You want to monetize your WordPress website, but guess what? Consumers aren’t too keen to play along anymore. You tell yourself that won’t be the case on your website or that your visitors are different. But the statistics don’t lie.
The Wall Street Journal reported that 26% of online users in the U.S. have ad-blocking software on their computers.
PageFair says it’s just as bad on mobile, too, with around 309 million people around the world using ad-blocking technology on their smart devices.
In 2015, online advertisers were reported to have lost roughly $22 billion in revenue because of ad-blocking efforts by consumers.
Let’s not forget about Google who wants to rub even more salt in the wound. They now have plans to add an ad-blocking feature to Chrome browsers in 2017 that “would filter out certain online ad types deemed to provide bad experiences for users as they move around the web.”
As a web developer (or as a consumer), you totally get this. Some people block ads because they think they’re disrupting the online experience. Others block ads because they think it makes a brand seem inauthentic when there’s too many of them and not enough valuable content available (which, to be fair, is true). Ads can even scare some visitors if they start following them around the web, shouting “Hey, we know what you did on that last website!”
Consumers also want to block out the noise of ads because, gulp, we’ve overdone it.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) came forward in 2015 to offer a mea culpa on this matter. They said that because advertisers were so focused on generating more revenue online and forgot to consider the end user experience, that it’s ultimately our fault for the rise in ad-blocking technology.
Scott Cunningham of the IAB said, “We messed up. Looking back now, our scraping of dimes may have cost us dollars in consumer loyalty.”
So where does that leave you? You’ve optimized your site’s ad space, you’ve inserted ads into your WordPress site, but nothing’s really happening with them… which probably means visitors aren’t seeing them. So, what are your options?
How to Get Around Ad Blockers in WordPress
Ad blockers were developed with the best of intentions. Marketers took advantage of the prime opportunity presented by websites, and now consumers have a way to block out their ads entirely. That’s a good thing for the consumer. They can take control over their online experience, which may consequently lead to an improved UX… and higher conversions for you.
While the resulting increase in conversions would be a nice side effect of ad-blocking technology, that still doesn’t ease the sting of knowing that the time and money you spent on creating ads and putting them onto your site has all been for naught. So, what do you do? One option to consider is to diversify your monetization and advertising efforts with those that are less likely to be noticed by ad blockers:
- Sponsored articles: These articles look and sound just like the rest of the content on your site, but their purpose is to advertise something—whether that’s your own product or service or someone else’s (who would, in turn, pay you to post their sponsored content on your site).
- Gated content: In order to make this one work, you’d need to create truly high-value, long-form content like white papers and ebooks. You can then give readers a taste of it on your site, and require a payment or subscription if they want access to the rest.
- Affiliate programs: By joining others’ affiliate programs, all you need to do is include links to their products or services within your content. They may not be beautifully designed and well-written ads, but they work similarly.
- Off-site ads: Your WordPress site isn’t the only place where you can place advertisements for your business. Newsletters, social media, and video players are good options to consider. They’re not totally block-proof, but they’re probably less so than on-site ads.
To solve the actual issue of your on-site ads being seen, you’ll need the assistance of a plugin. Here are some you can try:
Let’s say you believe in the support and loyalty of your visitors. You know that ad-blocking software comes in handy for websites they don’t trust or that they just don’t want to be bothered by, but you don’t believe that would be the case here. So you use this plugin to detect that ad-blocking software has been used and your site then displays a hello bar notification, kindly requesting visitors to whitelist your site so they can see your ads.
The goal of this plugin isn’t to defeat ad-blocking software. The developer likely recognized that those types of plugins don’t always result in the most ideal outcomes (like Ad Blocker Notify which is now blacklisted), and so created one that would enable users to convert that space intended for monetization into an area for lead generation.
This is an all-in-one advertising manager plugin you can use in WordPress. In addition to helping users create and sell ad space on their sites, the plugin also promises to be 100% AdBlocker-safe, so you won’t need two plugins to accomplish all your advertising-related needs.
Here is another WordPress plugin (this one is free to use though) that aims to be an all-in-one advertising solution. With the Ultimate Ads Manager, you can create, display, and take full control over the on-site ad experience. This one also promises to “fool AdBlocker.”
Although there are other anti-AdBlocker plugins available, I’m not going to recommend them here as there just aren’t enough downloads or reviews to speak well enough on their behalf. Without knowledge of how well they work, I’d suggest sticking to the tried and true methods mentioned above.
There’s nothing more disheartening than to discover that the work you’ve done on your website has been a waste. This is even more painful news to take when that work was meant to help you generate more revenue. If on-site ads really do make sense for your business model and you don’t want to have to start all over again with a new revenue-generating opportunity, these anti-AdBlocker plugins might be just what you need.
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