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The use of pop ups on websites has to be one of the most controversial aspects of marketing. After all, half of all Google searches are done using a smartphone and, when you’re trying to check out a website on a mobile phone, it can be hard enough to navigate your way around it, especially if the site isn’t too mobile friendly.

When a pop up then appears on your screen, obscuring your view of the website altogether, it can be highly frustrating and as you can imagine, could lead a user to exit before they’ve been there long enough to convert.

We all know that the main aim of search engines is to provide the most user friendly and useful experience when looking for information. This is why search engines, such as Google, will scour websites to prioritise the ones which can offer the most easily accessible and relevant information in answer to the question asked by the user.

Having already pushed non mobile-friendly sites down its rankings, this may also be why from early next year, they will be penalising sites which prevent a user from instantly accessing information because of its use of pop ups.

From January 10, 2017, sites which use pop ups will find themselves lower down the search engine rankings in mobile search results. But despite this, many marketers are still weighing up the odds of using them, because, when used in the right way, they can be an excellent way to increase subscribers and generate leads and sales, meaning that the pros could still outweigh the cons.

So what kind of pop ups are there and which are the best to use?

Well, if you don’t want to annoy a visitor to your site the minute they arrive, then you might want to avoid entry pop ups. These are the ones that appear the minute you enter a site, almost blackmailing you into completing an action, in order to get to the information that you need. Widely known as the most intrusive and annoying pop ups, these are the ones likely to be penalised the most by the search engines.

You could also look at timed pop ups, which appear once a user has been on the site for a certain amount of time. Again these can be inconvenient and annoying, as who is to guess when a reader may be ready to become a customer or subscribe to your website? Perhaps they have gone away to make a cup of tea and will come back to it later, as opposed to another user who may be reading straight through.

A more useful pop up here would be a scroll activated one, which will appear once the reader gets to a certain point on the page. This may be the point where you feel that if they have read this far, they will be ready to complete the action that you want them to (hence this would be when the pop up appears). Other versions of more successful pop ups might be ones which ask the reader a question, or exit intent pop ups, designed to encourage people thinking about leaving the site to reconsider, thus reducing the bounce rate.

Pop ups when used in the correct way can be highly effective, so, as with many marketing tools, it’s all in the way they’re used. If you would like to find out more about creating a successful marketing campaign for your organisation, get in touch with us today.