Importance of Website Popups: How to Change ‘Annoying’ Website Features into Likable Ones

We all know about the importance of website popups, multimedia engagement, and contact avenues on your website. These things are staples of the medium. A lot of them also tend to be complained about to no end. Go ahead and Google “website popups” and you’ll see pages and pages of strategies for visitors to avoid or disable them. There are even sites dedicated to warning others to stay away from particularly “annoying” websites. Yikes.

First impressions are the strongest, aren’t they? This idiom is even more prominent on the internet. According to a Canadian study on online first impressions, visitors form an opinion in 500 milliseconds. Some of us are lucky if our websites even load a page within that time! (Oh yeah–visitors will remember that, too!)

What can we really do to keep our websites from annoying visitors? We can’t just throw things like contact forms and popups out the window, not with the importance of website popups being so high. (Seriously, I can’t stress the importance of website popups enough.) So, what do we do? How do we keep these crucial website components without driving traffic away?

This article covers L for Land in The CLICK Technique. Once we draw people in with Curiosity, we want to make sure they Land on a great website. Today, I’m going to share with you some of the biggest complaints coming from visitors to sites. No worries: I’ll also be introducing you to a few tips and tricks you can use to fix those “annoying” issues promptly. We’ll even talk about why a lot of these “annoying” things are so critical, like the importance of website popups. Let’s get started!

Importance of Website Popups

Poor Navigation

First things first: simple navigation is critical to the survival of your website. This complaint has been around since the inception of the internet and isn’t likely to go anywhere soon. Poor navigation has been the bane of many website creators (and visitors). Poorly laid out sites are frustrating, unappealing, and can make you feel just a little bit crazy.

When people land on your site and start hunting through it, looking for a specific area or piece of info, make sure they aren’t left hanging. Visitors don’t want the slightest hint of confusion. Don’t be clever when titling your subsections: call a spade a spade, and title them what they are. “Contact Us”, not “Reach Out and Talk to Us”. “Home” not “Where the Heart Is”. Leave the clever puns for your website copy! Like me! (Seriously, have I told you all about the importance of website popups yet? No?)

A “busy” site will also cause navigation issues. This is due to distraction: if you have too much going on, visitors will get lost in all the activity. Simplicity is always the best way to go.

Good website navigation includes being mobile-friendly. A great deal of the populace now wanders the web on their phone. Nothing will drive a mobile user away as quickly as a difficult to navigate the site. Make sure to check your site with your own mobile device and see if it’s difficult to digitally traverse.

Keep in mind that navigation trends are ever-changing. You’ll also grow better at spotting poor website layouts as you get more experienced. You’ll need to readdress your website regularly and shine up any trouble spots that may be confusing your visitors.

Startling Multimedia on Autoplay

Picture this: you’re at work, landing on a few interesting sites in your downtime, when suddenly a loud voice greets you with, “HEY! WELCOME TO MY SITE!” and a cheesy song starts to play. All the eyes in the office are on you. Your boss looks pretty angry. Whoops.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who had that happen. Don’t force your poor visitors to experience the same thing! Autoplaying media pieces can make new visitors click out faster than anything, especially if you just started them with an unexpected bit of audio/video. You literally scared them away!

When done right, media is a fantastic way to engage visitors. A well-done video can get across the heart and soul of your business. A video can include a call to action that gets gears turning. Multimedia is very shareable, and a good piece can potentially go viral if done right. Just don’t shove it in the faces of your visitors!

Many people auto-play videos because they don’t want visitors missing out on it when they first land on their site. They may be very proud of the video, and sure that it will convince visitors to stick around. Remember: visitors that prefer videos will go looking for them. Give those who don’t enjoy videos a chance to find other communication forms that they can engage with on their level.

Lastly, don’t make the multimedia cheesy. Invest in high-quality audio and video, or you’ll suffer a lot of scorn. The cheap multimedia production reflects badly on any website.

Little (or No) Communication Options

The basis of any website is communication. You’re communicating the idea of your business to the outside world. The thing that people often forget, however, is that people are often going to want to communicate right back! You’ll need to prep your site to be able to easily handle those who want to get in contact with you. If these people can’t get a hold of you, they may disappear forever.

