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WHEN CLICK IS A NASTY TRICK; BIZ BUREAU EXPERT HELP for your business; BIZ TIPS.

People buy more things online than in stores these days so it's no wonder businesses roll out endless online adverts to grab shoppers' attention.

But if you notice your ad budget being eaten up quicker than expected, that could be because your competitors are engaging in 'click fraud' - maliciously clicking on your ads to use up your spend and ultimately stopping them appearing.

We chatted to Roy Dovaston, head of click fraud prevention service Click Guardian, for tips on how to avoid becoming cannon fodder online.

Not every click is good More clicks on your ads means more interest, right? Not necessarily. Click fraud can become a major problem for businesses.

In some industries as many as four in 10 ads are fraudulently clicked on and locksmiths are the worst offenders of all. You could be spending thousands a year on paid ads that never materialise.

Try and spot trends It's not always easy to distinguish a fraudulent click from a bona fide potential customer but certain activity can sometimes act as a signal that a competitor is getting click happy on your ads.

Repetitive activity from one internet (or IP) address is a red flag. If you're using Google Adwords and tracking a campaign, unusual and sudden spikes in activity could also signal an attack.

Ring-fence your budget With pay-per-click you essentially pay every time someone clicks on one of your ads, which is why click fraud can be so costly if you don't ring-fence your budget. Limit your exposure by monitoring your average cost-per-click so you can't spend more than intended. It's also worth setting up a daily limit, so click fraud can't wipe you out in one day.

Once bitten Block IP addresses you suspect of click fraud. You can do this in the AdWords settings and even block entire regions if you're concerned a rival has hired a so-called click farm.

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Title Annotation:Features; Opinion Column
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 23, 2018
Words:315
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