Last week I attended a seminar on SEO and page ranking. The audience of SME owners and managers asked several questions and one of the unanswered ones was regarding Pay Per Click (PPC) adverts relating to competitors clicking your ads and using your budget.
With costs of clicks higher than ever and competition fierce this is a real concern for businesses. So I thought I would write this short article and offer a solution.
Google is quite good at spotting people clicking and bouncing and clicking repeatedly. Often they will refund your account if they notice incorrect behaviour. However they can’t stop your competitor clicking your advert in the morning, then at lunchtime, and again before going home.
That would be rare but even a fraction of that behaviour could cost you dearly and get you no new business. So it is well worth spending a little time each week or so checking your analytics. However Google Analytics, which is what most of us use, does not let you see this behaviour.
However someone put me on to clicky.com. Just like with Google you put some code in the pages you want to track. But Clicky will let you see visitors by IP address. This means you can see repeat visitors in detail. Not only that; if there is a green dollar sign next to the visit you know that they came from a paid advert.
If you see the same IP address arriving at your site from paid adverts repeatedly then you know something is not right. Twice or three times maybe fine, but when you see 8 or 10 its time to take action.
That action is to copy the IP address and go to your Google Adwords account. There in the relevant campaign choose settings and IP exclusions. Add each IP address here as you find them. This will stop that person seeing your advert.
This also means that if they are a competitor they will think you have stopped advertising and they can no longer monitor your ads.
Now IP addresses do change sometimes without relocating and some companies may choose to change so this is not infallible. However for the main part this is a very effective way to bank abusers and save money from your budget.
Clicky is free for the first website so if you only have one with Ad-Words happy days. Otherwise plans start at $9.99 a month for 10 sites. Still great value and you get a whole lot more than the feature mentioned. This may be something to consider as Google Analytics is removing features for free users and there are rumours of more of this happening as they look for monetise this product.
Please add any comments or questions at the bottom and share any top tips you have for saving money or doing better with PPC.