In addition to the basic features that you should look for in bid management software, you may want
to consider some additional features. These are not essential features, but they offer additional value
and make monitoring your PPC campaigns and keyword bids a much easier process.
Most bid-management software is based solely on the bidding guide-
lines you define. However, some software includes the ability to have your bids automati-
cally adjusted according to the rank of a given keyword. This can be helpful if what matters
to you is the rank that your ad reaches, rather than the cost of the click.
These are capabilities within bid management software that main-
tain a steady conversion rate, by adjusting bids according to the number of conversions.
This also helps to ensure that your ROI remains steady, rather than fluctuating according
to the cost of your bids.
Costly Click Fraud
ne of the most onerous problems with PPC campaigns is click fraud. Click fraud happens when
a person, group of people, or automated script “clicks” on PPC advertisements. Because the
concept of PPC is that advertisers pay each time someone clicks on their ads, this drives the cost of
ads higher and higher without resulting in any conversions.
Click fraud happens for many reasons, the most common being that a competitor is trying to drive
competition out of the market. By arranging for a competitor’s ads to be clicked on repeatedly with-
out any intention of making a purchase or completing whatever goal conversion the competitor has
established, the overall cost of the advertisement can be inflated, while the average conversions and
the value per visit are deflated.
Some advertisers also believe that PPC providers commit (or encourage) click fraud because they
benefit from the additional clicks. In fact, there have been several court cases that resulted in settle-
ments when PPC providers like Google and Yahoo! were sued for contributing to or allowing click
fraud to happen.
One of the most frustrating aspects of click fraud is that unless all the clicks come from the same IP
address, it’s hard to prove that click fraud is actually happening. Some criminals have created pro-
grams, called click bots, that can create clicks from what appear to be different IP addresses. In other
cases, people are paid to read and click advertisements. In some cases, there are indicators of click
fraud: an inflated number of clicks without conversions, clicks that all occur from the same com-
puter or even the same city, and a large number of clicks within a short period of time, especially if
the pattern of clicks is unusual.
If you suspect that you’re being targeted by click fraud, immediately contact the fraud department of
your PPC provider. And if you don’t receive satisfactory results from reporting the activity, you
should consider pursuing legal action. Click fraud can cost your company thousands, even tens of
thousands of dollars. Worse, click fraud can destroy your PPC advertising campaign. Monitor your
stats closely for any signs that you may be falling victim to click fraud.
Managing Keyword and PPC Campaigns
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