That final tactic, using an ad blocker, is a very damaging tool to sites that rely on ad revenue to survive. If people can’t see the ad, you don’t get paid as much, and less ads will run on your site, leading in a downward spiral of losing money. It’s also a growing problem, with 32% of global views have an ad blocker preventing ads from showing.
If your site is being negatively affected by an ad blocker, here are some tools to overcome both the anti ad mentality and solutions to getting around an ad blocker.
A simple approach can often be the most effective. It’s possible to get a widget that auto detects if somebody is using ad blocker software and put a pop up on the page asking them to disable it. The message in that pop up needs to be convincing enough for somebody to put in the extra effort to go into the software and disable it.
Your message needs to explain why you need ads on the site and what they are doing by having an ad blocker. You not just informing them, you are trying to persuade them. It’s an argument, and you’re fighting for your income.
A common, but powerful, argument you can utilize is explaining that the only way you can continue to provide high quality content is through the money earned by running ads. By running an ad blocker, they are effectively preventing future consumption of your content.
How you deliver that message is important too. There are two basic tactics, both with their own pros and cons. The first is to have your message in a small pop up message, typically in place of where your ad would be. It’s simple, polite, and unobtrusive. But, it’s easy to miss and ignore, and people can enjoy your content without even seeing it.
The other tactic is to place a large pop up that covers your page when it detects an ad blocker. The pro to this is that you are sure they will see it and the message will get across. The con is that your message is doing exactly the thing people install ad blocker for. You are interrupting their experience, putting them in a negative mood towards your site.
Blocking Your Content
This is a three party relationship in free website browsing. There is the website that provides content for the reader but requires money to run. Advertisers want to get in front of the reader, so they pay the site to do so. The reader goes to the site to enjoy the content, but has to “pay” for the free content by dealing with ads. When the reader refuses to do their part and view the ad, they break this relationship.
So why should you continue to do your part in the relationship if the reader refuses to do theirs? Many major sites are now simply preventing people who have an ad blocker on from seeing the site until they disable it for them. You should have a message explaining why you are blocking the site, how to disable adblock, and how by turning it off, they are support the site.
Making Sure Your Ads Are High Quality
Most people are understanding to the necessity of ads on the internet and if are approached in the right way, will be willing to disable adblock software. But they will turn it right back on if the ads on your site are a nuisance.
Properly vetting your ads is essential. The first and most important thing is preventing ads that contain malware looking to infect your visitors. Not only will people turn on their adblock, but Google itself will label your site as dangerous and encourage visitors to turn away.
The next step is preventing unfavorable ads. The biggest ones that people hate are auto play video ads. If you clearly present the ad and let the visitor mute the sound, it’s not a terrible thing, but simply preventing them can go a long way to a good reputation.
Finally, place your ads in places they will be seen, but don’t ruin the viewing experience. Too many ads, or ads that get in the way, or offensive ads, are all way you might push people to enable an ad blocker.
Featuring Sponsored Content
There are other ways to get money from advertisers rather than running ads on your site. Some might be willing to pay for sponsored content. Not only does this get around the ad blocker, but it’s more effective than a simple image ad in many situations.
Sponsored content looks just like what normally goes up on your site, but is paid for by a company. The purpose behind this type of content is that after somebody views it, they’ll consider doing business with the sponsor company.
This is a prime tactic to get paid, have better control over the marketing that happens on your site, get around ad blockers and have paid content on your site your visitors will actually enjoy. The key to having good sponsored content is to being useful and entertaining to the reader and not simply a blatant ad for it. Effective sponsored content needs to be top of the funnel marketing to help bring people into a company.
Social Media Ads
Along a similar vein as sponsored content, if you have a large social following, you could do ads on your social media platforms alongside your other posts you do. Many advertisers dream of having easy access to a specific market on social media and you selling posts as ads can earn you some good cash.
Be aware that it’s a standard practice now to tell your followers when you do this to label such posts as a paid ad. Failing to do this could lose followers if they identify specific posts as paid ads and think you are trying to mislead them.
If you don’t have quite a large enough following, don’t worry. Growing a following is possible and should become a normal part of your strategy. Engaging with your followers is a great way to get more, as it shows you care about their opinions.
You Aren’t Alone
It’s scary to take a stand against ad blockers. Offending your fan base is a risk, but don’t worry, tons of other publishers are pushing back too.
It’s important to note also, that you have to do your part too. Make sure that your site is a safe and pleasant viewing experience. Think more of a classy magazine with ads that are pleasant to look at, and less like Time’s Square with every inch packed with billboards. You want your visitors to stay happy, so they’ll return over and over to your site.
Got a tip on how to beat the ad blockers? Have a question about one of the tactics listed above? Let us know in the comments below!