Invalid Traffic (IVT): The Biggest Business Obstacle You Haven’t Heard of Yet
Cyber Risks & Threats | August 08, 2021
There are many challenges that businesses of all sizes can face. Some may deal with marketing challenges that include getting the right types of potential customers to their websites or converting those visitors into viable leads. Business development challenges like increasing conversion rates or better addressing the needs of their lead database could also arise. Other organizations are looking to increase the quality of business intelligence and insights they have access to in order to make smarter decisions. No matter what the challenge is for your particular business, you might begin to question if there’s a better or smarter way to address them.
One common problem that frequently gets overlooked is the issue of Invalid Traffic (IVT)
Traditionally, businesses have not factored the potential of Invalid Traffic (IVT) into their overall objectives and goals, and so it is often swept under the rug by many departments as “someone else’s problem.” However, the choice to ignore Invalid Traffic can lead to the perpetuation of misinformation and cause decisions to be made based on incorrect data. Many times, businesses spend an abundance of time and resources trying to get to the bottom of why certain initiatives aren’t working when, in reality, their information could be skewed or inaccurate due to invalid visitors arriving on their site. No matter what challenge is stumping your organization — from marketing to business development to business intelligence and analytics — IVT could be affecting it and should be analyzed before spending valuable resources on other, more time-consuming measures.
So, let’s dive deeper into what IVT is and where it comes from
Invalid Traffic is one of the internet’s best-kept open secrets. It is essentially defined as any internet traffic that cannot turn into a legitimate customer. This can take many forms, from bot activity to suspicious users who mask their identity or behave on the internet in a skeptical way to malicious users who actively seek to skew data and attack your digital assets. While IVT is a broad term that encapsulates many types of traffic, the one thing all IVT has in common is that it can negatively impact every aspect of your customer acquisition funnel. Moreover, IVT is all over the internet. Whether or not you have malicious users actively seeking out your website with harmful intentions, virtually every website in the world has some level of invalid traffic. This is because automated tools and bots scan content all the time (sometimes for legitimate purposes), and at the same time, malicious and suspicious users could end up on your site even if you are not their primary target.
This problem is BIG
One common objection to taking Invalid Traffic seriously is the idea that while IVT exists, it can’t be that big of an issue. This has been proven false. In fact, our team studied site visits from 30 key markets globally and looked at traffic coming from $2.6 billion in advertising spend. The trends we found were concerning. Of the 30 markets we analyzed, nearly 20 had at least 10% IVT. Among these highly infected markets were Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, Mexico, and more. This means that in these areas at least 1 out of every 10 visitors on your site is an invalid user taking up space that could be better occupied by a legitimate user.
Consider this on a larger scale as well since you probably have more than 10 site visitors. Let’s say you have 100,000 visitors per month. If you market to any of the areas that have a 10%+ invalid rate, then you are marketing to 10,000 users every month who will never turn into legitimate customers and are interacting with your assets and skewing your data.
It is also important to consider the efforts that go into increasing traffic or driving lead generation or revenue efforts. If you are spending money on advertisements, pouring resources into nurture campaigns, using valuable company time to drive pipeline increases, and analyzing results, then this becomes even more concerning. If you are not carefully assessing, managing, and, in many cases, blocking IVT, you are wasting resources and missing out on potential real customers because your funnel is polluted.
Fortunately, this issue is addressable. Many smart companies are already getting ahead of their competitors by implementing Customer Acquisition Security, or CAS, technology to manage and block harmful types of Invalid Traffic. In many cases, these organizations see increases in conversion rates, click-through rates (CTR), pipeline, and even revenue. As new types of IVT enter the digital ecosystem, it’s more important than ever to take this issue seriously and look like a hero in the process by cleaning up your processes and operations. If you’re curious about Customer Acquisition Security and want to start a conversation with our team, we’re here to listen.