How to prevent click fraud?

Click fraud is a serious problem that generates millions in losses for advertisers. We know how to deal with it.

Click fraud – should I bother?

If you advertise your product in Google Ads or other pay-per-click platforms, then yes, you should be concerned. You might not be aware of how much money you waste due to click fraud.

Just to remind, in PPC advertising you are charged only when someone clicks your ad link. Your ad as such is displayed until your daily budget is over. It’s then obvious that advertisers want only potential customers click on their ads because potential customers are those who would probably buy the advertised product. Unfortunately, it isn’t always like this. Very usually there are frauds among the users who click your ad.

Click fraud happens when people or dedicated bots click ads to inflate costs of an advertiser’s campaign. The finance industry is the most vulnerable against click fraud, which produces almost 22% of all clicks in that business.

Can you afford a loss of 22% of your advertising budget? What about 10%? Can you afford to waste any money from your budget? Nobody wants to lose money. Thankfully, there are some methods to eliminate click fraud from an ad campaign.

How to detect click fraud?

There is good news. Every ad network, including Google Ads, is equipped with mechanisms that aim to limit and eliminate fraudulent clicks. Once such a click has been detected, Google would return money to the affected advertiser. Bad news is that not all cases will be detected by that system. You need to deal with all the other fraudulent clicks. How?

If you think something suspicious is going on in your ad campaign, your first step is to analyze data, that is, your ad campaign statistics in Google Ads & Google Analytics.

What should get your attention?

  • unusually high CTR for your campaign;
  • odd on-site user behavior (short sessions and high bounce rates);
  • high traffic increases, especially at specific hours or dayparts;
  • significantly higher costs with weak ROI.

If any of those factors applies to your campaign, you have probably been a victim of click fraud and unfair competition.

Remember that such analysis works perfectly fine if you run a small ad campaign. However, when you manage extended structures or you work for an ad agency and so you deal with many clients, analyzing campaign data can be very time-consuming. Then, it’s worth trying out modern tools to detect malware & click bots (e.g., Ads Defender), which help you identify and mark suspicious activities.

How to fight against click fraud?

If you have already detected the problem, you need to think how to resolve it. There are many ways to combat click fraud. Some of them can be applied on your own, others require help from a specialist or dedicated software.

  • try to locate the IP address (if it’s constant) that generates fake traffic to your site and filter it out from a given campaign;
  • enhance your campaign structure and its parameters; e.g., narrow your target group or modify your keyword matching. A too broad targeting may lead to displaying your ad to wrong people and, as a result, impact on the number of incorrect clicks;
  • take advantage of filters and scripts to block sites, domains, or users that disturb traffic and generate extra costs.

What if it isn’t enough?

Then the best solution is to reach for a specialist or dedicated application that would take care of detecting and blocking undesired clicks in your Google Ads campaign – this is what already mentioned Ads Defender does. Our application monitors your pay-per-click campaigns 24/7 and, in case of any problems, alerts you and blocks suspicious users.

With Ads Defender, you are sure that your ad campaign budget is spent only for attracting potential customers.