If you are a creative entrepreneur, you are smack in the middle of Pre-Launch Season. 

This means in addition to creating a magical holiday season for your friends + fam you are meticulously planning out launch sequences, funnels, and webinars. Next year promises to be a big one and you have products, services and courses to launch + sell.

As you do AllTheThings no doubt you are blogging and capturing the emails of the readers with a super fancy popup created in either LeadPages or SumoMe, right?

That is what we are going to talk about.

The pop up. The welcome mat. The email capture. Those nasty intrusive interstitials.

SEO friendly, pop ups, SumoMe, Leadboxes

(Do you need someone to make SEO Simple? Check out this page or just give me a shout here.)

In this post I am going to cover:

  • the new intrusive interstitial penalty that is coming January 2017

  • Exactly what types of pop ups will be penalized

  • Step-by-Step ways to protect yourself if you have LeadPages and SumoMe

Last August Google announced that they want to help users access content more easily on mobile devices, so they are going to begin to penalize sites that have pop ups on mobile sites. And by penalize, they mean they will push sites down to a lower rank on the search results page.

This is what Google Webmaster’s Blog said:

Pages that show intrusive interstitials provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible. This can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller. To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.

Here are some examples of techniques that make content less accessible to a user:

  • Showing a popup that covers the main content, either immediately after the user navigates to a page from the search results, or while they are looking through the page.
  • Displaying a standalone interstitial that the user has to dismiss before accessing the main content.
  • Using a layout where the above-the-fold portion of the page appears similar to a standalone interstitial, but the original content has been inlined underneath the fold.

We get this right? Pop ups can be annoying especially on our phones when we are trying to read. I hardly EVER subscribe to any list on my phone? Do you? Plus they slow me down. I do just want to get to the article or the address or the phone number or to the content of what I want. Here are two examples that I found that are super annoying on mobile devices and the sorts of things that Google is targeting.

When you go to Forbes.com either on your phone or desktop you see this.

forbes, seo, pop ups

A Quote of the Day and an AD. On the desktop it is a pop up, but on a phone it basically takes over the whole screen.

That is a terrible user experience, when the user is expecting forbes.com they don’t want a quote.

And now check out Kate Spade, imagine THIS on your phone. It is the biggest pop up of all time.

Kate Spade, SEO, Pop up

Isn’t it HUUUUUGE? This requires scrolling left and right and up and down. No. Thank. You.

Google was pretty clear last August when they released this graphic illustrating exactly which types of intrusive pop up will get penalized.

Google, intrusive, pop up, SEO

But the big question is, what about something like this?

leadpages, clapping dog media, pop up

I created that LeadBox in LeadPages.  Does itimpede the user experience? Will my Leadbox be affected by the new ranking factor?

If you use LeadPages, here is what you need to know.

  • Leadboxes are mobile friendly
  • Leadboxes will open on a new page on all mobile devices so that they don’t impede content
  • Timed + Exit Leadboxes WILL NOT WORK on mobile devices
  • Use On Click Leadboxes, so that the user has to ask for it.

Read the latest from LeadPages regarding Google + SEO

Leadboxes

Well what about SumoMe?

I am a huge fan of SumoMe.  I don’t use SumoMe, but know of lots of amazing people that do and in researching them for this article they have taken this Google warning head on. If you have SumoMe, this is what you do.

  • Control what your mobile users see by using the “Don’t Show to Mobile Users” rule for the SumoMe email apps
  • Control who you show SumoMe to with the “Show” and “Don’t Show” rules
  • You can embed the welcome mat below the fold using the “display mode” in the behavior tab, this is compliant with Google’s new guidelines.

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