Website Popups: What Are They & Do You Need Them?

Annoying and in your face, website popups have been used for many years. But are they any good? Is the annoyance factor enough to send people running from your site, or do you believe you get more leads than you would if you didn't have one? Today we look at both the pros and cons of having popups on your website.

What is a Website Popup?

 A popup is a small window which appears on a web page you are looking at. There are a few different kinds of popups:

  • advertisement popups - this is often an ad from an external website, not the one you are visiting.
  • exit intent popups - your curser is tracked and when it looks like you are going to leave the site, the popup appears and asks you to do something else first
  • offer popups - give me your email address and I'll give you this free eBook, or another similar offer
  • click popups - activated when you click upon a certain image or piece of text
  • timed popups - appears after a certain time period, usually seconds, after arriving on a page
  • scroll popups - as you scroll down the page a set length, the popup appears
  • entry popups - when you visit the page, the popup appears instantly

What Are the Pros and Cons of Using Website Popups?

There are two sides of the camp in the use of popups. Both sides strongly believe they are correct in their views, but there is a small number who sit in the middle. Before you use a popup on your site though, look at things from both your business view and that of your website visitors. They both need to benefit from a popup for it to be successfully used on your website.

The pros of using a popup include:

  • attention grabbing - focuses your visitor's attention on something you want them to look at.
  • calls to action - the average popup as a conversion rate of 3.9%, which shows they do work.
  • customised - many popups can be specifically customised to help the website owner achieve their goals better.

The cons of using popups include:

  • user experience - a popup can stop the visitor seeing what they want and enjoying the experience of looking through your website.
  • annoying - people really don't like them, and avoid websites that use them.
  • blocked - there is web browser software which can be used to block seeing popups. 
  • Google - Google has started penalising websites which use mobile popups.
  • speed - a popup can slow your website down.

Should You Use a Popup On Your Website?

The decision really rests with you here. As mentioned earlier, you need to weigh up the benefits for both your business and your website visitors. One way is to survey your audience via social media, asking them for their thoughts. What works for one type of audience may not work for another. 

Posted: Monday 25 February 2019