In 2017, a report suggested that $16.4 billion were wasted by advertisers due to fake traffic and click fraud. That is a lot of money to waste.
When you set up an ad campaign, you expect to see some serious results. No one expects 100% perfection all the time, and it’s normal to get a few fraudulent clicks here and there, but there’s nothing normal about $16.4 billion wasted.
Is there a way to combat click fraud or is the pay-per-click advertising scene doomed to suffer this unfortunate and malicious sort of tampering forever?
Luckily enough there is a way to prevent or dissuade click fraud. We’ll talk about how in this article.
What is Click Fraud?
If you’ve spent any time in the pay-per-click advertising scene, you know that when you start a pay-per-click campaign you can expect to pay for every click that your ad gets. But you expect the people who click on your ad to be people who are interested in your product in a genuine way.
This means that someone, or something, clicked on the ad with the aim to generate charges for whoever is doing the advertising.
The Impact of Click Fraud
Wasted money is just one part of the many dangers of click fraud. Not only does it waste your money, but click fraud also frustrates and takes away an advertiser’s motivation to continue.
It messes up the data that advertisers use to make important marketing decisions. It can even go so far as to change the usefulness of an entire keyword, leading advertisers to give up on it entirely.
However, there are a few measures you can take to avoid click fraud in the future.
1. Do Your Research
If you have enough data and pay attention to the information on each keyword closely, you’ll be able to spot a problem pretty quickly.
Once you notice the problem is there, all you have to do is dig a little bit deeper. Are you getting a lot of clicks from the same IP address or addresses? Are a lot of those clicks coming from countries that you don’t service?
If you’re positive that these IP addresses are the ones that cause you problems with fraudulent clicks, you don’t have to just accept it and move on.
AdWords allows you to set up exclusions for IP addresses that you suspect of fraudulent activity. All you have to do is go to the “settings” tab and scroll until you find the IP Exclusions setting. put the IP number in and that IP address won’t be able to see your ad anymore.
2. Look to Publishers
Just about anyone with a blog is allowed to use Google ads. All they have to do is create an AdSense account and they can start to profit.
Instead of working to grow their blog and increasing the visitors that click on the ads on their website in a natural way, some webmasters will click on their own ads. This is a violation of Google’s rules, but it still happens.
However, if you don’t enable the display network option, your ad only shows up on Google’s search engines. This means that third-party websites cant display your ad, and webmasters won’t profit off of clicks.
It is a viable option if you want to cut down on webmaster-based click fraud to turn this feature off. However, you’re going to get hit with less traffic when you do this.
If you target expensive keywords, this might be the way to go. Otherwise, you should be safe.
3. Adjust Your Targeting
As we mentioned in tip number one, in order to stop click fraud you have to do some research. When you know where your clicks are coming from, you can stop the people who wish to do your campaign harm.
If you think a majority of fraudulent clicks come from a specific region, like a “danger zone” country, consider cutting out that country and the language from your targeting.
Competitor click fraud is an issue too. You can also choose not to target their zip code or city if you suspect this is a problem.
However, a word of caution: don’t cut back on your targeting too much. When you do, you might be getting rid of the good traffic as well as the fraudulent clicks. If you know for certain that most of the clicks are coming from one area, exclude it. But don’t go crazy with it.
4. Turn to Facebook or Twitter Advertisement
If you’ve tried these other measures to avoid click fraud but you still get a lot of clicks that lead to no sales or new customers, it might be time to look at taking your advertising to another platform.
One of the best things about Twitter or Facebook ads is that they only show up on Twitter or Facebook. No one else is involved.
Also, because of the hyper-advanced algorithm usage, your advertisements only show up for the relevant people. This means that your competitors are less likely to see your ads.
Stop Click Fraud in its Tracks
At the end of the day, you want to make the most out of your advertising budget. The last thing you need is for someone, or something, to click on your advertisements in an effort to rack up your bill and sabotage your campaign. Unfortunately, click fraud is a real issue and almost everyone with a pay-per-click campaign experiences it.
But if you take the measures we’ve talked about above, you’re one step closer to stopping click fraud in its tracks.
For more information about managing and protecting your pay-per-click campaign, visit us today.
Sometimes, you might not have the time to promote your business. This makes you turn to Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns like Google AdSense.
Don’t stick solely with AdSense either; it’s still important to invest in Amazon as an alternative since it’s one of the rising trends.
