Tools & Tech

Calling All Professional Publishers: Here's Why Ad Blocking Needs to Be on Your Radar in 2016

sovrnmarketing // December 4, 2015
There’s no more avoiding it. It’s time to deal with Ad Blocking.

If you have been following the media around online publishing lately, you’ve probably heard about ad blocking. In case you haven’t, here’s a brief intro as to what ad blocking actually is: ad blocking is a content filtering and ad blocking extension that allows users to prevent ads from being displayed.

Essentially, it means that if you’re a digital publisher making money from advertising, your revenue is under attack.

If you already know about ad blocking, you’ve probably heard about Sean Blanchfield and his company, PageFair. Alongside Adobe, PageFair put out an eye-opening report on the global state of ad blocking that set the digital world ablaze. Back in September, Sean spoke at the sovrn  conference about the implications ad blocking has on digital publishers. Sean talked through PageFair’s 2015 Ad Blocking Report, and summarized why publishers need to start paying attention.

The punchline of the report? Ad blocking is on the rise, not only in the US but globally, and there is no end in sight. In fact, with the release of iOS9, ad blockers are expect to drastically penetrate the mobile market through the end of this year and into 2016.

The good news is that companies like PageFair and their allies are banding together to create solutions to help publishers reclaim revenue lost to ad blockers. Sean’s main tips for publishers at i²? You have to create an advertising experience on your website that is pleasing to your visitors!

So what does this mean for you?

It means that, more than ever, your readers’ user experience needs to be your number one priority. This doesn’t just mean content, it means you need to put an emphasis on the advertisements being served on your site. In short, that means working with ad partners you can trust.

Here are three ways you can beat ad blocking in 2016:
  1. Stick to standard ad sizes:  One of the main reasons readers use ad blockers is because they are tired of intrusive ads, so be sure you’re only using IAB standard creative sizes when implementing your programmatic advertising strategy:  728×90, 300×600, 300×250, 160×600 (for display).
  2.  There is such a thing as too many ads:  This might sound odd coming from an ad exchange, but we recommend capping your display/video ad count to 5-6 ads per page. Reducing ad clutter will also help increase your CPMs because advertisers will be more willing to spend more money on ads they know will have a bigger impact on the reader.
  3. Pick the right ad partner:  This is crucial to your success. By aligning yourself with the ad partner that pays attention to site quality, ad quality, and general network hygiene, you’re setting yourself up for success. At sovrn, we are extremely selective about who we let into our ad exchange, and only high quality sites gain entry. This means the publishers we work with are of the highest quality, and receive the highest quality ads from our advertisers. The bottom line: the higher quality ads you serve on your site, the less likely your readers are to block them.
Do you have any other suggestions on how to beat ad blocking?

Have you found anything that works well for you? Share it with us by leaving a comment here or on Twitter!

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