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Invalid Clicks on Google Ads? Get a Refund!

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Invalid Clicks on Google Ads? Get a Refund!


Photo by Firmbee.com on Unsplash 

If you are serious about growing your business in the competitive online world, then you understand the importance of advertising on search engines. You should also be taking advantage of advertising space on social media and other authority websites in your industry, but for the most part, Google Ads should be your primary advertising platform.

You can also advertise on Amazon and other popular marketplaces to maximize your reach and boost sales across the board, but all that advertising can put a big dent in your budget. That’s why you need to prioritize and manage your finances wisely.

For one, you need to know if you can get a refund from Google Ads and the short answer is yes – but there are some criteria you’ll need to meet first. With all of that in mind, let’s take a more granular approach to Google Ads and how you can get a refund if you think you’ve been a victim of invalid clicks and traffic. 

What Makes a Winning Google Ad?

First things first, let’s talk briefly about what makes a Google Ad stand out and how you can optimize your ads to maximize their potential. This will help get your ads in front of the right people and will minimize the risk of you ever having to file for a refund. That said, keep in mind that there are some things you can’t control, such as ad botnet attacks, click spam from competing advertisers, or accidental clicks.

What you can control, however, is how you place your ads in the digital space. You can start by doing some research to understand the key drivers and motivators for your target demographic. It’s important to understand the buyer’s journey and to learn to write web copy that sells based on their interests and desires.

On top of that, you need to optimize your ads with the right keywords, headlines, CTAs, visuals, and audience-specific parameters. Make sure to optimize your ads by testing them for specific locations and countries, unique demographics, and age groups.

What you might not have been aware of, though, is that branding plays a big part in advertising, so it’s also important to invest in building a brand that people will recognize. This will boost your CTR and minimize the right of error.

With that said, let’s move on to what you can do if things go south with your ad campaign.

Can You Ask Google for a Refund?

Given the widespread statistical reporting that a significant portion of Google Ad clicks are fraudulent (meaning ads are clicked by automated bandits called a bot) running Google Ads can be a costly endeavor. So, it’s important to monitor and audit your ad spend carefully. You can definitely ask for your money back for fraudulent clicks and invalid traffic, but first, you have to have the right documentation and proof on hand.

Whether you are focusing on B2B sales or you’re in the B2C realm and are experiencing a high CTR on your ads, you need to keep a detailed record of all clicks and traffic in order to identify fraudulent activity. And no, don’t just send Google your entire ad click history, this won’t work.

So before you get in touch with Google, you’ll need to sift through your click history and hand-pick the clicks you think are suspicious. You can do this once every 60 days, so be meticulous in your approach!

Identify Invalid Clicks

For one, it’s important to note that while you can do this manually, you’re far better off using a third-party IP tracking tool to analyze your ad traffic. Using a dedicated tool is more cost-effective and efficient, but if you don’t want to pay for third-party software, you can do this the old-fashioned way.

Google wants you to provide very specific data in order to qualify for a refund. This data includes:

  • Your customer ID
  • IP addresses from fraudulent clickers
  • Start and end dates for fraudulent clicks
  • The campaigns affected
  • Ad groups and ad keywords affected
  • If you’ve opted into Display/Search networks
  • The ads you’ve had approved in the previous month
  • If you’ve increased your bids or budget
  • Whether you’ve checked your account for invalid traffic
  • An explanation of the issue
  • Suspicious display placements

The most important requirement here is the IP address list, and while posting ads online is difficult enough, sifting through your server logs manually is a whole different story. When going through your logs, look for suspicious clicks coming from IPs that repeat several times a day – that’s how you know it’s a bot.

Filing Your Complaint with Google Ads

When you’ve compiled all the data and you’re ready to file a refund claim, then all you have to do is visit Google’s official refund page. You will need to fill out all the fields and give a summary of the issue. 

When it comes to your summary, be as concise as possible. Leave everything you know about blog writing for your website and your SEO efforts, and focus on providing concrete information that Google can use to help you get a refund. 

Simply follow the form and attach your weblogs so that Google can sift through the clicks and IPs. As you may have guessed, this is a lot of work to do manually, so let’s finish up by taking a look at some handy tools you can use.

Use the Right Tools to Prevent Fraud

When investing in Google Ads, you want to avoid the hassle of filing refund claims and prevent fraud in the first place. One of the popular tools you can use is PPC Protect, which prevents click fraud through advanced cybersecurity and real-time data analysis. 

This tool will also help you automatically sift through your server logs to prep your IP logs for Google. On the other hand, you also want to quickly identify fraudulent and blacklisted IP addresses by using a dedicated IP analyzer.

