A study of ad blockers and their impact on DMO website advertising programs

We know ad blockers are a concern for those investing in online advertising efforts. And we’ve seen some of the same numbers you probably have:

According to an Interactive Advertising Bureau ad blocker survey:

  • 26% of computer users surveyed say they block ads
  • 15% of users surveyed use ad blockers on their smartphone

So, we conducted some research and gathered some numbers to paint a clearer picture of ad blocker prevalence for DMO website users. In early 2017, we asked our CMS Product team to track a few willing DMO websites to identify the percentage of visitors using ad blockers. What we learned may surprise you … but we think it will above all, put your mind at ease.

Our Survey Results

  • Roughly 5% of visitors visiting the DMO sites we tracked used ad blockers.
  • The number is closer to 10% on Desktop PCs running Windows, but the numbers for Mobile and Mac are near 0%, causing the average to be 5% since our traffic patterns are roughly 50% windows and 50% mac/mobile.
  • More Good News: Ad blocker usage is nearly non-existent on mobile devices, and that's the growing segment of traffic.

The Story the Results Tell Us

What we noted was reduced ad blocker usage by visitors on DMO sites. In other words, our tested DMO websites showed they were attracting users who, on average, are not utilizing ad blockers as much as they do on other sites, travel-related or otherwise.

In addition, over the last three years, despite the emergence of new ad blocking technologies, the DTN ad network has continued to see ad performance rise across the board, with numbers increasing across all three digital ad performance metrics: impressions, clicks, and click-thru rates. Over the last three years, impressions have grown 58%, clicks have grown 94% and click-thru rates by 22%. This suggests that not only is overall website user growth volume (impressions) outpacing any growth of users using ad blockers, but that DTN’s approach of serving targeted, local, contextually-relevant, and visually-appealing sponsored content on DMO websites is not giving users cause to adopt ad blockers. The increase in clicks and CTR’s indicates that DTN is providing content the user wants. By not perpetuating the type of content that’s causing ad blocker adoption (i.e. obtrusive, poorly-designed, and/or irrelevant advertising), we hope to see these positive ad performance trends on the DTN continue.

Not your ordinary online advertising

DTN ads are not your ordinary online ads. They don’t pop up, distract, or detract from the site visitor’s experience or the look of the website. They share relevant content from compatible businesses with already interested users.