Betting on Bigger ROI: Why Fraud-Free Campaigns are Critical This Summer

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June through to the end of July are some of the busiest times on the sporting calendar. There’s the UEFA Champions League Finals, NBA Finals, NHL Stanley Cup Final, and soon Wimbledon, all kicking off over the next two months. A highly active time in the sporting calendar is surprisingly the lowest revenue months for sportsbooks in the US, meaning every marketing dollar counts.  

The amount of money in play across online and in-person sportsbooks is significantly lower from June through to August in the US according to Legal Sport Report. From January to February of 2022, nearly $17 billion was in play compared to just over $10 billion in June to July. In 2023, this is following the same trajectory, making saving budgets and retaining genuine bettors more important than ever during these summer months.  

Not only does betting slow down during this time, but the increased competition in the market means paid search campaigns require more investment to gain as much attention from the biggest audiences. However, wherever money is, fraud follows, and these summertime sporting events are huge magnets.  

Looming Threats

The online gambling vertical experiences significantly higher levels of invalid traffic on Google ads campaigns than other verticals and so it’s vital sportsbooks build a strong defence to protect campaign budgets from fraudsters wanting a share. During this summer lull in betting, every cent spent on marketing efforts needs to be used wisely to see an optimum return on investment (ROI).  

Sports betting companies are faced with many threats when it comes to invalid traffic infiltrating campaigns. Understanding the reasons behind the low conversions and budget losses is a key step in protection. So, let’s break down the most common invalid traffic issues in the gambling vertical:

High Acquisition Costs – In a competitive market with restricted targeting, sportsbooks incur very high customer acquisition costs as they find themselves in bidding battles to secure customers. The investment of thousands into securing the best advertising spots over competitors makes it imperative that invalid traffic isn’t a threat to performance.  

Paid Media Cannibalising Organic – In the summer when advertising increases for sportsbooks to generate more traffic, existing customers are using PPC campaign ads to access websites rather than through organic means. This results in huge inefficiency in the advertising, costing more overall.  

Bonus Abuse – To maintain a competitive edge and maximise bettors during the summer lull, many sportsbooks advertise attractive free bonuses. Not only are these attractive to new audiences, but fraudsters see this as a way in to use automated bots, developed to create fake accounts, and steal bonuses. The relentless pursuit sees companies lose money and genuine returning customers.  

Whatever the cause, the result of invalid traffic is always inaccurate advertising results and wasted budget, which at a tight time already, is not what sportsbooks need. Gaining visibility into the problem of fraud is key in beginning to address it and we’re here to tell you how to do just that.  

Managing Returning Users

For sportsbooks to reap the rewards at their most profitable times, managing returning users is vitally important in terms of both budgets and adhering to the safer gambling policy. Although genuine, the returning users' activity drives up your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) and Cost Per Acquisition (CPA), diluting the campaign's effectiveness. And, undoubtedly, a percentage of these hyper-engaged customers will be at risk.

Our click frequency rules work directly alongside sports betting and iGaming companies’ safety regulation rules which indirectly helps them not get fined. In this way, hyper-engaged customers will be held back, allowing operators to act in accordance with safer gambling policies by taking action within their marketing.  

Shadow campaigns may be one of the best ways to optimise PPC campaign success and reach your fullest potential. TrafficGuard’s innovative strategy is the perfect solution to reduce CAC whilst maintaining visibility on the search engine results page without excluding the right users.  

A shadow campaign is a duplicate of the current campaign in Google ads. However, the Cost Per Click (CPC) of the campaign is reduced to lower CAC. This means that those users who are excessively clicking on your current campaign can be targeted at lower CPCs within the shadow campaign. For sports betting operators, excluding audiences on Google Ads isn’t an option and so by operating with a shadow campaign, frequent users are filtered to lower the cost of the click and CAC.  

There’s no simpler way to ensure campaign optimisation and maximum ROI with our validation rules filtering users through the shadow campaign. We give you the power to set the rules and not waste budget on excessive clicks from the same user.  


Strengthening Your Defence

As the money handled by sportsbooks is considerably lower this season, nurturing authentic bettors must be a priority for businesses to keep making a steady ROI. However, as we have discussed, fraud stands as an obstacle that many fail to find the right solution to tackle. That’s where TrafficGuard comes in.  

With bot traffic polluting sports betting companies’ campaigns, TrafficGuard developed the Predicted Smart Ranges feature for gambling clients to combat sophisticated, large-scale attacks. Our IP intelligence enables us to condense millions of IPs down into smart ranges, proactively reducing invalid traffic.  

By analysing the behaviour attributes of every single click in real-time, TrafficGuard determines whether a click is invalid or has a high propensity to convert and excludes non-human elements to minimise threats. William Hill, one of Britain’s largest betting companies was investing millions that were being taken up by bots and poor-quality clicks. However, empowered with TrafficGuard’s intelligence, the company's ROI was 4.5 times what it would be without ad fraud protection and invalid traffic decreased by 80% in the UK and internationally. With TrafficGuard as a partner, saving budget that can be directed to real customers is simple.  

Bring Home The Win With TrafficGuard

Innovation and proactivity can overcome the threat sportsbooks are facing to prevent the chasing of lost marketing budgets and bring home the win against invalid traffic during this summer lull. With TrafficGuard’s full-funnel approach, betting companies can protect themselves against invalid traffic to make every marketing dollar count and see an optimum return on investment.  

What are you waiting for? Don’t let another cent be spent on fraudsters and start saving your budgets with us today👇

Get started - it's free

You can set up a TrafficGuard account in minutes, so we’ll be protecting your campaigns before you can say ‘sky-high ROI’.

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