The Benefits of Better Ads Standards for Publishers
Advertising is the currency of the Internet. Users may obtain valuable information for free through advertisements. However, over time, users are starting to express their dissatisfaction with intrusive and irritating adverts. Nearly 91% of users find advertisements to be more obtrusive now than they were two to three years ago, according to statistics. 79% of people believe retargeting advertisements are tracking them. Additionally, 15% of consumers claim that some advertisements deceived them into clicking.
Reputable worldwide trade organisations and online media companies founded the Coalition for Better Ads to counter this; moreover, they also introduced the Better Ads Standards. Understanding customer preferences and meeting their expectations in the digital age of advertising are at the core of the idea.
Better Ads Standards: what is this?
The Coalition for Better Ads developed and launched a framework called the Better Ads Standards. The framework attempts to improve consumers’ interactions with adverts on both desktop and mobile platforms.
How does it operate? The coalition identifies the ads with the lowest perceived value that drive internet users to instal ad blockers. For this, their study finds the least favoured ad formats that cause issues with surfing speed, interrupt content, and disrupt the user experience.
The guidelines then establish which ad formats are acceptable for consumers and which ones are not by evaluating all desktop and mobile-based ad kinds. Publishers and webmasters advise the removal of the lowest-ad types once they have been identified.
Better Ads Standards were first implemented in March 2017 and are most successful in North America and Europe. Since their introduction, numerous publications have embraced the standards and included them in their ad policies.
A call for better advertising
Based on the research they carried out to understand user preferences about online advertisements, the coalition conceptualised the Better Ads Standards.
They interviewed more than 25,000 internet users across North America and Europe throughout the initial phase. The consumers were asked about their problems and preferences towards various kinds of internet advertisements. In this stage, 49 mobile-based ad experiences and 55 desktop-based ad experiences were examined.
To learn about the problems and needs of clients in Asia, Latin America, and Africa, a similar study was carried out in phase two. As a result, identical consumer preferences were discovered in both researches on the most- and least-preferred ad formats and experiences, necessitating the development of a framework like the Better Ads Standards.
Additionally, customer choices have always come first according to Better Ads Standards. As a result, a user-centric approach was used to reach a conclusion. To rate advertising experiences from best to worst, the researchers combined all the replies and developed a “ranking system.”
The research found the following desktop-based ads as the most disruptive ones:
- Pop-up ads
- Prestitial ads with a countdown
- Large sticky ads and
- Auto-playing videos with sound
According to the study, the most disruptive mobile-based ads include:
- Prestitial ads
- Pop-up ads
- Flashing animations
- Mobile pages with more than 30% ad density
- Large sticky ads
- Fullscreen scroll-over ads and
- Auto-playing videos with sound
These ads are the first to be changed or eliminated according to the rating. The most despised of all advertisements were pop-ups and audio autoplay videos. Depending on how they were used, some ad kinds, such as sticky advertisements, were seen to not be “all bad.”
Better Ads Standards: who will find them useful?
Publishers, advertisers, and ad tech platforms are the target audience for the Better Ads Standards. The coalition encourages them to evaluate their current ad practices and improve the ad experience for their customers by adapting to the standards.
- Advertisers. Better Ads Standards provide them with the tools they need to create and carry out effective marketing campaigns. Since the guidelines are primarily aimed at publishers, marketers have a better understanding of which publishers are compliant, which publishers stick to best practices, and which publishers to engage with.
- Publishers. The guidelines help them follow excellent advertising practices and provide a better user experience to their audience. The group also runs a project called the Better Ads Experience Program, in which publishers are invited to participate and get certification from the Better Ads Standards for sticking to the best practices.
- Ad tech platforms. Publishers that wish to display advertisements on their websites should cooperate with ad networks and ad exchanges. And Better Ads Standards assist these platforms in creating fresh, improved ad options for publishers, and therefore users.
Why should you implement Better Ads Standards?
Defeating ad blockers is one never-ending battle publishers face. TheNextWeb claims that in 2015, ad-blocking software cost publishers roughly $22 billion in revenue. Ad blocker usage increased to 615 million people by 2017 from 198 million in 2015. Additionally, 83% of respondents stated that they would want an ad-blocking option on mobile devices.
It is obvious that publishers that rely only on ad revenue have suffered greatly as a result of ad blockers. Additionally, the usage of ad blockers is rising, which is a symptom that something is really wrong with advertisements as they are right now.
Google is known for its commitment to quality user experience. Bad ad types can reduce a publisher’s ad income, according to Google analysts. Google favours publishers’ well-planned, non-intrusive ad placements, just like the coalition does.
On the bright side, as a result of the Better Ads Standards research, publishers now have access to information on which ad types are the least successful among users. The standards may eventually help publishers in their struggle with ad blockers.
How do Better Ads Standards work for publishers?
Publishers, advertisers, and ad tech firms have been encouraged by the coalition to analyse their adverts. Participating publishers have 30 days to update every area of their website as part of the Better Ads Experience program.
The coalition has no impact on the non-participating publications, on the other hand. But in that situation, Google may check these publishers’ websites to make sure they comply. Since receiving the initial warning notice, Chrome, the dominant online browser in the industry, has been evaluating and taking action on advertising that does not follow the guidelines.
However, Google also provides publishers with a tool to help them identify the parts of their website that could require revision in order to help them stay compliant. One straightforward method for doing this is the Ad Experience report provided in Google Search Console. To assist publishers in identifying questionable ad practices and determining the extent of improvement, the tool examines a small sample of the website’s pages.
When testing is complete, publishers can submit their website for approval and receive notifications via reports.
The last word
The coalition views customer preferences as their most important piece of information. Over 66,000 internet users from various regions have taken part in their research. The program has also been certifying publishers who comply with the guidelines since it was put in place.
Additionally, the coalition has been promoting the advantages of adopting Better Ads Standards to publishers that are not members. It also has plans to use webinars and other forms of marketing to keep publishers interested.
Surprisingly, some statistics illustrate the positive side of disruptive advertising in addition to all the negative ones. 77% of people said they would prefer to use ad filters on websites rather than ad blockers. This shows that people may be willing to reconsider their use of ad blockers to some extent. Of course, in return for a decent experience.
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