Ad blockers are becoming more and more prevalent among internet users today. Over 40% of internet users now use an ad blocker, and that number is only growing. This poses a huge threat to publishers and website owners who rely on ad revenue to support their content and operations.
While ad blockers provide a better browsing experience for users by removing intrusive ads, they also block legitimate, unintrusive ads that help fund free online content. This results in lost revenue for publishers.
If you own a WordPress website or blog that displays ads, you have likely noticed a drop in your ad earnings recently. Your website visitors are blocking your ads without you even realizing it.
So what can you do?
Fortunately, there are WordPress ad block detection solutions that can help you identify ad blocking users, communicate with them, and potentially recover some of that lost ad revenue.
In this guide, we will cover:
- The impact of ad blockers on website revenue
- Why users block ads in the first place
- The best WordPress ad block detection solutions
- How to use ad block detection to recover revenue
- Tips for communicating with ad blocking users
Let’s dive in!
The Impact of Ad Blockers on Website Revenue
Ads pay the bills for most content creators. Display ads, video ads, sponsored posts – all of these digital advertising formats allow publishers to provide free access to their content.
But ad blockers strip away those crucial ads, causing major revenue loss:
- Over $42 billion in global lost ad revenues by 2022 (Source)
- Avg publisher loses $21 million a year to ad blockers (Source)
- Top publishers like Forbes and Buzzfeed lose $100K+ per day (Source)
As you can see, ad blocking takes a huge bite out of digital ad revenues. Publishers of all sizes are affected.
So if you notice your ad earnings dropping significantly, ad blocking is likely the culprit.
Why Do Users Block Ads?
Before we dive into the solutions, it helps to understand why users block ads in the first place. There are a few key reasons:
1. To Speed Up Page Load Times
Ads can bog down page performance. Studies show that pages load twice as fast when ads are blocked. Users install ad blockers to improve browsing speeds.
2. To Save Data and Battery Life
By removing data-heavy ads, ad blockers reduce mobile data usage and save battery life.
3. To Improve Security and Privacy
Some ads and tracking scripts can compromise user privacy and security. Ad blockers help block these threats.
4. To Remove Annoying/Intrusive Ads
Pop-ups, autoplay video ads, interstitials – these disruptive ad formats frustrate users and motivate them to install ad blockers.
5. They Simply Don‘t Like Ads
Some users just don‘t want to see any ads period, regardless of their nature.
So those are some of the key reasons users are motivated to install ad blockers. Understanding their perspective can help you communicate with them and potentially win them back.
Next, let‘s look at solutions for detecting ad blockers on your WordPress site.
Top Ad Block Detection Plugins for WordPress
Ad blocker usage is invisible to publishers – you simply don‘t collect ad revenue from ad blocked users. This makes it hard to quantify how much revenue you‘re losing.
Ad block detectors solve this problem by identifying ad blocking visitors so you can actually measure the revenue impact and communicate with those visitors directly.
Here are some of the top ad block detection plugins for WordPress:
1. Ad Inserter
Ad Inserter is a popular WordPress ad management plugin that includes ad block detection as one of its many features.
It lets you:
- Detect all major ad blockers, including AdBlock Plus and uBlock Origin
- Choose to display custom messages, placeholders, or even replacement ads to ad blocking users
- Generate detailed blockchain reports on ad blocking rates and lost earnings
- Whitelist your site so logged in users don‘t see ad block messages
Ad Inserter is a paid plugin but very affordable starting at $19 per year. It also includes lots of bonus features like ad automation, AB testing, and caching.
As the name suggests, BlockAdBlock is designed specifically to counter ad blocking on WordPress sites.
It lets you:
- Detect all major ad blockers
- Show custom messages to blocked users
- Open blocked content after ad blocker is disabled
- Gather statistics on ad blocking traffic and lost revenue
BlockAdBlock starts at $99 per year but offers discounts for non-profits and charities. The premium version includes features like analytics integration, country blocking, and IP blocking.
3. Ad Blocking Revenge
Ad Blocking Revenge takes a more aggressive approach to ad block detection.
It allows you to:
- Redirect users to a custom landing page if they visit with an ad blocker enabled
- Obscure page content by overlaying a div over blocked users’ screens
- Disable right click, copy/paste, scrolling, and other functions until ad block is disabled
This is a free, open source plugin but hasn’t been updated since 2016. Still a good option though for its customizability.
4. AdBlock Notify by b*web
AdBlock Notify delivers a polite notice bar encouraging users to disable their ad blocker or whitelist your site.
It lets you:
- Detect all major ad blockers
- Display custom notice bar with logo, text, button, and color options
- Change messaging based on ad blocker status
- Gather basic analytics on ad blocking traffic
This is another paid plugin priced at $35 for a regular license. It offers a simple yet customizable notification bar interface.
5. Ad Blocker Alerts
Ad Blocker Alerts shows a popup alert when ad blocking users visit your site.
It allows you to:
- Automatically detect ad blocking browsers
- Display custom text/branding in the popup
- Make the popup dismissible or non-dismissible
- Customize popup sizing and styling
This plugin is free on WordPress.org but hasn‘t been updated since 2019. Still, it provides basic ad block detection and messaging if you want a free option.
Using Ad Block Detection to Recover Revenue
Installing an ad block detection plugin is the first step. But how do you actually use it to recover lost ad revenue?
Here are a few tips:
Politely Ask Users to Disable/Whitelist
Don’t chastise blocked users. Instead, politely ask them to disable their ad blocker to support your site. Or encourage them to whitelist your site if they prefer to keep the ad blocker on elsewhere.
Many users are happy to comply with reasonable requests that appeal to their sense of fairness.
Communicate the Value Exchange
Explain how your free content is funded by ads. Make it clear how allowing ads provides value for value. Some ad blocking users simply don’t make the connection.
Offer a Non-Ad Alternative
Consider giving users options like paid memberships, donations, merch, etc. to support your work without ads. Make sure to prominently promote these.
Limit Free Articles
Block Access Entirely
Or go nuclear by blocking all access for ad blocking users until they whitelist or disable the blocker. Services like Blockthrough make this easy to implement. Just know this heavy-handed approach risks alienating users.
Test out different techniques to find the right revenue recovery strategy for your site and audience. Monitor results closely to optimize over time.
Tips for Communicating with Ad Blocking Users
How you communicate with ad blocking visitors will greatly impact your revenue recovery efforts. Here are some tips:
- Be polite and understanding in your messaging
- Avoid guilt trips or finger wagging
- Appeal to their sense of fairness and desire to support your work
- Be transparent about how you use ads and data responsibly
- Provide options like donations or memberships as an alternative
- Offer helpful instructions on how to whitelist your site
- Make it as seamless as possible for users to comply
- Thank users who disable or whitelist – positive reinforcement!
The better your communication, the more ad blockers you‘ll convince to play ball.
Ad blockers significantly disrupt advertising, but innovative publishers are finding ways to mitigate and recover that lost revenue.
By implementing ad block detection on your WordPress site, you can identify blocked users, communicate with them, and bring in more ad earnings.
Test out plugins like Ad Inserter, BlockAdBlock, and AdBlock Notify to find the right solution for detecting and messaging blocked visitors.
Appeal to your users‘ sense of fairness, be transparent about your practices, and provide paid alternatives to maximize your revenue recovery efforts.
With strategic communication and adaptive solutions, you can retain engaged users while still funding your work through advertising. It‘s all about balance – and ad block detection helps you find that equilibrium.