To pretty much just name the elephant in the room, people don’t like it when ads get in the way of their experience. Because they don’t like it, they resort to just doing away with all of them by ad blocking. This spells bad news for publishers because the more people use ad blockers, the less revenue is maximized.
Every year the number of ad-block users grows, and recently ad blocking in mobile has been supported by Apple. Some say it will mean the death of the online ad industry. Some are even saying it will mean the end of the Internet as we know it.
Related: Should We Love Ad Blockers?
To address this supposed threat, the IAB has come out with the LEAN Ads program, LEAN standing for Light, Encrypted, Ad choice supported, Non-invasive ads. This program aims to set new standards for AdTech by essentially designing the system based on user experience. After all, poor user experience caused by ads is the reason why people use AdBlockers.
Before the standards are out and final, though, we’ve come up with ideas you can implement now to address ad blocking.
Some LEAN Ideas
- Clean up cluttered ad space – This goes back to design aesthetics and how an ugly looking site will turn users off. An ugly looking site because it’s full of ads is worse. Do some spring cleaning and remove ads that are cluttering your site up.
- Speed things up – Find a balance of running your ads and making your site run as fast as it can. The slower your website loads, the worse the experience gets for the user.
- Offer your audience options – Many sites, like Forbes, have adopted giving their audience a choice of either turning off their adblockers for a light ad experience, signing up to be able to enter, or paying a small fee regularly to enjoy no ads. The more you respect their decision-making ability, the better it is for your site.
- Remove disruptive elements – Take out those things that might be bothering people on the site. You know what I’m talking about – pop-ups, autoplay videos, non-skippable ads, and pretty much anything that keeps them from just consuming the content that they went to your site for. Design the flow of experience in your site to be as smooth as possible from the moment they enter.
Some ideas outside LEAN
- Focus on providing value – Are you intentionally providing value to your audience every step of the way? The only reason people are going to go to your site and stay there is because they are getting something out of it. Are you making life better or easier for them? Are you educating them or helping them with a service? Figure out what your audience needs and give it to them.
- Create content that people love – This is directly linked to the one above. Don’t just create content and put it out. Create content that has high value and is in the right context.
- Create relationships – Thank them for commenting. Go to social media and have conversations. Take the time to build a real human relationship with your audience. Make them care about your brand and they will give back.
- Ask directly – One way you can ask your audience to give back is to simply explain to them why you need to run ads on your site and ask them directly to support you by turning their ad blockers off. But this isn’t going to work if you haven’t given them real value and spent the time to interact with them.
Whatever it is you choose to adopt to work around ad blocking, remember to always design it around your user’s’ experience. Remember that that’s why ad blocking started in the first place.
MonetizeMore increases your ad revenues with the same number of ads on your site to achieve a LEAN experience for users. Find out how we optimize your ad inventory while keeping user experience a priority. Sign up to become our Premium Publisher.