In the U.S., 30.1% of the population uses adblocking.
In the UK, that number is a staggering 39%, which equates to about £2.9 billion in revenue.
Based on where your readers are located, these numbers will vary, though the message will always be the same:
Adblockers directly affect your bottom line.
Because many publishers monetize their websites and apps through ads (hoping to keep the rest of the experience “free”), this equates to huge losses in revenue each year.
To say that adblocking technology has become a total nightmare for publishers would be an understatement.
So, what do you do?
You can’t just accept that some of those revenue opportunities will be lost to adblock technology.
You have a number of choices:
- Develop more user-friendly ads so your users won’t need an adblock in the first place.
- Sell paid memberships to your content.
- Use an anti adblock script or plugin on your website.
If you want to continue serving up high-quality content to your readers, you must have a way to generate a profit from it.
Let’s explore each of these options.
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Option 1: Design User-Friendly Ads
It’s not that your readers don’t want to support your publication by blocking advertisements. Or else, why would they keep coming back?
But ads are often seen as intrusive, annoying, and also bring up questions about privacy. This is why AdBlock is increasingly being adopted around the world.
In terms of how you fight back against technologies taking aim at your earnings, you could start by looking at the root cause: the quality and delivery of the ads themselves.
The Independent, for example, is one such publication that takes great care with developing ads for its website. By integrating native ads that are more engaging and user-friendly, the publication has seen significantly less of an impact from adblockers than the average publisher.
But this requires a great deal of effort and commitment to get the ad format perfected — not to mention all of the content on the site. For now, you want to seek out a quicker but just as effective fix to the problem.
Option 2: Add a Paywall to Your WordPress Site
Many companies choose a paywall subscription model as an alternative means of revenue generation.
The New York Times (which is built in WordPress) is a well-known example of this.
Readers can access content for free, up to a certain number of articles each month. In order to gain unfettered access, though, they must purchase a subscription.
This way, if the NYT were to lose 30% of potential ad impressions due to adblock, it wouldn’t result in a loss. Subscriptions would provide another (and more reliable) source of revenue.
Paywalls are actually quite easy to implement in WordPress with a plugin. Some of the most popular plugins that do this are:
However, paywalls do put up a barrier to accessing your content, so always keep in mind what’s best for your readers and business. If you want to gain their loyalty and compel them to pay, it has to be a subscription worthy of it.
Check out our article on whether you should implement a paywall if you’re undecided.
Option 3: Sell an Ad-Free Membership
This option would be similar to a paywall in that you require users to subscribe for an improved experience. However, in this case, you wouldn’t be gating off content on your website. The goal instead would be to promise an ad-free experience when they become a member.
This means you can serve ads guilt-free to fly-by visitors and you can offer a premium experience to those who would rather do away with ads altogether.
To implement this, you would use a combination of a membership plugin (like one of the ones suggested above) and your ads management plugin.
For example, the Advanced Ads plugin enables you to hide all ads from logged-in users.
If you create a dedicated Members-only area on your site, this would be even easier to do as you could just keep that space completely ad-free to begin with. Then, build out your membership program and require all users to be logged in to gain access to the ad-free experience going forward.
But, if you’d rather ask users to disable their adblock which may be more effective, and much quicker to implement than the above options, then an anti-adblock script might be the way forward.
We’ve compiled a list of the best WordPress anti-adblock scripts that you can use to start helping show your ads to more people.
Install an Anti-Adblock Script for WordPress
According to TechCrunch, 30.5% of the top 10,000 websites use anti adblock scripts and plugins and 38.2% of the top 1,000 do.
Clearly, they see value in being able to share ads with their visitors.
But be careful with this one.
PageFair’s report found that 74% of adblock users in the U.S. will leave a website that has implemented an adblock wall.
30.5% of the top 10,000 websites use anti adblock scripts and plugins according to TechCrunch.
If you’re going to insist that visitors turn off adblock before they can enter, you risk losing a large amount of traffic despite any anti adblock efforts you’ve made.
However, if you rely on ads for monetizing your content, it may be the best option in the short term.
That said, there are a number of WordPress adblock scripts and plugins you can use to send user-friendly notifications about adblock technology without preventing access to the site.
Check them out below:
BlockAdBlock is a free tool that publishers can use to defend their advertisements against adblock technology.
In addition to detecting a variety of adblockers, you can customize how exactly you want the adblock notice to function and look on the frontend.
deAdblocker is a free anti-adblock for blogs and other sites for WordPress.
