Sure you might have attribution questions, but a bot likely won't spend like a person would.
Fortunately, I work in the Analytics industry, so I set-up scroll tracking on my website using Google Tag Manager and started noticing the same patterns as the author as well. Just so to add on to the author, I even excluded the top fraud-prone countries (Egypt, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, etc.)
In effect, the only pre-orders I've gotten are from Amazon's own internal organic advertising combined with my personal Social media posts. I tried increasing the budget, but that didn't work out either.
Mind you, I track almost every important action on my site (click a button, fill in a form, etc.). The behaviour of these "bots" are very strange and the only thing I've gained in this gamble is an ultra high bounce rate (~90%, < 2 seconds session duration) like the author. Again, I feel it's too early for me to conclude that these networks are useless as I keep reading posts from other people saying Facebook works extraordinarily well for them.
Here are some things that might help you.
1. The type of ad you run and the copy you use has a big impact on the user's behaviour. Not all ads are created equal. Good copy that really taps i to why someone should be clicking through and what value they can expect to attain the other end makes a big difference. But this isnt an exact science. Its more of an art.
2. If you're targeting is off, you will also get undesired behaviour. People might click through because they like the ad, but if they havent been targeted correctly, it will cause issues. You may need to get more laser focused in terms of targeting. Age range, custom audience (through email upload), lookalike audiences, interests etc.
3. People via email, trust you to some extent and have a relationship with you. They're a warm audience. This is the real reason the organic approach is working for you. You have a relationship with those people. Its not the same with paid ads. You need to build that trust and warm them up. You might take a layered/re-targeting approach by offering them some value and then re-targeting the people that interact with your content with a second and third round of ads. You might also grab their email and then target them both via email and fb.
FB can work, but it take alot of iterations and time to get it right.
Alternatively you could just run an FB ad that does something to collect email addresses, then run an email nurturing campaign, warm up the audience and then target via email.
FB can work, but it takes time.
At the end of the day, if someone is advertising a product that is incredibly good, they should be able to use CPM instead of CPC. The point I am trying to make is that I believe the CPM model is dependent on making CPC & other more costly services look like a better alternative.
You might consider looking for an agency that specialises in PPL/PPA; basically doing revshare, and letting them build appropriate site lists, and user demographics, and copy testing and so on to help figure out what makes your product sell -- they will put skin in the game because they can leverage their expertise.
For many, $17/lead is fantastic because they have an AOV or LTV that supports it. Not every business can do that, so other forms of marketing may make more sense at that stage.
The dock manager (Google) opens a gate to the strong looking fellows allowing them into the dock company's holding area. If they are not in this area (front page of appropriate SERPs) then they aren't considered by the task master who later comes to the holding area, scans the candidates that the dock manager has selected, and takes his pick to get the days work done - from which point it is finally up to the individual and their abilities to prove their ongoing worth.
Imagine if you needed to be an SEO, adwords and general internet marketing guru just to get the dock manager to look at you so you could get paid....
Right now most agents won't take someone who can't immediately bill invoices in the high thousands of dollars. In a contract economy the agent services market would have a low end. Tools will emerge to help agents take on large volumes of low dollar value clients.
Double digit percentages of the entire unrepresented labor market are up for grabs. The current setup is unstable.
Unions are different in that they represent a class not an individual and they don't take a percentage of earnings.
If op is reading this, I'd be happy to hop on a phone call and help you out.
The one who converts more for less will owe the other $1000 - we can make the accounts public so that (1) the world can see your "expertise" and (2) how "confused" I am. Game?
Every article about rampant ad fraud inevitably contains a comment thread where ad consultants appear to make claims that other people "just can't do it right". Let's see it done right, then.
It doesn't matter if you're only converting 1% of advertising traffic if that 1% is profitable.
Buying ads is literally one of the easiest things I've ever done on Facebook.
Seriously though, it's hard to track success.
If I'm showing an ad wanting people to rush out and buy sneakers... it's rare that it will hit the right person at the right spot in their sneaker purchase decision journey.
But what I want is to bombard them with information so that when they are ready to buy sneakers, they think positively of the sneakers I am selling.
I don't care if they don't follow a perfect path on my site... if they click around and click off... they most likely aren't going to click and buy on the spot. I'm OK with this.
How do I know if my advertising is working? Well... tracking users is one way, but just asking users is something a lot of stores don't bother with. A simple "how did you hear about us?" or hit them up with a customer satisfaction survey after the purchase with a few questions -- incentivized with a coupon. You'll get some great metrics that will help you understand if you marketing budget is being well-spent.
