How Classifying Non-Human Traffic In Attribution Reports Can Help Improve Marketing Strategies

March 26, 2018 | All Automated Threats Bot Prevention Technologies

How Classifying Non-Human Traffic

The importance of accurate web metrics

Digital marketers and webmasters need accurate metrics for clear insights that help them make informed decisions based on the traffic and visitor engagement their websites, mobile apps and APIs receive. Precise metrics allow marketers to measure KPIs and visitor stats, analyze engagement and usage, and strategize accordingly based on business needs and goals. They also play a major role in helping marketers optimize their websites and landing pages through A/B testing to boost conversion rates. However, with bots comprising over 50% of all web traffic today, metrics are significantly skewed across the board and do not reflect the true composition of traffic. As a result, marketers are left with inaccurate and misleading data to work with — which can affect the decisions they make based on such data.

Bot traffic affects many industries and contaminates a wide range of metrics around user engagement, retention, conversion rates, attribution reports, look-to-book ratios and shopping cart abandonment rates, to cite a few examples. While business and marketing analytics encompass a broad range of metrics, Customer Journey Analytics (CJA) is a fast-growing trend among marketers — and it is especially prone to data skewing by invalid traffic. Essentially, CJA comprises a number of metrics that track omnichannel customer interactions across websites, mobile apps, ads, and interactions via email, customer support centers, helplines and even offline touchpoints. Clearly, there is a pressing business need for accurate, insightful and reliable analytics to chart business and marketing strategies.

How do you know if your marketing KPIs and traffic have noisy data?

  • Unexplained temporary shifts in Product and Marketing KPIs — especially when unusual traffic is being generated (compared to year-on-year data, and if variations do not correspond to seasonal and economic activity cycles).
  • Significantly different metrics compared with accepted sector norms — such as your website traffic lead ratio and look-to-book ratio going down even as total traffic increases.
  • Unexpected spikes in attribution reports which do not translate into the expected conversion rates.


How can you clean analytics?

While Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics are widely used tools used by a majority of site owners, they only filter known bots, which leaves out many new types of sophisticated bots that are increasingly prevalent today. In fact, none of the leading web analytics platforms that are used by enterprises have the capability to completely filter bot traffic from the reports they provide.

There are two reasons for this: 1) Bot populations are growing at an exponential rate and any list of known bots becomes out of date as soon as it is published; and 2) Conventional bot detection logic often does not correctly and reliably identify bots, since their characteristics and modes of operation keep evolving.

How can enterprises in general and marketers in particular ensure that they’re getting reliable web/ app analytics data to chart their strategies? Without question, a dedicated and specialized invalid traffic detection solution that reliably filters bot traffic from analytics dashboards is the need of the hour. ShieldSquare’s bot mitigation solution identifies automated activities through our device and browser fingerprinting techniques, enabling proper classification of invalid traffic in your analytics dashboard. Our domain-specific machine learning techniques identify anomalies in user behavior and block bots from affecting business KPIs.

ShieldSquare can be easily integrated with leading analytics platforms such as Adobe Analytics and Google Analytics. Our solution collects over 250 parameters to identify sophisticated bot patterns, helping you eliminate not only skewed analytics, but also a host of other problems caused by bots. To learn more about how ShieldSquare can help your enterprise obtain clean analytics untainted by bot traffic, read our Solution Brief or get a free demo from our specialists.


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