Pay per click is the best way to generate business for your online sites by attracting customers using cheap advertising. You only pay for customers that successfully liked the ad you posted on the network and then came to your site, Paid per click of a customer.
The problem however comes when you have to pay for clicks that weren’t even potential customers. The term is called clicking fraud and it refers to a computer program, an individual or an automated script that tries to imitate a user and purposelessly clicks on the ad of the business without any real interest. This makes the business have to pay for the clicked ad and not have generated any potential client or customer leads.
Normally one would think this a scam by the ad networks but the truth is it could be a hacker completely bored or a rival firm trying to make your ad efforts completely useless. Here are some of the things you can do.
Create A Subdomain
Create a sub-domain so you may be able to monitor the web traffic coming in from PPC campaigns. The benefit here is that you don’t have to worry about getting mixed up with Google search traffic or PPC campaign traffic. It helps you see how much traffic is coming in. If this number is suspiciously too high, you know you are getting scammed by a Click Fraud.
For example if you sell drinking glasses and your website is www.uniqueglasses.com, then create a page for the ad called ad.uniqueglasss.com. This helps you monitor the traffic in detail.
Using Analyzing Tools
There are many Google tools that help you manage and monitor web traffic on your website. Some of these tools allow you to get detailed information like time, date, location and address of the user. Such information can help the user of PPC campaigns to understand where the web traffic is coming from and whether a large quantity of traffic is coming from the same IP address.
Check For Competitor Activity
Always monitor other PPC campaigns of the same business. Many rival companies try to manipulate the Google system to try and cheat it into providing their ads for cheaper and longer periods. This makes it difficult for honest businesses to make good clients while having to stay within the rules.
Cross Check With Competitors
Sometimes it’s just not you or your competitor but rather a nosy virus or hacker wanting to cause trouble. In such cases just call on your competitors and discuss whether they are facing click fraud problems or not. This way you can both come up with a solution and each business can carefully monitor their own traffic
Cross pack to the IP address of visitors that are coming in too often. Sometimes some clickers just cause problems for companies because they have the tendency to click on link by mistake again and again. In such cases you can block the IP address when you are certain there is no possibility of business there.
Scott Heron, based in Edinburgh, is an online marketing expert with special experience in SEO and PPC management. Scott works as a consultant for various websites. You can read more about PPC and SEO on his website.
Thanks for the article. I run a five figure per month pay per click campaign for my company. PPC happens. It’s estimated that 17%-18% of clicks fall into the fraud category. In most cases fraud occurs from competitors, even ex-employees. After strongly suspecting our campaign was a target of click fraud, the real question for me was a) how can I detect it? and b) how can I prevent it? After all, we’re talking thousands of dollars in lost conversions. Many people don’t know that Google and Bing offer a feature called IP Exclusion. When my Google rep suggested I use IP Exclusion, I asked how can I detect the IP address of the person clicking on my ads? Because Google does NOT provide the IP address of the user clicking on your ads. She finally suggested two services outside of Google. The one we went with is ClickReport.com. Within two hours I was able to detect and STOP click fraud on our campaign(s). And I used the ClickReport real-time report to successfully get a credit from BING.