Regardless where you take your PPC campaign, it won’t take off if you don’t know how to write a title to your content. You need it to compel people to at least give it a read. If you need to learn how you might want to try these tips:
1. Use Specific Numbers and Data in Your Title
If you want to make effective PPC content, you need to optimize the title since it accounts for 50% of your post’s effectiveness. If you fail to give it the power to become clickable, your PPC campaign won’t take off. Giving statistics and other specific numbers will make great titles to use.
These headlines can help get you more engagement and social shares. It works since the numbers look attractive to your brain. What this means is that you need to understand the science behind numbers.
People found out that the number 7 is the most desirable number among individual numerals. What this means is that, instead of using the word “seven”, you need to make use of the numeral for your titles. Take note that if you’re writing a step-by-step guide, don’t give more than nine steps or it becomes forgettable.
2. Call for Attention
When writing a title, always remember that it’s important to make your audience read the first sentence. It means that you need to ensure that your headline should be a cry for attention. In its most basic form, attention means giving focus on any given task.
Always take note that your viewers are humans using the internet to browse for a lot of things. This makes attention spans much shorter as years go by. The current average is at 8.25 seconds, and it might decrease more from there.
Even if you’re at the top of the search engine rankings, you need to convince your customers to keep reading. Having the right title will ensure that your momentum builds up and stays consistent. You need to start focusing on creating headlines that compel people to read the first sentence.
Once you’re done, the entire post’s storytelling will take care of the rest. If your content is great, you can convert your readers into customers. With this, you need to ensure that your title is unique, useful, and create a sense of urgency.
3. Research for Power Words for Headlines
When you’re trying to write a good title, you need to pay attention to its structure. A lot of the influencers have at least one or two formulas they use to write their own titles. When you’re starting out, you need to test out and tweak your titles.
When you’re trying out new formulas, make sure that you use some power words. This will make people stay and read your content. If you’re a business, you might even get them to buy your products.
You might want to write your content before you craft your title. There’s no hard rule about this, but it’s often better to write a powerful title first. In the end, it all boils down to preference, so this approach might not work for you.
4. Optimize Your Title for SEO
If you want to opt for PPC, you need to make sure that your title has the right optimization. If you want to know how effective it is, try searching for a specific keyword in Google. You’ll notice soon enough that all the results will have the keyword somewhere within their titles.
It highlights the search engine’s intent of giving you content that’s related to their users’ search phrase. This means you need to work your keyword somehow into the title. You need to make sure that you place it where it makes the most sense.
Some people make nonsensical searches using the search engine. The good thing about Google’s algorithm is the fact that it understands the context of the search. If your primary keyword doesn’t make sense, you can add stopwords to make it read better.
5. Make the Title Shocking and Amazing
It’s incredible how changing some of the words in your title can make it interesting. An SEO-optimized title is good, but it can often bore people. You can spice it up by adding strong words like amazing and unbelievable to your titles.
The main issue is that you need to make sure that your content actually delivers. That’s why it’s important to remember the right usage of this tip. Don’t abuse it–back it up with the right facts using statistics and the like.
Controversy is a powerful tool, provided that you back it up with the right data. If used correctly, you can gain a lot of attention and clicks for your PPC campaign. Otherwise, it gives you a bad reputation and people might avoid your business instead.
Learn How to Write a Title Today!
Titles are the first thing your audience notices when they see your PPC ad on the search results.
If you want to make them click, learn from these tips. It’s especially important to make your own formula since it serves as the basis of your titles for years to come.
There are a lot of ways how to write a title. More often than not, you need to develop your style in a deliberate manner. That allows you to have a feel on what your potential audience is searching for.
Do you need help setting up your own PPC campaign? Contact us today and we’ll help you get started. We have the right expertise and experience to assist you.
Here’s the thing: 86% of consumers use the Internet to find a local business, and 72% of consumers prefer to find information about local merchants via search. PPC has a lot to offer your business–that is if you’re doing it right.
Truth is, a lot of businesses make messy, easy-to-avoid advertising mistakes that drain their PPC budgets in a fraction of their allotted time. That’s why we’re walking you through some of the biggest ones to watch out for.
Letting Others Bid for Your Company Name
It seems like a mistake that’s too dumb for anyone to make, doesn’t it?
You’d be surprised. Seriously, this happens all the time.
