3 Solutions to the Adblocker ‘problem’
There are some companies trying to build a subscription gateway for their content – this is okay. It’s not okay, however, to build a methodology that games the Google ad and news algorithm. $1 a month is a great price for a large publication, but you can’t have your cake and eat it too. What we’re seeing a lot of is publications offering a subscription, but not locking their content down. This allows them to get referrals from Google News or other content aggregates – and also lets them use anti-consumer methods like adblocker blockers. People have a lot of reasons to want to block ads, be it internet safety or just out of the sheer frustration they cause. Forbes actually was serving malware in ads – which is incredibly ironic. It’s looking more and more like the users of adblockers are just outright blacklisting websites with anti-adblock script on their site. So, instead of making the user turn off their adblock, they successfully cause the user to never visit the site again (Forbes, Wired etc). This is a problem – especially for people who are wanting their ad to display to their visitors.
Right now it seems like people can’t solve the “advertising” problem, but there are a lot of solutions.
Use native ads
Back in the day, all ads on websites were static. While platforms like Google Ads are convenient, they also are easier blocked. Native ads allow you to manually place an ad on the site. Most adblockers won’t see native ads. They require a little more work to maintain, but they allow your website to see 100% of the revenue. It’s effectively a digital billboard. Allot a few places on your site for ads and create a page that gives an interested party the ability to purchase adspace (either through a bid system or a pay per time period).
Look for Alternative Ad networks or Incentives
Depending on your audience, Google Ads may not even be the best method for ad placements for your business. There are a lot of older systems out there, like Project Wonderful that will allow you to reach a more refined audience. Campaigns are easy to create and monitor and a lot of these systems are based around bidding systems. You get to choose the sites you advertise on and a lot of the sites are whitelisted by users. When an ad isn’t seen as intrusive, users are a lot less likely to get frustrated by them. You can also search for an incentive program. There are a few cool browser extensions like Qmee that place ads in a search engine sidebar. Qmee pays the user for clicking on the ad, meaning there will be more traffic driven to your site or product. Incentive programs are good because they offer a reward for clicking ads. Bounce rate may return high, but sales are also shown to go up when people use these products.
Be User Minded
If your model of advertising is built into your website, or if you are looking to advertise your business on any network, remember – it pays to think of the user. Don’t be deceptive, but offer them a reason to click through your links or to clink your ad. Instead of using clickbait headlines or leading them down a rabbit hole of inbound links, show them what they want to see within a few clicks. This will cut down on bounce rate and will also leave a favorable impression of your brand to the visitor. Social media is a good way to share ads that are fun and user focused. As long as you are engaging your audience – you’re certain to see a ROI. Conversation is king right now and by creating that conversation, you can get users involved in your product or business.
Just some food for thought for publications: There is a solution to your “ad problem”. If you engage your audience and provide good content that isn’t locked down, you will increase visit time on your site. Take advantage of that and offer either an inbound ad link, native ad or “Consider keeping our lights on” prompts. If you’re not constantly locking users out, but asking for support as they browse your site – you’re being honest. People like honesty, believe it or not. We’re not suggesting begging by any means, but even if you create a paywall for your archives and give most recent content away for free, you still provide a service a build rapport.
There’s a solution tailored for YOUR website. There’s not one blanket advertising strategy – depending on your industry, experiment and be the thought leader. Keep user-experience in mind and build your campaign around that. It’s okay to have an aggressive advertising strategy, but if you’re on a budget – it’s best to remember your brand philosophy and build that in your users mind instead of punishing them for wanting to see what you have to offer. Plus, by not paying for adblocker blockers – that’s more funding you can use for an advertising strategy that works for you!