Don’t kill your site with pop-ups

Posted on October 19, 2010


Do you know what I do when a pop-up appears while I’m browsing the Internet? Apart from panic a little, I tend to immediately click back to the search results pages. Sometimes, I even close the browser window and run a virus check on my computer. Either way, the website immediately loses my interest, and any hope for my business. I don’t go back there.

Perhaps my reaction is a little over the top, but after years of being bombarded with unpleasant pop-ups, often accompanied by spyware, I’ve learned my lesson. When an unfamiliar site springs a surprise on me, I turn tail and run; and I’m not alone.

There are occasions when I will tolerate a pop-up. Sometimes, when I’m on a website I know well, a pop-up survey or offer will appear. In such cases, I don’t run away because I trust the site. It doesn’t do the site much good, though, because it makes me less likely to buy their product or achieve their other goals, as annoyed as I am.


One of the best things you can do for your site when you perform SEO on it is to get rid of pop-ups. Internet users the world over have had bad experiences with pop-ups in their time. At the very least, they’re annoying, as they divert the user’s attention from their real goal, blocking the screen and sometimes freezing it while it downloads. At the worst, they cause the user to leave your site and never come back.

There’s not much point having SEO on your site and ranking for competitive search terms in your industry if you chase away all of your traffic.

Trust is one of the must-haves for a good ranking. To ensure the ongoing health of your search engine optimisation plan, it’s best not to spring any surprises.

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