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11 Ways To Reduce Your Risk Of Ad Fraud

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Ad fraud is an all-too-common issue for modern marketers. Fraudulent clicks can heavily skew results and potentially hurt your brand’s reputation. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of ad fraud.

We asked members of the Forbes Agency Council for some smart strategies every brand should follow. Their best answers are below.

Images courtesy of FAC members.

Members of the Forbes Agency Council offer their best tips.

1. Work With Trusted Internal And External Partners 

Utilize at least one or more ad verification vendors that can help minimize the risk of ad fraud. Once implemented, be sure to work with a DSP that offers a fraud-free guarantee to ensure you are paying for as little fraud as possible. In addition, implement internal processes and procedures to measure and block fraud by traffic source. – Fehzan Ali, Adscend Media

2. Monitor Your Campaigns Closely (Or Hire Someone Who Can) 

The majority of mobile ad fraud is perpetrated via attribution manipulation. Discussing options with your attribution solution as well as closely monitoring all ad campaigns for increased activity from bots will help you understand if you’re a victim of ad fraud, as well as know when it may be worthwhile to block (keywords, times of day, etc.). – Twila Grissom, Acorn Digital Strategy

3. Establish Fewer But Higher-Quality Vendor Relationships 

In any push for campaigns with zero fraud, here’s how to start: Reduce the number of companies with which your organization works, run campaigns through the fewest number of platforms possible, and allocate your spend in proven high-quality media. Direct premium publisher relationships plus minimal exchange usage will lead to a solid end-to-end platform. – Tom Kenney, Verve

4. Seek A Blockchain-Based Solution 

I’ve been in the industry since its inception and there has never been a great solution to ad fraud. There’s one new set of technology that can’t be forged, altered or tricked, and that’s distributed ledger technology (blockchain). Companies like AdBank, of which I’m an advisor to, are going to great lengths to use blockchain to fight fraud. – Brian D. Evans, Influencive / BDE Ventures

5. Use Ads.txt 

Ads.txt helps improve transparency for programmatic advertisers and minimizes ad fraud. Google recently adopted ads.txt on over 50% of ad space available on DoubleClick Bid Manager, according to the Wall Street Journal. As brands continue to invest in programmatic advertising, ask a publisher if they use or are willing to use only Ads.txt. – Brett Farmiloe, Markitors Website Development

6. Know Your Metrics 

Knowing your metrics is the first step in identifying ad fraud. If you can’t identify the issue, you cannot combat it. Knowing the typical CTRs, bounce rates, session time and conversion rates will allow you to identify anomalies when they occur. For example, if your PPC volume increases by 1,000% and your CTR triples but your call volume is flat, there may be a problem. – Bernard May, National Positions

7. Employ Reverse IP Lookup 

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Ad fraud is an all-too-common issue for modern marketers. Fraudulent clicks can heavily skew results and potentially hurt your brand’s reputation. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of ad fraud.

We asked members of the Forbes Agency Council for some smart strategies every brand should follow. Their best answers are below.

Images courtesy of FAC members.

Members of the Forbes Agency Council offer their best tips.

1. Work With Trusted Internal And External Partners 

Utilize at least one or more ad verification vendors that can help minimize the risk of ad fraud. Once implemented, be sure to work with a DSP that offers a fraud-free guarantee to ensure you are paying for as little fraud as possible. In addition, implement internal processes and procedures to measure and block fraud by traffic source. – Fehzan Ali, Adscend Media

2. Monitor Your Campaigns Closely (Or Hire Someone Who Can) 

The majority of mobile ad fraud is perpetrated via attribution manipulation. Discussing options with your attribution solution as well as closely monitoring all ad campaigns for increased activity from bots will help you understand if you’re a victim of ad fraud, as well as know when it may be worthwhile to block (keywords, times of day, etc.). – Twila Grissom, Acorn Digital Strategy

3. Establish Fewer But Higher-Quality Vendor Relationships 

In any push for campaigns with zero fraud, here’s how to start: Reduce the number of companies with which your organization works, run campaigns through the fewest number of platforms possible, and allocate your spend in proven high-quality media. Direct premium publisher relationships plus minimal exchange usage will lead to a solid end-to-end platform. – Tom Kenney, Verve

4. Seek A Blockchain-Based Solution 

I’ve been in the industry since its inception and there has never been a great solution to ad fraud. There’s one new set of technology that can’t be forged, altered or tricked, and that’s distributed ledger technology (blockchain). Companies like AdBank, of which I’m an advisor to, are going to great lengths to use blockchain to fight fraud. – Brian D. Evans, Influencive / BDE Ventures

5. Use Ads.txt 

Ads.txt helps improve transparency for programmatic advertisers and minimizes ad fraud. Google recently adopted ads.txt on over 50% of ad space available on DoubleClick Bid Manager, according to the Wall Street Journal. As brands continue to invest in programmatic advertising, ask a publisher if they use or are willing to use only Ads.txt. – Brett Farmiloe, Markitors Website Development

6. Know Your Metrics 

Knowing your metrics is the first step in identifying ad fraud. If you can’t identify the issue, you cannot combat it. Knowing the typical CTRs, bounce rates, session time and conversion rates will allow you to identify anomalies when they occur. For example, if your PPC volume increases by 1,000% and your CTR triples but your call volume is flat, there may be a problem. – Bernard May, National Positions

7. Employ Reverse IP Lookup 

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