Good marketers must always maintain their focus on driving good traffic, getting higher ranking in search engines, and conversions. However, the greatest obstacle to these objectives is fake traffic. This is any form of traffic to your website that does not come from real human interaction. The main target of fake traffic is opt-in forms, ads, and other signup processes that give marketers the impression that they are winning. However, the dangers are more and could place your brand on the deathbed.
Dangers posed by fake traffic to your site
Dented analytics: The greatest danger from fake traffic is denting online analytics. As a brand manager, you will; find it very difficult to evaluate the actual traffic to the website. Thoughts that you are gaining ground when in actual sense the marketing efforts are losing could kill your business. The reality will start emerging when you realise that though the traffic was very high, no one converted to sales.
Loss of resources: Running many online marketing campaigns is very costly. From designing landing pages, contracting marketing experts, and other hidden costs, marketers are bound to lose a lot if the traffic is fake. The impact will be realised when it comes to conversions rates because no one will buy or download your product.
Fake traffic flags the website as a fraud: When fake traffic targets your website, search engines will flag the website, page, or post as a fraud. Top search engines such as Google have become very analytical and will easily detect sites with fake traffic. Once you are labelled as fraud, your website will not be indexed and could be blocked from search results.
Risk of overloading: Because of many bots that come to your website, there is a risk of overloading and making the pages slow. Slow pages will easily drive clients away and give the advantages to competitors.
Easy strategies to stop fake traffic from your website
While the dangers associated with fake traffic are so severe, there are some simple strategies that can be used to protect the website.
Utilize the .Htaccess file to block all fake traffic: This is one of the best methods because you lock out the fake traffic from both the website and server. On the root directory, you should access the .Htaccess file and rewrite the codes to deny access to bad bots. Note that the file is very crucial and any mistake can make the entire website inaccessible. If you are unsure of how to handle the file, consider backing it up before the operations.
Keep off Google exclusion list: The Exclusion File in Google Analytics stands out from others because it captures all the fake traffic that came to your website. While you might be tempted to clear all the content in the file, it is the wrong action. If you remove the file content, Google will not have a way of telling the bad traffic. Once the bad traffic is noted, Google Analytics stores the data so that it is ignored and does not count to the final numbers. Therefore, the right thing is staying away from the file and its contents.
Use WB-Ban: If you are using WordPress, the best option is using a WP-Ban on the dashboard. The plan allows you to block referral URL from gaining access to the website. Besides, WB ban can also help you to block user agents, IP addresses, and even Host names that you want to deny access to your website.