Pop up adverts are like Marmite
Today we’re going to look at pop up ads and how they can be used. We should say at the beginning here that pop-ups, if not done correctly, can potentially negatively affect your SEO and PPC. We will look at those ramifications at a later date, but for now, let’s just look at their potential usability and whether it may be something you might wish to consider using at some point.
Love them or hate them, pop up ads work.That's why marketers keep using them even though they're usually perceived negatively by the online users who deal with them every day.Pop up ads have been used for many years but because the format has been abused by spam, viruses and malware distributors people instantly distrust them – research shows that nearly three-quarters of internet users find them annoying and obtrusive, and that's because they can be, especially when they're done badly.
A pop up advert usually interrupts the user's experience on your website.They're in the middle of reading about you, or looking at your product or services, and suddenly there's an interruption.Yes, nearly 100% of pop up ads get interaction but a lot of this interaction is the user getting rid of it.Practically speaking this engagement doesn't do anything to increase your sales but it is a useful way to understand how a pop up ad gets more attention, both positive and negative, from users.
One of the big issues with pop up ads is that they interrupt the user at the wrong time.If your website visitor has only been on your site for 30 seconds and they have already had to deal with a pop up they might just go back to Google and try another site, your competitor, for a less intrusive experience.If, however, your pop ups only appear when the user seems to be leaving your site then they'll pay more positive attention to it – it's like when someone says “oh, before you go, let me tell you about X” so you stay and listen.A well timed pop up ad can do the same, and encourage people to stick around on your site for longer.
The content of the pop up has to be right as well.If your pop up is the equivalent of a pushy double glazing salesperson at the door, your customer will perform the online equivalent of a door slam.If, on the other hand, your pop up is the equivalent of someone offering you a drink at the bar, your customers are more likely to be receptive.Pop ups which offer discount codes help keep users on the site and also encourage them to make a purchase more quickly than they might have without that incentive.Similarly, signposting end of sale dates or other information the customer might appreciate, like a warning of low stock levels for a particular item, can help encourage a faster purchase.If your pop up is irrelevant and doesn't give the user anything, then they will discard it and this can affect their perception of your business in a negative way.
For businesses with a longer sales cycle or where sales aren't conducted online, pop up adverts can still work if they're adding value to your user's experience.As well as being a great way to collect email sign ups, you can keep a user's attention by offering them whitepaper downloads or free reports via a pop up ad.Again, these are best timed to appear not within the first 30 seconds a user is on your site, but when they have been engaged for a while or when they appear to be leaving.As with e-commerce sites, this approach encourages users to stick around because they believe they're getting something of value by doing so.
Whatever the nature of your business, pop up adverts can work for you if they are done well.When they are done well they can increase your leads and your sales, with a very cost effective ROI and the added bonus of extra brand engagement.
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