To obtain as many valuable clicks as possible, there are several tools and resources at your disposal. The information on this page will help you learn more about managing your ad campaigns and monitoring ad click traffic for changes in the quality and volume of that traffic.
Monitoring and adjusting campaigns
Advertisers should regularly monitor their campaign performance by using suggested best practices, and make adjustments to fit their business needs. Further, if you suspect invalid click activity in your campaign, contact a support representative to open an invalid click investigation.
Articles for advertisers
Best practices for monitoring campaigns for quality
Microsoft Advertising has several reports to help improve your conversion rates and boost the return on your investment. For example, when you run the Publisher Performance report, you'll see the websites showing your ads (and the type of ad displayed) based on your ad distribution settings.
To learn more, visit reports
Monitor ad click-through and conversion rates
You can use reports to monitor key trends in your ad’s performance. Understanding your average daily, weekly and monthly click volume can help you spot sudden, significant changes in click volume, which might be an indication of invalid clicks.
Some key performance statistics to monitor include:
- Clicks: The number of times an ad was clicked.
- Click-through rate: The number of times an ad was clicked, divided by the number of impressions.
- Conversion rate: The number of conversions, divided by the total number of clicks.
Sudden increases in click volume can be the result of many factors and can often be good for your business. Before you become concerned about an increase in click volume indicating possible fraud, consider if the following might be the cause:
Use conversion tracking
- Seasonal changes, such as an increase in online shopping during the holidays.
- Sales, discounts, or promotions that increase visibility and bring extra traffic to your site.
- Recent news events that stimulate online consumer interest and web traffic.
- Changes to your ad headings or text, or changes to your website.
- New links to your website from other sites.
Implementing conversion tracking will allow you to monitor the number of conversions your ads generate.
Although an increase in conversion is typically good news, a sudden change in your conversion rate could also mean an increase in low-quality clicks.
If you suspect you are receiving fake leads, or fake conversions, please contact us
and consider adding image text verification like CAPTCHA or use other similar methods of proactively protecting your conversion tracking element. This can help to protect your campaigns from fake conversions and can provide more meaningful performance and ROI insights.
Use web-tracking software
Commercial web-tracking software allows you to monitor website traffic. This software can help you analyze traffic behavior on your site as well as highlight potential low-quality clicks.
Contact Microsoft Advertising Support to report suspected low-quality click activity
If you’ve identified low-quality click activity that Microsoft Advertising has not detected, contact Microsoft Advertising Support. A Microsoft Advertising representative will contact you once they received your inquiry. Depending on the outcome of the investigation, your bill might be adjusted. For more information on our related methods and policies, please see our Description of Methodology
Adjusting your campaigns
Using reporting, you can understand where high-performing traffic comes from. You can then improve targeting and exclude websites that you don’t want to advertise on.
Here are some ways to adjust where your ads are shown:
- If you use keyword bidding, search ads can be displayed on Microsoft sites and select traffic, syndicated partner sites, or both. Ad distribution can be set at the ad group level only. See ad placement for more information.
- To help prevent your ads from showing in specific locations you can alter the targeting options.
- In the campaign settings tab you can target cities, metro areas, states/provinces and countries/regions.
IP address blocking
- To prevent specific websites showing your ads you can use the website exclusions options available in the campaign settings tab. Note: any past or future exclusions apply to the syndication network only. For any select partner traffic that you wish to have removed, please reach out to Support.
- To exclude your ads from an entire domain, enter the URL but leave off the "www" prefix (for example, contoso.com instead of www.contoso.com).
This feature allows you to exclude ads appearing on specific IP addresses. You can also add a range of addresses using a wildcard character.
Understanding where your ads will appear
The ad distribution setting of a campaign or ad group defines where you want your ads to display: on the search network or the content network (or both). Within the Microsoft Search Network, you can choose to have your search ads displayed on Microsoft sites and select traffic, syndicated search partner sites, or both. For more information see Use campaign analytics to track site activity
Impact to your Microsoft Advertising account
Microsoft Advertising account suspension
If we detect your website has malware, your corresponding Microsoft Advertising account will also be suspended and your ads will no longer serve. To reinstate your account, contact Microsoft Advertising Support
who will provide remediation details for your account. Once initiated, this review process can take up to seven business days to complete.
In some cases your website may be free of malware, but your Microsoft Advertising account may have been compromised through a phishing attack or other method. If we detect malicious ads and it appears that the account was compromised, the same suspension will be applied. Microsoft Advertising Customer Service will guide you through remediation and securing your account in this scenario as well.
Willful violation of Microsoft Advertising policy
We expect all advertisers to adhere to all Microsoft Advertising policies including Microsoft Advertising user safety and privacy guidelines. If we detect willful violation of these policies, action may be taken up to and including:
- Ad rejection: Your flagged ads will not serve until you fix the detected issue.
- Domain rejection: If your website is determined to consistently violate Microsoft Advertising policy, it may be blocked from use.
- Account closure: Your Microsoft Advertising account will remain suspended indefinitely.