Businesses rely on website traffic to generate leads, encourage conversions, and maintain a strong brand. If your website is at risk of attacks from malicious bots, your entire business is at risk.
While stopping bot traffic may seem like a daunting task, the solution can be surprisingly simple. Keep reading to learn more about how to stop malicious bots, including ad fraud detection solutions that work for all websites.
What is a bot?
Bot traffic refers to any internet activity that is not conducted by a human. This type of traffic is generated by an automated script or computer program, which saves a user time on manual tasks. Online, bots attempt to mimic human behavior and perform a wide range of tasks. While bots tend to have a negative connotation, not all bots are malicious.
“Good bots” include search engine bots designed to crawl websites and provide information to Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. Some websites utilize monitoring bots to keep an eye on the health of their website, ensuring it is always up and running smoothly. SEO crawlers are designed to compare one website to competitors, helping users improve their SEO ranking through data and visibility.
Unfortunately, there are also several types of “bad bots” that can damage a website or perform malicious tasks. Web scrapers scour website in search of information, like contact details. Bad bot traffic can take content from various websites and attempt to repost it as their own original content. Spam bots are designed to complete forms, send promotional messages, generate fake comments, and a whole host of other costly, spam activities.
5 Ways to Minimize Ad Fraud Risk
The good news is that you’re not completely powerless against ad fraud. With the right approach, it’s possible to largely mitigate any exposure to ad fraud—or even eliminate it altogether. Here’s how.
Research ad fraud
First things first: You can’t prevent ad fraud if you’re not sure what it is in the first place. Do your due diligence to understand the different kinds of ad fraud that exist—like click fraud, search ad fraud, ad stacking, domain spoofing, cookie stuffing, pixel stuffing, and lead generation fraud. With a solid foundation of understanding about the scope of the problem, you can then take proactive steps to figure out what you can do to mitigate it.
Work with trusted partners
In the world of online advertising, it’s critically important to make sure you are working with trusted partners. Otherwise, you might end up partnering with shady affiliates who exist to defraud merchants, buyers, and other affiliates—which could hurt your campaigns. On the other hand, you might end up partnering with a fake influencer who uses bots and other tricks to make it appear that they have larger followings than they actually do.
By doing your research upfront and vetting the types of people you’re considering working with, you can decrease the likelihood of partnering with someone you later regret joining forces with.
Know your metrics
One of the fundamental aspects of detecting ad fraud is knowing which metrics are important to keep tabs on. From a campaign performance point of view, these include things like conversion rates, impressions, return on marketing investment, customer acquisition costs, cost per click, and revenue. From a lead generation point of view, you’ll want to measure click-through rates, validated conversions, session duration, cost per validated lead, and customer lifetime value.
Monitor your campaigns
If your goal is reducing ad fraud, you need to take a proactive approach to monitoring your campaigns. Simply put, you can’t afford to “set it and forget it,” as they say. Instead, you need to actively monitor your campaigns—or at least work with someone who can do that for you—to see how your metrics are changing over time. Any anomalies you find are worth investigating.
Build an ad fraud tech stack
At this point, you might be thinking that ad fraud is a complicated beast, and you’re right. But you might also be wondering how you can possibly get a hold of this problem. After all, there are so many hours in the day, and you’re busy
The good news is that you don’t have to fight ad fraud manually. With an ad fraud tech stack in place, you can increase the chances you partner with the right influencers and affiliates, determine where traffic is coming from, and even detect and prevent fraud from harming your campaigns.
Benefits of an Ad Fraud Solution for Detection and Prevention
No matter which direction you choose to go, one piece of your tech stack should be an ad fraud detection and prevention solution like Anura. With Anura, you can capture hundreds of data points about your traffic, use that information to determine where fraudsters are coming from, and block those fraudulent users from accessing your web properties.
Anura also enables you to detect bots, discern human fraud from real users, and more. Since the solution delivers detailed analytics, it also enables you to continuously optimize your campaigns over time so that fraud becomes an increasingly smaller problem. This enables you to improve your campaign performance.
Anura helps you overcome ad fraud problems while delivering a number of benefits—like optimizing your spend, improving your metrics, and increasing your ROI. Plus, you get the peace of mind that comes with knowing fraudsters aren’t taking any of your hard-earned money and putting it into their own pockets.
In turn, this enables your business to become a more efficient and organized machine—one that’s poised for growth.
Ad fraud is a major problem that affects advertisers in all industries, and it doesn’t appear to be going away any time soon. As such, you simply can’t afford to ignore the issue. The question isn’t whether you’ve been affected by ad fraud. It’s a matter of how much you’ve been affected by ad fraud.