When adblock technology is detected, this plugin allows you to display a pop-up notice to users. What’s nice is you can customize the message so as to convey the benefits of advertisements (or at least your good intentions) before visitors block them out completely.
NoAdblock Nice Message is another free WordPress plugin you can use to ask users to turn off their adblocker.
This one, however, is a much simpler solution as no customization is needed. It’ll simply send a notice to adblock users and kindly ask that they turn it off.
This premium adblock script for WordPress comes courtesy of MailOptin.
So, if you’re in the market for a lead generation plugin that doubles as a way to kindly notify visitors about how adblock technology impedes the on-site experience, you may want to use this.
This premium anti adblock plugin serves a dual purpose. BAN, first and foremost, will track visitor statistics with regards to adblockers.
If you find that adblock is pervasive throughout your publication and is compromising revenue generation, you can also use it to send users a friendly notice asking them to turn it off. If you’re transparent about the reasons why, many people may be happy to temporarily disable their adblocker on your website.
Publish Your Own Mobile App
Adblockers take aim at browser-based advertisements across all devices, which is why it’s not enough to build a mobile website.
They can get to mobile ads, too, with 380 million devices already using mobile adblock software.
The Teads Global Ad Blocker Study from 2016 found that there are two kinds of ads that are particularly unwanted: poorly designed or intrusive native ads and pre-roll video ads.
74% of U.S.-based respondents said that intrusive ads were the #1 reason they got an adblocker.
– Teads Global Ad Blocker Study
But what about mobile apps?
A mobile app may be your best choice in the battle against adblock. Why is this?
1. Ad blockers don’t work in mobile apps
No adblocker can prevent users from seeing ads in a mobile app, which means more views of all your ads in your app. This means that you can capture much more revenue from ad impressions and clicks.
2. You control ads in your app
Any ads placed within a native mobile app are yours to control. Ad type. Ad placement. Ad source. You get to decide how best to monetize the mobile app experience.
3. You can use mobile app specific ad SDKs
You can show mobile-specific ads from networks like Facebook Audience Network and Admob. This way, you don’t have to worry about the responsiveness of your advertisements.
4. Mobile ads convert better
Mobile-specific ads are created for this particular audience and will, consequently, convert better because the offers are relevant. For example, gaming apps often run ads for other games of interest as opposed to websites that might run ads unrelated to the content of the site.
5. You have many options for monetization in a mobile app
It’s easy to monetize your app and digital content in other ways, too, which means there’s a greater opportunity for revenue generation through this platform. Publications like the New York Times currently use multiple monetization methods in order to grow revenue through mobile apps.
For your own app, consider a combination of the following along with a wide variety of mobile ad types:
- Paid app downloads
- Subscription paywall to access gated content and features
- Ad-free (ad-lite) paywall
As I mentioned under option #4, an ad-free paywall is something that would be quite beneficial to your website visitors and a lucrative option for you. You can do the same with your mobile app, thanks to features like MobiLoud’s ad-free subscription service.
Use this feature to protect and bolster your revenue stream through the mobile app and stop losing users because they feel overwhelmed or annoyed by ads.
6. Mobile app users are generally accepting of advertisements.
This is especially so if they’re presented in a non-intrusive manner, they’re relevant to the surrounding app experience, and they respect the users’ time and purpose for being there.
U.S. advertisers are expected to put 72% of digital ad spend into mobile in 2019, which should tell you how confident they are in using mobile as a revenue channel. And since mobile websites can’t be trusted to capture all ad views, this means the majority of ad spend is likely to go to apps.
Your digital media publication has to monetize in order to survive.
But with 30.1% of the U.S. population and 39% of the UK’s using adblock technologies, you can’t afford to sit on this.
You need to prepare your website now with alternative monetization methods.
Creating more user-friendly native ads is one way to do this. Utilizing anti-adblock scripts and plugins may also help you maintain advertising revenue.
Just beware that visitors may still be able to bypass your anti adblock methods. Still, there are others who may be turned off by the insistence they turn off adblockers in the first place.
Other monetization strategies like paywalls and the development of a mobile app may be the ideal choice to fight adblocks in the future.
Mobile apps, in particular, come with a whole host of benefits for your publication, like expanded search presence through app stores, an increase in brand awareness, the ability to reach users through push notifications, and much much more!
Consider what is best for your readers and develop a monetization strategy that works both to enhance their experience and improve your bottom line.