For advertisers, using an ad fraud solution isn’t even a question anymore, it’s a necessity. Unless advertisers are proactive against ad fraud, they stand to lose an estimated $19 billion to ad fraud this year.
But if you’re still on the fence, we’re giving you 10 warning signs fraud is alive and well, along with the repercussions of what can happen if you don’t employ an ad fraud solution.
Ad Fraud Warning Signs
1. Spike in Clicks:
If you notice an abrupt increase in clicks after a period of steady levels, it could be a sign of ad fraud. Fraudsters employ bots and click farms to create the illusion of popularity, leading to inflated click numbers and wasted ad spend.
2. Low Conversions
Despite observing a surge in clicks, if your conversion rate remains consistently low, something is amiss. The numbers simply don't add up, indicating fraudulent activity undermining your campaign's effectiveness.
3. Abandoned Shopping Carts
Visitors loading up their shopping carts but leaving without completing a purchase might indicate the presence of bots disguising themselves as human shoppers. Since bots cannot make actual purchases, they abandon the cart and move on.
4. Drained Budget
If you're spending significant amounts of money on advertising but receiving minimal or no return on investment (ROI), ad fraud could be the culprit. Fraudsters deplete your ad budget by displaying ads to bots instead of real users or placing ads where they can't be seen by genuine audiences.
5. High Bounce Rates
Bounce rates measure the percentage of visitors who leave your website after viewing just one page. A substantial number of users abandoning your site could signify bot activity targeting your campaigns.
6. Low Session Duration
When traffic lands on your page but stays for less than a second, it suggests bot activity. Zero-second session durations often indicate the presence of bots, as genuine human visitors typically spend more time engaging with your content.
7. Unfamiliar Traffic Sources
Examine your traffic data for suspicious patterns. Illegitimate traffic often originates from large data centers and generates multiple clicks from the same IP address. If your traffic comes from locations outside your target audience, it's a red flag.
8. Low Performance
The success of your advertising campaign relies on the visibility of your ads. If your ads aren't performing well, they may be technically invisible due to fraudulent manipulation. Potential customers may search for you, but if fraudsters have tampered with your ads, your intended audience won't be able to see them.
9. Low Page Views
If you've recently launched an ad but received no response, it's possible that your ad isn't viewable. Shady publishers employ tactics like ad stacking or pixel stuffing, making your ad appear invisible to human eyes despite being posted.
10. Lots of Impressions Without Results
Conversely, if your ads receive numerous views but fail to generate any meaningful response, you might be facing a bot problem. Bots can flood your web pages, artificially inflating the impression count without taking any genuine actions.
If you identify one or more of these warning signs in your campaigns, it's crucial to invest in an ad fraud solution. Failure to address ad fraud can lead to severe consequences.
What Happens If You Do Nothing
Choosing to remain unprotected exposes you to several risks, including:
Ad fraud can jeopardize brand safety, as your ads may appear alongside sensitive or inappropriate content. This has already caused significant problems for brands like Tiki. Unscrupulous publishers prioritize their own profits over where your ads end up.
Wasted Ad Spend
Ad fraud benefits everyone except the advertiser footing the bill. Fraudsters exploit loopholes, siphoning off $1 out of every $4 spent on advertising. Without proper protection, your ad budget will quickly dwindle.
Ad fraud can negatively impact your marketing efforts in two ways. Fraudsters employ techniques like pixel stuffing and ad stacking to increase the effectiveness of their campaigns. Pixel stuffing involves hiding your ad within a tiny 1x1 pixel on a webpage, generating false impressions that go unnoticed. Ad stacking occurs when multiple ads are layered on top of each other, with only the topmost ad being visible. Bots and click farms can also generate fake views and impressions that never convert into actual results.
It's essential to be cautious about the publishers you work with. Beware of unfamiliar publishers or unrealistically low rates. Pay close attention to your metrics and familiarize yourself with the early warning signs of ad fraud. If you want to avoid paying for fake clicks or website visits, it's high time you select an ad fraud solution that suits your needs.