A recent announcement that "Google will punish sites that use annoying pop-up ads" is making the rounds, and we've received some questions about how Privy's email popups will influence SEO. Your site's SEO is important, so our technology is specifically built with search engine friendliness in mind. But with great power comes great responsibility.
1. Think about your audience first, not Google
This is something we advise businesses to think carefully about anyway, and Google coming out in favor of users just adds weight to our existing advice: DON'T BE ANNOYING.
Target your audience with a relevant campaign, based on their behavior. Nobody likes to be confronted with a generic call-to-action before they've even seen your site.
For general traffic, we recommend using exit intent, scroll triggering, or a delay timer to avoid interrupting your visitors immediately. Immediate popups work best for subsets of visitors, such as paid traffic looking for a limited time offer.
This doesn't mean auto-show popups are always bad. But look at the data - are your visitors annoyed? Low conversion rates, say, less than 0.5%, should be a red flag. That means 199 of 200 users are closing it without converting - your message isn't resonating.
2. Be as unobtrusive as possible
Many of Privy's campaign display types are less conspicuous by design, and may even perform better than a popup. Our recently added flyout is a great example:
Another example is our banner format:
For an even more compact display, check out our Bar, which performs great on mobile sites too:
All of these formats, as well as judicious use of the popup, will avoid any Google SEO penalty, now and in the future.
3. Give users control
Our data shows that conversion rates are up to 2500% higher when someone opens a campaign from clicking on a link or tab, instead of through auto-show. Privy offers an array of tab options and supports configurable open and close links on campaigns:
Use those, or our new floating tab option, to offer visitors a way to open your campaign instead:
The bottom line: Focus on relevant experiences that add value.
When someone asks us, "how do I make the popup lock the content until the user enters an email address?", or, “how do I hide or remove the close buttons?" (by the way -- you can't), we know that this person is approaching conversion optimization from the wrong angle.
Let your visitors control their viewing experience. Treat them with respect, and Privy won't negatively affect your search rankings.
Original Google announcement: Helping users easily access content on mobile