Are Tech-Savvy Audiences Skewing Your Analytics?

2 min 47 sec read
September 08, 2021
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Here's a stat.

58% of Hacker News, Reddit, and tech-savvy audiences block Google Analytics.

What's the main culprit behind this skewed data? Well, it's mostly because of ad blockers that have features that block data tracking. By default, both Adblock and Adblock Plus disable Google Analytics (GA).

Tech Savvy Superhero That Uses Ad Blockers Holding Laptop With Ad Blocked Which Skews Data AnalyticsEven the guy writing this article uses the most popular ad blocker on any browser's extension store to date.

Some other ad blockers on the market also have privacy features that block GA by default. With that said, it's underreporting the number of website visitors if they block data tracking and ads.

But underreported site traffic data isn't something to worry about if your website is with WebFindYou, especially if your target audience is tech-savvy users. But for those who aren't with WebFindYou, here's what it means.

Some other ad blockers on the market also have privacy features that block GA by default. With that said, it's underreporting the number of website visitors if they block data tracking and ads. However, WebFindYou users don't have this issue, but for those who aren't with WebFindYou, here's what it means.

It's troubling news if you collect insightful site traffic data or need to gauge your ad's effectiveness and if you should readjust your strategy or budget.

Ad spend lost due to ad blockers isn't really new news. So here are some stats to help you picture how wide-scale the data may be skewed and if it's hurting your bottom line in your online advertising efforts.

A 2016 study by Ovum projected that ad blocking could cost businesses $35 billion by 2020. This year, ad blocking growth is slowing down but not going away.

So tech-savvy users are using all kinds of ad blockers and/or browsers across many devices to avoid being tracked and advertised to or just stop seeing ads in general.

uBlock Origin is an ad blocker for Chrome that blocks GA by default. Guess how many techies use that extension?

10 million people do.

Now compare that to how many people use Adblock and Adblock Plus across different devices and browsers combined. From 2013 to the last quarter of 2019, the number of Ad Block users worldwide is at 763.5 million users. And that was in 2019!

A web browser called Ghost automatically blocks data tracking and ads.

Did you even know that the latest Mozilla browsers (since 2019) have been blocking third-party data tracking by default? Yeah, 88% of Firefox users automatically have data tracking protection enabled, affecting third-party ad networks.

Privacy is becoming more of a hot topic these days, and not everyone likes seeing ads or being tracked by third-party cookies.

So here are some extra stats from Backlinko about ad blocker usage and demographic statistics in 2021.

  • About 42.7% of internet users from ages 16-64 use ad-blocking tools across different devices worldwide, and 27% of them are American.
  • People aged 16-24 use ad blockers the most.
  • 22.3% of internet users feel that there are too many ads on the internet.
  • 22.3% also reported that online ads are irrelevant and annoying.

Ads can be annoying, and tech-savvy users are keen on customizing their web surfing experience by blocking them and disallowing data tracking. But this may affect digital marketers and their reports with data that doesn't tell the whole story, especially for those who target a tech-savvy audience.

So what can you do?

You could let people know that you use ads on your site to let them know you're worth supporting.

Sometimes people don't even know they have an ad blocker on, so use a pop-up that's short and to-the-point with personable messaging to have them whitelist your website.

Don't just say, "Allow Ads." Treat people with respect and give them a good reason to allow them. Learn why people are blocking ads, remove the negative ones, cater your allowlist with messaging that resonates with them, and monitor how people interact with your ads.

Tech-savvy users or not, We are entering the age of consent with first-party data tracking for ad personalization. Marketing strategies will become a little more challenging and exceedingly creative with ads that are "relevant and not annoying."
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