Clear Skies Ahead: Navigating the Turbulence of Invalid Traffic in the Airline Industry

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In the ever-evolving realm of digital marketing within the airline industry, a formidable challenge has emerged as a focal point: the escalating expenses associated with Google Search Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. In an era where travellers rely more than ever on search engines to chart their travel paths, airlines have become embroiled in fierce competition, vying for the attention of prospective passengers.

Just as the airline industry grapples with the challenge of rising expenses due to heightened competition in PPC advertising, marketers also contend with the increase in fraudulent activity this situation entails. While marketers bid against each other to get top ad spots, invalid traffic from bots, returning customers, excessive clickers, and more malicious actors make this competition worse by wasting campaign budgets with clicks that will never convert, making legitimate ones spend more. This makes marketers spend extra from their PPC budgets to fight ad fraud and ensure their campaigns stay effective and reliable.

The Turbulence Emerges: Recognizing Ad Fraud Threat

According to Europol, the airline sector faces a substantial annual loss exceeding $1 billion due to a range of cyber threats — including ad fraud. Marketers have become acutely aware of the escalating menace posed by ad fraud and invalid traffic (IVT) in the realm of PPC advertising. Ad fraud and IVT not only syphon PPC budgets but also distort performance metrics, impeding the ability to make informed decisions and, in turn, adversely impacting critical business KPIs such as Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC).

As an example—in a recent audit with an airline, TrafficGuard uncovered a significant revelation: approximately 17% of the clicks on the airline's Google PPC advertisements were invalid, resulting in a wastage of almost 6% of their advertising budget. Multiple instances of bot traffic were exposed, mainly engaging with and clicking on the airline’s PPC ads. A particularly pressing concern was the practice of consumers exploiting the airline's brand name as a gateway to their website, incurring substantial depletion of campaign effectiveness on driving net new customers.

This is definitely just the tip of the iceberg. Invalid traffic will continue to pose a similar major challenge for marketers until effective tools for detection and prevention are well implemented.

Allies in Digital Skies: Bracing and Safeguarding Against Ad Fraud Through PPC solutions

Understanding how invalid traffic impacts digital campaigns is the first step in stopping addressing wasted campaign spend. While this can be a challenge, brands can still promptly safeguard their advertising budget and results by taking immediate actions.

For one, it's crucial to install reliable and thorough campaign monitoring and prevention solutions on advertising platforms to eliminate invalid traffic and fraud before attributing any outcomes. Automated prevention measures have proven to be an indispensable asset, helping marketers steer clear of costly pitfalls in the digital marketing landscape in many ways. PPC solutions such as TrafficGuard’s proactively stops ads from showing to sources of IVT, automatically protecting campaigns from the effects budget depletion from traffic that will never convert.. By providing intelligent analytics in real time, it also helps marketers make more informed decisions to optimise their campaigns based on verified traffic and not on mere guesswork. This also means that marketers can avoid wasting ad spend on bots and in turn, reinvest them on real people, allowing them to reach more customers with the same budget.

With robust campaign protection, marketers will never again be burdened by repeat clickers, crafty competitors, or budget-busting bots. Just real people who want services.

Ready To Take Off: Fight Invalid Traffic, Flight To Success

In the competitive landscape of the airline industry, the battle against IVT and ad fraud in PPC advertising is more critical than ever. Bots and bad actors are draining ad budgets and contributing to a performance-killing rise in invalid advertising traffic. But this does not necessarily mean a crash for the airline industry. Marketers can expect a smoother runway by employing the right independent protection technologies for campaign oversight — from reducing cost per action, boosting their conversion rates, to overall optimising their campaigns. Because when you remove fraud from the equation, the numbers all take flight in the right direction.

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