It’s more basic than you think–it starts with you not bidding on your brand name as a keyword. But, wait, why would you bid on your own brand name?
Because if you don’t, your competitors will.
And when that happens, don’t be shocked if you Google your own brand name and see your competitor’s ad pop up instead of yours.
Here’s the thing: if your brand is known to your audience, bidding on your own brand name will bring you a lot of traffic. And given what you’re already bidding on keywords, covering your bases shouldn’t cost you too much extra.
Your Biggest Competitor is Yourself
And not in the good, self-improvement way, either.
Let’s say you’re running two campaigns, one called “Women’s Shoes” and the other called “RLSA Women’s Shoes”. Your second campaign is spending nearly as much as the standard campaign–without any greater success.
In this case, you’re competing against yourself. Especially if you committed the great sin of people who don’t have time to craft each PPC campaign with tender love and care: cloning one campaign and setting it to a “bid only” audience instead of “target and bid”.
In other words, it’s still going after anyone who pops up for the given keyword, regardless of whether they’ve been on the site before or not.
This is bad because it means your two campaigns are essentially bidding against each other.
The key here is to understand the difference between an RLSA campaign and a standard campaign in order to make the best use of your time (and money).
Canada’s curse to the United States may come back to bite you in unexpected ways. In fact, Justin Bieber is secretly a textbook example of rookie mistakes you may be making on your PPC campaign.
Let’s say, for example, you sell fiber optic cables. Overnight, your impressions skyrocket while your click-through rates and conversions plummet.
Like about 99 other problems in life, it could be all Justin Bieber’s fault.
Here’s why: Google, in all its infinite wisdom, could mistake “Bieber” for a misspelling of “fiber” so that when Beliebers are rabidly searching for his new album, your site is getting a boost for a search that doesn’t actually apply to you.
Which means you’re paying for clicks that will never convert.
Moral of this story: it’s almost impossible to guess everything Google will incorrectly match you to, so monitor your query reports religiously and predict as many negative keywords as you can.
Using Underperforming Keywords in Endless Ads
It’s tempting to fall into the “what-if” trap.
As in, “What if I deactivate that keyword and it loses me business? What if that useless keyword got useful next week?”
This is a tough love situation. If keywords aren’t performing the way you need them to, then you’re wasting your budget if you hold onto them instead of replacing them with more profitable keywords.
Kill your darlings and cut the keywords that aren’t performing at top speed.
Paying for Negative Keywords
People love free stuff. It’s true in college and it’s true throughout adulthood.
Trouble is if a searcher types in the word “free” before their search and they find your product page only to find that your products aren’t free, guess what?
They’re not going to spend money on your site, but you have to pay for their non-converting click.
This is why you need to pay careful attention to your negative keywords. You have to take the time to make a negative keyword list to make sure your site isn’t displaying for searches where your scope of conversion is too low to be worth the hassle.
Failure to Use Google’s Targeting Settings
Long story short: just because you can sell to the whole world doesn’t mean you should.
It can be tempting for those who sell products with a significant global appeal to set their targeting setting to “world”.
Here’s the problem: if you’re selling to a primarily English-speaking audience with prices set in USD, Canadian dollars, and Euros, someone finding your site in, say, Indonesia, is going to face shipping prices worth more than the order itself, which means you’re paying for a non-converting customer.
Google’s targeting settings are a useful invention–use them as they were intended to target the regions most likely to become converting customers for your business.
Then, as your business grows, you can slowly expand your targeting to more regions.
Beyond the Top PPC Advertising Mistakes
Once you know how to avoid the major PPC advertising mistakes, you can focus on what you actually want to accomplish with your PPC campaign.
8 Questions You Need to Ask Before Hiring a PPC Company
Are you looking to hire a PPC company? If so, here are 8 questions you need to ask before hiring a PPC company.
It’s getting harder and harder to tell who’s who on the internet these days. Hiring a PPC company can feel like diffusing a bomb: who do you trust? How can you tell experts apart from those who are just good at marketing?
Even so, the benefits of partnering with a real PPC expert are hard to ignore. They know how to help you maximize your investment to get a good return.
Plus, they do all the heavy lifting to give you turnkey marketing and noticeable results.
How do you know if you’ve found a reputable PPC company to handle your PPC? Be prepared to ask them these eight necessary questions to see if they’re the real deal.