With a blog, you’re reaching out to your audience. When users land there, they want to know what you have on your mind. What sort of person are you? What kind of subjects does your business consider important? This is a more informal place than the rest of your site and can be more relaxed and open. Show the people what you and your business are all about!

As I mentioned in the last point, make sure your communication avenues are in plain sight. Try to put a clear “Contact Us” section, or include a prominent button. If people get lost just trying to find a way to give you a call, they’ll bail asap.

Most people have a contact form on their website, and leave it at that. Go further! How about obvious links to social media? Clear and forthright newsletter sign-ups? Contact phone number? Give people a lot of ways to contact you. Some people refuse to call on the phone but will happily post a request on your social media. Others only want to talk to another person directly.

What if a visitor is like, “Hey, I want to talk directly to One-Click Lindsey about the importance of website popups. I really want to know why she keeps bringing this up.” She loves social media, and she sees I have clear links to my social media pages, so she reaches out to me on Facebook. When I reply, telling her all about how much everyone needs a good popup, she’s able to easily share it with her friends. Boom–I’ve got more people checking out my website!

Messages are Unclear

Say it with me: gobbledygook is gosh darn ghastly. Had a hard time saying it? Don’t even want to have to think through each individual word? Now imagine forcing your poor visitors to do it! I bet you can just as easily imagine them heading for the digital door.

The bulk of wording on your site needs to be clear. It needs to, as simply as possible, convey your message and intent. As I mentioned earlier, this is what your website is here for communicating with the rest of the world, or at the very least the potential customers that land on it. This can play a large part in website navigation, but it deserves to be talked about all on its own.

How often do you take a look at a website “About Us” page? Most visitors want to know more about who runs a website or business. If visitors can easily learn more about you, trust gets built. A good “About Us” page can really sell a site. A bad one? It can make visitors run for the hills.

It isn’t just the “About Us” page that needs to be good. Every bit of copy on your website needs to be clear and readable. Try reading every section of your site aloud. If you have a hard time getting through it or figuring out what it’s trying to say, change it.

Lastly, don’t skimp on the details in the copy. People came to your site to learn more about you, not to get a sentence or two! It needs to be simple but simply doesn’t mean short.

The Importance of Website Popups and How to Fix Yours

Okay, so I know the whole importance of website popups thing has been a running joke, but it’s true. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: everybody needs popups on their site. The importance of website popups can’t be ignored; their effectiveness is just through the roof.

“But One-Click, don’t popups drive visitors crazy?” Not at all. Bad popups drive visitors crazy. Good popups drive visitors to action.

No one said that your popup had to be in the middle of the page, did they? Or full-screen? Part of the importance of website popups is getting them seen, but that doesn’t mean you should shut people out of your site if they don’t sign up. This is one of the biggest gripes about website popups, so steer clear of doing it.

Make the copy within the popup enjoyable. DON’T make it a guilt-trip. Instead, make it friendly and relaxed. “Hey, we see you’re enjoying our article. Wanna hop on board with our newsletter? We’d love to have you.” Don’t make the exit button some sort of thing designed to make the visitor feel bad. They’ll remember the bad feeling, and associate that with your site, negating the importance of popups on your site.

Use website popups tactfully and in moderation. This advice gets ignored quite a bit. Part of the importance of website popups is that they engage visitors in a direct call to action as soon as they land on your site or on a particular page. If there are too many of these types of CTAs, visitors will mentally filter them out.

The importance of website popups is tied to their effectiveness is getting leads, but they’re useless to someone who’s already signed up. Make sure to create a smart popup that allows differentiation between those who’ve clicked it and those who haven’t. Spamming someone whose already onboard might make them change their mind.

Lastly, find a way to keep track of how effective your website popups are. Change your tactics based on the stats you see. Part of the importance of website popups is within their adaptability; if something isn’t working, try a new tactic.

Author: Lindsey Anderson

I am One Click Lindsey. I'm a web strategy expert working with small business owners to help them utilize the web to produce more website traffic and leads.

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