Clumsy finger kids: Poor ad placements lead to misclicks

Clumsy finger kids: Poor ad placements lead to misclicks

Ever handed a device to your kids to get a couple of hours of peace and quiet? We're all guilty of it. But did you know that in doing so, those little fingers probably cost some advertisers out there a fortune on ad spend due to those sticky fingers? Sure, as a parent you don't care - but the ad manager in you is shook.

It's most common with mobile games riddled with ads. Us adults, presumably, are likely to close the ads (despite their stupidly small close icons) but children are more likely to press anything and everything on the screen to make the pop-up go away, including the ad itself. That also happens to be around the point the peace ends as they walk into your room complaining. We, as the ones looking after the kids, shrug it off but somewhere out there is an advertiser shaking his or her fist at lost money.

So, what can we, as advertisers, do to limit the number of potential misclicks?


How to Identify Potential Ad Placement Misclicks

First things first, look for segments where bounce rate is higher than average within Display activity. It's important to consider that Display traffic would normally have a higher bounce rate anyway, but if it seems more astronomical than usual, perhaps there needs to be some form of investigation as to why.

kid on phone

Another thing worth checking when investigating potential misclicks is to look at the 'time on site' metric. A high bounce rate isn't always the worst thing if the page has everything you need on it, but if people are spending only a second or two on the site then it's clear it was due to a misclick.

Finally, low conversion rates can also be used to identify misclicks if there is sufficient volume for the segment.


How Can I Avoid Misclicks?

1. Check Your Settings

The most obvious thing to check first is your ad settings. Naturally, Display has more options on targeting than Search, so there are more segments that can be analysed to identify misclicking behaviour. If you are seeing patterns within your settings that may be causing misclicks it may be time to switch things up.

2. Placement of Ads

Certain sites or categories of sites will inherently have a higher propensity of misclicks due to where they display the ad, or the nature of the site. Especially if the Display ads on the site are next to other clickable content/links then it'd get more misclicks. For more on ad placement see previous our blog post 'Stop Flogging Your Products on Porn Sites' for further information on excluding this traffic.

3. Demographics

It may be that certain demographics are more likely to misclick than others, children being a key example. While you can't directly target just children, as they are bundled into the 'unknown' category, you can still choose to actively target adults (non-children, if you will) only.

Bear in mind that the majority of 'unknown' traffic is formed by Google being unable to categorise the user - this most frequently happens on shared devices, e.g. ones shared by parents and children. You can also just focus efforts more on the 'not a parent' demographic:

age settings in google ads parental status in google ads

4. One Size Doesn't Fit All

The size dimensions of the ad itself will have a big impact on what types of placements will be covered. It may well be that a certain sizes of an ad are more frequently used as a start-up overlay on videos, which are prone to misclicks as people try to remove them from obscuring the video. Review you ad performance by ad size to check for any issues.

5. Device

The devices themselves are sometimes the biggest issue. People with the largest screens are less likely to misclick an ad than those with limited space. Unlike Search Ads, you can target the operating system, browser, and device model.

Look on Google Analytics to find which models have the worst performance and consider excluding these. Screen resolution can, unfortunately, only be targeted separately for returning users with audience segments but analysing the specific models should more than suffice to find the culprits.

device settings on google ads

Final Thoughts

So, the next time you have kids playing around on your phone or tablet, please, think about the digital advertisers - their wallets are crying. All jokes aside, if you are running some Display Ads or considering making Display Ads be sure to keep these points in mind so you don't miss out on valuable traffic with intent. Think of it this way - it's certainly easier than trying to take a child away from a screen, that's for sure!

Want to know more or need help? Let us do the digging for answers for you. With our free PPC audit, we can do a deep dive of your account and check if your agency or some clumsy fingered kids out there are up to no good.