How Online Publishers Can Beat Ad Blockers

Ad blockers have been a thorn in the side of publishers and advertisers since their inception. They can cut into revenue like an anvil through cheesecake. In 2016, both publishers and advertisers suffered a more than $20bn loss in revenue due to users utilizing ad blocking software during their daily browsing. That is a massive jump from the $12bn by 2020 prediction from one analytics firm the previous year.

How To Beat Ad Blockers
Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov on Unsplash

On one end, publishers lose ad revenue from ad space lost in the exchange, which advertisers end up paying in the event that these ads are never seen by the end user at all. Ad blockers end up throwing off the analytics of both parties, making it more difficult to gauge the performance of campaigns and impeding accurate forecasting for future efforts.

React, Adapt, Overcome

Fortunately, a number of strategies have emerged to combat the ill-effects of ad blockers on the marketplace. We’ll detail several, assess their efficacy, and offer insight into how you can better improve your bottom line with an approach to ad blockers that will recover your revenue.

Ask Your Users To Turn off Ad-Blockers

The easiest and most straightforward approach to the problem of ad blockers is to ask your users to turn them off while browsing your web pages. The plea can be one appealing to their better nature, explaining that your website and its content is supported by ad revenue.

Conversely, the approach can be one of exclusion, or implementing ad block ”gates”. This means denies a user entry to your site if they insist on using an ad blocker. This approach is certainly a bit more extreme, but for major online publishers like newspapers, magazines, and journals, it has proven to be an effective solution.

Forbes is one of the most prominent examples, which will limit entry to users who employ ad blocking software. Those users who turn off ad blocking plugins or whitelist Forbes.com within the ad-evading software will then be granted use of the site with a reduced-ad experience for 30 days.

Adopt Native Advertising

If blocking users or requesting your site be added to their whitelist is an unappealing prospect, Native Advertising may be a viable alternative. These are unobtrusive ads that blend into the site’s design and content seamlessly. They can be in the form of text, graphics, audio, or video. Excellent examples of this approach can be found at Allrecipes.com, where food product manufacturers will sponsor recipes and have their product added to the ingredients list. In many cases, a ‘buy now’ option with relevant coupons or discounts can be applied to the users nearest grocer. The example will ring true for just about any food-related blog in this case.

Native Advertising in a recipe
Native advertising of food products within a recipe blog.

Address Your User Experience

This approach to ad blocking addresses the cause of the phenomenon, rather than the symptoms. In this case, you can still implement your ads but give users the option to circumvent them. Youtube.com will force video ads upon users before revealing their desired content but give them the option to skip the ads after 5 seconds. This way, a user has the choice of supporting their content creators with ad revenue if they so choose. Remind your users that the site and content are supported by that revenue, but make it clear you realize intrusiveness can turn them off entirely.

online advertising compromise in favor of user experience.
The option to skip ads after a certain duration makes for a more comfortable user experience.

The ability to react to your site content is another powerful tool that gives users more control of what they are exposed to on your website. By refining their experience and redefining what it is your site hopes to achieve you have the ability to stand up to ad blocking technology.

Consider A Mobile-First Approach

Ad blocking software is a response to the browsing experience. It’s estimated that more than 200 million users have installed ad block software worldwide, with more than a quarter of those users residing in the US. Because of the ad block approach to browsing, desktop users can circumvent as much as 100% of advertising efforts at-will. While mobile, on the other hand, doesn’t share the same vulnerability.

Mobile users tend to use apps more than anything on their devices. The connect stems from the services that were born in browsers that now have dedicated apps, like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter, just to name a few. Mobile users also spend triple the time on their devices when compared to traditional desktop use.

By developing an app and taking a more mobile-centric approach to your advertising efforts, you can implement relevant ads into your apps and allay many of the pitfalls in the current display advertising marketplace.

How AdMetricsPro Can Help

By addressing your approach to display advertising, we can refine your strategy and develop an approach that will maximize your returns without sacrificing user experience. An initial consultation is available at no cost to you. Set up your appointment for a free site audit and AMP your revenue today.

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