Whenever a business pays for advertising on the internet, there is always the possibility of various ad platforms taking advantage of their users with fraudulent tactics. In most cases, this involves charging the customer for more clicks or impressions than were actually received. Because the host company owns the software that produces these statistics, there is usually little recourse for the person who paid for the ads to get real numbers. There is also the possibility of competitors finding your paid ads and clicking on them a number of times to make you spend a much larger amount than what would otherwise go towards legitimate customer acquisition. This can either be done manually or through an automated process involving bots. The amount of money wasted in this manner is estimated to be millions per day. Despite the scale of this problem, there are some things that can be done to protect yourself and your money, and companies that can help with PPC Management.
One of the most common techniques to combat this process is through ad verification software. This essentially functions as a way of comparing the legitimate statistics from the verification program versus what a vendor or platform is producing. If there is too much divergence between the verification software and the seller of the ad space, that platform can be labeled as low quality or untrustworthy and avoided in the future.
Another way of avoiding click fraud is to only user larger, trusted platforms such as Google and Facebook for all advertising needs. This may significantly limit your advertising options, but these companies have lots of inventory and just about every user on the internet interacts with their services on a daily basis, meaning you still have a great reach regardless of your target audience or niche.
Blacklisting is another effective way of controlling click fraud on ads, because there is growing list of suspicious bots, sites, and users that can be blocked from interacting with your ads. This is a way of blocking the known sources of fraudulent traffic, so you can be assured most clicks that your business is paying for are legitimate.
Constant monitoring or auditing is also a great way to prevent ad fraud, especially if your business has a person or department dedicated to monitoring your spending daily. Ad campaigns that seem to be costly without producing results will produce a red flag that warrants further investigation. If any campaigns are detected that are either suspicious or generally performing poorly, it may be a good idea to suspend them and move on to find more profitable ways to spend on advertising.
Diversifying advertising methods is also a way of minimizing the potential for click-based fraud. There are a lot of different ways of getting the word out about your products or services, and paying per click is actually one of the most problematic in many cases due to its high potential for fraud and possibility for inconsistent performance. Organically grown traffic through social media and SEO are two examples of good alternatives.