Here's the least-controversial statement ever: People uniformly claim to hate online ads. However, that doesn't exactly square with the fact that even readily despised pop-up ads are effective. People say they hate them, but enough people click on them and convert to make them a viable revenue-enhancing strategy for online publishers trying to monetize their websites.
So what do they do? You know the answer already: They install ad blocking software or browser plug-ins. While this is understandable somehow, it also hurts publishers who don't make use of intrusive ads. In this post we'll cover why ad blockers can become a real problem for the online publishing industry and what you can do to protect your online ad revenue.
- The problem with ad blockers
- AdBack can be a strategy against ad blockers
- AdBack pricing options
- Download and installation of the AdBack plugin
The problem with ad blockers
The problem with ad blockers is, of course, one of lost revenue opportunities for you, the site owner who depends on ads displayed on your site for part of your income stream. After all, you can't earn money or a conversion from a user who never sees your ad. If this is a challenge for you, rest assured — you're far from alone. Consider a few shocking statistics:
- In 2015, ad blocking cost publishers a staggering $22 billion.
- It's not just laptops and desktops — over 400 million people worldwide use ad blockers on their smartphones. More and more people access the internet on mobile devices anyway.
- And the world's leading ad blocker, Adblocker Plus, has been downloaded over 300 million times. This shows that the usage of ad blockers has become very common nowadays.
AdBack can be a strategy against ad blockers
AdBack is a robust ad blocker strategy that can work for both WordPress and Drupal-based sites who are struggling with depressed ad revenues thanks to AdBlock Plus and the like. Briefly, the plugin takes a three-tier approach to the ad blocking problem. First, it lets you, the site owner, analyze your users' dependence on ad blocking software.
You get access to one set of analytical data directly from your WordPress Dashboard — for example, as shown in this screenshot, the volume of blocked and non-blocked unique page views for your adblock users. This can be very helpful to determine if your audience is using ab blockers or not.
But head over to your secure account at the official AdBack site, and you'll see a dizzying array of data points on your users' ad blocker usage.
For example, AdBack can tell you the bounce rate for your ad blocking users, compared to your overall bounce rate for all users. Is your approach literally driving people off your site completely? That'd be helpful information to have, right?
Next, AdBack helps you protect your site and revenue stream by delivering to those users a customized message about using ad blocking software. You've probably seen similar messages on many media sites, such as The Guardian, if you use ad blocking software yourself.
Optionally, you can offer an alternative means to view your content. Those alternatives can include relatively simple avenues such as surveys to answer, subscribing to a paywall (i.e. subscribing to paid content via a monthly fee), subscribing to an email list, or watching a short video ad. AdBack will help you communicate those alternatives to your users who really don't want to turn off the ad blocking software. This gives you the opportunity to convert adblock users into paying users.
Completion of the specified action would then grant the user access to the desired content on your site. That way, you empower your users to make a choice that's right for them, thus increasing their trust for you, without jeopardizing your revenue stream.
In fact, the plugin's developers assert that you can regain anywhere from 28 to 60 percent of your ad revenues lost to ad blockers, if installed and configured properly.
AdBack pricing options
How much will AdBack cost you? Its tiered price model varies depending on what you want the plugin to do for you, as well as the size of your site and its traffic. For example, there's a free option. If all you want is analytics, to understand the world of ad blocking software and how it impacts your site directly, this level will be sufficient for you.
But there's so much more to AdBack. You can also create customized messages to your users to persuade them to trust you and turn off their ad blockers. The Plus level, one step up from the free Lite plan, costs $5 per month and lets you display up to 10,000 customized messages to ad block users. This could already increase your ad revenue more than the monthly cost of the plugin.
If that's not enough, the Pro level at $19 per month will probably suffice for most small bloggers and site owners. You'll get up to 250,000 displays of customized and targeted messages, allowing you to more effectively win back that lost ad revenue.
And if that's still not enough? Check out Premium, the AdBack enterprise-level solution which gets you unlimited displayed messages, individualized support, and a host of other technical features that will help shore up any bleed-off in your ad revenues.
All of AdBack's paid levels — that is, the Plus, Pro, and Premium levels — offer a two-week free trial period, so you can make sure you're getting exactly the level of service you require.
Download and installation of the AdBack plugin
Installation is fairly straightforward, as it is for most WordPress plugins. Simply download the zip file for the plugin, then upload via the “Add New Plugin” menu in your WordPress Dashboard.
Once that's done, you'll see your AdBack tab in the menu bar. That's where you'll find your main graphics, and a settings menu to help customize your message to ad block users. Optionally, you can head over to the AdBack site dashboard and access your detailed analytics as well as more advanced customization features for your messaging.
Check out AdBack's page in the official plugin repository for more screenshots and information and for the zipped installation file. To sign up for your AdBack account and to get started with the installation and configuration, head over to the official AdBack site.
Conclusion: Get back your lost ad revenue
Ad blockers are problematic for everyone. Online publishers have a hard time to monetize their content to cover their costs and consumers have disadvantages because there will be less free content available on the long run. Have you tried the AdBack plugin or other anti-adblock strategies? Do you have something to add? Let us know in the comments section below!