OK … click fraud is on the menu today. Some industries are suffering a lot and some a bit, but all would like to eliminate PPC click fraud as the cash is being wasted every day.
There are many click fraud tools out there and some of them are very good, what I’ll talk about now is … what you can do without tools (just reports) to spot click fraud and get your refund.
1. CTR (Click through rate) Report
This is crucial. If one of your keywords has always gotten around 4.00% click through and all of a sudden today it’s 20% … I’d get a bit worried. Now, if you recently change your ad or the amount of money you want to spend, then the CTR increase can be natural.
Also, don’t discount that one of your competitors might have ran an ad that has increased the daily search. I’d suggest you calculate your standard CTR per keyword and always refer to that number.
2. Page Views per Session / Bounce Rate
Be sure to monitor your bounce rate on a daily basis. If your usual bounce rate is around 25% and suddenly today it’s 80% I’d scream Maidei! I actually had this problem when I signed up with ASK.com
Within the first day we started getting traffic from one of their partner sites and the bounce rate was an alarming 99% A quick call to ASK.com has gotten us a refund and the referring site blocked.
3. Length of Visit
Lately “click fraudsters” got smarter and what I noticed is that the bounce rate is fine, and the pages viewed per visit is also normal, but the visits are short … under a minute. What was happening is, these fraud visits would occur and to appear less fraudulent what they would do is quickly click on 3-5 pages within the site and bail out.
Be sure to track the length of the visit. Always compare to your average. Now if the numbers are just slightly off, the effect could be from the seasonal change, or brand awareness or the different channel you used to advertise, BUT look out for the major changes and link them back to the previous 2 reports I mentioned above.
Repeat visitors. Look at your log files and see if there is an IP address (visitor) who has visited your site 20 times in a 24 hour period. Even though this is an old method of tracking click fraud, you’ll be surprised at how many clicks were wasted on what could possibly be click fraud.
Click fraud tracking is something that different industries tackle differently. For some click fraud is a major issue and for some it’s just something that’s out there and they just accept it as standard expense. For those who just can’t avoid this issue I hope the above information if valuable.