Many brands collaborate with webmasters to promote their brand online. Thus, IT-teams act as third parties that attract customers for your business. To do this, according to the CPA model, they place a brand advertising offer on any of their websites, and wait for the visitor to perform some action on the page (for example, […]
Brand bidding: to find and eliminate
Many brands collaborate with webmasters to promote their brand online. Thus, IT-teams act as third parties that attract customers for your business. To do this, according to the CPA model, they place a brand advertising offer on any of their websites, and wait for the visitor to perform some action on the page (for example, click on a link and receive a service, which is a prerequisite).
For such purposes, webmasters redirect traffic to their site using basic key queries. At the same time, adds are cheap, since high-frequency queries are popular. The only problem is that such user requests have little connection with the brand, so customers, in search of certain products, constantly get to the intermediary site. Initially, such a strategy can be very useful, but later it often has negative consequences.
The essence of the problem
Brand (aka trademark) bidding looks like this: when a user enters a query into the search engine, a person is invited to visit not only your site, but also the webpages of competitors, since they use identical keywords. After a while, when your brand is already recognizable and users are purposefully looking for it in a search engine, brand bidding becomes unprofitable. The thing is that every time, instead of directing traffic to the brand page, you have to overpay for the services of an advertising platform. At the same time, some IT-specialists use this solution for manipulation, artificially inflating traffic to get their percentage. As a result, the brand owner suffers losses.
This type of fraud is often found in the financial offers of various credit companies. Another problem is that bidding on keywords and queries increases, so advertising is becoming more expensive for all affiliate marketing participants, including the advertiser.
Fraud strategy and counteraction measures
Options for «hunting» for customers imply several actions:
- Redirection to the brand’s website through an affiliate link. This is the easiest case to identify by certain tags.
- Using iframe traffic to cheat visits. The bottom line is that the client is redirected to an extraneous or empty page, and the advertiser’s website opens in a small window. Such actions are easy to track with the help of special algorithms.
- Filling out forms. User data is transmitted to the database with API traffic. Such fraudulent schemes are the most difficult to track. So, client traffic is sent to several providers at once. It is necessary to find such an ad, click on it by filling in certain information, and check the availability of relevant information in the system.
- «Showcase». Such links contain several offers, among which there is an advertiser’s brand. In this situation, the check is performed manually.
What should alert the advertiser
There are several signs by which you can suspect the presence of brand bidding:
- High traffic, high conversion with ineffective referrals.
- Increased costs of clicking on the link.
- Low click-through rate.
Among the main options for protection against brand bidding:
- Prohibition of brand context in the landing page (or other text) of the advertising offer.
- Blocking web specialists who try to use such a fraud scheme.
- Ban on bidding keywords closely related to the brand.
- Checking key queries with SEO settings (regions, types of devices, advertising platforms, different times of the day).
- Checking IP and providers.
- In some cases, you can get ahead of frauds by heating up the rates of your brand. This will disrupt the plans of dishonest webmasters, making their actions unprofitable for them. This tactic works particularly well with products from unpopular good lists.
Pay attention! Most often, fraudulent actions are committed at night, when the staff is not at the work place.
If you need to come up with your own solution, be sure to take into account:
- Search engine parsing.
- Checking different regions.
- Verification through various browsers and platforms (web versions and mobile applications).
- Setting up automatic detection of violations.
- Collect technical data (SEM/SEO), with which you can later create your own database.
On a note! Some aspects require manual verification. For example, checking blocked content. The algorithms of the advertising platform may sometimes interfere with the verification. You should also not neglect ready solutions.
Affiliate programs should be trusted only to reliable site owners, since if their web page loading is slow, or has viruses, or intrusive content, customer trust may decrease over time.
It is worth paying attention to bots. Automated systems can heat up your advertising offers, increasing their cost. This can lead to losses. In addition, the number of clicks on such links will begin to decrease over time, as algorithms consider them fake.
Many platforms prohibit brand bidding, but this doesn’t prevent webmasters from using various tricks to achieve their goals. To avoid bidding keywords, some queries are not used in advertisements, plus important search queries may be marked, on the contrary, as unique and prohibited for intermediaries/other companies.
On a note! To avoid any disputes with intermediaries in the future, it is important to draw up a proper agreement that clearly specifies the provisions and actions prohibited during the advertising campaign. It is also critical to be constantly in touch with your intermediaries. So, in case of violations, you can quickly contact them.
Unfortunately, it is unlikely to be possible to completely avoid brand bidding, as webmasters improve their methods every day. But such a phenomenon can be turned in your favor.
Thus, brand bidding can be used not only by competitors or evil webmasters, but also by business owners themselves. You just need to know when to stop and appreciate an individual approach, using only those strategies that correspond to the goals of a particular company.