Greetings, business innovators! Gone are the days of being elbow-deep in tools and tangled wires; you’re making strategic decisions, and directing your business towards opportunities and growth.
But as the owner of a booming business, there’s a new kind of pest you need to watch out for: Bots!
WHAT ON EARTH ARE BOTS?
Short for “robots,” bots aren’t the sci-fi, humanoid machines that might first spring to mind. Instead, think of them as special-purpose computer programs designed to perform specific tasks on the internet.
While some serve a useful purpose, like helping to index the web or respond to simple questions, others have less honorable intentions. Either way, bots are probably impacting your ad spend in ways you aren’t aware of.
These invisible critters, seemingly benign, can be as detrimental as a small leak that slowly but steadily drains your ad reservoir. Dive in with me and let’s explore why Bot Blocking should be your new best friend.
1. YOUR CASH IS PRECIOUS. DON’T FEED THE BOTS!
Nearly 40% of all internet traffic is some kind of bot, making them one of the costliest critters at this digital banquet. Every time one clicks your ad, intentionally or not, they take a bite out of your budget. Your campaigns become less effective for humans, because they’re keeping bots well-fed.
2. THE MULTIPLIER EFFECT: BLOCK ONE, GAIN A BUNCH
Every bot you block has a domino effect. Let’s say your campaign generates 100 clicks, but 20 of them were bots. With bot blocking in place, those 20 clicks can instead be living, breathing, humans clicking on your ad. Every dollar you spend goes 25% further.
In addition to getting more bang for your buck, your campaign has 25% more legitimate clicks to learn from. Services like Google Ads use machine-learning to figure out who is likely to purchase your product, and show those shoppers your ad. When droids no longer click on your ads, Google stops thinking you’re trying to sell to them.
With bot-blocking, your campaigns become leaner and smarter, targeting genuine souls and turning their clicks into gold.
3. NOT ALL BOTS WEAR BLACK HATS (BUT THEY’RE STILL A NUISANCE)
Think of bots as ants at a picnic. They might be on a benign quest, but you wouldn’t want them munching on your sandwiches.
Some of the bots that are generally useful include search engine spiders that index your site and images so that they can show up in search, and site analysis tools like SEM Rush, Ahrefs, and MOZ Open Site Explorer.
Like the picnic ants, “useful” bots can unintentionally snack on your ads. Seemingly innocent, but still costly.
4. BEWARE OF AUDIENCE EXPANSION AND DISPLAY AUDIENCES!
Advertising platforms lure you into expanding your audience and putting ads onto other “ad networks.” These networks are often made of low-quality blog websites that only exist to host ads.
Beware! Expanding your audience is like venturing into a dodgy neighborhood. Bots especially love these “expanded” territories. Be cautious where you tread.
5. BIG TECH’S HALF-HEARTED EFFORT
Tech giants like Google, Microsoft, FaceBook, and LinkedIn benefit from bots clicking on your ads. To a tech giant, a click is a click, and you get billed regardless!
While they make some effort to block bots, let’s be candid—when there’s money involved, motivations can be murky.
6. LET’S PLAY SPOT THE BOT
Are you experiencing a surge in web traffic without a corresponding boost in sales? There might be a bot party on your site! While it may look like you’ve got thousands of people flocking to your website, these visitors contribute no actual value.
You are looking for real humans to buy your products and services. Inflated vanity metrics like website visits don’t tell the entire tale.
7. BUT HOW DO I BLOCK THE BOTS?
Ah, the billion dollar question! The simple trick is to employ specialized bot-blocking software. There are a number of options in this arena. While the technicalities are daunting, any of the top options are going to do a pretty good job of keeping the bots off your ads.
Bot-protection software use myriad techniques, such as IP address blocklists, or excluding specific audiences, ensuring that any bot that clicks your ad once can’t click again.
8. DECREASE BOT DAMAGE
If you want to minimize the impact of the bots that do make it onto your site, there are couple of measures that you can take that will keep those bots from making a mess of your life.
- Use Google reCAPTCHA on your forms. There are a number of techniques that help keep bots from filling out the forms on your website. To block bots that make it past your firewall, we have found reCAPTCHA to be the most effective tactic.
- Make sure you don’t count clicks as conversions. The main types of clicks that people often count as conversions are clicks on email addresses, clicks on phone numbers, and clicks on submit buttons of forms. These actions are worth tracking, because there’s a good chance that they indicate a real attempt to contact you. BUT, it’s always better to track the successful completion of a form submission or phone calls that last a minute or more when you are measuring valid conversions.
9. WHAT ABOUT THE HUMAN PESTS?
Beyond bots, there are humans with mischief afoot—like competitors clicking on your ads just for kicks – also known as click fraud.
Fear not! Bot-blocking software often doubles as a sentinel against malicious human activity, adding such tricksters to blocklists based on their frequent clicking or other shady maneuvers.
WE BELIEVE IN EFFICIENT ADVERTISING
Wizard of Ads Online uses advanced bot-blocking defenses for our client ad accounts, ensuring every penny you spend targets genuine, interested humans.
So, titans of industry, let’s arm those ads. They deserve genuine engagement, not bot interference.