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4 Common Website Popup Mistakes That You Should Avoid

updated on Mar 06, 2016
4 Common Website Popup Mistakes That You Should Avoid Popups could be annoying for website visitors if they are not crafted with care. They usually have a bad impact on the user experience, which results in a higher bounce rate. If you ask for the votes from your visitors, it is probable that over 90 out of 100 visitors will say popups are annoying. Some people even use special software to block popups.

However, popups are useful for marketers because they offer an effective way to collect email subscribers and increase the conversion rate. That's why they are still adopted by numerous blogs and business sites.

Now the facts are that popups bring precious business opportunities, but at the same time, they hurt the user experience. So here comes the question – how to make good popups that do not force visitors away?

In fact, there are some common popup mistakes which are made by numerous webmasters. Avoiding them effectively would certainly guarantee a much better user experience and reduce the bounce rate. In below, we will explain what the mistakes are and offer some suggestions about how to solve them.

Mistake 1: Using a Full-Page Popup

Many webmasters nowadays are trying to get the most attention from visitors by displaying large popups occupying the entire page. However, instead of forcing the visitors to do what you want them to do, this impolite manner would probably drive them away from your website forever. No one likes the feeling of being forced, after all.

Solution: You should keep your popups small and do not let them occupy more than a half of the visitors' screen. But to get as much attention as possible, you need to test the popup size again and again to find the most effective one. Also, if your website is responsive, make sure the popups displaying on mobile devices are not full-screen, either.

Mistake 2: Using an Unclear Call-to-Action Button

Those CTA (call-to-action) buttons that are not properly placed or not well explained are useless. Visitors always skip popups with such CTA buttons because they cannot know what will happen if they click on the button. With a lack of motivation, visitors are more likely to close the popup or exit the page they are reading immediately.

Solution: To get the best value from the CTA buttons, you have to motivate the visitors to click on them by offering compelling reasons. This usually means to explain what benefits they will receive if they click on the button. Also, creating urgency with words like "Now" and "Today" will encourage the visitors to take actions sooner instead of later.

Below are good examples for the text of CTA buttons.
  • Get Our 30% Off Coupon Now
  • Download My Free eBook Today
  • Get This Free Trial Now
  • Join Our 60,000 Members Today
If you need a detailed guide on creating an effective CTA button, read this post.

An Effective CTA Button

Mistake 3: Not Providing a Clear Way for Exiting the Popup

As is mentioned before, people hate to be "forced" to do something. You may have seen some webmasters remove or hide the exit option from their popups with the aim to get visitors staying longer on the page, however, this deed harms sites a lot because many visitors are driven away and they will never come back. The bounce rate would be over 90% apparently.

Solution: If you are serious about your online business, make sure that you are building the email list in a rational way. Instead of trying to get visitors stuck with your popups, you should provide a clear close button on all popups. When people are provided with choices, they will feel less uncomfortable.

There are several ways helping ensure all visitors know how they can exit a popup and continue their reading.
  • Place an "x" button clearly on the top right of the popup.
  • Place a button saying something like "Close Window" somewhere that can be easily seen.
  • Provide a CTA button in gray that offers a negative option for visitors so that they can decide for themselves whether to take the action you ask for. This shows you respect.
Provide a Clear Exit Button

Mistake 4: Displaying Popups with the Wrong Timing

The time when you display a popup is crucial to the responses that your visitors will make. It should be neither too soon or too late. However, many webmasters have made mistakes on the timing. The most common mistake is that some trigger their popups as soon as a visitor lands on the page, which is much too annoying.

Since the visitor has not got enough time to read your content, how can you expect that he/she will be interested in your website and what you offer in the popup?

Solution: You'd better find a balance between "too soon" and "too late" so as to get the most out of your popups. It is good to leave some time for visitors to read your content, but if popups are triggered too late, many visitors will miss it.

According to surveys, the perfect timing for most content-rich websites is 30 to 60 seconds if you want an optimized user experience and engagement. The sufficient time enables visitors to fully understand your site and arouses their interest in the content while not being too long for them to leave.

Besides, there are some other popup technologies you can make use if you are not certain about how long you have to wait before letting your popups display. Some examples are to offer a popup when a visitor:
  • Has the exit-intent (when the visitor clicks on the "close window" button).
  • Reaches the end of the content.
  • Scrolls a certain percentage of the content.