How Fake Users Negatively Impact Website Conversions

If you are a marketer launching a website for your company, you likely want the finished product to accomplish a few key goals. Ideally, the website will drive traffic from new site visitors, who will then educate themselves on your offering, and ultimately turn into leads and paying customers. Because of this, a lot of time and effort goes into creating beautifully designed and optimized pages expected to drive real results. However, sometimes things don’t go as planned, and the website that you spent valuable time and resources creating doesn’t end up driving expected results. This can be baffling to marketers who did their due diligence and followed all recommended best practices. You might then ask yourself: Why isn’t my website driving conversions or sales? Well, the answer may surprise you. New research shows that 27% of web traffic from direct and organic sources is actually made up of bots and fake users - this is sometimes referred to as the Fake Web. This includes everything from those pesky bots commenting on social media, to click farms, botnets, competitors, and innocuous scrapers and crawlers. In this article, we’ll discuss the negative ways that this Invalid Traffic (IVT) can impact website conversions, and also offer solutions on how to reduce those risks. 

Invalid traffic causes low conversion rates. 

Sometimes a new website will gain a decent amount of traffic after launching, but those website visitors don’t end up taking any further action. You can clearly see that visitors are on your website and engaging with content, but they’re not submitting forms or completing sales. This can be disheartening, and cause marketers to reevaluate their whole strategy in order to better drive conversions. However, when bots are present, assumptions about what is causing low conversion rates can be incorrect. Before you assume that your content isn’t engaging enough or your products aren’t compelling enough, consider that there may be invalid users entering your site that have no intention or possibility of becoming legitimate paying customers. When this happens, conversion rates become skewed and website user data is polluted. 

Fake users can also inflate CRM bills. 

Many CRMs, databases, and marketing automation tools are priced based on the number of contacts your company has on file. If all of those contacts are valuable prospects or paying customers, then the CRM bill is deemed to be worth the cost. However, oftentimes contacts enter these databases after engaging with content on your website, and may or may not be legitimate leads. Since 27% of organic and direct traffic is invalid, that could mean a significant portion of your lead database is also invalid. Since no one wants to pay for fake contacts, it’s important to regularly evaluate your lead lists, and filter out any fake or potentially harmful contacts. 

IVT wastes valuable sales time and resources.

After a website visitor fills out a form or engages with content on your website, most likely they are then passed off to your sales and marketing teams who pour resources into re-engaging this person so that they ultimately do business with you. This takes the form of customer outreach, email marketing campaigns, remarketing advertising campaigns, and more. Nurturing leads frequently becomes a departmental or company-wide priority. However, if any IVT is present in these campaigns, then massive amounts of time and resources are wasted on fake users. In fact, a recent report revealed that $115 in sales labor costs is wasted each year on invalid leads. 

Fortunately, bots and fake users can be identified and stopped. 

Discovering that your newly launched website could inadvertently be attracting bots and fake users can be troubling to learn. However, since Invalid Traffic is so prevalent, you are not alone - nearly every website is impacted by IVT to some degree. In order to better protect your website, it is generally recommended to take a proactive approach. Keep an eye out for unusual spikes in traffic, influxes of activity at unusual times or from unusual sources, atypical behavioral patterns, and visitors moving about your website in a suspicious way. When manual work becomes too daunting or time-consuming, Go-to-Market Security and other cybersecurity measures can also be deployed to help mitigate these risks. 

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This is a guest blog post from CHEQ, the leader in Go-to-Market Security. 

Author Bio:  

Kerry Coppinger | Manager, Brand Marketing @ CHEQ 

Kerry is the Senior Manager, Brand Marketing at CHEQ. CHEQ is the go-to-market team’s security suite, trusted by over 12,000 customers worldwide to protect their funnels, sites, and analytics from bots and fake users. Powered by award-winning cybersecurity technology, CHEQ offers the broadest suite of solutions for securing the entire funnel, from paid marketing to on-site conversion, data and analytics.