Ad Blocking

White List Me, Bro! How To Deal With Ad Blocking

Ad BlockerI’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably using or have used ad-blocking software at some point. (For the uninitiated, ad-blocking is a browser extension that prevents digital ads from loading when you visit a page.) Honestly, it was an invention born of necessity. There was a time not too long ago when many pages were flooded with ads… such an ad overload that it was sometimes impossible to tell where the content was.

And remember pop-up ads from the early 2000’s? *shudder* For that alone, we owe ad blockers a tip of the hat.

But while ad blockers can be very convenient for users, they can mean trouble if you’re trying to run a website… especially one where you sell ad space. But how do you deal with the ad blocker user without bouncing them off to another competing site?

Be Polite

No one likes to be told what to do—ad blocker users especially. Face it, they installed software to specifically avoid being told what to buy or what to click on, so forcing them not to run said software might encourage them to leave.

Consider instead a plea to their humanity—possibly a message that gently reminds them that your site is supported by ad revenue, how many jobs are affected by ad blockers, and politely requesting that they “whitelist” your site.

And if that doesn’t work…

Take Off The Gloves… Slowly

Blocking users from content immediately isn’t a great option as it doesn’t give your site the opportunity to prove why you’re worth whitelisting. Publishing software such as WordPress offer anti-ad block plugins that let you control how much content a user can see before they’re required to whitelist you. Let them see three or four pages, pique their interest, then hit them with the mandatory “stop using ad blocker” requirement.

Spend Quality Time With Your Ads

People block things that annoy them. Deceptive or vulgar ads are annoying, but can easily slip into the mix if not curated. If possible, take time to approve the ads that run on your site and make sure that only the legitimate and appropriate ones make it through. Nothing sends a user to the ad block button faster than ads that look like they were written by a Nigerian prince with $1,000,000 he wants to give away.

Pay Attention To Your Site’s Feng Shui

Take off your money-making glasses and put on your web designer glasses for a moment. Look carefully at your site. Does it flow? Are the ads minimal? Or are they intrusive, making it more difficult to consume the content? The better designed your ad space is, the less users will want to block it.

Go Native

We talked (at length, and glowingly) about native advertising in a previous blog. This is legitimate content (such as a blog post) that serves an advertising purpose. This kind of content can’t be blocked by ad blockers, so consider sticking a toe into the native advertising arena.

Focus on Mobile

Ad blocking on desktop computers is fairly common, but ad blocking on mobile devices is still relatively new. Put your ad emphasis on mobile if necessary—just don’t go overboard or you can watch your users bounce away to a site less annoying.

Or… Do Nothing

Look, we all want our users to see our ads. We want that revenue. But we can’t force them, and it may not be necessary to. Just because a user isn’t seeing an ad doesn’t mean that they aren’t helping you in some way. They’re still reading your content. They may still buy your product or sign up for your service. And maybe they’ll share your content on social media, sending more users your way. Just because ad blocking exists doesn’t automatically require us to do anything about them.

Questions? Ready to Get Started?


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