What Are Pop-Ups And How To Apply Them? - The Semalt Answer

Website users encounter many different forms of advertising. Companies that put them on their websites have to look for solutions to effectively reach the recipient with their message. One way to do this is to use pop-ups. What are they and how to apply them? Let Semalt tell you the truth today.

What are pop-ups?

A pop-up is a banner that appears when you enter a website. However, this does not mean that you can only see them after visiting the home page of the website. Website operators have great opportunities in this respect. The pop-up may be displayed when closing the page, after a period of inactivity, or on a selected subpage. In fact, there are many possibilities.

The purpose of using a pop-up is most often to reach the recipient with a given advertising message. It doesn't have to be graphics - you might as well present a movie or animation to the user.

In recent years, this form of providing information has gained in popularity for completely different reasons than advertising. Often when you visit a website for the first time or after a long break, you will see requests:
  • or the acceptance of cookies;
  • related to the GDPR;
  • for confirmation of the age of the internet user - in the case of materials intended, for example, for adults.
However, we are mainly interested in the marketing application of this solution. You can use different types of pop-ups, such as:
  • Exit pop-up - that is, one that will be displayed to you when you leave the website.
  • Slide-in boxes - they usually slide out at the bottom or side of the page, but in such a way that they do not cover the main content.
  • Full screen - a pop-up that covers the entire page or may obscure part of it. The content of the website can only be read after the window is closed.
  • Manual - the message will appear after clicking on a given place on the page. You can often see such a solution in the content of articles.
  • Overlays - are visible in the center of the screen, above the content.
  • Push notifications - small pop-ups with short, concise text. You must agree to display them and then you will receive notifications, e.g. about updating the content on a given page. They are characterized by a very high conversion rate - over 20%. This solution is more effective than a newsletter and works on all popular browsers.

What can you gain by using pop-ups? 

You will achieve better results, including:
  • You will increase the conversion - this way you can convey important information that will be an argument in favor of the purchase. For example, if you inform internet users that you are offering high discounts on certain products today, you may increase your conversion rate. Of course, the message needs to be changed and it should be truthful.
  • You'll get more leads - pop-ups are hard to miss, so they can be very effective in acquiring subscribers or phone numbers of potential customers. If you're showing such an ad to users, it's best to offer something extra. For example, a discount on the first purchases in exchange for joining the newsletter recipients.

Pop-ups and SEO

Pop-ups do not directly affect SEO, but they can indirectly affect the visibility of a page in Google's organic search results. Their use has both advantages and disadvantages from an SEO point of view.

Pros of pop-ups:
  • You can promote up-to-date content, so you get more traffic from it, and Google will trust it. This way you will show the search engine algorithm which content is worth keeping in high positions. Thanks to this, you can also direct users to the content you care about the most.
  • You can extend the time the users stay on the website. If an internet user stays on the site for a long time, it means to Google that it is useful and provides content that satisfies the audience. A study has shown that users who come from web push notifications spend more time on the site than those who came there from social media or email marketing campaigns.
  • You can decrease the bounce rate, the traffic from web push notifications has a lower bounce rate. The smaller it will be, the better for your website. Will this improve its visibility on Google? Opinions on this subject, both in the case of bounce rate and the time spent on the website, vary. However, it should be taken into account that a committed user who devotes time to read the content is more likely to link to your content on his blog or forum, and this has a direct impact on the SEO of the website. In some cases, pop-ups can negatively affect the bounce rate, for example, if you put too many of them on a given page. Then many users may be discouraged and close the page immediately.
Cons of pop-ups:
  • You will not position the content you add in the pop-up on Google. They are not indexed, so even if you add internal links to them, visibility in the Natural Results will not be affected.
  • Pop-ups can cause a page load time to increase, which is officially a ranking factor. At the same time, it can translate into lower conversion, so it's important to implement fast-loading pop-ups.
For over 3 years, Google has been lowering the ranking of websites that display bothersome pop-ups to users. Since January 10, 2017, pages that the algorithm considers limiting access to content lose their visibility in organic search results. These are pop-ups that appear while scrolling the page and obscure the content of the user. Google also takes consequences for websites that, after the user accesses them from the search results, obscure the entire content with the ad. However, the search engine does not punish you for displaying pop-ups that take up a reasonable amount of space and are easy to close.

