5 Proven Strategies for Preventing Click Fraud

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If your company makes use of online advertising via search engines, social media, and mobile apps, click fraud is something you definitely have to be concerned about. Learning how to prevent it is essential to your bottom line. The good news is that, while it may be impossible to eliminate click fraud entirely, you can reduce its impact significantly.

The key is prevention. By taking steps that make it harder for fraudsters to do what they do, you are also giving them reason to leave you alone and go seek softer targets. Strangely enough, preventing click fraud is a lot like deterring home burglary.

A Basic Introduction

If you are not clear about what click fraud is, the principle is fairly basic. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a means of digital advertising that is paid for based on the number of clicks an ad gets. You pay for every click; you do not pay if people are not clicking your ad.

Ad fraud is essentially the practice of clicking on ads for the sole purpose of generating revenue, depleting a competitor’s marketing budget, or getting even with a company you’re unhappy with. The goal in all three scenarios is the same: generating ad clicks even though you have no intention of actually visiting the site and buying something.

How to Prevent Click Fraud

With the preliminaries out of the way, let us talk about some of the strategies companies can employ to prevent click fraud. Here are five such strategies, compliments of the makers of the Fraud Blocker click fraud detection software:

1. Deploy Prevention Software

The rest of the tips you will read about involve things organizations can do manually. But this first tip, deploying click fraud prevention software, adds a bit of automation to the equation. A good software package constantly monitors click traffic in search of potential fraud. If any fraud is detected, traffic from the suspicious clicks is quarantined until you investigate and make a decision.

2. Concentrate on Targeted Ads

While all ads are potentially subject to click fraud, fraudsters tend to go after the most general ads first. They spend less time on highly targeted ads that are harder to find and click. The lesson here is to concentrate on highly targeted ads in all your PPC campaigns.

3. Utilize Retargeting, Too

It is possible on many ad platforms to deploy a strategy known as retargeting. When you retarget, you are setting up your ads so that they can only be displayed to users who visit your website more than once. Retargeting cuts down on click fraud by preventing fraudsters from seeing ads unless they make the effort to actually visit your site multiple times.

4. Block Suspicious IP Addresses

Should you or your click fraud prevention software identify any suspicious IP addresses, block those addresses. Google makes it easy to do right through their ad platform. Most other ad publishers also offer the ability to block addresses. How easy they make it varies from one publisher to the next.

5. Put More Emphasis on Social Media

As a general rule, social media advertising is less keyword dependent than its search engine counterpart. If you are having trouble with click fraud in the search engine arena, try shifting your focus to social media. You may have to rework how you target your ads, but the extra work is worth it if it reduces fraud.

It may be impossible to completely eliminate all click fraud. But there are steps you can take to prevent it. Doing so is a wise idea for any organization that utilizes PPC.