Ad Blocking is a misnomer. The name suggests ad blockers just block ads, but there’s nothing further from the truth. Ad blocking strikes at the heart of all 3rd party web services including mission critical analytics tools such as Google Analytics. It’s a massive problem that has received very little airtime. It negatively affects millions of websites and the vast majority of digital marketing teams, many without their knowledge. And it doesn’t matter whether you show ads on your site or not, the results are the same; missing important information.
In effect, most ad blocking users are simply invisible to Google Analytics and a plethora of other services, meaning audience data may be wrong by 20 percent or more. Websites in turn can’t answer questions that advertisers and digital teams are asking about their audiences while the data for a large segment is missing or corrupt. More importantly perhaps, digital marketers cannot implement strategies to increase Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) for their blocked audiences.
So how do you manage the impact of ad blocking on analytics? Ironically, the answer is you need good data. To get there, digital marketing teams need to:
- Understand that Google Analytics does not accurately report on ad blocked users because it can or will be blocked.
- Detect all visitors who have ad blockers turned on, identify how an ad blocker is configured and ensure that data is sent to Google Analytics using custom dimensions, including whether the blocker is hiding parts of the page (element hiding), whether the blocker has “acceptable ads” enabled, and which services like ads or analytics are being blocked.
- Use Consent-Based Technologies™ to engage with ad blocking visitors and show deference to them by offering them choices without asking the user to disable their ad blocker or whitelist the website.
- Differentiate blocked audiences from non blocked audiences data that Google Analytics collects normally.
Delivering previously disrupted (unknown) information about blocked audiences gives website owners, digital teams and others full visibility into their blocked audiences and accurately measures their impact within Google Analytics. With this new rich and reliable information, you can build ad blocking best practices that provide unique insights to understand the behavioral and demographic differences among different segments of your blocked audience as well as design and implement better monetization strategies.
For me, the key to success is consent-based technologies™. This allows websites to communicate with their blocked audience to better understand their needs and uniquely enable them to control the end-user experience. It’s all about respecting your ad blocked audience and the reasons they are using blockers, starting with explaining clearly what steps you are taking to address ad blocking, and what choices your blocked users have. It is also important to understand Google’s Terms of Service and that you must disclose the use of Google Analytics, and how it collects and processes data.” See section 7 of https://www.google.com/analytics/terms/us.html for details.
Adtoniq offers comprehensive solutions to disruptions caused by ad blockers so websites can maximize the value of their online audiences with One-Click Consent™