Pop-up ads. You either love ’em or hate ’em but there’s no denying the fact that they work – when done properly. But please don’t be one of those bloggers who never checks to see how those ads are performing. I’ve seen to many blogs where the pop-up ads are actually breaking the site.
If you’re going to use a pop-up it’s a good idea to check your site in multiple browsers on a regular basis. Each time you upgrade your theme or change any of your coding you need to make sure it hasn’t reacted adversely with your pop-up software. Make sure you log out of your site first before you start testing so you can see what your visitors see.
Pop-ups are aggravating enough for some visitors but if they know you have great content they’re usually willing to put up with the hassle. However, in some cases, when something goes wonky, those visitors can’t even get past the pop-up. I’ve visited blogs where the button to close the pop-up has been blocked by another ad. And if you can’t close the pop-up, you can’t read the content.
Now, just because I’m offering you advice doesn’t mean I agree with the use of pop-ups. But, like I said, when they’re used properly they do get the job done.
To use pop-ups properly:
- Check you site regularly to make sure everything’s working.
- Don’t ask your readers to subscribe before they even have a chance to read your content.
- If possible, use software that recognizes IP addresses so once your reader subscribes he won’t be bothered by the pop-up again.
- Always have a prominent close button. If readers don’t want to subscribe and they can’t close the pop-up, they’re just going to exit and go somewhere else.
- Use a quality pop-up that doesn’t look like something your child designed. It’s hard enough to get visitors to give up their email address and a professional looking pop-up gives your site a more credible appearance.
- Don’t use pop-ups that have auto-start videos or music. Some people find this extremely annoying and some are visiting your site while they’re at work.
- Split test your pop-ups. A lot of Internet users enjoy logging in with Facebook or Twitter but some absolutely refuse.
- Split test for ad placement, too. A pop-up that blocks access until the reader either accepts or declines makes a very strong call to action but the reader only has two choices. A slider at the bottom or along the side of the page isn’t as strong but it allows the visitor to read your content first, which may help convince him to opt in.
Many bloggers have huge success with pop-up ads. You see them on big-name blogs, on news websites, and even on manufacturers’ websites. So yes, they do work. However, most people find them annoying.
Now, whether they’re annoying enough to chase them away from your site, well, that depends on the individual visitor … and your ad. So do yourself a favor and make sure that pop-up is as easy to close as possible. And definitely make sure it’s not breaking your site.