September 7, 2020

6 Ways to Prevent Click Fraud

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Michael Jenkins

CEO - Shout Agency
[email protected]

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, ensuring the integrity of your online advertising campaigns is paramount. Click fraud, a deceptive practice where illegitimate clicks artificially inflate your advertising costs, can compromise your ROI and distort your data.

This blog post delves into six effective techniques to shield your campaigns from click fraud’s detrimental effects. From advanced AI-based monitoring to vigilant campaign analysis, these strategies empower you to detect and deter fraudulent activities. By staying one step ahead of click fraud, you can maximise your ad spend, foster genuine engagement, and pave the way for sustainable digital success.

Google Ads is one of the best-paid digital marketing strategies on the internet. However, like every platform, it does have downsides to it. One downside of using the platform is the potential for click fraud on your paid ads. Click fraud happens when an individual or group of individuals click on your ad repeatedly for the purpose of making your ad campaign expensive. It reduces your return on investment and hurts your overall marketing strategy.

While some click fraud is possible in every ad platform, Google has had this problem for a long time.

Fortunately, businesses have the ability to prevent click fraud from running rampant. The strategies below can help you accomplish this.

6 Strategies for Preventing Google Ads Click Fraud

#1 Use Social Media Ads

Facebook and Twitter ads can be useful alternative ad sources because unlike Google ads these ads are only shown on their respective social network. One of the greatest risks with Google is they use a large network of publishers.

These publishers put the ads on their site, and have incentives to get as many clicks as possible to increase their traffic. Often publishers click on the ads to increase the clicks, or third party competitors do so from third party websites.

Social media ads, on the other hand, are specifically linked to that social network. Click fraud is reduced in a more controlled environment.
Plus, the social targeting tools are better, because the social networks use the demographic and social activity data from their audience for ad targeting.

#2 Set up IP Exclusions

One of the best ways to reduce ad fraud is also the most time intensive one.

You do this through IP exclusions. Every user has an IP address. Like a home address for your internet activity. When you visit a site, you leave an IP address trail webmasters can track.

If you have a WordPress site, you can track these IP addresses by connecting your Google Analytics to your site. Then manually add code from Google Analytics allows you to track visitors to your site.

Then sit back and wait to see if any fraudulent patterns appear.

After tracking your website visitors for a few weeks, generally, you can start to see the patterns.

For example, if you see one IP address repeatedly clicking on your ads, they are probably either an obsessed fan or performing click fraud to get you to pay more.

Visit Google Ads. In the settings section under the main campaign tab, you can find the IP address exclusion box. Scroll down to the advanced section to see the IP address exclusion.

Then enter all of the fraudulent IP addresses you collected in this box. From then on, Google will not display your ads to these individuals.

This process can be a bit complicated. If you need help with this process, feel free to contact Shout. We can help you set this process up for your Google Ads campaign.

#3 Track your competitors

A number of different software solutions can help you track where your clicks come from on your websites.

Several click forensic sites can send you detailed click tracking reports, so you can see which competitors and other common fraud sources are clicking on your ads.

#4 Tweak your Ad targeting

Most click fraud comes down to targeting. If you are targeting an area where you see high click fraud, then you might want to rethink your strategy.

Many worldwide advertisers might find the majority of their fraudulent clicks come from a few specific countries. By excluding visitors by language and country, you can reduce ad fraud.

If you are in multiple countries, do not remove all countries at once. Instead, do it one at a time. That way you can identify the country causing the majority of your challenges. Then you do not have to limit your marketing to consumers in other countries.

#5 Set different bid prices on third-party publishers

Another option is to set a different bid price for the display network. Then bid on ads specifically for ads run only on Google at a separate price.

The benefit here is that all clicks on Google are more accountable to the search engine. While advertising on third-party platforms can be profitable, the challenge is that you have less control over who sees the ads.

That is not the case with Google. When you run an ad on Google, it happens on their network. They have more control over the users on their own website.

#6 Create a Remarketing Campaign

The final strategy you should consider is using retargeted ad campaigns. Retargeting is when you provide ads to engaged users who visited your website in the past.

Google provides tracking codes that allow you to target these previous visitors. By doing this, you can reduce campaigns to new users that often bring in the highest number of fraudulent clicks.

Final Thoughts

In the end, be aware that some level of fraudulent clicks will happen in your campaign. The information we provide above can help you reduce the number of fraudulent clicks to your website.

Start small, and test out one or two of the strategies listed in this article. If it works, great. If not, keep testing other strategies to determine the best way to remove fraudulent clicks from your Google Ads campaign.

If you are still having problems, then set up an appointment with Shout SEO Agency Melbourne and one of our search engine marketing specialists will determine the best course of action to reduce click fraud.

Book a free 45 minute consultation today.

    Book a free 45 minute consultation today.

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    Give us your email address and we promise to send you the best articles on a wide spectrum of digital marketing topics to help your business grow to the next level.

      Book a free 45 minute consultation today.

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        As Founder and Director of Shout Web Strategy, Michael Jenkins is at the forefront of digital marketing. Since it’s inception in 2009, Shout has built a strong reputation as one of Australia’s leading strategic SEO agencies, assisting online businesses to formulate, implement and track successful marketing strategies. Michael is a respected thought leader and digital strategist, specialising in online strategy, corporate SEO, Google retargeting, email and conversion rate optimisation, and online reputation management. Follow Michael on Google+, connect with him through LinkedIn or visit the Shout Web Strategy website.

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