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How to target a country only ? How to report invalid clicks?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

We started a new campaign that is targeting US people only (people who live in the US). We started it a few days ago and until now out of 200 or so clicks we got, 195 were from people outside of this US... is this for real?

We're getting clicks from Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, India, Pakistan, Mexico, Ireland - only 5 clicks from US ips. This is not what we're paying for.

Furthermore, we got about 30 clicks from a single IP in Indonesia in one hour (visit length is up to 3 seconds), about 20 clicks from a single IP in India, 20 from one in Pakistan and a few others that i suspect to be invalid - but out of those 200 clicks we got, 150 of them were charged while 50 were considered by google to be invalid. Now since only 5 came from the US, i would consider all 195 to be invalid - but found no way to report them (live chat is not working - submit button doesn't do anything, sent an email but no reply and i also found a form to report fraudulent clicks, but that is asking me for an adsense ID which i don't have, only have adwords).

 

So my questions are:

1) how can i get only US based traffic (i don't mind getting traffic from other countries, but i don't want to be charged for it)

2) how can i report the clicks i consider invalid / fraudulent (by the way, 99% of the clicks we got so far - the users only visited the home page of the website and the visit length was up to 5 seconds long).

 

The ads are for an online shop selling hand-made clothes and jewelry - so if any clicks were valid, we should be getting at least some clicks on inner page but we're just getting one click per user (to the landing page). We did some similar campaigns (but with a broader geographical audience target) and we got a lot of engagement, the bounce rate was really low - here it is almost 100% (i suspect due to the bad clicks). This is just a test campaign (low budget) but 30 clicks from indonesia in one hour is depleting my starting budget almost instantly and i can't do sh** with adwords... Should i go for a 3rd party click fraud detection solution or can adwords really show ads only to my targeted audience?

 

Hope you guys can help

Alex

1 Expert replyverified_user
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Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by MosheTLV (Top Contributor)
December 2016

How to target a country only ? How to report invalid clicks?

[ Edited ]
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭

On the "Settings" page for your campaign, expand "Location options (advanced)" and select: "People IN my targeted location".  

Also it's a good idea to add countries to the "Exclude" list, which have been or may be problematic. 

 

Home pages are usually not the best place to send PPC traffic.  It depends on your site but usually a page tailored to the ad group which specifically addresses what is being searched for, is more effective. Home pages often lead to a high "bounce rate". 

 

It is the job of the destination page to engage the visitor.  When a visitor leaves in 5 seconds, that is a 'bounce'.  It does not usually mean that the traffic is fraudulent.

 

What other information is telling you that there is a big problem with fraudulent clicks?  Google post-processes ("click washing") to remove obviously bad clicks; but they are not a significant issue in most campaigns. The heavy clicks from some countries might be washed.  Takes about 8 hours after midnight before the data settles, in the time zone the campaign is set to.

View solution in original post

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by MosheTLV (Top Contributor)
December 2016

How to target a country only ? How to report invalid clicks?

[ Edited ]
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭

On the "Settings" page for your campaign, expand "Location options (advanced)" and select: "People IN my targeted location".  

Also it's a good idea to add countries to the "Exclude" list, which have been or may be problematic. 

 

Home pages are usually not the best place to send PPC traffic.  It depends on your site but usually a page tailored to the ad group which specifically addresses what is being searched for, is more effective. Home pages often lead to a high "bounce rate". 

 

It is the job of the destination page to engage the visitor.  When a visitor leaves in 5 seconds, that is a 'bounce'.  It does not usually mean that the traffic is fraudulent.

 

What other information is telling you that there is a big problem with fraudulent clicks?  Google post-processes ("click washing") to remove obviously bad clicks; but they are not a significant issue in most campaigns. The heavy clicks from some countries might be washed.  Takes about 8 hours after midnight before the data settles, in the time zone the campaign is set to.

How to target a country only ? How to report invalid clicks?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

"People IN my targeted location" is already selected and we're still getting clicks from other countries.

 

Adding countries to the exclude list would be problematic - we would have to add all countries, other than the US - and apparently we can't add countries in bulk, i have to manually enter each of them - and that's not a solution, not when we have to create multiple campaigns.

 

I thought it would be a rather simple thing for an organization like google to be able to target based people based on their country (but it seems it's not). For example today, we got 50+ paid clicks to our website, NONE of them coming from the US. So it looks to me that targeting setting does absolutely nothing. Yes, our per click budget is quite low - but then our ads should not appear. Right now it seems they appear but for people in countries where our budget would get into the first page bid.

 

Regarding the landing page and bounce rate - yes, that's true, it's the job of the landing page to engage, but when getting the right kind of traffic - if we're advertising free shipping or specific discounts to US clients / residents (just an example) and we're getting no traffic from the US - i would consider we have a problem with the traffic (traffic we're paying for). If we would be getting US traffic and having a high bounce rate, i would consider that being our fault.

 

In terms of bad clicks not being a significant issue, in our adwords dashboard, for this campaign targeting US people only, the invalid click rate is 61.25% - that is pretty significant to me. But what's worse is that in reality the correct rate is around 95%.

 

We signed up for a click fraud monitoring solution - don't know if it works or not - so far, while we're getting just a few hundred clicks per day we can monitor everything manually, but if we scale everything up, it would be impossible without automation.

 

So if anyone knows a solution to get clicks only from the target country, i'm still looking for one.

How to target a country only ? How to report invalid clicks?

Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭

Sorry to hear you are experiencing frustration with location targeting and clicks. 

 

To avoid entering a long list of countries to exclude, use a list from:


https://developers.google.com/adwords/api/docs/appendix/geotargeting

 

From this resource, create and download a list of targetable locations by country which excludes the United States.  Download as .csv then using Google AdWords Editor, use the "Make Multiple Changes" feature to attach those countries to a campaign:

 

https://developers.google.com/adwords/api/docs/appendix/geotargeting

 

hth 

How to target a country only ? How to report invalid clicks?

Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor

@Alexinhio

Have you verified that the source of traffic coming from "other" countries is AdWords (vs. Organic)?

 

Geo targeting is not perfect within countries, but I don't recall cases of AdWords traffic  coming from outside the country while  the setting was "people  in my targeted location"

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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How to target a country only ? How to report invalid clicks?

Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭

Good point @MosheTLV - I haven't seen that either.