For digital marketing agencies running PPC campaigns, the end goal is always to deliver the best possible campaign results within the client’s available budget.
But all too often, up to 25% of client spend gets wasted on fake clicks, traffic, and leads. This limits ROAS, contaminates conversion data, and warps analytics.
And the problem isn’t isolated to Google Search. Social platforms like LinkedIn, Meta, and TikTok are also full of fake users that can eat significant chunks of client budgets each month (if in doubt, check the comments section of any celebrity’s social posts for obvious signs of bot activity).
Click fraud solutions like Lunio are specifically designed to cut the problem off at the source – screening out junk traffic before it hits your client’s website. Ultimately allowing you to deliver more value from every dollar you spend on their behalf.
But some agencies have hesitations about introducing a click fraud solution because they’re concerned about how it may be perceived. The thinking is that some clients may be wary or sceptical if they weren’t previously aware of the problem. Or worse still, that some clients will be frustrated the issue is only being brought to their attention now. So in this blog we’ll address five key agency FAQs about introducing a click fraud solution. And they are:
- How will clients react?
- Will introducing a click fraud solution reduce client spend?
- What if real customers are blocked from seeing ads?
- How can click fraud data be reported to clients?
- How can I explain the benefits of a click fraud solution to clients?
1. How Will My Clients React?
So how do you respond if a client asks you:
“Why didn’t you tell me about click fraud earlier if it’s such a big problem?”
The appropriate response to this concern centres on four things:
- Validation of the click fraud solution market
- Increasing levels of automation in digital advertising leading into more IVT activity
- Increasing sophistication of malicious bot activity
- An increase in digital spend has led to an increase in online fraud
Validation of the Market
The click fraud prevention industry is only now beginning to mature. As recently as 2018, there were very few solutions available. And those that did exist tended to rely on a crude and over-zealous IP blocking approach. Those legacy solutions came with a significant risk of false positives, meaning your ads could be blocked from reaching real customers. So very few agencies were using them at the time.
That’s actually why Lunio was born in the first place. Our founders Neil, Alex, and Segev set out to build a more reliable and accurate system for eliminating click fraud across their own ad campaigns. And after validating the product, they then began to roll it out to their own agency clients. With immediate positive feedback in relation to the savings achieved, things grew quickly from there.
Fast forward to today and the landscape is very different. There are now 48 different solutions listed in the “Click Fraud Software” category of G2 – providing strong validation of the scale of the problem and the cost-effectiveness of prevention. That’s why more forward-looking agencies are now adding it to their service offering.
And among the competition, Lunio stands out with a proven track record. In the recent G2 Fall 2022 Report, we were recognised with following rankings:
- Rated #1 For Overall User Satisfaction
- Rated #1 For Implementation
- Rated #1 For Price
Increasing Levels of Automation
The introduction of automation in digital advertising makes it more important to fuel campaigns with clean and reliable data. Fake clicks, traffic, and lead form submissions can muddy client metrics and lead audience targeting algorithms astray – ultimately resulting in wasted spend. For example, many B2B brands are currently experiencing high-volumes of low-quality leads when running Google’s new automated Performance Max campaigns.
All automated campaign types, whether on Search or Social, rely heavily on historic campaign data to guide optimal performance. And having Lunio in place is the easiest way to ensure that data is as reliable as possible. Without the confounding influence of fake clicks and spam conversions, you’ll be able to progress your client’s automated campaigns through learning phases more efficiently and deliver better results right off the bat.
Increasing Sophistication of Bot Activity
Advances in machine learning and AI have also made malicious bot activity more difficult to detect. Bots are increasingly able to mimic legitimate human behaviour on-page. So while it’s sometimes still possible to detect suspicious activity simply by looking at your clients’ campaign metrics, a lot will slip through the net if you’re relying on manual oversight.
Lunio adds a more robust layer of protection which automatically catches invalid activity with pinpoint accuracy. Using more than 300 data points, Lunio continuously assesses the validity of all clicks on your clients’ paid ads. Any that show signs of being fake or having zero-conversion potential are blocked and logged along with their threat level, giving you insights on what fake user interactions actually look like.
As an agency, Lunio enables you to keep up in the digital arms race against ad fraud.
Increased Digital Spend = Increased Ad Fraud
Wherever money goes, fraud follows. And with more people shopping from home since the pandemic, there’s been a global shift towards increased digital spend. In fact, the Adobe Digital Economy Index predicts annual online spend in the US alone will surpass $1 trillion for the first time this year. Given this, it’s unsurprising there’s been a corresponding spike in digital ad fraud.
