CHEQ: Why it’s proven to be the most accurate click fraud solution

Since the launch of CHEQ for PPC, it has generated a lot of buzz, largely due to the fact that it is the first solution to ensure customer acquisition across all major paid search and paid social networks. These include Facebook, Google, Snapchat, Bing, Pinterest, TikTok, Instagram, LinkedIn, and even Snap. Customer acquisition teams spent $ 144 billion on paid social and paid search campaigns in 2020, but every tenth click turns out to be bots. Unlike real customers, bots don’t convert and cause damage to core business data. CHEQ has also hired the great NBA, Dikembe Mutombo, as their chief blocking officer, who waves his finger against fraud in customer acquisition channels in some hilarious ads.

All of this made me find out more for myself. So I got in touch with the CHEQ team for a spin.

The company’s central product is called CHEQ for PPC, a solution that uses cybersecurity know-how to address the challenges posed by fake users who attack campaigns and burden ad budgets. The click fraud solution provides over 1000 real-time JavaScript challenges for the user’s browser to trap bots using sophisticated client-side bot mitigation techniques like fingerprinting, honeypots (bot traps, generally speaking) and more.

Andrew Frank, an analyst at Gartner, said of the company’s technology: “CHEQ blocks scrapers and web crawlers, botnets, click farms, geographic clicks, and suspicious human behavior such as competitor clicks and affiliate fraud before they can affect a live campaign. It has also developed advanced bot mitigation technology to reliably differentiate between human and computer generated activity. “

* Above the CHEQ for PPC dashboard

First, it’s super easy to set up and use

Setting up CHEQ for PPC was a lot easier than I expected. After a brief platform demo with a company representative, I received a JavaScript tag that should be placed in the header of the site with clear and simple implementation instructions. It took about 10 minutes to complete and my data was already running on the dashboard. There was also the option to implement the tag in Google Tag Manager for those companies who prefer not to place the tag on-site. However, I have been told that direct implementation is best in terms of CHEQ’s ability to detect the fraud. Some companies prefer not to place a tag directly on their website for security reasons, even though CHEQ is MRC accredited (see below), so this shouldn’t really be a problem. With that in mind, I chose to implement it directly, but it’s good to know that they have an option for companies that are sensitive to adding tags to the site’s header. Once set up, CHEQ runs essentially across all major customer acquisition channels and can detect incoming invalid users and prevent them from participating in campaigns.

Once set up, the dashboard provides a clear breakdown of campaign fraud

The first thing that strikes you when you open the platform and see your campaign data scrolling through the dashboard is, “Wow, that’s pretty cool”. I was immediately able to see a general breakdown of the fake users engaging in campaigns, followed by a more detailed breakdown of the fraudulent traffic sources, IPs, user agents, geos, and even keywords that lead to fake clicks. Very detailed and yet not overwhelming. There’s also a separate Analysis tab where you can run far more detailed breakdows. This allows you to highlight where the bots are from and how they interact with the campaigns. Dope stuff.

The next step is active blocking

CHEQ offers a free trial that starts in monitoring mode, shows your click fraud rate, and then actually blocks the fraud. What I found super cool was that unlike other click fraud prevention solutions, CHEQ connects to your Google Ads account and blocks fake users from your audience. Competing solutions are primarily based on IP blocking, but CHEQ goes a step further and offers a far more robust solution to blocking. This is a key difference that, in my opinion, really catapults CHEQ above the rest of the competition. When I started in surveillance mode, I saw campaigns of up to 25% fraud, while the average fraud rate across the board was 8%. Not as high as I might have thought, but still very significant, especially for larger advertisers who are spending millions. Once the blocking was activated, however, the fraud reduced to less than 0.5% and remained below 1% for the duration of the trial.

Trust, transparency and compliance are anchored

The question many people ask is how can I trust a fraud prevention platform to report accurate numbers? What really set CHEQ apart in this regard was that it is the only MRC accredited company operating in the field. This means that CHEQ’s fraud detection technology has been reviewed by the MRC (the leading anti-fraud compliance framework) for accuracy and transparency. This is just an important extra layer of trust to know that when a user says they are a bot, they know what they are talking about. Also, there is a very helpful Transparency tab that allows you to download raw log-level data as well as detailed fraud reasons for each blocked user. It really builds confidence knowing you are using a tool that is not a black box.

The Customer Success team offers an additional level of value creation

While CHEQ can be used in ways that are easy to forget, what I found extremely helpful was the input and analysis of the customer success team. I received weekly reports of fraud rates with insight into how and where the fraud came from. This is especially useful for more demanding corporate teams who want more control over their blocking. Some of the fake users were surprisingly cunning and when they heard the CHEQ team break down the fraudulent activity was really super cool! It feels like you’re in an undercover cybersecurity operation but it’s being exposed to marketers.

However, accuracy and coverage come at a price as CHEQ is tailored more to businesses than small advertisers.

CHEQ isn’t cheap. At the end of the trial, they are listed based on your annual media spend and it can get a little pricey. However, this is a solution that is more tailored to the needs of midsize businesses that spend millions of dollars annually on multiple platforms, as opposed to small business advertisers who typically work primarily on Google. However, when you spend those amounts, CHEQ is a small price to pay, especially given the increase in sales as you replace thousands of fake users with real paying customers. Of course, you also pay for compliance, high security and privacy standards, a customer success team that includes fraud analysts, and most importantly, accuracy, scalability and coverage across all channels.

In conclusion, buying CHEQ is a breeze when you are spending millions of dollars on customer acquisition

The ease of implementation, the granularity of the data, the transparency and reporting, and above all the coverage and accuracy make this offer a must for advertisers. If you think about wasting 8% of your spend on wrong clicks, it just hurts. CHEQ turns that around, replacing those with authentic human users who can actually convert. So this is really a super ROI positive game. And yes, it’s not cheap and may not be suitable for small business advertisers, but anyone who spends millions should check this out at least as security of customer acquisition is fast becoming the standard for marketing teams everywhere.

Overall rating: 5/5

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