Using Pop-Ups Without Hurting Your SEO

Every site owner knows that creating informative and engaging content is a crucial factor in attracting visitors to his or her website. However, it has always been one of the most difficult tasks to convert those visitors into subscribers. Using popup opt-ins makes this process easier and if done right, can bring impressive results. The up-to-date research shows that the average conversion rate of high-performing pop-ups is 9.28%.

So, popup opt-ins work really great and clearly, lots of website owners tend to involve popup usage in their marketing strategy. But have you ever thought how pop-ups might be doing to your SEO? Especially since January, when Google has began devaluing intrusive pop-up ads.

So, let’s find out how to keep going with pop-ups and not to risk your SEO.


Define Not-to-use Interstitials

The fact is that Google’s penalty targets particularly intrusive interstitials, which means intrusive pop-ups, overlays, modals. However, it is important to point out that not all interstitials are intrusive. That is why, the very first thing you should do it to define which interstitials are appropriate to use and which are not.

These are the examples of the intrusive interstitials which make your content less accessible:

  • Pop-up that covers the whole content and the user is forced to close it in order to continue reading;

  • Misleading page templates, the above the fold portion of which looks like interstitial;

  • Overlay modals that are difficult to close;

  • New window pop-up which opens every time

  • Standalone interstitial that must be closed before accessing your content;

  • Intrusive lightbox ads and pop-ups.

Keep on Using Non-Intrusive Interstitials

The fact is that Google doesn’t penalize non-intrusive interstitials. That’s right, not all interstitials are intrusive. For example, those interstitials triggered by exit intent are allowed to use. Such pop-ups as banner ads, inlines and tabs, slide-ins, etc., are also considered to be not-intrusive as long as they are easy to close. But still, try to use top banners and slide-in boxes instead of pop-ups. In this way you will enable your users to view your content without interruptions and without seriously disrupting UX.

What are the Factors that Matter for SEO?

One of the factors that matter for SEO is timing. It really matters when the element appears. For instance, those that show up immediately after a page load are treated differently than those that appear after a few minutes. It is also important how long the interstitial lasts. Clearly that shorter is better, however you still need to use your pop-ups very carefully.

Another thing that you should consider while speaking about SEO is interaction. It is of high importance to make sure that all the interstitials you use can be easily closed. Google may penalize the overlays or modals which interfere with a user’s ability to read the actual content on the page.

Is It Worth to Use Pop-Ups?

The major question of pop-ups usage is if, for instance, the email list collection worths a slight SEO hurt. So, if you are hurting users interaction by a few seconds, but instead you are getting 5-10% of your visitors to leave an email address, then it’s probably worth it. Thus, you should decide yourself to use pop-ups on your website or not, depending on the results you get.

What Pop-Ups Plugins to Use?

According to CMS2CMS, an automated website migration service, WordPress is considered to be one of the best CMS platforms for SEO. And that is why, if you still want to use pop-ups on your site, then you should consider to choose one of these WordPress plugins:

  • OptinMonster – a premium opt-in form builder plugin. It allows you to create a range of different form and pop-ups types on your website.
  • SumoMe ListBuilder is a free suit and literally the easiest plugin you’ve ever set on. Within 5 minutes, you have a basic, lightbox optin-popup on your website.
  • Ninja Popups is one of CodeCanyon top selling plugins of all times. This popup allows you to custom build from email signups, video displays to social shares.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, with all this information in mind, you will be able to use pop-ups, overlays, modals, interstitials, and other opt-in forms without seriously hurting your SEO and user experience.

About The Author

Oksana Chyketa is the Marketing Manager at CMS2CMS. Being a writer by day and reader by night, she enjoys spending her time behind a computer working towards the effective branding solutions, writing a vast range of engaging content and developing the company’s marketing strategy. She is a quick learner, a good team player and full of fresh ideas.

Author: MediaGurus

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