The economic downturn is causing more and more companies to switch to pay per click advertising. After all, as we all know, it's easy, inexpensive, and pretty effective. However, there are some problems we all need to watch out for. Click fraud is a real problem, and can eat into your funds, resulting in little to no profit. If you want to keep your costs down, you'll know how to reduce click fraud and increase your revenues.
Pay per click advertising requires you to pay the search engine every time someone click's on your link. Click fraud is when someone clicks just to make money for the site carrying your ad, or to do damage to your sales. It's important not to waste your advertising money, but more and more of us are. Fifty-seven percent of advertising dollars online are spent on pay per click, and the increase in click fraud is causing some real damage. Seventeen percent of all online ad clicks last year weren't the real thing.
Yahoo and Google are the two biggest networks, and they say they have it under control. However, Google's statistics are much different, saying that fake clicks are just two percent of all online activity. If Google agrees with you that a click is fraudulent, they'll give you back a credit, but you have to get them to agree. Yahoo says that before working to diminish click fraud, their rate was closer to twelve to fifteen percent - something that sounds a little more accurate. They now say it's down to about thirteen percent.
Of course, it can be tricky to tell real clicks from fake ones. However, there are a couple of methods we can all employ. For instance, if you get a click from an IP address connected with an area you don't serve or have customers in, you might be looking at a faker. Alternatively, you might get a lot of clicks in a very short period. That can indicate fraudulent activity, too. Do the bulk of clicks come from one source? It's not an indicator of guilt, but it is a red flag, as is a visit that's very short - just a few seconds on each page before another click.
Click fraud is largely fueled by sites that host your ads, and which encourage people to click to raise their revenue. There are also sites out there that pay people to click - they're harder to catch, since they often mask IP addresses. Using careful research, you can find out whether you're being hit by click fraud, and get in touch with the service that's hosting your PPC ads. Be sure to collect all your information in detail, so you'll have the evidence to back up your case. That's the best way to cut down on lost advertising money.
Make sure that the people who are clicking on your ads are real prospects. Examine the results to keep click fraud from being a problem. It might take a little time, but in the long run, it's definitely worth it!