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Click Fraud is Not an Excuse for a Failing Online Marketing Campaign
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Here’s some food for thought: Click Fraud is not an excuse for a failing online marketing campaign - why do marketers use it as one and what should they really be paying attention to?

Marketing folk tend to be very creative. Search marketers for the most part are creative as well. (The argument that search marketing is Art vs. Science can be discussed another time.) Quite often marketers can be creative with their excuses as to why a campaign may have failed when it was supposed to be the next big thing. Creative excuses very rarely “fly” with management however. For online search marketers one of the most common excuses that I have heard search marketers use for a failing online marketing campaign is click fraud. “Click fraud is synthetically forcing our sponsored budget up… as a result our return is not where it should be.” Are you serious? Click fraud being the reason why your campaign is failing? In addition, there are those people who report on the fact that click fraud is going to be the downfall of search marketing. They just don’t get it. They don’t understand the business of search.

Why Worry About Click Fraud when there are Bigger Fish to Fry?

While the importance of click fraud as an issue should not go away, those who blame their failing campaigns on click fraud need to look at the big picture. Especially in light of the fact that Google has announced with hard numbers, for the first time, about how much of Google's traffic could actually be considered fraudulent. With the bottom line for advertisers being such as small amount at .02%, click fraud is extremely overrated. Based on these numbers, click fraud represents a small percentage of fraudulent traffic. In my opinion, to blame click fraud as to why your campaign is failing is ludicrous. Instead of paying attention to click fraud and using it as an excuse, search marketers should be paying attention to the things that truly matter.

Forget click fraud, there are a number of other issues where search marketers should be shifting their focus on. Here are ten factors that search marketers should be paying attention to instead of worrying about click fraud:

1. The conversion rates of your landing page(s) – riddle me this, if you can bump your conversion rates by .5%, you’ve just made 25 times more impact on your overall campaign performance. This seems better than continuing to fret about click fraud on Google.
2. Inaccurate conversion tracking – tracking the wrong numbers can cause you grief and over-inflate potential leads and conversion numbers
3. Poor conversion paths – not generating enough leads? Rather than worrying about click fraud, identifying and addressing poor conversion paths is time well spent.
4. Shopping cart errors – ensuring that people can actually convert on your site is key for a successful online marketing campaign.
5. Limited calls to action – not having enough calls to action can have a direct impact on the leads (or lack thereof) that you receive via your site.
6. Wrong types of calls to action - wrong types of calls to action will also impact your conversion rates.
7. Poor user experience – getting traffic to your site is one thing, knowing what to do with them when they arrive on your site is another. (and you want to worry about click fraud?)
8. Identifying, defining and monitoring proper metrics and key performance indicators – why worry about click fraud when you have not even identified the proper metrics to measure your site’s success?
9. Establishing proper budget allocation for search marketing campaigns – obtaining budget for your online marketing campaign seems more important than click fraud to me.
10. Having a well-balanced campaign that include both sponsored and organic components – don’t focus solely on your sponsored campaign as an effective online marketing campaign should include an organic component as well. Click fraud is not an issue when it comes to organic search marketing.

The way I see it, looking at click fraud should be the least of your worries. Online marketers need to understand that it is people that make purchase decisions, not algorithms or computers. The above list presents a number of areas where search marketers and advertisers should focus their efforts on to succeed in the online marketplace. Instead of worrying about click fraud so much, why not focus your efforts on any of the above items and look at the big picture? I’m pretty sure that by understanding the “big picture” proper focus can be placed on the items that can have a positive impact on your return on investment.


posted by Jody @ Thursday, March 01, 2007  
  • At 1:41 PM, Anonymous Idea Guy said…


    I agree to you much. Let's say let us make Click Fraud as one of the options but then, focus on other other options to help on the business. Anyway, online marketing is a broad kind of marketing/business let's try some other way.

    Best regards to you Jodi...

  • At 9:30 AM, Blogger Jody said…

    Thanks for stopping by.

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