Can a Popup Affect Your SEO? & Google's Requirements for Pop-up Displaying

"Are pop-ups bad for SEO?" and "What are Google rules for pop-up displaying?" We will go through which types of pop-ups would impact your SEO efforts negatively and which ones have the power to turn your visitors into customers without carrying any risk of penalizing by Google. Then, you will learn how to use pop-ups on the website efficiently without harming your previous SEO operations.

Various studies show that pop-ups are very effective in obtaining impressive conversion rates. As you have already known, it is difficult to get the attention of a visitor when he reaches your website. This is where the need for pop-ups with clear call-to-action and a good design occurs.

Although pop-ups commanding the screen get higher engagement, they may detract from the overall user experience on a website and be perceived as aggravating. You need to be very careful about the displaying time and the way you show up the pop-ups to website visitors!

Since January 10, 2017, Google penalizes websites having "intrusive interstitials". It basically means that if a pop-up, or any secondary content on your website, doesn't have a relation with your products, your brand or something curing customer experience, it will have a negative impact on Google rankings.

Intrusive Interstitials

Three display option of intrusive interstitials

Google penalties intrusive interstitials because they are difficult to close down, lessen user experience on the website, and seem spammy. Because now indexing focuses on mobile platforms, having a website that is riddled with interstitials will affect your search engine result page (SERP) rankings.

Here are some characteristics of intrusive interstitials;

  • Include a majority part of your content on a webpage,

  • Appear before users access the website content,

  • Wherein layout makes upper portion seeming as an interstitial.

To expand the subject, there are a couple of different types of pop-ups cracking down like new window pop-up, so as many browsers such as Google Chrome and Firefox stop them automatically to better customer experience.

Let's deeply investigate the types of pop-ups influencing your SEO rankings negatively and positively.

How Pop-ups Interact with SEO Ranking Factors?

Pop-ups are on-site elements carrying different effects on user experience. Let's look at the different pop-up types and how they interact with SEO ranking factors;

Overlay Pop-ups

overlay pop up example of revolve

Overlay pop-ups are opened in the same browser window and layered on top of page content. Overlays are not widely used to do marketing effectively and to increase conversions and visitor engagements, although they are able to maintain good user experience. If implemented correctly, these pop-ups are;

  • SEO friendly,

  • Great for mobile notification,

  • Good way to display important messages,

  • Effective email capture method,

  • Attention-drawing with relevant contents.

Modal pop up example save $20 email subscription

Modal pop-ups are very similar to overlay pop-ups. The difference is that modals are used for required actions like notifications and login windows. Businesses prefer them a lot because these notifications or actions are vital to user experience. They are;

  • SEO friendly

  • Unignorable by website visitors,

  • Generating clicks for attractive value propositions,

  • Effective in collecting email adresses.

New Window Pop-ups

These pop-ups are opened up outside of the main website browser window. Google and other search engines don't like new window pop-ups which are rarely used except for spammy websites because they;

  • Hurt user experience,

  • Damage the easiness of website navigation,

  • Are hard to close windows.

Interstitial Pop-ups

Interstitial popup example of forbes

These pop-ups cover-up the page content and require a predetermined wait time before a visitor can reach the website content. You have probably not seen an interstitial pop-up on high-ranking websites because they decrease customer engagement, although expected to be quite the opposite. They;

  • Lower user experience,

  • Carry the risk of being penalized in SERP rankings,

  • May be removed from your website by authorities like Google, so your money can go waste.

To sum up, we offer you to avoid "new window pop-ups" and "interstitial pop-ups," and instead use "overlay pop-ups" and "modal pop-ups."

How to Take Advantage of Pop-ups Without Affecting SEO Unfavorably?

Cookie disclaimer pop up example by H&M

1. Avoid using pop-ups or interstitials that include much of the main content of your website.

2. Display sidebar, lightbox, full screen, and floating pop-ups that are attractively visible and don't aggravate visitors.

3. Predetermine the timing of a pop-up display. Let your visitors go through the website content and even click on a website element before a pop-up appears.

4. Look at the traffic source that your visitor comes from, then display the pop-up according to source characteristics and your business goals.

5. Make the pop-up content simple, attractive, and relevant. State the desired action of your business briefly on display.

6. Offer something valuable to make your visitors continue to browse on the website after closing the pop-up or even to encourage clicking on the pop-up. You can offer something like a free eBook for Conversion Rate Optimization Guide to collect email addresses of prospects.

7. Cooperate with a pop-up service offering scroll-trigger, traffic source, and exit-intent trigger features.

Google's aim is always to improve the user-experience. It believes these intrusive interstitials lower experience and impact bounce rate, exit rate, and even time-on-site of a website. This is why Google interrupts the way you do digital marketing.

So, be careful when you select a pop-up service. Popupsmart offers conversion-ready pop-ups that comply with Google's requirements.

I hope this content would be beneficial for your digital efforts. Pop-ups are a great way to optimize your website conversions in a way that you wish. Additionally, using them wisely would also increase your website's search engine results ranking!

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