There are many IP lookup tools out there, and some notable providers include WhatIsMyIP.com, Blacklist Master, and IP Tracker. These IP analyzers will give you the location of the IPs in your log and tell you if they have been blacklisted anywhere else on the web.

If you see that an IP has been blacklisted, there’s a good chance that it’s tied to nefarious online activity. 

Over to you

You might notice that you’re losing a lot of money on your ads without converting. If you find out that you’ve been a victim of fraudulent clicks, you can request a refund from Google.

Follow these tips to file a successful refund claim and use the tips at the beginning to make sure you’re optimizing your ads properly in the first place. If you want to go in-depth on ad optimization and how to set up the perfect PPC campaigns, feel free to read our other blogs as well!





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5 Ways to Make the Best of the Five Latest Google Ads Features

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5 Ways to Make the Best of the Five Latest Google Ads Features


With technology’s growing influence over trade, PPC marketing has become one of the biggest trends in business. While it has been used extensively in today’s time due to the pandemic shifting most business operations online, PPC marketing’s history dates back to early 2000 when Google launched the initiative AdWords.

Google’s advertising platform has evolved over the last two decades, adding more features and functionality while removing others and rebranding to Google Ads. Google Ads has also continuously kept evolving and adding new features in the last couple of years. In today’s post, we’ll cover Google Ads’ five latest features and show you how you can make the most of them.

What is AdWords?

AdWords was Google’s native advertising system. It was designed to help businesses maximize their potential to reach their target markets online. By partnering with websites, AdWords was able to advertise those websites’ products based on keyword searches and images. It was an effective and progressive marketing tool that sparked the growth of PPC marketing throughout the years.

From Adwords to Google Ads

Despite AdWords’s immense success, the industry remained cut-throat and demanding. Consequently, there was a need to change the tool and adapt it to the new trends in online marketing. This also required changing the name from AdWords to Google Ads.

This was not merely done for aesthetics, as changing the name was a big move to present new features and products that the marketing facet of Google wanted to introduce to the public—DoubleClick and AdSense, to name a few.

Of course, the decision to include Google’s name in the new version of AdWords was effective in attracting more business owners. Not many people would invest in AdWords at first glance, but had they known it was owned by Google, they would have done it in a heartbeat. The change also meant the extension of services of Google for advertising and debunked any false narratives about their services limited only to the use of ads in Google’s search result pages.

New Google Ads Features in 2022

Google is one of the biggest tech companies in the world today, but that doesn’t mean that they can sit idly when opportunities for growth and realizing more profit arise. Additionally, trends in the marketing industry tend to change rather quickly, so what they might have been doing in the past couple of years is considered outdated today.

This creates a need for constant updates, releasing new features within the Google Ads platform to continuously cater to the market’s advertising needs.

The use of Artificial Intelligence, or AI, for example, is one of Google Ads’ most recent features. It works like magic in terms of creating personalized ads for users, making them more relevant.

This brings us to an important question: What are Google Ads’ new features, and how does a business owner or marketer make the most of each? Let’s have a look.

#1 Use Google Ads Local Campaigns to Better Track Conversions

In today’s time, it’s easy for marketers and business owners to be fooled into thinking that the world is fully digital. That’s simply not true because many transactions made by consumers nowadays are still conducted physically, and the things they do when it comes to shopping online might only be a small portion of their entire shopping behavior.

According to the latest data from Google, about 30 percent of all mobile queries made online correspond to local searches, and of this number, approximately 75 percent would actually pay a visit to the store within the next day. These are substantial amounts of sales that could have been used as leads for more effective conversion of clients.

With Google Ads’ new feature for Local Campaigns, companies can now use this foregone opportunity just by using their WiFi or GPS. Based on users’ real-time location, Google will present personalized advertisement choices to attract sales more effectively. For example, if your company offers a crypto app for paying with different cryptocurrencies, you can have Google Ads show your ad to users when they’re near a local commerce that accepts crypto payments.

The best way to use this feature is to integrate the offline components into a tracking setup that’s omnichannel. If you do not have this type of tracker, now would be the time to invest in one so you can maximize your conversions. By creating different conversion actions for each campaign you launch, you will be able to measure your conversion in a variety of ways and develop a more optimized PPC marketing campaign that meets your goals and justifies your expenses.

#2 Use Google Smart Shopping to Acquire New Customers Effectively

All types of conversions are considered beneficial for a business, whether a customer is new or not. However, new conversions are usually considered more important as they’re more likely to lead to future purchases. All businesses strive to achieve loyalty from their customers, but search engine marketing just isn’t the most cost-effective way to earn that loyalty.

With Google Shopping, one of Google Ads’ newest features, you can easily calculate each customer’s total lifetime value and optimize the way you acquire new customers.

