The list of blogging do’s and don’ts is a long one with many conflicting opinions. One of the biggest topics of discussion when it comes to blogging is to use pop-ups or not. A pop-up sign up form can be extremely beneficial, or it can seriously harm you.
The do or not do series gives the pros and cons of popular blogging trends. The goal is by the end of each post you can decide if a certain blogging trend is right for your blog.
This weeks topic is on pop-ups. There are a lot of bloggers who swear by the pop-up sign up form. There are a lot of readers who find it annoying. So what’s the answer. Let’s dive in.
Check out my post The Low Down Dirty Truth About Starting A Blog.
What Is A Pop-up?
A pop-up is a box that opens up on any page on your website. The box usually contains a form and has a goal of getting people to sign up or purchase something.
These pop-ups can show up at any time you want them to while someone is on your site. I’ve seen them show up after 30 seconds on site, when getting ready to leave a site, and when an action is taken like clicking on a button.
What Is The Purpose Of A Pop-up?
A pop-up sign up form is used to encourage visitors on your site to sign up or purchase something. Amazon may use pop-ups to encourage you to sign up for their prime membership. You may use pop-ups to encourage someone to sign up for your weekly newsletter.
There are many purposes to a pop-up. Encourage people to follow you on social media. Inform them of a new course or ebook. Collect email addresses for your weekly newsletter. A pop-up helps to secure leads, make sales, or expand your reach.
Check out my post 6 Blogging Tips for Success.
The Pros and Cons To Using Pop-ups
There are positives and negatives when considering using pop-ups. They can be extremely beneficial to your business when used properly. However, if used the wrong way they can actually be harmful to your blog.
Bloggers using pop-ups for their email list usually see a pretty big increase in subscriber numbers. I attribute this to about 80% of a blogs traffic coming from mobile devices or tablets.
Basically the pop-up takes up the majority of screen space on a smaller device. That size makes it difficult to find a close button sometimes resulting in people signing up so they can continue browsing your site.
Pop-ups with information about your new book, course, or product is a great way to get eyes on the product. It may even help boost sales according to some bloggers.
Overall, pop-ups can lead to increased sign ups, sales, or social media follows. These are all great things. What’s the cost of it though?
Remember that subscription pop-up? Yea is that along with a product pop-up and some other social media pop-up coming up all on someones mobile device? You may have just lost a reader, and increased your bounce rate.
I see a lot of bloggers who have two or three pop-ups in a row. On a tablet or mobile device this becomes exhausting when you just want to read their post. This is one of the biggest complaints from blog readers.
Pop-ups are frowned upon by Google now as well, this means your SEO could suffer from it. Google believes that pop-ups cause user experience to decline.
Google prides itself on displaying the best of the best when it comes to its search results. If user experience is bad Google won’t want to encourage people to go to your site in their search results.
Should You Use Pop-Up Sign Up Forms
Honestly, it depends on your business. In a lot of ways pop-ups can be absolutely beneficial to expanding your reach. As long as you maintain user experience.
So take a look at your blog. Are you selling courses? Running a sale on products? Pop-ups are a fantastic way to inform visitors on your site about these things.
If you are a food blogger and not selling a cookbook or product, pop-ups may not be the best way to expand your reach. The majority of your visitors want to look at a recipe, make it, possibly bookmark or pin it and move on.
Check out my post Actionable Tips to Up Your Social Media Game.
How To Use Pop-ups Correctly
If you decide that you want to use pop-ups do so sparingly. Limit the amount of popups you use to one at most.
You need to figure out what is most important to your blog. Use popups for only the most important things you want to get eyes on.
For instance, a lifestyle and mom blogs could use pop-ups for social media or email subscription. If you sell courses, books, or products a pop-up directing to your latest product or sale is best. Finally, as a new blogger you can try to build your reach through a pop-up that encourages people to follow on your preferred social network or sign up for emails.
What To Do If You Aren’t Using Pop-ups
I do not or rarely use pop-ups for any purpose. I tried it for a while, but when I switched to a form located above the fold I saw no dip in the amount of people subscribing. Additionally, the user experience on my blog is far better without the pop-up.
If you want to get more subscribers try putting a subscriber bar above the fold. This would be directly under your menu bar and logo but before your content list. Placing the bar here it is one of the first things someone sees. I get good sign ups from doing this.
In order to build a following on your preferred social network you can add a few things to your site. Add follow me buttons, have a contact page that features where you can be found on social media, or put widgets up. My personal favorite is adding links within my content encouraging people to follow me on certain social networks.
If you want to sell products it’s honestly best to use landing pages. Landing pages give you a lot more space to create a successful sales funnel on. In order to get people to your landing pages try linking the pages within several of your most popular and most relevant posts.
Another thing you can do to let people know about sales or offers is to create an announcement that appears above the fold. By avoiding the pop-up and having an announcement there are more chances for it to be seen. A pop-up can be closed and not open again during a session, an announcement always shows and cannot be closed.
Check out my post How Manual Pinning Grows Blogs.
There are pros and cons to using a pop-up sign up form. What it really boils down to is what is more important to the goals of your particular site. If SEO and user experience is extremely important to you, stay away from pop-ups. If those things don’t matter as much to you, go ahead and try the pop-ups.
I recommend trying a pop-up sign up form on your blog for a little bit. If the positives outweigh the negatives then it’s absolutely worth the shot.
How do you feel about pop-ups? Let me know in the comments below. Follow me on Pinterest for more like this and pin this to your blog and business boards.