Saturday, 28 July 2012

Make Your PPC Expensive to Attack

I came across a pretty good writeup, from 7 years ago. It nails some really great points.

The main takeaway I grabbed from this, and from the single comment that was posted is that it is key to make your PPC campaign expensive to attack. What does this mean exactly?

1.  Be a Sniper

Use a tool (we're a bit biased here of course) to keep an eye on your traffic, visitor behaviour, social stickiness (we'll delve into this in a future post), and low quality paid traffic. Start excluding known bad actors, increase the bids on your socially sticky keyword sets. Your competitors will have no choice but to replicate you (fail) or outbid (triple fail) you. Don't try to do this without a tool that is paring down the data into a manageable format and amount, reams of data does not equate to actionable data.

2.  Forget the 1%

We've already written that 80% of malware make it past anti-virus companies. You're never going to have a silver bullet for traffic quality and click fraud prevention, and there are always going to be attackers that are extremely skilled. Forget about them. Like now. If they're good enough to sneak past you day after day undetected, accept it. And move on. Make it so that it's only the top 1% (see point 1 above on how) that can do this to your online presence.

3. Stop Tracking Conversions from Multiple Sources

I never understood why people track conversions from AdWords, Google Analytics, and nine other tracking scripts. And then they try to compare each of them (which never jive) to how many conversions they actually had, and fairly soon they have no friction' clue what's going on. Use one very good conversion tracking system, and stick to it. This may be trial and error, but stop trying to do it from multiple locations, you're just confusing yourself, and your traffic quality program suffers. Conversions are the ultimate end goal of your online presence, make sure your conversion tracking is bang on.

Click fraud is an arms race, one that involves many players: you the advertiser, Google the provider, the fraudster and potentially a whole whack load infected machines running bots. It's key to find a defensive program that requires minutes a day to implement, is multi-layered (computer security folks call it "defence in depth") and effective. Let us know in the comments if you've found techniques that work for you, or whether you think we're full of it.

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