Internet Bots are Taking Over (& What This Means for Marketers)
When internet bots make up 42% of internet traffic, there is no question that digital marketers are suffering the consequences. While search platforms like Google are making active efforts to remove or block these fake users, more and more bots are circumventing the spam filter to target companies.
There are various types of interactive internet bots that engage with online content and websites. Some are used for click fraud, while others use techniques to mimic real users to hack or otherwise negatively impact a company website. DDoS attacks, spam, and API abuse are all potential threats that marketers must consider when advertising online.
But how exactly do these bots affect your marketing budget?
Wastes Your Money
Internet bots had cost companies a whopping $19 billion in 2018 and have been estimated to reach $44 billion by the end of 2022. A surge of ad fraud, hacking attempts, and click fraud are all examples of how these fake users can hurt a marketing budget.
One infamous online hacking attempt uncovered as recently as 2018, as members of the hacking group “3ve” used bots and trusted IP addresses to mask fraudulent activity. This organization utilized fake ad impressions from bots to earn money from unknowing advertisers. Over 1.5 million IP addresses were used in this widespread endeavor, costing advertisers a shocking $29 million.
Even without specific targeting from an organization, bots are still very prevalent in most digital marketing activities. As of 2020, 11% of search clicks and 36% of display ads were from fake user activity. And because many advanced bots mimic human behavior, you can never be certain which ads are performing well due to false impression data.
Related: How Online Algorithms Hurt Small Businesses
Wastes your Time
While some bad bots are easily detectable and blocked, sneakier types can infiltrate your website or advertising platform by mimicking real user behaviors. But blocking these IP addresses or geographic locations could potentially prevent real users from visiting and engaging with your website content.
Furthermore, if these advanced bots can infiltrate your website, it is not a stretch to say that their website session could affect how your company operates its website. If bots prefer one section of your website over another, you could mistakenly believe real users are showing interest in that area and push for similar content.
Related: Filter Out the Online Bots With Direct Mail
Effects Conversion Rates
Regardless of how much a high bounce rate affects websites, a high amount of internet bot traffic can slow down your website, preventing real users from having a pleasant online experience. A possible 7% drop in a website’s conversion rate for every second of delay can severely impact a company’s online business efforts.
Security measures like CAPTCHAs designed to prevent these bots can influence website conversion rates, as human visitors also suffer from this implementation. Companies are also adding extra steps to prevent spam accounts, such as requiring an email address or phone number. However, these preventative actions only add extra steps to the end user and could end up frustrating them in the process.
With any advertising platform, you want to streamline your marketing process to be as simple as possible for prospects. Slower internet speeds and annoying CAPTCHAs prevent real end-users from engaging with your content and may stop them from returning.
Read Next: The Truth About Online Data
Internet bots are unfortunately here to stay, but with other marketing channels like direct mail, your company can avoid significant damage to your campaigns with a diverse marketing portfolio.
Direct mail has no bots – as every mailer is sent directly to a real name and address.
Changing algorithms, bots, and website rank will not affect your ability to connect with real people or receive quality leads.
Because YOU have complete control over where mailers deliver, each response is from a quality lead. But finding the right direct mail strategy is essential if one wishes to receive the best ROI possible.
That is where DK Solutions can help. Our TargetList methodology puts YOU in control of the address lists and focuses solely on top-quality nationwide prospects. Contact us today to learn more about how your company can succeed with direct mail, or visit our blog for an inside look at the direct mail industry.
Learn more about how direct mail marketing can revolutionize your business.