However, if you are bidding on keywords showing purchase intent (usually on Google Adwords), the user's should be more engaged. If the Google PPC traffic isn't engaging you may need to optimize your landing page and do some A/B testing.
Facebook is quite different because the user isn't expressing intent at the time they see your ad (usually interest/demographic based targeting) and are having to jump off FB to check your site out. So your landing page has to be really compelling and quicker to digest for that audience. You have to try and capture an email and drop a FB retargeting pixel for sure.
The strategies should be different based on those channels because of the context and frame of mind the user is in.
For me that means I am paying 100X more than what I had expected.
You get charged for misclicks so maybe that's what you are seeing. But cpm bidding generally isn't for driving traffic anyways. Cpc is usually more expensive because it is way more targeted and is intent based.
This is horrifying. It's so weird to me that people think this is normal, ethical behavior that it's okay to admit to.
For the latter: I worked on Global Network Navigator  from 1993-1995. GNN was the first commercial website, published by O'Reilly & Associates. I was the technical director of GNN. We experimented with various types of financial support, including what today would call sponsored content. My first gig at GNN in October 1993 was coding the HTML for the the initial sponsored content article (for a Bay area law firm). Around the same time, Wired (as HotWired) invented banner ads -- I lay no claim to that! ;)
For the former: I think systems like FullStory are incredibly intrusive. Why would I want my personal scrolling & clicking actions captured, played back, and analyzed? How have we come to accept this as normal? I realize most people don't think about this, but that's because they don't realize the level of information that is accrued. I know when I've tried to explain how much information is gathered, my non-techie friends are horrified themselves. Sure, it might be anonymized (or might not); regardless, it's just fucking creepy.
I would like to add that having done both, ads in foreign languages are clicked on by bots many times less than ads in English.
Google Adwords seems to be almost a scam. If you don't disable them, most of your clicks will come from Nigeria, Afghanistan, and other random countries, with Google doing nothing about it.
I've had success with Facebook in Polish and Italian, ads in English seemed to be mostly bots.
Pretty sad for people who spend thousands without knowing.
I guess content marketing is the way to go, most people know this. Write good stuff that is useful to your audience, and share it on Reddit. I've done it in the past, with great results.
That's why you'll find people swearing both cases..."adsense is worthless" vs "adsense is a goldmine". It really depends on the niche.
This could be of course just ordinary user behavior. When searching something, I'm opening tens of different pages. Probably I scroll quite quickly through most of them. Just made some quick tests and I think on mobile phone I also act as described, so just flick to the end of the page glancing stuff on my way.
With a mouse, you get slight movement even while scrolling or pressing buttons, but with a trackpad or on a mobile device you don't, there's "mouse movement" even if you explicitly do some aiming before a click.
EDIT: They used FullStory (https://fullstory.com). I missed that when I read it the first time.
If you're looking for a more developer-focused product, you can also check out LogRocket (https://logrocket.com).
These posts pop-up every now and then, what OP doesn't consider is they just aren't a good marketer.
I'm also assuming that you probably have left all channels (mobile, tablet, desktop, various display channels, etc) on, and not using remarketing/retargeting.
If all that is true, then what you're seeing is normal. Heck it can even be higher than that in a lot of cases. Ideally, you need to be working on reducing that useless traffic over time.
But this easier said than done especially if you have a a small budget that will be completely gone within a few weeks.
PPC is such a hard thing to do because you need consistent funds for at least 1-4 months to truly test what works and what doesn't. If you don't have that, then there is no point in doing it.
My word of advice is either stop doing PPC and focus on less costly things, or if you're going to do it, then start by using only one ad network (doesn't matter; just pick one) and working within a single channel of that network.
Once you feel comfortable within that one channel, then start adding another channel and another channel over time within that ad network.
It's great to budget your spend where it makes the most sense and your communities and earned ads/content should do great for you. Just watch your spend there and lways budget some for experimentation and try NEW things. Just because you have written off a gold mine doesn't mean there isn't gold there. Maybe you were mining it incorrectly. However, If you feel there is gold all over the ground I'd pick it up before I started digging for it.
Facebook has a tremendous amount of data about users, but for a B2B campaign, its quite terrible and worthless. Be sure you completely disable all mobile app "networks" placementd (esp facebook - audience network ) --unless you're doing managed placements -- I've seen tens of thousands burned with these networks, which show ads in worthless apps, designed to generate fraudulent clicks.
