Maximizing ROAS Through Ad Fraud Prevention

Pay-per-click advertising fraud has emerged as a significant challenge for marketers. According to a report by Juniper Research, an astonishing $84 billion of ad spend will be lost due to ad fraud in 2023, making up 22% of all advertising spend. 

With such a substantial amount of ad spend being wasted due to ad fraud tactics, it’s crucial for marketers to implement a multi-faceted strategy to safeguard their campaigns and maximize ROAS (return on ad spend). 

In this article, we’ll explore a range of preventative techniques that will serve as the foundation of your strategy to keep your advertising dollars safe and boost your ROAS.

A comprehensive ad fraud prevention strategy

Invest in click fraud software 

Click fraud software works seamlessly with advertising platforms like Google Ads and Meta Ads and should be at the core of your ad fraud prevention strategy. Think of this software as a diligent guard that quickly stops fake traffic and other sneaky forms of fraud that can drain your ad budget.

Software like ClickCease acts as an automated watchdog for your pay-per-click campaigns. It identifies and blocks fraudulent activities like bot traffic, ensuring your ad budget is protected from wasteful spending. 

Graphic of click cease stats

Beyond the key protection benefits of click fraud software, these platforms also offer valuable reporting insights. It helps you understand the fraudulent activities affecting your campaigns and shows you how much money you’ve saved by blocking the traffic. 

By repelling these threats in real-time, you not only protect your financial resources but also create a trustworthy environment for your brand, ensuring your advertising to genuine users interested in your business.

Exclude locations in your geographic targeting strategy

Effective geographic targeting isn’t just about selecting regions to target; it’s also about excluding areas that might bring in unqualified traffic. Carefully setting up geographic exclusion targeting helps you avoid click farms, fake traffic, and users who aren’t interested in your offerings. This detailed approach ensures that your message reaches a qualified audience with the intent to engage with your business.

Screenshot of geographic targeting in Google Ads

In addition to excluding regions, unless you are trying to reach people who don’t live in your targeted location but are searching for a product/service in that region (i.e. a hotel brand), it’s important to also limit your geo-targeting to only those present in the geographic area. 

Google Ads Tip💡

Under “Campaign Settings” > “Location Options”, ensure your campaign is set to target by Presence: People in our regularly in your targeted locations

Setting the right geo-targeting parameters (with excluded geotargeting tactics included) ensures you’re only paying for traffic genuinely interested in your brand and qualified. 

Set up enhanced conversion tracking

To supercharge your efforts against fraud, embrace Enhanced Conversion Tracking for Google Ads and LinkedIn Ads, and conversion API Tracking for Meta Ads. These sophisticated conversion tracking techniques allow you to send strong first-party data signals back to ad publishers for more accurate conversion optimization. 

With these accurate data signals, advertisers like Google can optimize bids to serve your ads to qualified users intending to convert. It’s essentially guiding your ads to people who are most likely to make a purchase, for example. In my article on Data Accuracy with PPC Advertising, I talk more in-depth about the need for 100% accurate PPC data. 

Enhanced Conversion tracking is a key example of how you leveraging accurate data leads to more qualified users and conversions.   

  • You can learn more about Enhanced Conversion Tracking for Google Ads here
  • You can learn more about Enhanced Conversion Tracking for LinkedIn Ads here
  • You Can learn more about Conversions API for Meta Ads here

Leverage strategic bidding for premium placements

When running ads across Google’s Display Network, choosing where your ads appear plays a pivotal role in the battle against ad fraud. Opting for premium placements within trusted publisher sites and reputable partner networks elevates your brand’s visibility while minimizing impressions and clicks across low-quality placements.  

Screenshot of placement settings in Google Ads

Beyond manually excluding specific placements in Google Ads, you can also upload placement exclusion lists and apply a placement exclusion code to remove poor placements in bulk. 

Google Ads Tip💡

Under “Campaign Settings” > Under “Shared Library” > “Placement Exclusion Lists”, enter the following mobile app category code to automatically exclude all mobile app placements: mobileappcategory::69500

Screenshot of placement exclusion settings in Google Ads

This ensures you engage with a more relevant and engaged audience, spend your advertising dollars on legitimate clicks, and boost the likelihood of conversions to enhance your ROAS.

Combat bots with anti-spam form plugins (CAPTCHA)

CAPTCHA, which stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart,” is a security feature used to determine whether the user is a human or a bot. 

There are several free plugins like Google’s reCAPTCHA plugin for WordPress that work to prevent spam activity across your website. Plugins like this one can be easily added to forms on your website to ensure the conversion actions you’re tracking in your campaigns are taken by humans only.

By eliminating fraudulent engagements, you reinforce the accuracy of your data and maintain the integrity of your campaign’s landing page performance. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, to continue to achieve a successful ROAS from your pay-per-click advertising efforts in 2024 and beyond, a robust ad fraud prevention strategy is critical.

Graphic representing different aspects of ad fraud prevention

By combining click fraud software, exclusion targeting techniques, enhanced conversion tracking, and antispam form plugins, marketers can fortify their campaigns against fraudulent activities. 

Talk to the seoplus+ team today about the right ad fraud prevention strategy for your business. 

Avatar for Lisa Westlund

Lisa Westlund

Lisa Westlund is the Director of Search at seoplus+, with 10 years of marketing experience. She oversees SEO, Paid Ads, and Content departments, driving growth and results for clients through holistic marketing strategies. Lisa has a passion for business leadership, data analysis, and fostering change through collaborative team environments.

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