We all hate invasive advertisements when we’re browsing online. Well, most of us do. Companies behind the advertisements are putting themselves out there in hopes of making a profit on their ad spend. On the other side of the coin, some websites rely on the revenue that comes not from advertising themselves elsewhere, but on hosting ads from other companies.
At the time of this writing, Hubspot Blogs is featuring a survey on its site that asks, “Which Type of Ad is Most Annoying?” The choices are:
- Auto-playing online video ads
- Direct mail advertisements or promotions
- Pop-up online ads
- Sponsored Twitter ads
- Television commercials
The overwhelming top choice at this time is auto-playing online videos, with about 60 percent of the vote. In second place, pop-up online ads currently has been clicked on 23 percent of the time. At the moment, Twitter ads and television commercials seem to bother users the least, according to the poll.
So, yes, most of us seem to loathe advertisements, but the HubSpot survey doesn’t really get at what percentage of us feel this way. A recent report by PageFair and Adobe sheds light on how many people claim to be annoyed by online advertising, as well how many people are using ad-blocking extensions and how they’re impacting the advertising industry.
Why Users are Blocking Ads, if at All
The PageFair-Adobe report included the results of a survey of 400 people in the U.S. Surprisingly, about 1 in 4 respondents between the ages of 35 and 49 who aren’t currently blocking ads said they have no plans to ever start using ad-blocking software. However, of those who aren’t blocking ads now but may do so in the future, half of them said the misuse of personal information to customize the ads would be their primary reason to start using a software that blocks such solicitations. The millennials in that non-ad-blocking group said that a sheer increase in the number of ads would be their top reason for eventually taking advantage of a blocking software.
The Rise of Ad-Blocking Extensions, even on Mobile Devices
The same report said ad block usage in the U.S. had increased 48 percent year-over-year, reaching 45 million monthly active users during the second quarter of 2015. The rise of Google Chrome usage played a big part in this, as it is easy to install an ad-blocking extension on the browser. The survey found that ad block usage on Chrome jumped 51 percent from the second quarter of 2014 to the second quarter of 2015. Ad block usage on Firefox increased during that time by 17 percent. What’s ironic is that many ad-blocking extensions can filter out pay-per-click ads in Google search, all while more users are browsing with Google Chrome and taking advantage of such an extension.
Ad blocking on mobile devices is underdeveloped, but is expected to become more of a force in the near future. The App Store on Apple phones first introduced several ad-blocking applications when iOS 9 rolled out this year. The PageFair-Adobe report said Firefox and Chrome currently comprise 93 percent of all mobile ad blocking, but that not a large percentage of overall mobile users have an ad-blocking feature enabled on their devices at this time. Presently, mobile Chrome users can manually install the AdBlock Plus app to stop seeing most or all online advertisements, although the app is no longer available in Google’s Play Store.
What Ad Blocking is Costing the Advertising Industry
Ad-blocking software has completely shaken up the advertising industry. The PageFair-Adobe study found that ad-blocking extensions will cause an estimated loss in revenue globally of $21.8 billion in 2015.
It’s only going to get worse. The report estimates that lost advertising revenue will jump to $41.4 billion in 2016. In the United States alone, the estimated figures of lost revenue from 2014 to 2016 are as follows:
- 2014: loss of $5.8 billion
- 2015: loss of $10.7 billion
- 2016: loss of $20.3 billion
AdBlock and Adblock Plus (no relation) are the most popular browser plug-ins of their kind. A new app for Apple mobile devices, Been Choice, claims to block in-app advertisements, too, even in Facebook’s mobile application. Watch out, advertisers.
How to Combat Loss of Revenue from Ad Blocking
Many websites generate revenue by hosting ads and getting paid per number of impressions. Even if nobody is clicking on a certain ad, the website could still be raking in some revenue if it attracts a high volume of traffic. When visitors to the site have ad blocking enabled, that usually means an impression is lost. Thus, revenue is lost.
So, how do companies that rely on advertising adjust to this wave of ad block popularity? Some webmasters have taken extreme measures such as coding their sites in ways that withholds content until visitors disable any ad-blocking extensions. Other companies, large ones such as Google and Twitter, have been approached by Adblock Plus to become a part of its “Acceptable Ads” program, which means the extension has the ability to overlook ads on certain domains, especially ones that belong to preferred partners.
When all else fails, there’s always good ol’ SEO. If you rely on advertising to drive traffic to your website and increase sales opportunities, you don’t necessarily have to ditch any ongoing PPC campaigns, but now’s the time to ramp up the optimization of your website. There is a litany of elements that goes into optimizing a site for organic traffic. Below is just a sampling of the SEO-related steps you should take:
- Implement keywords that you think your ideal visitor would use
- Fix any NAP (name, address, phone number) inconsistencies
- Run a crawl report and fix all errors found
- Make sure your website architecture is clean, and easy for users to navigate
- Weed out “spammy” referral traffic
- Produce content that encourages other reputable sites to link to you
- Leverage social media to increase brand awareness and encourage users to visit your site
- Optimize your pages for conversions, including tightening up your calls to action
It’s Time to Optimize
In short, you should focus on making your website into all-around strong user experience, which includes engaging content and clear-cut navigation. Search engine optimization is a complex and ongoing process, and not every company is equipped to keep up with it effectively. Therefore, it never hurts to turn your SEO duties over to a marketing firm that specializes in the trade. Eminent SEO is a full-service digital marketing firm that has bolstered the traffic and conversions of thousands of websites. Click here to learn more about our SEO services or call us today at 800-871-4130.