1. What’s Your Experience as a PPC Company?
PPC spans a huge spectrum of platforms and channels. Ideally, you’ll partner with a company that not only does the work but can also consult with you to make recommendations in your best interest.
In addition, you want to make sure you’re handing your budget to a company that will put it to good use – for you, not just them. Trusting a PPC company with a thousand dollars is a lot different than forking over a million dollars.
Make sure that whoever you partner with is experienced in managing a budget of your size. If most of their clients have bigger budgets than you, consider where you might fall in their priorities.
2. What Type of Reporting Do You Offer?
Even though you’re hiring an outside company to handle your PPC marketing, you still need to be involved in the progress. Knowing what kind of reporting to expect can help you stay on top of your results.
Ask how often you can expect to receive updates, the PPC KPIs the company provides in their reports, and how they can help you make sense of it all.
Ideally, your provider won’t just deliver the data but also break down insights that can help you in other areas of your marketing.
3. What’s Your Understanding of My Business and Customers?
Any PPC marketing company should know how to market your company to the right audience. This means understanding your unique advantages, the people you serve, your ideal prospects, and other criteria that can help you stand out.
Before you hire for PPC, find out how much they know about your business and customers. Ask them how much time they’ll dedicate to researching your market.
PPC isn’t a one-size-fits-all blueprint, so make sure they recognize what makes your business special.
4. How Do You Structure Your Fees?
PPC fees can break down in a variety of ways. It can save you time and money by understanding exactly what you’re paying for.
For example, some companies charge a single fee that covers every aspect of your PPC campaign, from strategy to ads to analysis. Other companies take a percentage of what your ads earn.
In addition, some companies may charge setup fees, cancellation fees, and other hidden expenses that can eat into your gains. Other companies use contracts to commit you to a set number of months.
There isn’t a right or wrong way to pay for PPC, but whatever you spend should be justified by the results.
(At Pay Per Click Authority, we charge a single month to month fee with no contracts or hidden costs.)
5. Do You Offer Creative Support or Just Ad Management?
There are two sides of a PPC campaign: the creative aspect and the management process.
Some companies are only set up to handle one or the other, usually the ad management portion.
But it’s helpful to have someone who can design your PPC campaigns from start to finish. It’s a major time saver. Plus, it saves you from having to outsource ad writing to another agency.
Find out if creative support is part of the company’s scope and if it’s included in the price.
6. How Do You Do Keyword Research?
Keyword research can easily become a full-time job. It’s an intricate process that’s best left to the experts, but knowing a little bit about what’s happening behind the scenes can help validate their expertise.
Do they look for negative keywords? Are they sourcing keywords that are easy to rank for? What’s the search volume of each keyword?
Keep in mind that keyword research should be an ongoing process. Find out how often they conduct keyword research to give you the best results.
7. What Are Your Testing Procedures?
It’s not enough to simply create a campaign and watch the results roll in. Even if an ad campaign seems to be working, how do you know it can’t be more effective?
A/B testing is an integral part of a PPC ad campaign. Your PPC marketing company should have testing procedures in place to ensure you’re getting the best results from your ad spend.
Find out what elements are included in the testing. Trying different variations of keywords, calls-to-action, offers, and copy can create vastly different results.
8. What Results Do You Guarantee?
This question is a bit of a trick to see if you’re dealing with a company who knows the industry well.
The truth is, results are never guaranteed with PPC. A good PPC management company is confident in their abilities to do a job well. But in the end, there’s never a way to know how many conversions your ad campaigns will generate.
Reputable companies will tell you this up front. Under-the-radar companies may offer some form of guarantee to earn your business. However, you should know that it’s impossible for them to affirm you’ll break even or make a certain dollar amount.
Leave PPC to the Pros
You don’t have to be a PPC expert to ask the above questions. It’s important you at least have a minimal understanding of what makes a strong PPC company so you can make an informed hiring decision.
Our team has nearly a decade’s worth of experience in managing Google AdWords campaigns. Talk to us today about your goals and let us design a profitable campaign for your business.
Are you wondering about the top PPC trends of the year? If so, read on to learn about the top seven PPC trends of the year.
Since its start in 1998, Google has grown to be the largest search engine in the world. As such, it has been a major innovator when it comes to reaching target audiences and helping searchers find the products they are looking for.
