You might have set up a perfect PPC campaign, but what if it falls prey to pay-per-click abuse before it even gets you the desired results? Your entire marketing budget will go down the drain, and your marketing plans will be ruined.
PPC abuse or click fraud refers to fraudulent activity involving false and invalid clicks on a PPC ad. It is done either by ad publishers to inflate their revenues by clicking the ads they feature on their website or by companies who intend to sabotage their competitors’ marketing campaigns by driving up their PPC costs.
No matter what’s the reason behind PPC abuse, it is very much possible for you to protect your ads against such fraudulent activities. Let’s quickly run you through five ways how you can do that.
1. Set Up IP Exclusions
The first option is to quickly analyze your data and see if you get regular clicks from a particular IP address. If that’s the case, Google Ads allows you to block these IPs by setting up IP exclusions. Just go to the Settings of your Ads account and select IP exclusions. Add the IPs you spotted during analysis and they won’t be able to see your ads anymore.
2. Target Your Ads Better
Quite often, all you need is to tweak your ad targeting a little to get rid of any invalid clicks. Whenever you suspect pay-per-click abuse from a particular geographic location, simply exclude this region and its languages to target your ads better. You need to be a bit careful with this, though, and make sure this action of yours won’t eliminate the good traffic.
3. Reconsider the Way You Run Your Display Ads
Click fraud is more prevalent in the case of display ads. However, you can control the way these ads are shown. One option you can consider is to focus on retargeting more. With retargeting, your ads are only shown to people who have previously visited your website. So, your ads won’t be visible to the publishers on their website and to the majority of your competitors. This way you will be able to avoid a large portion of invalid clicks.
4. Social Media Ads Can Be a More Effective Option
As social media ads aren’t as keyword-oriented as paid search engine ads are, it becomes hard for the fraudsters to just type in a certain keyword and get served with your ad.
Social media websites like Facebook acquire a lot of information about their users and show them ads based on their interests. So, you reach a more targeted audience and can enjoy a way better ROI on the paid ads. These platforms don’t even have third-party owners, and therefore there is no chance of pay-per-click abuse.
5. Use PPC Abuse Protection Services
There are plenty of providers out there offering services to prevent click fraud. Companies like ClickReport monitor your PPC ads using sophisticated algorithms to detect click fraud and quarantine any fraudulent clicks. Sign up for a free trial and prevent pay-per-click abuse on your ads.
While PPC abuse is a common phenomenon, it is very much avoidable. Use any of the methods mentioned above, alone or in combination with others, and you will start getting more value for your marketing dollar.