Does this mean that if you use pop-ups on your website, you will experience a significant drop in terms of visibility?

Not necessarily - this is just one factor that could influence it. However, there is such a possibility, so it is important that you think carefully about the design of the pop-ups and not present the user with too many pop-ups, as they may hinder the use of the website.

Pop-ups and UX

User experience is the user's sense while using, for example, a website. It is about internet-oriented design. UX consists of the appropriate matching of many elements on the website, including menu location, font colors, animations, and more.

How do pop-ups affect the user experience? 

It depends on how you implement this solution. Once upon a time, popups were nothing but annoying ads, so for a while, their popularity has declined. However, a well-designed pop-up can be a good way to present an ad to the user. When creating them, follow these rules:
  • Allow users to choose - You cannot force them to see the ad, for example by allowing it to be turned off only after 10 seconds of the display. Even more so, you should not cover the entire content - it is the internet user who should choose whether or not he wants to see the advertisement.
  • Avoid auto play ads - that is, automatically triggered video on the website, e.g. in a pop-up. The researches show that this is one of the forms of promotion most disliked by users. Also, it can cause a significant slowdown in page loading.
  • Don't automatically show many ads - If a user sees multiple pop-ups after loading the page, he or she will likely close the site immediately and won't come back.

UX is not a fashion

UX is not a fashion, it is a set of important issues that you should take into account if you want the website to achieve its sales goals and more. You can use pop-ups, but do it in such a way that the pop-up gives real value to the user and does not hinder surfing.

Good practices for creating pop-ups

You already know that well-used pop-ups can bring you many SEO benefits. Here are some good practices for creating them you should keep in mind:
  • Don't slow down the page - choose a solution that will prevent the pop-up from slowing down the page significantly. You will find many add-ons to e.g. the WordPress system, thanks to which the implementation of the popup will be easy and will not significantly affect the loading time of the page.
  • Check how the pop-up works in the mobile version - it can occur that smartphone users will have a problem with closing the pop-up on their device. In this case, a better solution is not to display the pop-up to mobile users.
  • Use appropriate CTAs (call to action) - keep the content of the information clear. It should call to action and not mislead.
  • Do not make it difficult to close the pop-up - if the internet user has a problem with closing the page or the option to close appears after some time, likely, you will effectively discourage him from your offer.
  • Make your message attractive - the ad should be eye-catching. Fonts, sizes, and colors should be properly adjusted. It is worth testing and comparing which messages bring the best results.
  • Personalize the ad - try to display messages that may be of interest to Internet users in the pop-up. For example, if you sell dresses in your store, inform the user that you are currently offering accessories at a promotional price.

Summary: Is it worth using pop-ups?

Yes, but be sure to use this solution professionally. Thanks to this, you can improve conversion, get more leads, and even indirectly positively influence the visibility of the website in Google's organic results. And it is for these reasons of visibility that Semalt works day and night to offer you the best SEO services of the latest trend. Take a look at the Semalt services and you will see how they are almost essential for the evolution of your website.

I will just present you with one service today. It is Website Analytics.

Website Analytics: Why do you need this?

Monitoring your website positions

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Monitoring your competitors' positions

Semalt Analytics will reveal to you all details of your rivals' situation on the market. Using this information effectively will allow you to always excel in proper search engine optimization, promotion, and advertising campaigns.

Discovering new markets

The information obtained from your business analysis opens up fresh opportunities for goods and services distribution and your brand development in the specified countries, prompting your business to take into consideration region-related features, etc.

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It's hard to overestimate the importance of this task when making presentations for clients and management. You have a unique opportunity to make white-label reports and present them to the third party under your brand.

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