The damage fake traffic could be causing you

You might be sitting wondering how fake traffic works. Any visits to your website or page can only be a good thing, right? Well, the answer to that is no, because there can be good and bad traffic. The rate of fake traffic is on the rise and has promoted calls for some type of marketing security (a bit like your anti-virus software, but in order to protect your marketing campaigns rather than general internet usage.) In our latest article we’ll take a closer look at what fake traffic is, and how it could be harming your business based on some recent studies and statistics.

A headline from a recent study found that 27% of all traffic was fake. Think about that in context of your own website. That means that for every 4 views of your pages, 1 of those is not legitimate. The problem with fake traffic is that is such a generic term because it covers a wide range of tactics. Anything involving botnets, crawlers and proxies, right up to outright fraudsters can constitute fake traffic, and it is becoming more of a problem. To put a bit more real life context into this, the same study looked at shopping traffic last Black Friday, November 2021. More than 30% of all online shoppers were deemed not to be real and authentic. Fake traffic is causing a massive headache for marketers because it has a direct impact on campaigns, any leads or data that is generated as a result of these, and of course (ultimately) revenue.

One of the biggest problems highlighted around fake traffic is that relating to click fraud. This affects people who use PPC and paid adverts as a form of marketing for their business. Every time one of their adverts is clicked a cost becomes attributable to the advertiser – this is the basic premise of paid advertising. If as reported that a high proportion of these clicks are fake, this means that tens of thousands of pounds are being wasted each year. That is money that could have gone to enhancing a business and making it better to attract more customers and having more revenue at its disposal to offer a better quality of service. Millions of pounds were wasted on this type of fraud alone in 2021 it has been reported.

When marketing campaigns are used, they are often done so with an appeal towards people who have shown an interest before or those who are likely to need similar services. The problem is that when the fake element is added in, this applies here too, meaning more and more fake users are infiltrating the advertising campaigns which makes interpreting data from campaigns as skewed and ultimately difficult to track a true ROI.

What does all this ultimately mean? The main collective problem of all these things combined is the poor lead quality that results. Poor lead quality wastes valuable time and resources, not to mention the damage it can have on a web domain’s authority and standing.

Is this problem being looked at and addressed?

As you might expect, the solution is not easy and certainly not quick! There is no universal procedure, patch or action that someone can take in order to protect their ad budget, traffic statistics and lead quality. In the short term, it seems down to marketers, their teams and customers in order to work together to ensure that campaigns are monitored and maintained. This would be so that only the target audience is reached (and more importantly perhaps, for those people to be actually real.) Having someone that can offer you PPC management is one way of ensuring your campaigns are closely monitored, tweaked and adapted where necessary.

Eliminating fake traffic is all but impossible. Keeping it down to a minimum is probably the best we can all hope for in absence of proper industry intervention.

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