Ecommerce has experienced major boom in the past years. It is esteemed that there are from 12 to 24 million of e-shops selling products worldwide.
With a “new” form of commerce, new tools to exclude the competitors arise – click fraud, for instance, or other malicious business practices.
Click fraud is a way to destroy the ad budget and disrupt the return on investments (ROI), in effort to deliberately harm the competitors. Number of clicks can be increased either manually or automatically. On Google, there are around $1 billion worth clicks destroyed each year.
Why should you be concerned?
Firstly, the click fraud is exhausting the budget set for your ad. If your conversion rate is low, Google assumes that either the content of your ad or your landing page are not good enough, and lowers your quality score. That is something your competitors want – to have a better ranking in the search.
In the other case, the publisher, who is displaying your ad on his website, may be clicking the ad to increase revenue.
How does click fraud look alike?
You can spot click fraud mainly by seeing that your ad is being clicked a lot (you have a high CPC), but it does not generate any conversions or leads. Before assuming that it is the click fraud case, assure yourself that the mistake is not somewhere else.
Big investments but no return? Read more about the possible causes.
If you suspect it is a case of click fraud, firstly detect the IP addresses where these clicks come from. You can do it using CPanel, where you click through Metrics to Visitors section. Next, you have to evaluate the activity of these IP addresses on your website. Awstats can be your helping hand. Based on this activity, you can further evaluate which addresses can be harming you.
Fight click fraud before it fights you
1. Exclude suspicious IP addresses
If you have detected the IP addresses that could be causing click fraud, the next step should be excluding them from the IP addresses your ad displays to. IP addresses can be excluded simply via Google Ads. In the Settings section IP exclusions are located. In the future, your ad will not be displayed to these addresses.
2. Use remarketing campaigns
Remarketing shows your campaigns only to those, who came to your website and showed interest. In this way you can fight mainly those, who are displaying your ad and want to generate more revenues for themselves, for the ad will not be displayed to them.
3. Adjust targeting
If you assume that the click fraud comes from one particular region or location, adjust geotargeting and exclude that location. Generally, it is never good to have your ad targeted worldwide. So not only will you reduce the risk of click fraud, but your business will benefit as well.
Keep in mind that not each IP address a lot of likes come from, has to be automatically a fraud. Maybe the customer simply likes to return to your webpage but has not decided to buy anything yet. Keep your attention to regular prevention – early detection of possible click fraud can save you a lot of money!