How to Create Mobile Popups That Convert

Popups are a bit of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you don’t want to annoy your visitors into leaving and Google is not a big fan of certain types of popup ads so those can hurt your rankings. On the other hand, good popups can massively increase subscriptions, return rates, time on page, and even sales. So you should not give up popups altogether – you’ll notice that WP Full Care uses them as well. They’re simply too good to pass up. But you need to know how to create mobile popups that convert without hurting your SEO. There’s an art to this particular aspect of mobile optimization. So before you jump into it, make sure you know what you’re doing.

To create or not to create mobile popups that convert, the question is now

As is the case with everything else in website development, there are pros and cons to mobile popups. You may, for example, have heard that Google has guidelines limiting the use of mobile popups and penalizing those whose mobile popups negatively affect user experience. But you may also have heard that popups earn money. So what is the truth? The answer is both.

Person holding a mobile phone.
Should you try to create mobile popups that convert or not?

Google will penalize you for popups that limit accessibility. So popups that cover your content or appear immediately on the first page. These are the types of popups you should avoid because they’re not worth the rankings you’ll sacrifice for them. But as long as you stay within Google’s guidelines, mobile popups can be greatly beneficial, especially when you consider the fact that half  So you shouldn’t give up on them. If you’re relying on professional website maintenance, you can consult your team about the type of popups that are acceptable. They’ll certainly know how to color within Google’s lines.

If you want to create mobile popups that convert, relying on responsive popups is not enough

It may be tempting to simply “convert” your standard popups for mobile – make them smaller and adapt them to mobile screens. If that’s what you’re thinking, you’re wrong. The first problem you’ll run into are the aforementioned rules Google has set for mobile optimization specifically. Many desktop popups cover the entire screen and that’s not an issue. But if you do it on mobile, it might be.

The other major factor is user experience. User experience on mobile is a complicated question at best. Even with the share of mobile users rising, we are still struggling to get a read on what exactly they like. So you don’t want to risk messing with that by having popups that weren’t actually intended for mobile users show up on your mobile page. You’ve surely experienced this yourself: trying to browse a page that isn’t optimized for mobile devices on a mobile device is not fun. Do better for your visitors.

Create mobile popups that convert by following these steps

Market research shows that mobile users are not just harder to please, they’re also harder to convert. More than half will shop elsewhere after a bad experience. This means that you get no second chances. If you want to convert mobile users, you have to do it right on the first try. Good popups can help you do that.

Design for mobile specifically

People enjoy feeling important to the businesses they frequent. This is why customer care, personalized support, and loyalty programs all work. Mobile users are no different – they want to have a good experience on their chosen device. And since they make up more than half of your users at this point, you can’t afford to forget them. In order to give them the experience they deserve, you’ll have to optimize your website for mobile. That includes popups. And because mobile popups need to be different from desktop popups for Google to find them acceptable, you’ll want to design your mobile popups specifically for mobile devices instead of just adjusting existing desktop popups.

Person holding an iphone.
If you want to create mobile popups that convert, you need to design specifically for mobile users.

Offer your users an appropriate incentive

Popups can offer all sorts of things to your users. On mobile, it’s important to pick the right incentive to offer so you’ll convert users on the first try. Things you can consider are more new and interesting content through subscription, special discounts on goods and services, free gifts, and more. Choose something that fits your brand and that your users will like.

Choose the right format and position

Now for creating the actual popup. The first thing you need to decide is what it’s going to look like and where it’s going to go. You essentially have three options:

  • displaying a full-screen popup on a page other than the first page users visit (to avoid Google penalties)
  • adding a small popup at the bottom of the screen
  • having a call-to-action on your page which triggers a popup when clicked

Each option has its pros and cons. But before you decide on the one for you, make sure you’ve run the latest software updates on your website. Not all versions of WP or all themes on it will support every type of popup. You want to have the latest and the best to maximize your options.

Make it eye-catching and visually appealing

This should be fairly obvious but popups need to look good to grab your users’ attention. The difference between mobile popups and desktop ones is that mobile popups will be much smaller. So you should definitely still rely on all the things you already use in graphic design – color theory, negative space, contrast, legible fonts. But this time you should also remember not to put in too many features. This will make your popups look crowded and less appealing.

A chart of things you need to think about if you want to create mobile popups that convert.
Think about what your users want to see.

Pay attention to your wording

How you phrase things is very important. You won’t have a lot of space on a mobile popup to write too much. So think of a simple and short yet effective phrase. You want to include a call-to-action to encourage users to click on the popup. But you also don’t want to be obnoxious, demanding, or annoying. Think back to all the popups you’ve seen and liked and all the campaigns you’ve successfully run before. Use those to guide your phrasing.

Keep in mind that user experience is the most important thing in mobile optimization

If you want to create mobile popups that convert, you need to prioritize user experience over everything else. The most beautiful popup is not going to have any effect if it interrupts the user’s scrolling and frustrates them. In fact, it may have the exact opposite effect. This is precisely why Google implemented the rules that it did. So don’t just think like a business owner and web developer. Put yourself in your users’ shoes. What do they want to see?

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