According to Statista, digital ad fraud costs In the US are expected to reach $81 billion in 2022. Today when more and more ads are traded programmatically, without any reliable fraud protection in place, a continually increasing number of ads end up being served to bots instead of potential customers.
So while some clients may have doubts about introducing a click fraud solution, they tend to be the exception rather than the rule. Most will be happy to learn their agency is keeping up with emerging trends and proactively looking for ways to boost campaign performance. That was certainly the case for Lunio’s agency partner Incubeta:
With media platforms becoming less transparent in the way digital campaigns are built and more automated campaign types, our clients were interested in trialling a tool that could better help gain back some control over their performance. Understanding how click fraud was impacting their campaigns and how it could be prevented was a key part of this through improving the quality of traffic to site and hence on-site their conversion rates.
Efficiency is also currently a big focus in the current challenging economic conditions, so a tool that could help make better use of their marketing budget with less money ‘wasted’ on fraudulent traffic also stimulated lots of interest.
2. Do Click Fraud Solutions Reduce Client Spend?
The thinking here is if clients start achieving more conversions with the same ad spend after implementing a click fraud solution, they may request a reduction of their monthly budget.
But in fact, the opposite is more likely. If you surpass all relevant campaign KPIs with the fixed budget your client has given you, they’re actually more likely to increase their ad spend. Again, this was borne out in the interactions Incubeta have had with their clients:
Overall our clients have been pleased with the results and that potential ad fraud has been reduced on their activity. Contrary to cutting back on spend, this has meant that we’ve actually had more budget to invest into their existing activity to drive performance. This is also whilst having more confidence that their media budget is going towards reaching ‘real’ users and driving better quality traffic to their sites.
It just doesn’t make sense to scale back on something that’s working well. If you’re helping clients extract more value from their current budget, it creates a strong incentive to increase (or at the very least maintain) ad spend.
As Harry mentioned, implementing Lunio also gives clients confidence their budget is being used efficiently. Without protection, wasted spend inevitably grows in line with the size of a client’s budget. And research indicates the average enterprise brand now loses more than $700k to click fraud each year. But as long as campaigns remain profitable, most brands chalk this recurring loss up to “the cost of doing business”. That shouldn’t be the case.
With Lunio, clients can rapidly scale their ad spend without any corresponding increase in their risk exposure to click fraud.
Doing More With Less
It’s important to acknowledge some clients may need to reduce their budget due to their financial situation. And with the World Bank now predicting a coming global recession, there are certainly challenging economic times ahead. But in such cases, businesses will be reducing ad spend because they have no other options.
Many will need to make difficult cut backs across all departments, and marketing is no exception. That essentially means they’ll need to do more with less. And Lunio can help them extract additional conversions from every dollar in their budget.
As an agency, if you can still deliver impressive campaign results while working with a reduced budget, it will undoubtedly help with retention and decrease client churn rates.
3. What If Real Customers Are Blocked From Seeing Ads?
The risk of false positives (i.e. genuine customers being categorised as bots) is a valid concern many agencies have about click fraud prevention. But it all depends on the system in question.
Most legacy solutions only work on Google and rely on crude and over-zealous IP blocking rules that can stop real customers from seeing your client’s ads. But Lunio’s machine learning approach pairs IP exclusions with audience exclusions to dramatically diminish the chances of false positives, on all ad platforms including Google, Meta, LinkedIn, TikTok and more.
Immediately following a click on a paid ad, Lunio’s decision engine uses machine learning to categorise it as being invalid, suspicious, or legitimate in real-time. Clicks that come from known blacklisted IPs or exhibit multiple obvious signs of automated on-page behaviour (e.g. bouncing in less than a second or filling out forms faster than a human possibly could) are immediately marked as invalid and blocked from interacting with your client’s ads again in future.
But in certain cases, it’s difficult to determine based on a single interaction whether the source is a bot or just an indecisive human being. And that’s where Lunio’s “suspicious” category comes into play. Rather than immediately blocking the source of a suspicious click, there’s a requirement for further investigation before a decision is made.
Lunio will then assess hundreds of data points stemming from a few additional clicks from the same source until it has enough information to accurately categorise it as invalid or legitimate. This process virtually eliminates the risk of flagging real interactions as fraud
Traditional IP blocking solutions typically have around a 90% accuracy rate. That means one in ten ad interactions flagged as fraud are actually genuine page visits from real prospects. In contrast, Lunio’s machine learning approach is over 99.9% accurate in its click fraud assessments.
