Native advertising is a type of online advertising that seamlessly integrates with the content of a website or platform where it is displayed. In contrast to traditional display advertisements that stand out as separate from the content, native ads are intentionally crafted to blend in with the website or platform's natural appearance.
As advertisers seek novel and less intrusive ways to connect with their target audiences, native advertising is revolutionizing the digital advertising landscape, gaining widespread popularity. However, to be successful with native advertising, you need to ensure that the traffic you are receiving is genuine.
Despite its effectiveness, one of the potential challenges of native advertising is the risk of bot traffic, which can negatively impact campaign performance. In this article, we will discuss nine steps to take if you suspect that your native advertising campaign is being flooded with bot traffic—and what you can do about it.
What is Bot Traffic?
Bot traffic is a deceitful tactic that employs automated computer programs to simulate artificial clicks, impressions, or views on ads, substituting genuine human engagement. This fraudulent practice can lead to squandered ad spend and negatively impact advertisers' credibility. Therefore, selecting the appropriate native advertising platform is critical in preventing the risk of bot traffic.
Before we focus on the solutions for avoiding these problems, let's review some of the primary disadvantages associated with bot traffic:
- Inaccurate metrics: bot traffic generates fake clicks, impressions, or views on ads, leading to skewed metrics that don't accurately reflect the campaign's performance. As a result, advertisers may base their decisions on inaccurate data, which can lead to poor decisions and ineffective campaigns.
- Wasted ad spend: since bot traffic doesn't represent genuine user engagement, ad spend on native advertising campaigns that receive bot traffic is effectively wasted. Advertisers are paying for clicks, impressions, or views that don't result in real human interaction, which can be costly in the long run.
- Poor user experience: the impact of bot traffic on user experience can be detrimental, as it can slow down a website's performance, generate inaccurate data, and manipulate metrics, ultimately diminishing the quality of advertising campaigns.
- Reputation damage: if an advertiser's native advertising campaign receives bot traffic, their reputation can be damaged since their ads may be perceived as fraudulent or deceitful. This can negatively impact the brand's reputation, making it challenging to rebuild consumer trust.
In short, the sources of bot traffic can vary widely, including ad networks and publishers who try to increase their revenue by artificially boosting metrics. Advertisers should be aware of the problem of bot traffic and use methods to detect it so that they can ensure the accuracy and quality of their metrics.
How to Avoid Spending on Bot Traffic
To ensure quality traffic when selecting a native advertising platform, there are various factors to consider both before and after testing it.
In this article, we've identified nine essential aspects that you need to know. By utilizing a combination of these strategies, categorized into pre and post-platform selection, you can minimize the possibility of bot traffic and improve the accuracy of your traffic data.
Prior to Selecting a Platform
- Reputable partnerships: first and foremost, look for a platform that has partnerships with credible publishers. This implies that the platform has established relationships with well-known media outlets and has a proven track record of providing high-quality traffic.
- Traffic source: the platform should be transparent about the origins of its traffic. Legitimate sources may include websites, mobile apps, and social media. If the platform is ambiguous or hesitant to disclose traffic sources, it is advisable to avoid them.
- Target audience: an essential aspect to verify is the platform's targeting capabilities. A reliable native advertising platform should enable you to target your audience according to specific segments. This ensures that your ads are reaching the appropriate individuals and can enhance the overall effectiveness of your campaigns.
- Analytics and tracking: the platform should provide you with detailed and transparent analytics and tracking information to assess the performance of your ads. This information should be accurate and up-to-date, and you should be able to track key metrics such as clicks, impressions, and conversions.
After Selecting a Platform:
- Check spikes in traffic: monitor your metrics closely to identify any signs of bot traffic. If you observe an unusually high number of clicks, impressions, or views that do not lead to meaningful engagement, it could indicate bot traffic. Additionally, it could be a warning sign if your ads appear on low-quality or irrelevant websites.
- Evaluate the bounce rate: analyse visitor behaviour to determine if they are bots. If your visitors spend very little time on your website, quickly bounce, and show no engagement, then the traffic is likely from bots. Conversely, the traffic is likely genuine if visitors spend more time on the site, engage with your content, and click on multiple pages.
- Use detection tools: take advantage of web analytics tools to detect bots. Several online tools, including Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, SimilarWeb, and Bot Sentinel, can assist you in determining whether the traffic you receive is from bots. These tools can help you recognize unusual traffic patterns and potential bots.
- Monitor traffic sources: keep a close eye on the traffic source and its location. If the traffic is coming from a country or region where bot traffic is prevalent, it's more likely that the traffic is not genuine. Tracking the IP addresses that generate the most traffic from native ads can help you identify patterns or anomalies. If you notice a large number of visits from a single IP address, it may indicate bot traffic. Also, if the traffic source is an adult website or a site with low-quality content, it's more likely that the traffic is generated by bots.
- Review device information: analyze the device information of the traffic that comes from native ads, such as the operating system, browser, and screen resolution. For example, if you notice a high number of visits from mobile devices with outdated operating systems or browsers—or other unusual combinations of device information that could indicate bot traffic—it's worth investigating further.
Beat the Bots! Get Real Traffic & Visibility
There is no denying that the use of bots to generate fake traffic is a significant problem for the online advertising industry. However, by implementing a combination of the approaches mentioned earlier, you can get a better understanding of whether the traffic you're receiving is genuine or generated by bots.
To ensure that your advertising campaigns are effective and avoid wasting money on bot traffic, it's crucial to select a reliable native advertising platform. You'll want one that collaborates with trustworthy publishers—providing transparent reporting and targeting options.
By exercising caution and utilizing the right platform, you can ensure that your native advertising campaigns reach real users and deliver actual results.
Readpeak | Native Advertising Done Right
Have you been looking for a dependable native advertising platform? If so, you're not alone!
Native advertising has been all the rage lately, and it's easy to see why. It allows advertisers to reach out to audiences in a way that feels natural, rather than interruptive. But not all native advertising platforms are created equal—some don't even have strong relationships with their publishers.
Fortunately, native advertising platforms, such as Readpeak, have established partnerships with trustworthy publishers to ensure high-quality traffic and a premium setup for all advertisers. With Readpeak, advertisers can handpick the specific online media outlets where they want to run their campaigns, further validating our platform's selection of top-tier online publications.
In conclusion, if you are an advertiser in need of a dependable native advertising platform, try Readpeak and begin presenting your campaigns on high-quality media outlets immediately!