That said, retargeting across these networks (esp Facebook) can drive responses, although I can't say we've seen anything turn into a big opportunity later in the funnel (big/complex sales cycles)...retargeting requires traffic, so I'm constantly trying to pull in a variety of 3rd party/behavioural data to improve front end traffic, to get the right people to pages.
The ad model is unsustainable, I want BigCo to switch (they have the resources), but it's not easy for a global company.
But just from looking at the home page of the site you were advertising I'm not surprised your ads had poor performance. At a glance, I can't tell what exactly i'm 'Starting today' and I doubt your ad creative would be much better, so most people who click are probably curious and have low intent. If you want high CTRs its easy to 'optimize for clicks' and use a catchy ad copy or image, but then obviously you'll have low conversion. Not to mention 'optimizing for clicks' on display networks obviously runs into issues with bots.
TL;DR The adverts performed 100% in bringing visitors to your website. That is their job. Your website is not converting them to real users 90% of the time. Your website failed.
"Click fraud" is rampant and Yuuuuge. Because it is both easy and it doesn't get the international police on your back like stealing CC's or user accounts do. So it is a fun game for smart people who make anywhere from a few dollars to a few thousand dollars a day just for writing clever code.
The replay shows them both at 1x but they're not the same at all, the second gif is like 10x the speed of the first.
That behavior looks exactly correct for mobile traffic.
Flagged the story, looks like title click bait to probably hit front page; There seems to be manipulation on the gifs to drive their point.
The point I am making is that 80-90% of the traffic is a simple user interaction.
Sorry, but the scroll is so slow that I decided to speed up both animations 3X - that is stated in the article.
And even if you buy ads on Google's own sites (like Youtube), the channel owners could hire bots to maximize their income.
Regarding Facebook, I don't know if there is any third party, maybe this is just people who clicked on ads accidentaly?
There is a good post from Andy Brice on this: https://successfulsoftware.net/2013/05/26/the-declining-prof...
- Most times I click in ads, I do it only to help the content creators, I have no interest at all in the ad I'm clicking.
- The remaining clicks I often do it by mistake.
Shouldn't you build a rather very specific landing pages for these click-throughs and then compare their behavior? I personally feel that redirection to very good article on your site would rather have them more interested than sending them to a landing page.
That's normal they have a different behavior.
Comparing Google Ads and Facebook Ads is hard as there is a user behavior difference between them.
- Visitors from Google Ads often have a purchase intent
- Visitors from Facebook Ads are currently entertaining thanks to Facebook photos & videos. (you need to create a need, a urgency to sign up / purchase)
-> my startup has experienced that. Google ads bring qualified users to Moneytis.com (comparison of money transfer options), whereas Facebook ads bring curious people to sign up on neomy.io (fun alerts about currency exchange rates)
With regard to the advertising on Facebook and Google, what audience targeting was tested and applied? What ad formats were used? How many ad concepts were tested? What testing was done on the landing pages to improve performance? What was the "ROI" of the advertising investment, and what was the +/- on these results relative to the goals ascribed to the investment at the outset?
If you have no answers to these questions, or cannot back up your response with data from the type of testing I refer to here (which is part and parcel to running online advertising), then your article is completely pointless.
I then clicked the "optimize my campaign" button. Suddenly my clicks went up, and my impressions went up... but no one left their email. I think the trick to advertising on Google is to target niches, and scale up "manually". I also think there's something to targeting the long tail keywords rather than the fat popular keywords. "Sofa" might get 50k clicks, but the people searching for "Black modern leather sofa" will probably be a better match.
All in all are you sure you use the right keywords in google so you get the people with right intent?
Facebook's strength is audience targeting. Are you sure the audience you target is the right one on Facebook?
Some of those will be changes to the LP, some of it will be narrowing the targeting of your ads to exclude unprofitable segments.
Is easy really, to get something from ads. You just need to stop half-assing it.
With Google - Turn off search partners and content network and try running the numbers again.
I'm happy to see you associate someone with ADD with slaves or a non-intelligent bot.
"Each week receive hand-picked insights to help you develop your career & get promoted faster" by learning how to randomly insult people and equate them with slavery.
"BE GREAT AT WHAT YOU DO", like insulting people you've never met.
Do your testimonials come from people who learned how to insult people?
Its pretty covert because so many people are dismissing it as something their daughters use to do frivolous things
But I bet they didn't even know about the election ads, or the short form stuff thats decent at getting the point across quickly, or the location filter ads
and to @vivekd's request for data on this topic:
- plenty of data here. Happy to provide a SQL interface for it if you can prove that you've got the chops