An ad blocker is a web browser extension that alters or removes advertisements on a website. Ad blockers cross reference the script of a page with a list of scripts they were programmed to block. If there's a match, the blocker will simply block the advertisement, allowing for a smoother and safer browsing experience.
To the untrained eye, ad-blockers seem inoffensive. In fact, there are many benefits to having ad-blockers running on your browser, some more obvious than others. For example, not only do ad-blockers generally clean up and declutter your experience online, they can help to increase page loading time, protect your privacy and even improve your battery life. For website browsers or online game players, ad-blockers are truly unsung heroes, but from the perspective of marketers, they tend to make life that little bit harder.
Online advertisements, whether paid or free, provide marketers with key insights and data regarding metrics such as click through rate (CTR) and website visits, for example. By blocking these advertisements, marketers are missing out on the opportunity to collect important information and data about consumer behaviour which would then be used to inform future campaigns. Financially, ad-blockers are also cumbersome as, if you pay by the impression, view or click, with ad-blockers it is difficult to establish how many have actually seen the advertisement therefore skewing up conversion rates.
With ad-blocker technology becoming more advanced (like everything else) and now being integrated into such systems as IOS and Android, the volume of ad-blocker users is only increasing, causing us marketers more problems going forward.
Despite this, it's not all doom and gloom and there are a handful of home truths to be shared which may put your mind at ease. One of which is that, in the grand scheme of things, only a very small percentage of people have ad-blocker technology downloaded on their computer, leaving at least three quarters of the population left to get those all important clicks from. Secondly, ad-blockers cannot be universally applied (yet) meaning that they cannot cross from desktop to mobile or from desktop to app, for example.
So, how can you mitigate the issues caused by ad blockers in the meantime?
One way is to dust off and brush up your inbound marketing strategy. Attempting to improve and increase organic traffic to and from your website is never a waste of time. Instead of relying solely on advertisements, think about your website content, what is on offer, is it interesting/informative enough and does it contain SEO boosting qualities, like keywords and backlinks.