Invalid Traffic (IVT) can affect the operational efficiency, data accuracy, and even revenue of entire business organizations. With various types of malicious users, suspicious users, and bots cluttering the internet, it’s critical to understand the issues these invalid users can cause. In this post we’ll focus on the key ways that IVT impacts marketers, but it is important to note that IVT also impacts analytics teams, business intelligence, sales departments and more. Skewed analytics, a lack of actionable analytics, and invalid leads making their way into your CRM can all pose a serious threat.
Marketers, though, are typically primarily concerned with website sessions, lead generation, interactions with marketing assets, and other key awareness, engagement, or conversion metrics. So let’s start by discussing how specifically Invalid Traffic can impact marketers in 3 key ways.
1 – Missed Revenue Opportunities
Many marketers are measured on the pipeline or revenue they contribute to the sales organization. It is beneficial to both the sales and marketing teams to increase revenue opportunities and ensure the company is not accidentally missing out on closing potential deals within their customer profile.
Unfortunately, Invalid Traffic frequently gets in the way of achieving optimal pipeline and revenue targets. All too often, marketers spend valuable time and budget on users who have no intention of converting and no chance of becoming a real paying customer. Sometimes this sort of IVT comes from human users with malicious intent, but is also sometimes coming from users who are masking their identity or location for unclear purposes. And sometimes these users are not human at all but rather are some form of bot or automated tool that scans the internet for a variety of reasons. Regardless, if you are unknowingly spending valuable resources on invalid users of any kind, you are missing out on valid users who have a much better shot at becoming a customer and spending money with you.
By identifying IVT at this stage in the marketing funnel, you can begin to block irrelevant users and even replace them with valid ones. Your marketing budget will no longer be drained by users who at best are not useful to you, and at worst are looking to actively harm your site.
2 – Polluted Audiences
As a marketer, you most likely are targeting an audience of some sort right now. Maybe you have an advertising campaign set up for a particular demographic, age group, geographic location, or some other type of identifier. Audiences are hugely important when trying to expose your product or service to new potential customers, and are widely used on a large scale. However, what many marketers fail to realize is that your audience is probably polluted to some degree with invalid users.
When these users make their way into your audiences, your ads are incorrectly served to users who are not a good fit and have no chance of working with you in a legitimate way. It’s safe to say that virtually all marketers want their advertisements to be served to a real person who can potentially turn into a customer. But with IVT getting in the way, this becomes more difficult. Not to mention if you are building additional campaigns based on the performance of a campaign with a polluted audience, you are potentially repeating the same problem over and over. This can cause marketers to spend time testing out different messaging, creative, landing pages and more — only to end up stumped as to why their advertisements aren’t doing well. If you haven’t looked into evaluating your invalid traffic, it’s a smart idea to do that before making other more drastic and time consuming changes.
3 – Skewed Optimization
After a marketing campaign launches, advertising platforms do their best to optimize the ads toward certain users based on behavior. If a certain type of user seems to be clicking on your advertisements a lot, or making their way to your website, or even filling out forms, then the advertising platform will try to bring you more similar users to optimize your campaign.
The issue here is that sometimes bots, competitors, and other types of invalid users can also be the ones who click, visit, and convert. If that’s the case for you, then your campaign will unintentionally become optimized toward additional IVT. This can cause a vicious cycle where more and more invalid users are given the opportunity to interact with your ads, the ads become optimized to them, and additional invalid users interact with your ads, etc. This can continue to a point where your ads are designed to bring in more bots and invalid users instead of being optimized toward potential customers. This is a tricky situation that no marketer wants to find themselves in.
So if showing your advertisements to real humans with positive intent is important to you, then making sure your advertisements are correctly optimized should be a priority to your organization.
Invalid Traffic is an issue that is frequently overlooked, but can quietly cause detrimental consequences to marketing departments and your business organization as a whole. If you’re ready to learn more about IVT, and how to accurately and efficiently address it, then contact our team today.