Pay per click advertising & click fraud

June 14, 2010 by  

dollar sign, mouse pointer, pay per click marketingI’ve been managing several Edmonton pay per click advertising campaigns and it’s something I really enjoy.

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.

Shrinking PPC & SEO budgets?

December 1, 2009 by  


How Agencies View Client Search Marketing Budgets

It’s no surprise that with the recession, marketing budgets have shrunk. It’s affecting people with big pay per click marketing budgets and small ones.

I’ve seen it happen with some of my clients and I have talked to many others who have seen the same shrinking online marketing budgets. That’s why I thought Marketing Sherpa’s chart about how agencies view client search marketing budgets was interesting.

There aren’t many agencies out there with clients who have too large of a budget. There’s been an increase since 2008, according to online marketing agencies, of clients whose search marketing budgets for pay per click marketing are too small. I’ve also experienced it on the SEO side where ongoing SEO has been scaled back from planned levels.

It is frustrating because while the initial SEO phase is very important, the ongoing SEO linkbuilding phase is equally as important. Of course I’m not the one at the accounting controls, but the end goal of an SEO campaign is to increase traffic and click through to a client website. Once those visitors are on site, they can become customers.

It’s not a quick and easy process and I think that’s where educating clients is important. There will be ups and downs along the way, but it’s worth the effort in the end. It is an investment and not just a cost.

Recession: time to invest in SEO & website

With this recession, I see it as a great time for companies to invest in their website, making it more responsive to visitor needs and, in so doing, to get those visitors as your clients. Depending on what point those visitors are in their buying cycle, they may not become clients immediately, but may when their situation improves or once they’ve moved through their decision process.

Here in Alberta, with its recently overheated economy, we have swung from some companies saying ‘too busy to do it’ to ‘we don’t want to spend anything.’ It’s funny in a way, but disappointing because they’re missing out on a perfect opportunity to focus on the long-term marketing of their company. I’ve talked with people in a variety of IT sectors that have said the same thing about their segments of the market.

I’m not worried though. The outlook for the economy is improving, and from a search engine optimization perspective, every time I search in Google, I see websites that need to be optimized. Is yours performing as well as you’d like?

Page One SEO is an Edmonton SEO company specializing in organic search engine optimization and pay per click advertising. If you’d like to increase your online visibility, traffic and move your site up in organic search results, contact us for a free online marketing consultation.