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How to Spot When a Competitor Is Trying to Scupper Your Ad Campaign

How to Spot When a Competitor Is Trying to Scupper Your Ad Campaign

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It is easy to make the mistake of thinking that competitors don’t have any possible way to mess with your ad campaign, but that would be a mistaken assumption. Unfortunately, another operator can take action that will be costly to your business and possibly allow them to get ahead of you in market share too. 

Here is what to look out for and how to protect against it. 

How the Ad Campaign Should Work

To promote offers, pay-per-click ads are placed on popular advertising platforms like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere. The platform is chosen based on its suitability for the niche or industry segment. 

The clicks generated drive paid traffic to a landing page. This page is designed to either obtain an opt-in to a newsletter or to directly sell a product or service. The cost of how many ad clicks is required, on average, to secure a sale or a newsletter opt-in determines whether the campaign was successful.

The Modern Reality of Invalid Clicks

Invalid clicks, as they’re often termed, are ones that are generated typically by bot farms. The intention is not to make a purchase or opt-in to a newsletter, but simply to drive up the cost of promotion for a competitor. 

The increasing use of bot farms (which are difficult to locate and get shutdown) is a threat to companies using paid advertising to generate valuable leads. It increases the advertising cost which often turns a potentially profitable ad campaign into an unsustainable one. Quite often, a competitor is to blame. 

To dive deeper into bot traffic and PPC advertising, you can learn more about bot farms in this guide

Why Bot Farms Are Such a Threat

Even a couple of years back, bots represented over one-third of all website traffic. Bad bots, meaning bots with nefarious intent, represented over 20% of all traffic on the web. However, the reality is worse for advertisers where every click costs them money. 

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Bot farms, large scale operations for hire, are a major threat. They can be hired by a competitor to drive up the cost of an ad campaign and deplete your ad budget before you’ve reached all potential customers in the right demographic. For smaller companies with a limited ad spend, this can spell disaster. 

Don’t Take It Lying Down

In a situation where the number of PPC ad clicks necessary to get a sale exceeds what is considered normal within industry circles, don’t just accept it. Work with a company to investigate suspicious ad account activity that appears to be driving up the advertising costs.

Often, it’s possible to isolate which competitor is acting maliciously because they often begin to advertise immediately after your campaign has ended early. Specialist firms can determine if this is the case or not and provide the evidence that’s needed. 

If you suspect a competitor is playing games with your ad campaign, don’t accept it. Act to protect the business properly to ensure its long-term survival and future profitability.

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