4. How Can I Report Click Fraud Data to Clients?
Reporting is essential for PPC campaign management and we understand it forms a big part of agency life. That’s why we designed the Lunio dashboard to make it as easy as possible. All the key metrics clients are most likely to be interested in can be seen at a glance.
- Re-Allocated Budget – This shows the amount of client spend that has been shifted from being spent on invalid activity to being spent on reaching real customers instead. In effect, this is the ad budget “saved” by implementing Lunio.
- Traffic Health Uplift – This quantifies the improvement in quality & health of your client’s traffic by using Lunio. It takes into account things like how many new valid users you’re reaching, how much budget is being re-allocated to legitimate spend, and how much activity is coming from invalid sources.
- Active Platforms Health – This shows either the percentage breakdown or total number of invalid, suspicious, and legitimate clicks across each platform you’re running Lunio on.
- Total Cost of Clicks from Invalid Sources – This shows how much money was spent on clicks from invalid sources prior to them being blocked from further ad interactions.
- Total Number of Clicks From Legitimate Sources
- Total Number of Clicks From Suspicious Sources
- Total Number of Clicks From Invalid Sources
- Total Number of Active IP Exclusions
So if you want to include click fraud data in your monthly client reports, all you need to do is set the correct date range, take a screenshot, and add it to your report. Alternatively, click data can be exported as a CSV and sent directly to clients on request.
For clients that want to dig deeper and get more granular insights on specific areas, our Customer Success team can provide bespoke custom reports covering things like which specific campaigns and keywords are generating the most fake traffic, daily trends in invalid activity, health scores of domains where display ads are being shown, and more.
In essence, all the heavy lifting is done for you to make reporting on click fraud data as easy as possible. And no matter how many clients you have, you can easily manage them all under a single Lunio agency account with nested campaign-level administration and reporting.
The Lunio platform has an interface that was really easy to use and onboard new clients – it only took a few clicks to get them set up. After a few days of running we could also easily pull insights to share with clients on how the tool was working and an estimate of the spend saving, in addition to digging deeper into particular campaigns or keywords that were seeing a high level of fraud. The ability to add an MCC or manager account meant we could easily add in and check multiple ad accounts at the same time.
5. How Can I Explain the Benefits of Click Fraud Solutions to Clients?
When it comes to selling the benefits of click fraud solutions to clients, it’s important to reiterate the four key points outlined at the beginning of this article. Namely, validation of the market, increased levels of marketing automation, more sophisticated bot activity, and the shift towards more online spending causing a spike in ad fraud.
For any clients using automated campaign types like Google’s PMax or Meta’s Advantage Plus, click fraud prevention has a significant influence on performance optimisation. Stopping fake clicks, traffic, and lead form submissions from contaminating conversion data stops audience targeting algorithms from being led astray.
Beyond that, it’s best to take a dynamic approach by outlining how eliminating bot traffic and wasted spend can help solve the client’s specific pain points. Below are six different industry-specific click fraud solution benefits:
- Stop scrapers stealing pricing info & slowing down client sites
- Reduce client cart abandonment rates
- Improve ROAS across shopping campaigns
- Ensure all high CPC clicks are genuine (increase CVRs, lower CPAs)
- Prevent fake leads from flooding the CRM
- Protect against other fraudulent bot activity
- Stop fraudsters targeting client sites in peak periods
- Boost client CVRs and prevent skewed look-to-book ratios
- Improve CPAs by eliminating a high % of IVT
- Save clients time by preventing fake leads for submissions
- Increase client conversion rates on all ad platforms
- Stop fake traffic warping client analytics
- Eliminate fake student enrollment submissions
- Reduce cost-per-enrollment metrics
- Stop invalid activity on student portal login pages
Betting & Gaming
- Stop fraudsters targeting client sign-up offers & bonuses
- Block odds scraping and arbitrage-betting bots accessing your paid channels
- Stop competitors intentionally depleting clients PPC budgets
Clients across multiple sectors have benefited – notably retail and travel, with one particular food and drink client has seen a really positive uplift to their conversion rate since implementing Lunio. Given these strong results we’ve seen from these sectors and across different campaign types we expect these to roll out across other sectors where the rates of fraud are known to be higher, such as financial services.
Stay Ahead of the Competition
Adding a click fraud solution to your agency service offering allows you to maintain an edge over your agency competitors in an unprecedentedly challenging economic period.
Give your clients a robust level of PPC protection they won’t get elsewhere. And demonstrate you’ve got their best interests at heart by helping them extract more value from every dollar they spend with you. Get A Demo & Free Trial.