Are pop-ups your friend or your foe?
Well, that depends on whether you are using pop-ups for your website or online business, or if you’re an Internet surfer or website visitor.
Let’s face it, pop-ups can be annoying! All of us – even those who use pop-ups on their own sites – become impatient and annoyed with intrusive pop-ups. But pop-ups exist for one reason: they work!
Some statistics show that marketers have received a 1350% increase in subscription rates, as well as a conversion rate of 10 times by using pop-ups. And with mobile use increasing every year, many marketers have targeted their email subscription pop-ups to mobile devices as well as desktops, boosting their conversions to more than 1700%.
But all this is going to change as of January 10, 2017.
This is the date that Google has announced that it will begin penalizing mobile pages that are showing intrusive pop-up and interstitial ads, affecting their search results.
This is going to have a huge impact for many marketers as overlay pop-ups, full screen welcome mats and standalone interstitial have been huge conversion boosters for most people. But with Google still dominating the online search world, you had better be prepared for this change and begin looking for solutions.
There are three main reasons why Google started punishing sites using these for screen pop-ups and interstitials, keeping the user experience of mobile browsing in mind.
1. The main content is being blocked. Screen space on mobile devices is much smaller than on desktops, resulting in the main content of sites becoming obstructed with the display of pop-ups, overlays and interstitials.
2. Lousy user experience. Intrusive interstitials on pages results in a poorer user experience as compared to pages where content is immediately accessible. If your interstitials are spammy, difficult to dismiss, or diminish your users’ experience, your mobile page may be devalued.
3. Clicking ads accidentally. These pop-up ads tend to take up a huge amount of screen real estate while having the smallest possible buttons to close out and dismiss them, inevitably resulting in the user accidentally clicking on the ad.
So, what’s the penalty?
Google’s intention is to keep pace with the way users are accessing the Internet, and to ensure that users are finding the best answers to their questions as quickly as possible, regardless of the device. As a result, Google has decided to punish sites using these intrusive pop-ups on mobile devices, meaning if you continue to use these, your ranking may suffer if you are still using intrusive pop-ups for mobile users. Note that Google doesn’t penalize non-intrusive interstitials.
The three types of pop-ups and ads that are most likely to get you punished are:
1. An intrusive pop-up covering the main content, either immediately upon page load or while the visitor is looking through the page.
2. An intrusive interstitial that looks like a forced ad, requiring the user to dismiss before gaining access to the main content.
3. A full screen pop-up overlay, or standalone interstitial, requiring the user to dismiss before the main content is accessible.
There are pop-up solutions available that will help grow your lists and your conversions while coloring inside the new lines that Google has established. Use these guidelines and be prepared for next year. After all, as a user you will appreciate these changes.
Until next time…
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