How to Block Accidental Clicks That Are Wasting Your Ad Spend

How to block accidental clicks

Accidental clicks are a very common problem for advertisers that’s wasting your ad budget. By reducing the amount of these clicks from their ad campaigns, you can significantly improve your performance.

So, how can you prevent accidental clicks from proliferating in your campaigns? This article helps provide a solution.

What are accidental clicks?

Accidental clicks are defined as any click that is not intentional. This include clicks from a user that is scrolling or clicking elsewhere on their device screen but inadvertently clicks on your ad.

While most accidental clicks are harmless, they can still add up quickly and waste your ad budget.

So, you need to take the appropriate measures to detect and reduce the accidental clicks to run your ad campaigns at their potential efficiency.

How common are accidental clicks?

Accidental clicks are a serious problem and eat up as much as 50% of your mobile ad spend. Here are some recent industry reports:

Accidental clicks are quite common, especially on mobile devices where users often hit ads through endless scrolling on social media channels and news feeds. This can be a big problem for advertisers, as accidental clicks can quickly eat up your budget.

What causes accidental clicks?

An accidental click can occur for several reasons but by far the two most popular are:

Mis-taps: This is when someone taps on an ad on accident, such as scrolling through a news feed on Facebook or attempting to close a pop up ad but missing the “X” and clicking on the ad instead. On desktop, users often attempt to press the “skip” button on video ads but inadvertently mis-tap on the video ad instead.

Fraudulent publishers: This is when publishers intentionally place ads in places that interfere with a user’s actions, such as pop ups over video play buttons, banner ads that load at the last minute, or ads with expanded click areas.

Other reasons users may accidently click on your ad is due to “banner blindness,” ads that may look like editorial content, and more, but these are much smaller reasons.

Over the years Google has attempted to reduce the volume of these accidental clicks by reducing the clickability of their ad units. This includes increasing the padding around that banner, preventing advertiser’s logos from being clicked and even adding a delay in which the ads can be clicked when the page first loads.

How to block accidental clicks

With a few simple steps, advertisers can block these wasted clicks and quickly improve their ad performance:

#1)  Block users that only spend milliseconds on your website

Users that arrived on your site and spend only 1-2 seconds there left before they even saw your headline or your site finished loading. These are bots or accidental clicks and you should block these users.

Note: “Bounced” users are different. Google classifies bounced users as those that arrived on your site but didn’t interact with your page before leaving. Some of those users may be worth re-targeting later. Only block those that leave milliseconds after arriving.

#2)  Avoid spammy “made-for-advertising” websites

Made-for-advertising websites (MFA) are sites entirely designed to maximize clicks from users. They often have an extreme amount of ads surrounding the content, place ads near buttons, and use other tricks to generate clicks.

👉 Read more about made-for-advertising websites
👉 Download our exclusion list of made-for-advertising websites

#3)  Bid based on page engagement, not clicks

When available, target your campaigns based on engagement or a conversion, not just a link click.

Facebook Ads offers an option for “Landing Page Views” which optimizes your ads towards users that not only click but then interact with your page (such as page scrolling or clicking). Their “Link clicks” option only optimizes based on total clicks to your site which can actually drive accidental clicks. This may result in a better click through rate (CTR), but it can be a lower quality user.

accidental clicks on facebook

Facebook’s options for optimizing ad delivery on their ad platform

#4)  Use software to block accidental clicks

Our software, Fraud Blocker, can prevent these clicks automatically. We block mobile users that click your online ads and then bounce after arriving on your site for less than 2 seconds. Our data shows these users didn’t intend to redirect to your site and are leaving before your site finishes loading or before they even have a chance to read your headline.

Here’s a sample screenshot of this feature shown in your dashboard on our platform:

how to block accidental clicks with fraud blocker

Example of Fraud Blocker’s software that detects and blocks accidental clicks automatically.

#5)  Avoid ad creative that blends in with content

If you’re running display ads, then you’ll want to avoid white backgrounds and typography that could get confused with editorial content on the sites they’re running on. (unless your marketing strategy is built for native ads). Bright colors, big headlines and clear call-to-actions can all help ensure your ad stands out and doesn’t blend in with the editorial content.

#6)  Write better ad copy

When you are running search ads, it’s possible that some people click on your ads looking for something else from what you are offering. So, make sure you optimize your ad headline and description in a way that clearly states what you do and doesn’t attract any clicks from irrelevant people.

#7)  Refine your audience targeting

Your ad’s audience targeting should be laser-focused to reach and invite the write people to your ads. Unclear and loose targeting can bring some irrelevant users to click your ads, which can waste your ad budget. So, work on the audience targeting to reduce the clicks from the irrelevant audience.

Conclusion

Accidental clicks can ruin even your best ad campaigns. Whether it’s an errant mouse click or a mistargeted mobile ad, these clicks can waste your budget and damage your CTR.

Follow the steps above to run your ad campaigns efficiently. And Try our 14-day free trial to block these automatically and improve your results today.

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