At Make Happy, we get all kinds of questions from business owners who are just dipping their toes into the confusing and often contradictory world of digital marketing. For the last couple of years, the online advertising industry has been in a bit of a tizzy as reports of fraudulent metrics, from click wars to spambot followers, have flooded our newsfeed.

As a result, we often get asked how to recognise and deal with fraud when buying online ads. So, we’ve put together this guide, which is specific to Facebook. The great thing about Facebook’s advertising model, as well as many other platforms, is that you only pay when your ad is clicked, and not whenever your ad is shown. Here are some tips for ensuring your clicks are genuine:

1. Build your audience through good content
Before you start spending money advertising on Facebook, make sure you know your audience. Curate and produce content that leads to engagement and loyalty from the audience you’re selling to. Spend a little money on testing what content types work best. This way, when you advertise, you’ll know what content works best for your target group.

2. Maintain a focused Targeting Strategy
Segment your audience by age, location and interests. You may see less clicks and impressions than targeting a broader audience but the quality of those clicks will increase. They’re more likely to be your target customer, which gives you a better return on investment.

3. Troubleshoot your content throughout the User Journey
Take a look at your messaging and user experience each time your target user encounters your content. Are the ads communicating your message clearly and in an engaging way? Are your landing page and website easy to navigate?

4. Turn off Facebook’s Audience Network
The Audience Network feature is often enabled on Facebook by default. This serves your advert on affiliate apps and sites, some of which are targeted by click farms. If you’re noticing an increase in clicks and a decrease in conversions, you may want to consider switching off this feature. You can do this in Facebook Ads Manager when you are choosing your placements.

5.  Track your conversion rates
Establish your ideal conversion rate early on through testing. The conversion rate can be expected to drop a little as the number of clicks increase, but if you see a drastic change in a short time, this could indicate click fraud.

If you’re buying your ads through a third-party media buyer, ensure that they are reputable. A good media buyer will understand the importance of growing a quality audience slowly, based on a sound marketing and content strategy. If someone promises you growth and numbers that seem unrealistic, always dig deeper. Most of all, remember that online marketing should be strategic with an emphasis on quality and sustainable growth, not quick wins.

For more information on how Make Happy could help you with your digital content, visit www.makehappy.co.uk