About Digital

3 Warning Signs That Advertising Brings a Junk Traffic

Do you get a decent amount of website traffic? Are the call agents of your sales department always busy with answering incoming calls? Don’t hold your breath while you are not sure that traffic is good. The big amount of traffic doesn’t move the needle for your business goals. The true proof of advertising effectiveness is the number of sales or good conversion rate. This post is created to help you determine which campaigns don’t bring prospects but generate wrong traffic. 

The warning sign №1: Traffic amount is extremely big

Actually, the huge traffic amount is a reason to get suspicious. Be realistic. Is your product highly demanded? If it’s not, the advertising hardly generates a quality traffic. If you sell rag dolls, you hardly get 1000 of unique visitors per day. Maybe you get. But the question is “Who are these people?”.

Fraud can be the reason for some site visits. Say, you’ve launched advertising campaigns and the traffic is constantly growing. But as a result, you have no sales. It happens because the website gets a wrong traffic. Let’s go into details. 

The most common types of fraud

Motivated traffic

Probably, everyone faced up with it at least one in his/her life. For example, to earn some money in the game or points on the dating site, you have to click the link or “like”. Sometimes you may even earn real money.

Advertising Brings a Junk Traffic, type of fraud

In this case, a website traffic seems to be good. The visitors are real. However, it doesn’t make a profit.

Bots are the software apps running automated tasks. Thus, they simulate people behavior on the website. The simplest ones just click the advertising. The advanced bots execute a sequence of actions.

The toolbar is the expanded menu bar in the web browser. The malicious toolbar is a virus that displays the advertising instead of websites. It can be porn banners, pop-up windows of online stores etc. It can be shown after the install of suspicious files and apps. Some users reflexively click the advertising, and the website gets a low-quality traffic.

Sometimes wrong advertising set up causes many irrelevant visitors. For example, you sell bath towels but the main keyword in your ad campaign is “bath”. This keyword is high frequency. That’s why it’s shown to the widest possible audience. 

How to avoid it

To avoid a fraud and getting a huge traffic instead of sales, be careful when choosing digital agencies and marketing experts. The main criteria to choose a professional digital agency should be the references of your colleagues and successful case studies. Don’t let the low pricing make you choose a certain marketing agency. Sometimes that means these experts buy a low-quality cheap traffic.

Check out the settings of an advertising campaign (who campaign is shown to). Maybe, your ad is shown to the whole country instead of the region where you sell. Or you use high-frequency keywords. In this case, you need to expand the list of negative keywords to show the advertising only to those who are really interested in purchasing your product.

These keywords have the highest conversion rate:

  • transactional keywords show more targeted people who have the intention to buy a product or service. They feature words such as “buy”, “for sale” etc.
  • geolocational keywords such as “hostel in Los Angeles”, “laptops London”.

The clearer your keywords are, the more targeted visitors you get.

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The warning sign №2: High Bounce Rate

This is a situation when a visitor navigates away from the site after viewing only one page. The bounce rate is a percentage of such visitors to a particular website.

Take into consideration that this metric isn’t reliable. Say, you have a landing page where you sell a game console. Probably, the bounce rate for this page is high. Why?

  1. Because the landing consists of one page. That’s clear that a client views only it.
  2. The mobile visitor can navigate away from the site very fast. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t interested in the game console. Probably, he found the required product and added it to the bookmarks.
  3. The visitor views the page with a clear offer and phone number. In this case, he can call to make an order. The problem is web analytics systems don’t take phone calls into consideration. However, call tracking services are created to track this kind of conversion. Without them, you may think that the advertising doesn’t bring in targeted visitors. However, it won’t be true.

The reason for high bounce rate could be not only a wrong advertising set up but a website itself. At first, make sure that your site is easy-to-navigate, the prices are competitive and the offer is clearly described.

However, if there’s nothing wrong with the website, your advertising probably confuses site visitors. They navigate away because can’t find the required information or product.

How to avoid it

First, determine which ad campaign is the reason for high bounce rate. The related report will help you identify the weak point. In Google Analytics go to Acquisition   Adwords – Campaigns. Also, you can see the visualization in the section Treemaps.  That shows users per every advertising campaign and bounce rate. The campaigns with highest bounce rate are displayed on the red background.

Advertising Brings a Junk Traffic, Google Analytics

Then check the settings of ad campaigns:

  1. If the ad is targeted properly —  sex, region, age etc.
  2. On which platforms the ad is displayed. Exclude irrelevant websites. Probably, you need to manually add relevant websites.
  3. Determine ads and keywords with high bounce rate. Test new texts time by time.
  4. Which pages are viewed after clicking on advertising. Sometimes it happens that the ad describes a specific product but after clicking visitor sees the main website page. That can make him want to navigate away.

One more important point is that extra creative advertising can increase CTR but leads to bounces. Users can click on it just because of curiosity. 

The warning sign №3: Strange phone calls

The phone call is a targeted conversion. People decide to make calls when they are interested in the product. Therefore, phone calls are the true proofs of advertising effectiveness. Thanks to them, you may understand if something goes wrong.

Call tracking services collect detailed statistics on calls, record them and determine which advertising generates phone calls from customers. Thus, you may easily see which campaign and keywords bring in suspicious incoming phone calls.

All the strange phone calls can be divided into categories:

  1. Calls from customers who want something similar to your product.
  2. Callers differ from typical leads. For example, you sell the women’s underwear but mostly get calls from the old men who want to buy car parts.
  3. Callers had the wrong number. Or they wanted to sell their product.


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How to avoid it

Let’s start with the first category of strange phone calls. Sometimes people who want to easily earn money pretend to be potential buyers. It seems that they are really interested in certain product or service. However, they don’t give their contacts and if the company reps try to call back, their phone numbers turn to be unavailable. Fortunately, these situations happen very rarely because it’s quite expensive for fraudsters. Most often, this occurs in real estate niche.

Sometimes you may receive strange incoming calls because of wrong advertising settings. In this case, you need to check settings again and optimize it.

  1. If you chose gender, sex, and region properly. To maximize the effectiveness of your PPC, you have to understand buyer persona.
  2. If the buyers are interested in another product, check the list of negative keywords.
  3. If after confirming the price, people refuse to purchase, probably the product in advertising seems to be more affordable than it is. Or maybe you specified the wrong price.

To understand when the ad campaign brings in a bad traffic, you can use the metric “target call” in the call tracking service. That allows to separate quality incoming phone calls from spam and irrelevant ones.

Actually, every business niche has its own indicators of quality traffic. For real estate, 3 conversions per 5000 website visitors is a good result. But for the beauty salon that’s very bad. So the first thing you need to take into consideration is a return on investments.

So keep track of metrics that offer a context for your future decisions and don’t neglect analyzing calls