Ad blockers stop advertisements from showing up in a browser. These apps or software are a blessing for users who find ads intrusive and annoying. But for marketers, there is fear that it may disrupt their advertising campaigns and pay-per-click (PPC) marketing services.
Besides marketers, companies that rely on advertising to generate revenue, like Google, Bing and PPC management agencies, might also take a hit. But, surprisingly, some research also shows that higher usage of ad blockers may benefit marketers.
Before delving into the details, publishers and PPC marketing agency consultants must know how this technology works. Only then can they create PPC strategies that still reach their target audience.
Ad Blocker Usage Stats
Globally, an estimated 42.7 percent of internet users use an ad blocker.
Table 1. Estimated Ad Blocker Usage in the US According to eMarketer
|Ad Blocker Usage Rate|
In the U.S., ad blocker user penetration has risen year after year. Among the many reasons cited, the top six most common ones are:
• Excessive ads on the internet (22.3 percent)
• Too many annoying or irrelevant ads (22.3 percent)
• Ads are intrusive (19.9 percent)
• Ads take up too much screen/displace space (16.7 percent)
• To speed up page loading time bug ( 16.5 percent)
• To speed up page loading time (14.6 percent)
Table 2. Top 10 Most Popular Firefox Desktop Add-Ons for a Week (Oct 17, 2022)
|Adblock Plus – free ad blocker||1.959%|
|English (US) Language Pack||1.948%|
|DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials||1.605%|
|Cisco Webex Extension||1.602%|
|English (GB) Language Pack||1.194%|
As seen above, Firefox ad-blocking add-ons are trendy among its users, with four out of the top 10 being Firefox ad blockers. In particular, uBlock Origin, in particular, is preferred by most people in nearly all countries using ad blockers for Chrome, Firefox and others.
How Do Ad Blockers Work for Users?
Ad blockers act as content filtering tools that alter or remove ads. They work by scanning a page as it loads for scripts and page elements used to display ads. Then, they compare those components against ad-blocking filter lists. The ad blocker will prevent them from loading if there is a match.
Ad blockers are available as browser extensions. A Google Chrome user, for example, can install a Chrome ad blocker extension. Mozilla Firefox users, meanwhile, can use a Firefox ad-blocking add-on. Usually, these extensions offer more functionality and features than the built-in ad-blocking technology found in most modern browsers.
One downside of using an ad blocker is that it slows down the page loading speed while scanning page elements and scripts. Ad blockers also contribute to slightly higher memory usage. While it may not matter to most casual users, those who open many browser tabs may experience a noticeable slowdown.
Another concern raised is that ad blockers for Chrome, Firefox and other browsers may contain malware or adware. But such is the risk of using browser extensions, especially from relatively unknown publishers.
Users can avoid malware by installing only the most popular and recommended extensions from the official web stores. For example, find Firefox ad blockers from the Firefox Browser Add-Ons page or install a Chrome ad blocker from the Chrome Web Store.
How Do Ad Blockers Work Against PPC Management and Advertising Campaigns?
The inability to display ads due to ad blockers for Chrome and other browsers negatively impacts a PPC management and online advertising agency. Research conducted by Ovum, for instance, revealed that marketers and advertisers could lose up to $78 billion by 2020.
In the U.S., Statistica reports that the cost of using ad-blocking technology, such as Firefox ad blockers, has risen from $3.89 billion in 2016 to $12.12 billion in 2020.
So in the coming years, the reasonable expectation is that the economic cost of ad-blocking will continue to rise. It means a PPC marketing agency would have to change how they manage PPC campaigns and adjust their PPC strategies.
But a PPC ads agency cannot do it alone. They also need the help of search engine optimization (SEO) and web design specialists to make the necessary changes, such as making the ads less intrusive.
How Ad Blockers Help Digital Marketers and Advertisers
As challenging and financially disadvantageous as ad blockers are to a publisher and online advertising agency, there might be silver linings, according to researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and the City University of Hong Kong.
• Ad blockers filter users who do not want to see ads for various reasons. Hence, publishers and marketers can adjust their advertising and PPC strategies to target more intense ads to users who can see them.
• Advertisers and ad platforms can pay some ad block companies to add them to an allowlist. But the ads need to conform to regulations and standards in the digital advertising industry. In this way, ad blockers help regulate the ad industry.
• Ad blockers force publishers and PPC ads agency consultants to create better ads and focus on the quality of content. In effect, they help improve user experience.
How To Manage PPC Campaigns and Deal With Chrome and Firefox Ad-Blocking
Ad blockers are here to stay, and the trends suggest higher usage rates in the foreseeable future. So the sooner publishers and marketers adapt, the better it is for their PPC marketing services. The following are some of the ways to deal with ad blockers:
1. Follow Ad Industry Regulatory Bodies
Several regulatory bodies and initiatives aim to improve the digital advertising industry. One, for example, is the Coalition for Better Ads Standards (BAS). Its board members include:
• American Association of Advertising Agencies (4 A’s)
• Association of National Advertisers (ANA)
• Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)
• NAVER Corp
• Network Advertising Initiative (NAI)
• News Corp
• World Federation of Advertisers (WFA)
To illustrate the importance of complying with the standards of BAS, consider the usage rate of Chrome. Globally, it accounts for 63.58 percent of the browser market. In the U.S., it accounts for 46.32 percent. So publishers that do not follow BAS guidelines will not pass through a Chrome ad blocker and tap into a massive market of users.
2. Ask Users To Disable Ad Blocker
One way to manage PPC campaigns is to ask users to allow ads. There are two ways to do that.
• Allow users to access a certain number of posts, then show a soft message requesting them to disable ad-blocking.
• Sites with a massive following can gate content. Users can only read articles if they turn off their ad blocker.
3. Use a Subscription Model or Paywall
Rather than relying only on PPC marketing services, companies can create another revenue stream, such as a paywall. This subscription model monetizes gated content by letting users access articles after paying a fee.
Since users pay for access, gated content must be high-quality and worth the money. While it is possible to include some ads, keep them to a minimum and non-intrusive.
Mixing ads and a subscription model is an excellent way to offset the negative impact of ad blockers. It is up to the company and its marketers to experiment and determine the best mix for optimal results.
Adapt to the Changing Digital Marketing Technologies
Digital advertising is an indispensable tool that benefits both businesses and customers. But unfortunately, some publishers and marketers put up too many irrelevant and intrusive ads on social media and websites. Meanwhile, users have the right to privacy, including disabling tracking features used by many platforms to collect user data for advertising-related purposes and blocking ads.
There are, of course, ways to offset or limit the impact of ad blockers on advertising campaigns. These include conforming to industry standards and regulations or asking users to allow ads. Some businesses have also turned to a subscription model to generate revenue.
If you want to learn how to create new opportunities from ad blocking, contact us at 866-908-4748. Our consultants can explain how we can tailor PPC marketing services that are least impacted, thus ensuring the generation of qualified leads.
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