A Cautionary Tale about Mobile Ads

I’ve shared my strong opinions towards click fraud regarding various ad platforms such as Google AdSense and Facebook before, so I’m not surprised by a recent article I came across by MarketingProfs.


The article discusses data detailing how most mobile app users click on advertisements by accident more than they do on purpose.

Think about that! Let’s say it’s 50/50… That means you really need to double your cost (or divide your clicks by two) when calculating expected ROI and other metrics.

For instance, I know that 40% of the clicks on my Facebook ads never get counted by Google Analytics, meaning that those clicks don’t make it to my landing page (or a select few don’t have JavaScript/cookies enabled, which is very low). So I know that 40% of what I get charged by Facebook is a sunk cost, and provides no value. So when I calculate and try to predict the performance of future campaigns, I always make sure I factor in the 40%.

When doing mobile ads, it’s important to realize that your conversion rate may be a lot better than you see, because half of the people clicking your ad are going to abandon immediately. So divide that by two, and that’s a more accurate click-to-conversion rate.

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