If there is single complaint I hear more than anything else when I manage a clients PPC campaign, it’s that: “Our competitors keep clicking on our sponsored ads”. The good news is Google is pretty smart about this and doesn’t count repeated clicks, especially ones from competitors who are running a PPC campaign themselves. To eradicate a client’s fear of this happening I have devised a cool little trick that I have been using for years. I get my client to write a list of who their competitors are, or more importantly which ones they have had psychic premonitions about (who are clicking on their ads).
From that list I send all competitors a random e-mail using Outlook Express. I make sure the e-mail I send is something they are highly likely to respond to. For example, if I’m managing a solicitors PPC campaign, I’ll e-mail all the other solicitors whom my client is competing with asking them for a quote. If there is one thing that guarantees a response it’s a quote request, it’s the lifeblood of every business. Once I have sent this, I sit back and wait for the responses to come in.
Once you have received a response you now need to check the senders IP address. This can be done in most mail programs.
How to check the senders IP address in Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, and Outlook:
Once you have done that it’s now time to open Google Adwords. Click Reporting and Tools>>More Tools.
You now need to click IP exclusion.
You are now ready to start blocking your competitors IP addresses. Of course this won’t stop them completely, and I wouldn’t encourage this, but sometimes there is just no telling a client who doesn’t 100% believe you. Sure the competitors can use another computer to start clicking on your ads, but this will seriously hamper them.
Another advantage of this technique is that it stops competitors seeing what you are up to. For example, if you own a local florist and want to hide your special Valentines Day deals from competitors then this is perfect.
That’s my tip for the paranoid businessman. All the best, if you are looking for more tips for your business then send me a line. I also give away free tips via twitter. @seoguelph add me.