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Working with Ad Block Users to build trust

Nobody likes to be interrupted by an advertisement.

You might think that this is a bad fact to focus on for a company that sells software to allow you to advertise on your website. However, the key part of that statement is the “interrupt.” The IAB is adopting some new guidelines that reduce the amount of disruption that your readers experience (you can read more about the new standards – IAB Standards – The Future of Advertising Online) and the positive impacts of these new standards might just be a reduction in the number of users who are actively blocking your ads.

Ad blocking software works by targeting pop-ups, banners, and tracking mechanisms. These can be all of things that you’ve worked so hard to implement for your advertisers. The better ad blocking software respects inline ads and doesn’t block everything but some can be very aggressive. We’ve been asked several times if there is a way around an ad blocker. A much better approach is to convince users that are using ad blockers that it’s not in their best interest to do so.

Users are coming to your site because they want to read your content. One of the best techniques at your disposal is to prevent access to your content alongside a notice telling the user that the content is blocked because of their ad blocker. You should be friendly and honest with them, letting them know that the website is made possible by advertising dollars. If your content is worthwhile this can be all that you need to do to change some minds.

However, it’s not only about denying the user access to your content. Some of the more obtrusive advertising techniques also need to be stopped or at least tempered with some reasonable restraint. There are four key areas that were recommended by the IAB after performing a research report on users that were running an ad blocker. They were:

  • Ensuring that ads do not have auto-play audio or video in environments where they aren’t anticipated by consumers
  • Making certain that ads do not block content
  • Safeguarding users from ads that are infected with malware/viruses
  • Guaranteeing that ads do not slow down browsing

None of these alterations should have negative impacts on the effectiveness of your advertising efforts and are more friendly to the user. While the goal of advertising is to sell – modern web users do not want the disruptions of an aggressive ad implementation. Working with ad blocker users creates a trust akin to permission marketing. For complete details of the IAB’s report you can read more about the ad blocking study here.