For example, by using the “New Customer Acquisition” option in the settings of the Smart Shopping campaign, you can set an incremental price you’re willing to pay for each new customer that converts compared to a returning buyer. It’s like bidding more for new customers than for current ones to get more value from your PPC campaign.

The best way to use this feature to your advantage is to use varying tags for both returning and new customers, which you can establish through the Tag Manager in your eCommerce platform. In the whole process of using this feature, you have to ensure that your Google Analytics and Google Ads accounts are both connected. It would also be more effective to apply this feature in line with your paid research and promotion agencies.

#3 You Can Get Listed on Google Shopping for Free!

To clarify, Google Shopping is still a generally paid PPC avenue. However, there is an option for you to enjoy the free traffic it offers. This comes after the introduction of the Google Shopping feature, and as part of it, Google itself ejected other price comparison websites from its SERP.

It was a move that resulted in Google being fined around three billion dollars by the European Commission in 2017 for providing an unfair advantage to a different Google product, the Comparison Shopping service. While this is still an ongoing issue, they decided to make Google Shopping an official feature for their clients to enjoy.

The best way to get the most out of this feature is to optimize every single one of your Shopping Ads and assess which of the products you currently endorse entail the highest click and conversion rates. For instance, using Google Analyzer will help you get this information and use it to make the necessary changes for your product pages and emphasize the products with the most substantial profit margins.

Once you sort all this out, you can proceed to your Google Merchant Center account in the North Menu and change the status of your “Surfaces across Google” to “Active.”

This is an easy process if you’re in the US or India, but the feature has yet to be available in other countries.

#4 Free Impression for Display—Pay Only for Conversions

When talking about online acquisitions, display and video ads are usually not the first things that experienced marketers would talk about. More than conversions, these two things are usually known for their capacity to establish brand awareness and influence targets. But Google, being the trendsetter it is, has decided that it is time to deviate from this narrative.

Considering the gargantuan amount of data Google has on its users’ profiles and intents, predicting their purchasing decisions can almost be considered easy.

Just like Facebook can boost its platform’s marketing performance from its users’ browsing history, Google also has a massive command over its users’ behaviors—from their music preferences to their present and past purchases as recorded via their Gmail accounts.

Because of the control that Google has over its users’ data, they are especially capable of tweaking the algorithm so that only relevant and appropriate visual ads will be shown to the users, ultimately driving them to make a purchase.

This power comes in the form of the new Display and Youtube ads features. By using these features, your chances of realizing actual conversions will be greatly enhanced.

To make this feature a valuable tool for you, you have to use the “Custom Intent on your competitors” and “Similar Converters.” Additionally, you can deploy Smart Display with Toras or a CPA bidding strategy.

#5 Your New Best Friends: Gallery Ads and Showcase Shopping Ads

If you don’t already know, it is possible to test both Gallery and Showcase Shopping Ads on Search. Based on recent data, it’s proven that roughly 85% of all users pay more attention to the information presented visually as compared to pure text. Intent Lab Research has provided a supplemental study saying that 50% of shoppers in various categories like household goods and electronics prefer seeing visual information. So, even if you’re building brand loyalty by offering free stuff for seniors or selling high-tech equipment for graphic designers, you’ll benefit from visual ads more than from pure text ads.

With this being said, Google Ads has devised a feature that allows using new ad formats uniquely designed for mobile display through Google’s Search Network. It provides an avenue for you to be more creative and personal with your ads, and above all, you can place those ads on several other platforms like Gmail and Youtube, which can be huge!

One way to use this new feature effectively is to explore your product’s potential to be more visually appealing by getting creative. For example, you can ask your PPC agency’s help to look into what your target market finds the most appealing based on how ads are placed on certain channels like Gmail or Youtube. This will entail a repetitive process with a lot of trial and error before arriving at the best fit for your target audience. Still, it will come in handy, especially when trying to make the most out of your creative ads.

Final Verdict

Through the years, Google has retained its position as the biggest search in the world. As its influence grew over time, it also took the role of an effective PPC marketing tool, first as AdSense and now as Google Ads. As trends change, Google will continue to add new features in Google Ads to allow marketers and users to benefit mutually. This ensures a more stable profit for companies while giving their customers the freedom to choose which form of ads they’re presented with.

As such, partner companies must make the best use of Google Ads’ current and upcoming features, especially when it is an avenue that has great potential to uplift a business through perfectly generated and positioned ads.

PPC Marketing remains one of the biggest trends in marketing today, and it will likely continue to dominate in the coming years, with Google and Google Ads at the forefront. This is why business owners and marketers need to understand, research, and effectively use the new features Google Ads rolls out and be the pioneers of this new marketing era.





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