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Bogus clicks! I've got clicks, but no sales!

If your ad is getting clicks but you're not getting sales or phone calls? That doesn't mean the clicks aren't legitimate.

Starting from the assumption that the clicks are good, what it means is that when the searchers got to your website, they didn't see what they were searching for.


So, if your campaign is getting a lot of clicks, first check your keywords. Are these all words very closely related to your product or service? Make sure your match types aren't too broad and that all of the keywords are highly relevant to your product/service. Read your search terms  report (accessible from the Keywords tab) very closely--are the search queries being matched to your keywords the kinds of searches you expected to see?  


If yes, that's good. If no, revisit your keyword list again--maybe tighten up match types or pause too-general words.

Check your ad text--is it clear what you're selling or are people having to click on the ads to reach the website before they know whether or not your ad really matches their search?

As you're verifying that the traffic you're sending to your website is quality traffic, you also have to decide whether or not these potential customers find your website a quality one.


Compare your keywords and your ad messaging to your website and make sure they really match up--that anything offered in an ad is offered on the landing page--the page the destination URL for the page the visitor sees after they clicks.  


View your website objectively--do your pages load quickly, is contact information easy to find, are you directing campaign traffic directly to the most appropriate web page on the site, is the site easy to read and navigate, is your online buying process simple and secure, etc.


Nothing exists in a vacuum, especially and AdWords campaign. Your campaign success dependsvery heavily on the searcher's experience when they get to your website. Your campign exists to draw qualified traffic to your product or service offers, but it's your website that closes the sale.

about Theresa Zook

I am co-owner of All About Clicks, an agency focusing on SEM & SEO for SMBs. To explain that jumble of acronyms, we work with our clients to enable their businesses to compete successfully in today's connected marketplace. Contact us (at for information or to discuss having your account reviewed.

December 2012


Yes I have been concerend about manny clicks and the cost attached to this  without getting any real sales. I had to take a real good look at my adwords being used, and refining the choice has helped out some what.

Thanks for the advice.


Warm regards, Graham Russell (located in Sydney, Australia).

December 2012

i think that ive been a getting false or bogus/fraud clicks on adwords for some time from at least one or more of my competitors...and its keeping me from wanting to further use adword and need your help.... ive talked to reps. a few times but dont know what to do to find out who it is...ive putmoney on the account on later in the afternoon and got no calls but by early morning exhausted my account lots od times..please advise us ...thank you John Webster 401 996 9996

December 2012

          Let me begin by saying that Theresa's advice is excellent in most cases, but I believe misapplied here. When the position runs less than 30 searches a month, (12 searches/month for the months in question).  you should never be geting clicked off the page with any sort of normal budget.  If you set your daily budget at anything around 10 bucks or so, then you would need something like 12 standard deviations to knock you off in a day,(for this position, the statewide one) .   Your in the millions to 1 AGAINST this being normal traffic.    (I immediately suspect the competitor carrs. I suppose you could simply call and ask him to stop :-)    )   Further incrimination is supplied by the other position you have (city).  Both positions got equal traffic during the months you advertised, yet the statewide position got SEVEN TIMES the number of clicks.   This is too fishy to live. I therefore conclude with caveats and advice.


CAVEATS:   Weird things DO sometimes happen. If your budget is set too low you may be getting knocked off with a single click. Also, there WAS a hurricane there recently, and your product is likely subject to unusual wear and tear during hurricanes.  (Find the value for wind pressures with the formula, wind pressure (Psf) = .00256 x V^2.. "V" is the speed of the wind in MPH. Multiply this by 106  *16X7 is 112, subtract 6 for trim* and that is the pressure in pounds which was applied by wind.) . Your website has a lot of flash on the landing page which is a nono for you, and your verizon voicemail is not set up with any sort of message. 



ADVICE:       Every website is hosted on a server. Every server keeps access logs, which track the IP address of the visitors to your site.  You simply need to know what to look for.  A little research will tell you everything you need to know.


      If your competitor is very foolish, you will see multiple hits from the same IP address. If your competitor is moderately foolish, you will see multiple hits within a very short time frame, from widely varying IP addresses.  These will be traceable to a proxy anonymizer. Basically there is no way to click on your ad any meaningful number of times and not be found out. (I am an advertising professional, but my hobby is website security testing.  My daughter has perhaps the most secure facebook profile in existence. )


       If you would like help with your situation going forward, email me. I would be glad to parse the logs for you and dig up the offending IP's (no charge).  I could also let you know where you should be with your advertising so your not scrapping over 4 customers a month. I left a callback number on your phone as well.






1000 clicks , $1200 but no sales in Adwords. But I am also using bing, I got 1000 clicks, $170 50 sales.


I am using Same ad, same keywords, same landing page, same geo location and everything same in in both. But experiance with Adwords is not good, but I love to see sales in Adwords also.