What is Ad Fraud in Digital Advertising?

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What is Ad Fraud in Digital Advertising?

Ad fraud or digital advertising fraud is a combination of fake clicks and impressions that cost online advertisers billions of dollars per year. It is usually caused by bots and content scraping websites. Digital ad fraud is also known as non-human traffic that can generate fake impressions and clicks. Since bots can accomplish many tasks similar to people surfing on the web, they are programmed to visit sites resulting in worthless, fake impressions. Unfortunately, Google will count this as an impression and the bot may even click the ad, increasing the cost per lead by more than 20%.

Digital ad fraud is not going away anytime soon so I reached out to an expert in the field of digital marketing and ad fraud. Luckily, I was able to discuss over Google Hangouts a couple of strategies with Mathew from RainMakerFunnels.

He was working in fraud analytics since 2006 and said, “It’s only gotten worse. We had to completely change our marketing strategy for our company and our clients. Ad fraud cost us thousands, if not millions of dollars, that we can never get back.

Rainmaker Funnels is a B2B Data-driven marketing agency and automation engine that helps companies drive revenue from results.

With top of page cost per click (CPC) bids reaching double or triple digits in some industries, one can see how these bots can negatively impact your campaign results. It only takes a few fake clicks a day to really impact the budget and lower results for the client. Other costly techniques concerning digital marketers are known as ad stacking and ghost sites.

Ghost sites may contain real content but were stolen from a legitimate company and placed in an ad network only to be crawled by bots, resulting in fake impressions. Online competition for ranking on Google is difficult and expensive enough without paying for fake clicks. As a result, you must bid high to reach 1st-page search results and explore ways to avoid digital ad fraud in order to optimize your ad budget.

Several ways to avoid (some) digital ad fraud

If you are currently marketing to other companies you may want to reach out to a solution such as KickFire. KickFire helps identify the exact companies visiting your website with IP address intelligence.

Listed below are several strategies to help reduce digital ad waste and avoid as much digital advertising fraud as possible.

  1. Location targeting – Do not advertise on Google partner sites, only show ads to the people located in the area you are targeting. This is an option when setting up a Google Ads campaign.
  2. IP address intelligence – Remarket to the IP addresses of companies that visited your site. This means the company showed first-party intent and engagement.
  3. Use geofencing to block certain areas in countries known for click farms and stop the fake clicks on your ads.
  4. KickFire for Google (Analytics) – leverage firmographic data delivered inside Google Analytics that is powered by KickFire. Then remarket to companies based in industry type, SIC code, revenue range, employee range, etc significantly reducing your cost per lead.
  5. Set up conversion tracking and weekly dashboard reports to review in Google Ads. Call 866-2-GOOGLE for support and the implementation will help you install it correctly. You must have access to the actual website and it is recommended to make a duplicate first before changing the code.

More clicks don’t necessarily mean more results for my clients. This is why seeing the companies that visited our client’s site inside Google Analytics offers business intelligence that wasn’t there before we implemented KickFire. We use KickFire for Google to help make data-driven decisions to direct our marketing strategy and content creation.” – Mathew – RainMakerFunnels

To learn more about KickFire and the Google Analytics B2B solution for website visitor tracking, please visit this link.

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