If you’ve heard about new Google Chrome ad-blocker and are worried about your CRO campaigns, pay close attention to this article.
On February 15th, Google launched a new ad-blocker in its Chrome web browser in an effort to crack down on annoying and intrusive ads that negatively affect user experience. The new feature comes as a result of the Coalition for Better Ads’ extensive consumer research to identify the least-preferred ad experiences and create a set of Better Ads Standards. Google is aiming to create a higher quality user experience on their browser to attract more users to the service.
Fortunately Picreel customers are not at risk of creating offers that accidentally violate the ad standards. Why? Because Picreel’s campaign design tool has built in features protecting customers from creating ads that violate the new rules.
“It’s simply not in anyone’s best interest to serve spammy ads. Not our customers, their customers or Picreel’s as a business. Year after year, our internal testing proves that these ads do not convert at a high rate and therefore don’t contribute to our customer’s success. To counter this, over the years, we strategically built safeguards in to prevent users from creating bad offers” – CEO Kevin Petersen
It’s important to remember that Google’s motivation is to create the best possible experience on their browser, not to bully online business owners. Google wants business owners to run great campaigns, and so does Picreel.The bottom line is that spammy offers that Google is trying to rid the internet of don’t convert.
Picreel is a Conversion Rate Optimization tool – higher quality, targeted offers do convert and that’s what we’re all about. Essentially, if you are using pop-ups the right way and are respectful of your site visitors — then you have nothing to worry about.
This is what Picreel is doing to protect you
Google wants to rid the internet of ads that spam a user the second they come to your site. Picreel’s campaign targeting system has a mandatory 3 second delay timer making it impossible for an offer to display before the content on a site loads. This will prevent customers from creating ads that violate the new ad standards. A well timed offer is the best type of offer and delivering an offer before the page even loads is never a good idea.
In addition to the three second rule, the other update that Picreel has made as a result of the new ad standards is no longer allowing offers to be served at the end of a page. The Coalition’s findings indicated that offers triggered at the bottom of a page are too intrusive to visitors. Previously customers could configure offers to trigger when a visitor hit the bottom of a page. (When the visitor reaches 100%) Going forward, customers will only be able to serve offers up until 80% of the page – The last 20% will now be off limits to steer clients away from interfering with the Coalition’s new rules.
Customers who previously utilized an immediate welcome mat and 100% scrolling option will have their offers automatically updated to abide by the new rules.
Tips For Creating Better Ads
Listen, if you’re out there abusing ads and spamming your website visitors with pop-ups at every opportunity, prepare to hear from Google. But if you’re using Picreel and creating thoughtful, relevant ads and using behavioral targeting options to show them at the right time, you’re fine.
In general, here are some best practices for creating better ads, regardless of what standards are in place:
- Be respectful of your site visitors – Give people a chance to see what your site is all about before showing them ads.
- Be mindful of frequency – Picreel let’s you choose to show offers to all, new or returning visitors, and set the frequency of your campaign to avoid annoying repeat visitors with the same offers.
- Create relevant offers – Don’t show the same ad on every page. Make the offer relevant to where a user is on your site, and what they are doing.
- Create valuable offers – An offer is only effective if the person seeing it perceives value in it. This is where understanding your audience comes into play, as it will allow you to create a valuable offer that will meet their needs/solve a problem.
- Design an attractive offer – Bright, flashing, animated ads are annoying (and on mobile, they even violate the Better Ads Standards). Stick with templates, colors, fonts and images that complement your brand’s image and appear as if they are an extension of your website.
- Use behavioral targeting – Picreel gives customers very granular targeting options, allowing you to show the right offer, to the right person, at the right time. Offers can be shown on exit, after a set percentage is scrolled, after a certain amount of time is spent on a page, or when a link is clicked. You can even show specific ads based on where a person comes from.
All of these tips will help you create a better ad experience for your site visitors, which will ultimately make them happier, will increase your conversions, and will keep you on the right side of Google Chrome’s new ad-blocker feature. We call that a win-win-win.
Remember: Good campaigns will not be punished.
If your site is found to be in violation of the new ad standards, you will be given the opportunity to resolve the issue long before Google actually starts blocking your ads.
These are the new guidelines for acceptable ads as copied verbatim from the official rules outlined by the Coalition:
(1) Ads appearing in images or interactive content (videos or games) and that take up 30% or less of the image or interactive content; and
(2) Exit pop up ads that occur after a user has ceased active engagement with content, and which occur (a) when the user starts to leave the page (without interfering with the user’s departure); (b) if the user has been inactive or idle for more than 30 seconds on a page that does not contain video content; (c) once the user has reached the end of the first article on a page; or (d) if a user purposely navigates to another tab and then returns to the open page.
Let’s break this down see how your Picreel ads are affected:
(1) This is referring to the doormat/welcome mat type ads that load immediately and cover the entire content on a page. The Coalition’s new rules will punish offers that load immediately and block a user’s experience before any value is presented to them via content on the actual site. Picreel’s campaign targeting has hardcoded a 3 second rule making it impossible for an offer to display before the content on a site loads. Customers who previously had immediate welcome mat offers displaying will have 3 seconds added to abide by this new rule.
(2) The second type refers to pop-ups that are shown once a visitor has stopped interacting with your website:
- “when the user starts to leave the page (without interfering with the user’s
departure)” – That last part is key here. While Picreel does use mouse-tracking technology to offer a targeting option to show an ad as a user makes to leave the site, the pop-up does not interfere with a user’s departure (for example, a full-screen overlay that covers the browser tabs, preventing the user from closing the window). It is important to remember that you can still shows ads on exit, as long as they don’t interfere with the user’s departure. And because there is undeniable data proving that these are highly effective strategies for lead generation, list building, and increasing conversions etc, we do not recommend customers put the brakes on their exit offer campaigns anytime soon. If you still choose to adjust your campaigns, you can remove the “on exit” targeting, and choose a different option instead.
- “if the user has been inactive or idle for more than 30 seconds on a page
that does not contain video content” – Picreel does not offer any targeting options that conflict with this rule.
- “once the user has reached the end of the first article on a page” – This is something that Picreel customers are prevented from doing. As a result of the rule change, Picreel customers will no longer be able to present offers to site visitors after scrolling has passed 80% of the page.
- “if a user purposely navigates to another tab and then returns to the open page” – Picreel does not offer any targeting options that conflict with this rule.
Now let’s talk about the actual process of blocking ads:
- Google is constantly evaluating your site’s ad experience – Depending on the number of violations found (if any) based on the Better Ads Standards, you will receive a Passing, Warning, or Failing status. You can check your website’s status on your Ad Experience Report from Google’s Search Console.
- Warning and Failing sites are notified – You will have 30 days from the notification to resolve any issues.
- Have your site re-reviewed – From Google’s Search Console, request to have your site re-reviewed and your status changed when all issues are resolved.
- Ads are blocked when no action is taken – If you fail to remedy the violations within 30 days, the ad-blocker will begin blocking the ads on your website.
Not nearly as scary as some people are making it out to be, right?
Still have questions or concerns about your Picreel campaigns? We’re in the business of helping customers create a better ad experience. Give us a call at 888-891-5782 to learn more.