Today one of my clients called me and wanted to know if it was worth blocking traffic from a referral URL that had been sending an inordinate amount of traffic to his site over the last few days and he was concerned about nefarious intentions. Now my client will remain nameless, but I did tell him I was going to write of his predicament.
The first issue that emerged after I dove in to the traffic source was that he was actually paying for this traffic through some low quality sites via PPC (Pay-Per-Click) ads. Mistake Number 1. His BingAds account was on autopilot and running PPC ads Website-Unavailable, Verizon’s DNSAssist, and a handful of similar sites. Over $50 a day running on single word keywords. Which brings me to the second mistake.
Mistake Number 2 is even in worse in my eyes. The target of his PPC ads was not a relevant landing page, but the homepage of his site. Almost the absolute worst place in his entire site to send a targeted user – despite how irrelevant the targeted user may have been given the source. No call to action. No relevance to the text of his PPC ad. Just a vague “You saw my URL, here is my site.”
Luckily, we caught the issue early enough that the damage to his PPC budget has been minimal, and we’re rectifying the destination link appropriately to a set of highly-targeted landing pages with a clear call-to-action on each.
The happy lesson in all of this is that my client was part of the solution to begin with; he pays enough attention to the his Google Analytics report to notice that something was amiss. Many a site owner doesn’t even get that far. They’d be happy with the traffic and leave the rest to fate.