Posted in SEO by Ben Acheson

Do pages on your website sometimes present users with an intrusive pop-up, an ad, a registration form? Before you let them see the content?

When people click on a link or visit a page and you pester them with something else, something unexpected, instead of giving them what you promised, it’s bad for your business. They didn’t ask for it. You didn’t warn them about it. You tricked them. What does that say about you?

Don’t let your business goals harm your relationship with your users. The relationship, the trust, the goodwill, is everything. It’s simple enough to understand. So why do you still do it?

Here is an infographic illustrating the three big dangers of displaying pop-up ads, registrations, paywalls and other rude, interruptive content on your website.

How annoying web pop-ups harm your website and businessThese feelings are not easy to measure like sign-ups or sales. But they’re hurting your business if you’re using pop-ups on your site.

If you still think your circumstances warrant these tactics, or that you’ll fail to achieve business goals without them, you need to read all of this…

1. Do you alienate your users?

You tweeted a link. A user liked the sound of it, so they clicked on it to see more. You smiled, opened the door and beckoned them in…

And then you slammed the door in their face! (It’s not a real door, it’s a digital door. it’s an ad, a registration form, or a payment page.) Now they’ve got to knock on the door while you sit smugly behind it, quietly ignoring them and waiting for them to do what you want them to do. It’s rude. But you’ve got it the wrong way round. Go back to business school. Find some humility and admit you don’t get online business – you’re treating web browsers the way customers were treated before the web, when they had to queue up in a shop to buy something. They don’t have to do that any more. They’ll just click on the next link or tweet. That door slammed in their face may be the first thing they ever saw about your business. (Or maybe they came back, expecting a warm welcome before you shut them out. In some ways that’s worse).

Like it or not, your website is all about your visitors. That’s not just a cliché, although it gets said a lot. You need to absolutely live your business life with that in mind. You have business goals. Selling a product. Getting a sign-up. Your website’s visitors have goals too. The visitor’s goals may include buying your product or signing up. But if you enticed them to your site with the promise of a nice piece of content then you owe them a nice piece of content. They’ll feel bad if you give them something else. Nobody likes having a door closed in their face. Don’t do it to your visitors. It won’t help you win their business.

 

2. Do you reduce shareability

Interrupting your visitors with a spam wall doesn’t just make it harder for you to win them over. It does much, much more damage than that. It loses you an advocate, a free marketing resource – which in turn loses you many more visitors and many more customers. Do you really think that people want to share your spam with their friends? Do you think they want to re-tweet a link to your advert, or registration page, or post it on Facebook? Why would they do that?

 

3. Do you appear dishonest?

Actually, you may be surprised to hear, your website isn’t the most important thing in the visitor’s life, so they’re not going to cry about your annoying pop-up spam. But just for a second they’ll feel disappointed. They’ll a tiny but annoyed and a tiny bit betrayed.

Is that how you want your website to make visitors feel? Do you really believe that will help you achieve your business goals?

Here are some of the subconscious thoughts you’re associating with your brand when you unexpectedly put irritating messages and tasks in between users and their goals:

  • Bad feeling
  • Inconvenience
  • Time-wasting
  • Lies
  • Deceit
  • Trickery
  • Disappointment
  • “I really can’t be bothered to continue with this”
  • “There’s no way I’m going to share these feelings with my friends”

 

I shouldn’t have to tell you that these feelings are very bad for your brand. It’s common sense that making it less appealing for people to recommend your website to others is bad.

If you really believe you can’t make a viable business without making your customers feel this way then you should give up. But hopefully you’ll wake up to the fact that the customer, the user, the sharer, the busy person with feelings, is at the heart of everything you do. They can make or break your business. Without them your website is a wasteland.

Be nice to your customers. Don’t slam the door in their face. Speak to your technical team right now and ask them to take down those horrible pop-ups.

Digivate is a London SEO Agency

About Ben Acheson

Head of SEO and Social Media

View all posts by Ben Acheson

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