Service sector PPC fraud is a huge deal.
The service sector makes up a huge portion of PPC advertisers. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. You can set your ad type, target the exact area you service, and wait for the clicks to roll in. That’s all good and well, until you’re hit with click fraud and lose your entire ad budget in less than a day.
How’s this possible with Google AdWords backing your campaigns? We wrote a whole blog post about what AdWords does to protect your PPC campaigns. Google does look out for your campaigns, but it’s processes are not enough.
We spoke with the owner of a successful HVAC company in Wisconsin, to hear about his methods. If you’re advertising on AdWords and want to protect your campaigns, read on.
Service Sector Click Fraud
Q: What did you do when you first noticed your campaigns were affected by click fraud?
A: First it was decided that I had to crack down on my campaigns and really look into it. I wanted to know everything about those clicks. That’s really the only way to stop them from continuing. My company looked for a click fraud prevention service and found you guys, ClickCease. We signed up for two reasons – 1. I didn’t know how to find the information and insights I needed, and 2. We don’t have the time to manually block clicks. I needed an automatic system to protect my ads from service sector click fraud.
Q: What did the system provide you with that helped you protect your campaigns from PPC fraud?
A: Not many people looking for a click fraud prevention solution know about the insights a real company can give you. I use my dashboard to constantly check the activity on my ads. The graph shows me the clicks that came in and the blocked clicks that came from irrelevant locations and fishy IPs. The conversion tracking feature helps here too.
Q: How do you use the conversions tracking feature to decrease click fraud?
A: Any experienced PPC advertiser will tell you that you need to understand your conversions in order to succeed with your ads. If you don’t know what’s working and what isn’t, how are you expected to get anywhere?
You need conversion tracking to differentiate between illegitimate and genuine clicks. As its name suggests, the feature tracks conversion which gives me a really good and factually backed-up idea of my clicks.
Service Sector Click Fraud Blocking
Q: Do you set click thresholds on your ads?
A: I set specific click thresholds for each and every one of my ads. The threshold helps determine fraudulent IPs and which ones to block.
Every type of business has normal and non-normal click rates. AdWords doesn’t pick up that a HVAC company like mine shouldn’t be getting 50 consecutive clicks. An eCommerce site might get 70 and not be concerned.
For services like mine, or say other service providers, 1 ad click is usually all it takes for someone to become a customer. I set a threshold of 3 on my ads. This helped dramatically decrease the amount of service sector click fraud my ads were getting. Competitors and bots (whoever was doing the clicking) could click as many times as they wanted to before I set a threshold. Now they automatically get blocked after they click over the set threshold.
Q: Do you use geo-location data to determine which IPs to block?
A: I base a lot of my decisions on location. There’s no reason I should receive clicks from Russia if I’m based in Wisconsin. That holds true for China, Pakistan, London, and even other places in this country. I use the map on my ClickCease dashboard to view my fraud by geo-location. It shows me where most of the fraudulent clicks are coming from.
Q: Thanks a lot! Wishing you all the best
A: And to you guys, keep up the great work.