Pay per click advertising & click fraud
June 14, 2010 by Alain Saffel
Managing a pay per click marketing (PPC) campaign is a little different than an SEO campaign in that they typically change on a daily basis and have to be managed more actively
A good example of that was something I ran into this morning. One of the pay per click marketing campaigns I manage really spiked in clicks yesterday. It’s not unusual, as this is their busy season.
What was unusual was the fact that there were a huge amount of clicks in an ad group that doesn’t normally get a large amount of clicks, try 50 times as many.
After a little investigation I’ve asked Google to have a look and issue a credit. I haven’t seen click fraud in any of the other campaigns I manage. Normally there are a certain number of invalid clicks from people double clicking an ad and that type of thing, but it never really amounts to much.
Competitors clicking your ads
One of the more common types of click fraud that occurs is where one of your competitors clicks on your ad in an effort to inflate your ad costs and hopefully eat up your pay per click advertising budget until your ads no longer show.
In this case, I suspect that is likely what is going on, but one can never be 100 per cent sure.
Your competitors really would be better off improving their Internet marketing campaigns than spending time wasting your money (and theirs) but that’s a topic for another blog post.
Active PPC ad campaign management
This points to the benefit of having someone actively managing your campaigns. I am a bit of a report and statistics junkie (a result of my days working as an accountant, no doubt) and I regularly run through a variety of traffic reports, statistics, keywords and more. If you’re an information junkie, Google Analytics and Google Adwords could feed that addiction!
When I worked as an accountant I typically would give financial statements the “eyeball test” just to see if anything looked out of place. It served me well and I caught a few things in that manner. Most of the time it could just be a natural variation in earnings or expenses, but sometimes it was a data entry error or a miscategorized item.
It pays to actively manage your pay per click campaign to ensure you aren’t the victim of click fraud, which is uncommon, but also to weed out non-performing ads, keywords and to increase your ad click through rate. Improving your landing page quality can help your ads climb higher on the list and lower your cost per click too.
I really enjoy the challenge of creating a fresh campaign, writing the pay per click ad copy, the keyword research and determining which market segments to target. It really brings together all my SEO (landing page optimization), writing and marketing skills to bear on a PPC marketing project.
Alain Saffel is the owner of Page One SEO, an Edmonton SEO company. Page One SEO’s services include organic search engine optimization, pay per click advertising campaign setup and management, public relations and copywriting.