How do I know if my competitors are clicking on my adverts?

How do I know if my competitors are clicking on my adverts?

Are you running Google Ads or Bing Ads and concerned that your competitors are clicking on your adverts and using your daily budget? For many businesses this is often a concern and can prevent them from seeing the returns that paid advertising can offer.

Similar to Search Engine Optimisation it is a way of getting in front of businesses when they are searching online, but the main difference is that paid advertising can generate much quicker results.

For some types of businesses the level of competition means that it is only £1 per click and if you are in a niche industry that charges a high amount of money this can be very profitable. But for other businesses there are higher prices per click and with that people such as your competitors are prepared to click on your adverts to try and get ahead of you.

What does Google think?

Google has a number of ways it can prevent things like this from happening and these clicks are referred to as "invalid clicks" this is because they are not seen as "valid" customers in the eyes of Google. This is done in various ways such as accidental double clicks, clicks from bots or competitor clicks.

Google is fairly transparent about this and these clicks can be seen within the keywords report. But if your competitor clicked on your advert once or twice a day we have found that this can still have a negative impact on your campaigns.

Invalid click report
Invalid clicks for one of our campaigns shown in column 5.

How can you prevent this?

We can use a range of software tools and track each click on your campaigns and make sure they are valid. If they are invalid clicks we can block that IP address from clicking on your advert in the future.

For one of our clients we have found that 60% of their clicks have come from invalid clicks or not genuine customers.

Invalid click report 2
Invalid clicks

Does this REALLY happen?

It might be difficult to think that this would happen to your business especially if it is not one of the most established companies in the UK. Unfortunately in smaller areas where competition is much higher, it can happen to businesses. On a recent test with one of our clients, we found that 30% of their ad clicks were from competitors - this used up a huge proportion of their daily budget!

How do I get the best results for my paid advertising campaign?

While we would always insist you need to speak to a company that will provide high quality web design in London, click fraud can unfortunately have a huge impact on your advertising campaigns. If you have a campaign which you feel is not performing, check some of the basics listed below.

  • Do the adverts link to pages that work? Have you recently changed the page name and not updated the adverts?
  • Are the search terms relevant to what people are searching for? Are you target keywords which are not effective?
  • Are your adverts aimed at locations relevant to the page?
  • Do you know how people are interacting on the page using heatmaps?
  • Could your competitors or other people be clicking on your adverts?
  • Are your own team clicking on your adverts without understanding that it will cost you money?

What can I do if my competitors have clicked on my adverts?

If we have found that your competitors are clicking on your adverts we can block this IP address. This will mean that this person or company cannot see the adverts and therefore cannot click again. This will mean that any daily budget which was being used up by non genuine customers will be free to be used up again on your marketing.

Another option if your competitors have clicked on your adverts is to ask Google to refund you the money. This can be done by filling in the below form, although we would do this ourselves if we were managing your campaigns.

If you believe that your competitors are clicking on your adverts then get in touch with the team at RACER Marketing and let us check this for you.

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