Years ago, pop-up ads earned a reputation as one of the biggest annoyances of the world wide web. They even led to the creation of a entire genre of software designed to block them. But, ultimately, the ads did serve a purpose by attracting the visitor’s attention and drawing a substantial number of clicks to the people paying for them. But, are they still effective today? Let’s take a look…
As part of its efforts to make the web more mobile-friendly, Google has been cracking down heavily on pop-up ads that impede mobile users from accessing the content they’re looking for. In fact, beginning in 2017, sites that use “intrusive” pop ups on mobile devices will not rank as high as similar sites not using them.
Source: Google’s Webmaster Central Blog
While desktop pop-up ads weren’t as severely affected by the so-called “Mobilegeddon,” many web designers have found that they aren’t as effective as they once were. Users have always found them annoying, and now they tend to completely ignore them. But all is not lost: there are other ways of advertising to web users without the stigma or intrusiveness of pop-up ads. Here are just a few.
You can set up your site so that an advertisement is triggered only after a user meets certain conditions, like viewing the page a certain number of times, navigating to the check out section, or subscribing to your email list. These ads replace the scattershot approach of old-school pop-ups with more specific targeting, making it easier to quantify their success and tweak the formula to maximize results.
While you might think this is just a new spin on the pop-up ad, the way that notification-style ads mimic the things that users are used to glancing at makes them a cut above the rest. These ads imitate the notifications we see on our desktop when we receive a new message in our email or a new engagement on social media, and since users are predisposed to pay attention to these, it’s a great way of getting around ad blindness.
Large ads at the top of your site can have the same visual impact as a pop-up without getting in the way of your actual content. This is a great place to put ads announcing sales or limited-time promotions, as the prominent placement gives your message an air of urgency.
These ads don’t superimpose themselves over your content; rather, they hover underneath it, so that users can access them by closing the window they have open or clicking on a specific part of the pop-under ad. If you know your way around a call-to-action, this is a great place to put one.
If you’re using content marketing, a good way of converting readers to buyers is inserting a relevant hyperlink to your store into your content. You can directly reference it in the content or include it as a parenthetical.
Pop-up ads had a good run, but their intrusive nature, coupled with Google’s attempts to wipe them out entirely, means you’ll want to focus your efforts on alternative methods. The five above are leading the way. And if you need help implementing one of these strategies, don’t hesitate to contact us.