Eli Martin

5 Safe Lead Generation Tips to Avoid Being Burned by Click Fraud

Click fraud is a growing epidemic that’s plaguing online advertising. Time and time again, marketers are tricked into thinking traffic from bots are real, human leads.

Click fraud can cost you money and potential leads. Reduce your fraud risk by employing these five safe lead generation tips.

Tip No. 1: Know where you’re buying traffic from

First, do your research. Investigate the company, and only buy traffic from reputable networks. These networks are often direct-owned and operated companies that have been around for a while. More importantly, they offer customer support.

Lack of customer support is a big red flag. If a company refuses to put a rep on the phone with you, it’s possible that traffic you think you’re buying from California is coming from an entirely different country.

Keep the communication flowing and don’t be afraid to notify your network of problems. If you have a dispute or question about the traffic you’re receiving, let the network know immediately. If you wait too long, you risk losing out on legitimate traffic to your site.

Remember a reputable network won’t avoid you and will have no trouble providing support.

Tip No. 2: Make sure your network has checks and balances

How a network protects itself is a good indicator of how your company will be protected. Verify if a network has a system of checks and balances in place for click fraud monitoring and protection. Don’t hesitate to ask questions such as:

  • How do you filter your traffic?
  • What steps are you taking to prevent click fraud?
  • How are you ensuring that the traffic you’re sending me is good, clean, converting traffic?

By making sure the network has checks and balances on their end, you’ll know the right steps are being taken to help you avoid being burned by fraud.

Tip No. 3: Always track and monitor user behavior

To protect yourself from fraud, it’s imperative to always track and monitor user behavior. Although most fraudulent traffic doesn’t turn into leads, sometimes bogus traffic gets through.

Distinguish the real from the phony by using an analytics tool like Google Analytics or a click fraud protection platform like Traffic Advisors® to monitor traffic coming into your site. These tools will enable you to spot suspicious behavior such as:

  • Repeated clicks from the same IP address.
  • Unusual spikes in click volume and impressions.
  • Significant drop in conversion rate.

For instance, let’s say you normally see 175 impressions per day with an 8% CTR. You log in and see 2,000 impressions with a 30% CTR, and no increase in conversions. This is a prime example of click fraud.

Tip No. 4: Use a CAPTCHA form

For an added layer of protection, stave off fraud by utilizing a CAPTCHA form like this one from Facebook.

The form requires users to prove they’re human by typing a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters and numbers. These are designed to keep the bots at bay, as most bots are incapable of filling out these forms.

Unfortunately, as bots become more intelligent, CAPTCHAs aren’t 100% foolproof. Nevertheless, a CAPTCHA will catch a large chunk of non-human fraudulent traffic.

Tip No. 5: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

If you buy a $2 keyword for two cents, don’t expect to get the same quality of traffic. There’s a reason that deal seems too good to be true: it’s likely fraudulent traffic. Clean, converting traffic generally costs more, simply because people are willing to pay more for those high-quality publishers.

In this situation, ‘keep up with the Joneses.’ It’s worth spending a little more money for quality traffic instead of wasting money on bad traffic. While it’s worth exploring keywords and shopping for lower costs, don’t settle for a publisher that’s obviously ‘too good to be true.’


Click fraud remains an issue, and it’s up to you to protect yourself and your budget. Safeguard your leads by incorporating these tips. Not only will you save money, you’ll also give yourself peace of mind.

Eli Martin

About Eli Martin

Eli Martin is the Director of Sales at the digital marketing firm eZanga.com, which specializes in pay per click and pay per call advertising. eZanga’s Traffic Advisors® platform offers protection from click fraud to publishers and advertisers before fraudulent traffic can affect valuable marketing budgets. Follow Eli at @eZangaEli or download his latest PPC Checklist to optimize your lead generation campaigns.

One Response to 5 Safe Lead Generation Tips to Avoid Being Burned by Click Fraud

  1. Andrei R. says:

    There are also some click fraud solutions that are able to exclude at least from AdWords the fraudulent IP addresses.