Every year, Google’s strategies get just a little bit smarter, and everyone in marketing has to adjust their strategies to keep up.
Don’t get left behind. Take a look at these PPC trends to watch in 2018.
1. Structured Data Will Start to Take Over
Structured data is the term for information that is input into specific fields to make it searchable and easy to navigate.
In previous years, companies have had to roll out feeds of new data with their renewed product offerings. This is so that they appear in Google Shopping results. But now, Google Manufacturer Center (a three-year-old product) is spreading its wings. People are taking interest in its expanding features.
Google plans to use this information from manufacturers to expand the product knowledge it offers immediately when someone googles a product. This information can include product titles, images, features, and descriptions.
Once this information is entered into the Manufacturer Center catalog, it becomes searchable while simultaneously making the product easier to track. In that way, Google can provide searchers with the most relevant products possible.
2. Changes in Artificial Intelligence
Search engines are using artificial intelligence to make their results more accurate. One way this is happening is through ad rank thresholds. An ad rank threshold is a measurement of what it takes to get your advertisement to show up on the first page of search results.
Unlike in the past where Google viewed all searches as the same, Google now takes into account whether the query is product-related or news-related to decide how many and which ads to display.
That means that when you are designing your ad campaigns, you will have to create specialized content if you want to show up in news results vs product results. In addition, you may be paying higher prices for placement.
3. Advanced Audience Targeting
With the recent happenings with Facebook data breaches, the idea of targeting a specific audience for advertisements should have seen a slowdown.
But instead, Google is answering by loosening its own data use restrictions and allowing signed-in data to be used by advertisers to better develop and target an audience.
Google is selling advertisements that are placed in an “in-market” audience for an additional cost-per-click. The audience is defined by pattern targeting as well as by using things like a user’s birthday or anniversary date to suggest advertisements.
4. Developments in Attribution and Local Marketing
Last year, Google rolled out Google Attribution, a product that is aimed at giving advertisers more information about how their campaigns are performing at every step in the funnel.
This data is collected and fed back into AdWords to form more advanced calculations for the cost-per-click for a given advertisement. With more technology and data available keeping track of attribution at all stages of the sales funnel, advertisers will be able to target their audiences better than ever before.
For quality pay-per-click campaigns, it means that less focus can be given to the final click, and more attention can be paid to earlier stages of the sales process.
5. The Google-Amazon Rivalry Will Create Innovation
Amazon and Google have many different battles raging at the moment with the most obvious being Amazon’s Alexa vs. the Google Home Assistant. But there are other fronts where the war is raging.
One change that will affect pay-per-click advertisers is the rollout of Google Express. This is Google’s partnership with more than thirty retailers including Walmart, Costco, and Target.
The aim of the program is to allow Google to offer a streamlined checkout and free next-day delivery to qualified orders place through the site. This is in direct competition with Amazon Prime.
If this product is successful, that means that even more focus will have to be put on updating Google product descriptions; it could reshape the way products are purchased altogether.
6. Voice Search Features Will Change the Game
When voice search features like Siri first came out, people were creeped out by the idea of a device listening in on them all the time. In fact, many people who purchased Xbox’s and PS4’s with this feature opted to turn them off.
But with the convenient and expansive amount of services currently available on Amazon’s Echo and Alexa devices, more people are turning to voice search than ever.
It’s especially popular for vehicles because hands-free search allows drivers to focus on the road while they change their music, find out what the weather is, ask for directions, and more.
With all those new people using voice search, the trends in pay-per-click advertising are sure to be affected. One place we have already begun to see this is in the length of keywords that are being used. It used to be that people would type in a couple words as a search query, but with the ease of voice technology, long-tail keywords are becoming more popular than ever.
People are searching using whole sentences and expecting to receive accurate and relevant content back. As this trend grows, advertisers will have to change the way they consider keywords for their pay-per-click strategies.
7. Ads Will Be More Customized Than Ever
With the ability to study the sales funnel at every step of the process offered by Google Attribution software, the changes in search habits, and the expansion of artificial intelligence and growth of big data, there is more information than ever before for advertisers to use to shape their target audience.
That means that if you want to keep up, you need to be paying attention all of the time. New products are rolling out every day. You will need to keep up and customize your ads if you want to rank.
PPC Trends: Wrapping Up
Now that you have an introduction to the top PPC trends for 2018, it’s time to start revamping your website.