When it comes to e-commerce, a strong advertising strategy can help a business catapult to success. The average small online business spends between $9,000-$10,000 monthly on its online advertising. And those numbers are continuing to grow every year.
Enterprises invest a lot of time and money into their advertising efforts in the hope that their business will grow. Unfortunately, increasing rates of ad fraud jeopardize some online advertising efforts. And there are significant challenges to detecting ad fraud. So, a business could be a victim without even knowing it. Keep reading for a complete breakdown of the challenges enterprises face in detecting ad fraud.
What Is Ad Fraud?
Ad fraud is the practice of defrauding digital advertising networks for financial gain. This is achieved by fraudulently representing online advertising clicks, conversions, impressions, or data events.
In a typical example of ad fraud, a fraudster sends bots to a website to click-through on an ad. The bot isn't a real customer, but the advertiser will have to pay for those clicks.
Some Examples of Ad Fraud
Some common types of ad fraud include:
- Click fraud
- Traffic fraud
- Impression fraud
- Action fraud
- Conversion fraud
- Retargeting fraud
- Affiliate fraud
- Install fraud
- Ad stacking
- Pixel stuffing
- Ad injection
- Cookie stuffing
- Domain spoofing
Why You Should Be Worried About Ad Fraud
First, ad fraud can spend your advertising budget without generating any real leads. Most companies set a monthly budget for their advertising tactics. So, if your monthly budget runs out early, potential customers won't see your ad. This ultimately causes you potential sales, decreases your brand awareness, and allows your competitors to grow. `
Second, some forms of ad fraud can put your customers at risk. For example, a tactic known as domain spoofing occurs when someone puts up an ad falsely associated with your company. They do this to steal credit card information or personal data about customers. Your customers won't understand the difference and may believe it's not safe to shop on your site. This can harm your brand's reputation and cause you to lose future sales.
Lastly, it can also open your company up to legal claims and legal fees. If a customer is exposed online, they may be able to claim that your company didn't do enough to protect their information.
Related Post: Affiliates-The Legal Issues You Should Look Out For
Ad Fraud Challenges
Ad fraud has grown over the years. So, why aren't companies stopping this fraudulent activity? There are many obstacles companies face when dealing with this type of fraud.
Ad Fraud is Sophisticated and Always Improving
Click bots are continually being updated to emulate human behavior, making them harder and harder to detect.
Ad fraud is a type of scam, and the people running these frauds are continually adapting to avoid getting caught. These fraudsters are getting more sophisticated every day, so it takes a lot of work to stay up to date and keep up with the trends.
As soon as you implement a rule that stops them from earning their money, they start working on ways to get around that rule. It's a game that never ends and requires a lot of attention.
Luckily, there are ad fraud detection platforms, such as Anura, that are available. Anura integrates with a business's web assets to receive accurate and real-time responses about the quality of visitors. This allows companies to make real-time decisions on how to handle fraudulent visitors and stop the source of this "bad traffic."
It's estimated that one-third of all online advertising revenue goes to ad fraud. This high payout makes this field very lucrative and attractive for scammers.
Lack of Laws
Unfortunately for advertisers, there are little penalties set in stone for advertising fraudsters. It can be challenging to prove who committed the fraud, and they aren't always in the same jurisdiction or country as the victim. This means that most ad fraud isn't prosecuted.
A Detail-Orientated Team
To see that ad fraud is happening to you, a company needs to realize their ad performance is decreasing. However, this can often be overlooked. Some ways ad fraud can be overlooked are:
- A company or a team may think they are having an off month or two, so they don't realize something is wrong for months.
- A marketing team has recently seen a change in employees, and the new hires aren't aware of past advertising performance.
- The company doesn't correctly compare their month-to-month performance to understand there's a downturn.
- The decrease in advertising performance coincides with other company factors, such as a merger, that seems to explain away the problem. Or, the poor results coincide with the company's off-season, which appears to explain the lack of results.
- The company is trying a new type of online advertising, so they don't have a metric for how it should perform, and don't realize the results are poor.
- The company runs such big budgets or extensive campaigns that they don't realize they're losing performance on their ads.
- The advertising platform isn't giving you the information you need to detect the fraud because they're culpable. For example, you choose to conduct affiliate marketing with a blogger in your industry. The blogger tells you how many conversions to expect for your level of spend. The blogger can use ad fraud tactics on your ads. So, your results will falsely match up to what the blogger told you, so you never realized you were scammed.
Whatever the case may be, it's hard to expect a business to catch onto ad fraud immediately. Unfortunately, that likely means most companies are losing one-third of their advertising revenue for months before they even realize something is wrong.
When they do understand, they take a long time to act on a solution. Companies must work quickly to rectify an ad fraud situation. Even if you don't suspect you are a victim of ad fraud, reach out to Anura for more information to better understand your risk. Chances are, if everyone is losing one-third of their ad revenue, so are you.
Choosing the Wrong Ad Fraud Detection
Advertising fraud protection is a relatively new service. There are already a lot of products on the market that claim to help you reduce ad fraud, but it's up to you to do your research and ensure you go with the right choice. For example, Anura uses hundreds of data points and continuously updates its platform to catch 200-300% more fraud than competitors. Anura is a solid choice for ad fraud detection, but without research, a business may go to one of the underperforming ad fraud detection options available on the market.
One way to tell if you're choosing a remarkable ad fraud detection product is if they offer a free demonstration of their platform. If a company has a robust platform that is capable, impressive, and easy to use, it should be able to show it off to potential new clients. Go onto the website of any company you're considering using for ad fraud detection and look for a "free demo" option. Note, this demo should never cost you anything other than your time.
Anura stands behind its platform and is happy to offer free demos to all future clients.
Ad Fraud Detection Increases Revenues
Are you really okay with accepting that one out of every three dollars you spend on online advertising is being wasted? There is no reason you have to accept this statistic will apply to your organization. You depend on your advertising revenue to generate sales, increase brand awareness, and help your business grow. And the right ad fraud detection can help to minimize fraud and zero in on the meaningful traffic.
Anura analyzes billions of requests daily. And, it's able to achieve impressive results for its client by focusing on the visitor, not the ad or the content. Every visitor is inspected, in real-time, to see if they carry out a real conversion or action. Anura's engineers are continually updating and improving the platform to stay ahead of the fraudsters. This positions us at top of the line in ad fraud detection success.
Once we've identified a threat to your web assets, you can use the insightful dashboards on Anura to strengthen your defenses against those specific threats.
Anura is incredibly user-friendly, allowing you to get up and running almost immediately. Anura provides its clients with documentation, integration guides, quick-start materials, and phone support so that ad fraud detection can begin right away.
Take back control of your business' advertising budget, your online traffic, and your business' growth potential. Contact Anura today for a free demo of the product.