PPC marketer mind reader, then, and Miloš the man with the answers and a plan.
Yes, user behavior analysis is the safest way to optimize your campaigns for intent, and yes, Miloš explains it once again so we can put it in bold - we cannot overestimate its importance:
The keywords here are waste and intent, which Miloš debunks. Let's say you’re really targeted by competition. Do competitors have the intent to convert? No. They will exhibit certain behavior you can actually track and optimize against it in two steps:
Still tempted to “blindly” trust the system that magically blocks clicks from competitors?! Spare a few minutes and consider Miloš’ advice:
Just like you, your competitors have their own businesses to promote. Would you invest your time and efforts in damaging someone’s business more than in building yours?
While fretting about being targeted by your competitors, you might miss on everything else.
Jason and Miloš have their questions figured out. You may use them as they are or get inspired and ask your own whenever you encounter an “ad tech vendor” that, as Jason rightfully put it, “enhances victimization.”
Who asked what, and what was the open question Jason asked Miloš? Find out by tuning to our session “Are competitors clicking on your ads?”