Addressing Bonus Abuse in Google Ads to Boost Conversions for a Global Online Betting Company

May 17, 2022
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A sports betting company was running a string of high-investment pay-per-click (PPC) marketing campaigns to attract new customers, including free bet bonuses and boosted odds. It was looking for a way to stand out in a crowded market with limited targeting, but despite a high number of redemptions of its ‘bonus bets’, it wasn’t seeing the expected conversion rate to depositing customers.

High Traffic, Low Conversions

With online betting soaring since the pandemic, the company had turned up its rewards-based marketing campaigns but wasn’t seeing a return in conversions. The client wanted to ensure the spikes it was seeing in its marketing analytics were legitimate before investing even more resources TrafficGuard carried out an audit to understand how invalid traffic was impacting its campaign results.

TrafficGuard found:

  • 36.7% of all its clicks were invalid traffic.
  • This equated to approximately £19,248.91 wasted on invalid traffic (IVT).
  • This was 47.2% of its total spend during the same period.
  • 81% of invalid clicks were due to bots generating clicks on its ads.

Overall, when comparing invalid traffic to valid traffic during the course of a week there were 6,291 gross clicks delivering 122 conversions with a conversion rate of 1.94%. TrafficGuard identified that 2,356 of those 6,291 clicks were invalid and if prevented and replaced by valid traffic the conversion rate would increase by 37.45%. The client was aware that invalid traffic was present, but previously had no visibility into true impact and therefore did not know how to target it.

Creating a Competitive Edge

With bonuses and boosted bets popular strategies in the market, it needed a competitive edge to improve its marketing results. To directly protect the client against invalid traffic, TrafficGuard leveraged its industry-specific prevention and protection solutions:

Predicted Smart Ranges - TrafficGuard’s IP intelligence enabled us to condense millions of IPs down into smart ranges. Proactively excluding these smart ranges directly resulted in the reduction of invalid traffic.

Dedicated Site Tag - With our site tag implemented, the client could nominate custom conversion points for our platform to optimize, delivering an increased efficiency.

Machine Learning – We utilised a combination of anomaly, classification and predictive machine learning algorithms to analyse the client’s traffic and determine its validity in real-time. From this, we could effectively block known and unknown types of fraud as they emerged.

With a clearer understanding of where the invalid traffic was coming from the client could drive return on ad spend with greater confidence in the data they were using to scale. Our proven PPC Protection platform and a data-driven, intelligent approach were able to prevent the threats the company were facing, including the bonus abuse, from draining its Google Ads budget.

Accuracy and Increased Budgets

The client was looking for a solution that was fit for its needs and the intricacies of the industry, not just a one-size-fits-all approach. With TrafficGuard PPC Protection, it was able to invest resources into the areas of its PPC campaign that were actually generating legit leads and scale up marketing efforts with justified confidence to gain a competitive advantage.

The company was able to effectively measure marketing results and marketing decision makers were able to use accurate results to request additional budgets for their campaigns. They were able to demonstrate success, ROI and in turn increase their ad spend because they were confident they’d get even better results.

“There are high-stakes for marketers in the sports betting industry. They need to be able to turn budget into players and demonstrate the value of their campaigns. When they tackle bonus abuse and other forms of fraud, they get better results and justify asking for more budget. It isn’t just about stopping fraud. It is about running successful campaigns that deliver results that you can measure."

Chad Kinlay, Chief Marketing Officer, TrafficGuard


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