How should publishers handle ad blocking?Publishers have a variety of different revenue streams available to them, but the one that is perhaps the most popular is advertising revenue. This can be a very profitable addition to a website, as it is easy to set up, and requires no initial investment. As beneficial as advertising can be for website publishers, they should also be aware that there will be many visitors opposed to seeing ads on the sites they visit. Those that really dislike ads will install ad blocking software on their browser which typically blocks most, if not all, ads. This affects publishers that depend on advertising revenue to support their sites. Let us take a look at a few things you can do to handle ad blockers and protect your income stream:
Make ads measurableBlockers are a natural part of online advertising now, and you have to accept that not every visitor is going to see what you have or offer on your site. If you are serious about creating a professional site and building an online business, you should be measuring as much data as possible. Find a way to measure what percentage of visitors are blocking your ads so you can understand how ad blockers are affecting your finances. Armed with that information, you can decide if you want to take further action to prevent this loss of income, and if so, how to go about it.
The art of persuasionIf you see that you have a high percentage of ad blockers on your site, you need to let your visitors know that ad blocking is hurting your ability to deliver quality content and build a sustainable business that they are enjoying. Make it clear that your site relies on ad revenue in order to operate, and kindly ask that they make an ad blocker exception when visiting your pages. If you consistently provide informative, entertaining content that is of value to the visitors, most will gladly allow ads to be shown on your site. Provide them with clear instructions on how to enable ads your site, making the process as easy for them as possible.
Join acceptable ad programsThere are a number of ad blockers with clear policies on what is considered acceptable advertising. Advertisers have to adhere to strict policies regarding their content and ad formats in order to be part of those programs. In return, the ad blocker will not block acceptable ads on your site. However, there is no universal standard that works with all ad blocking software so it's still a time consuming process.
PaywallOne way around the ad blocker problem is to create a paywall for your site, which essentially means that visitors have to pay a subscription fee to view the ad-free content. There are two types of paywalls: hard and soft. The hard option requires everyone to pay in order to gain access to the content, while the soft option allows users to view certain articles or a specific number of articles over a given period of time before being asked for payment.
These days ad blockers are simply a frustrating reality that publishers need to handle appropriately. The advice provided will help mitigate the problem and help manage advertising revenue even with ad blocking. If you are a publisher, try adapting some of the options and see which ones work better for you.
Posted in Ad Blocking January 17, 2017 (first published December 2015)
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