Pop-Up Ads: Why Aren't They Dead?

February 09, 2015 by BizTraffic Team

Pop-up ads are annoying propsects

(Photo Credit: FootLogo.com)

Do you ever ask yourself, are my pop-up ads annoying my potential clients? When what you really should be asking yourself is: do pop-up ads annoy me?

The fact is that business owners just see the conversion numbers and assume that because their pop-ups are getting sign-ups they are a successful tool. But what they don’t see are the negative effects that pop-ups can cause to their overall website. So, while they might have seemed like a great idea at the time, pop-up ads should definitely be reconsidered. 

But first things first:

Why Aren't Pop-Up Ads Dead?

Believe it or not, by studying client’s analytics profiles over the years, we have found that conversion rates are higher when clients use pop-up ads. The reason behind this is that if someone is trying to view an article they want to read or a product they want to review, they will fill out the form to get to their final goal.

Also pop-ups allow you to get your offer in front of the potential clients face right away.

Most digital marketing agencies will set the pop-up to populate as soon as the site is rendered, but there are more effective ways to implement a pop-up and not frustrate the customer.

These alternatives include:

  • Setting the pop-up on a timer so that the consumer can have time to navigate the website and finish their research.

  • Setting the pop-up on a “contact us” page, because you know the action of the consumer once they get to that stage.

  • Lastly and mostly effective on e-commerce sites is to setup a pop-up upon somebody exiting your site. The messaging should be something actionable like “click here to save money today” or it should offer them a percentage off their shopping cart if they are abandoning it.

But before you implement pop-ups throughout your website, ask yourself this: is the conversion worth the risk?

The answer to the question above is absolutely not.

The Case for a Pop-Up Ad Execution:

Google pop-up ad penalty

(Photo credit: Wpsite.org)

Pop-ups completely and absolutely ruin user experience rates. They will cause people to bounce off or exit your site and never return. Often this is because users view pop-ups as annoying or untrustworthy. This is a major issue, especially for Ecommerce sites, because of the reliance on recurring revenues which usually are about 65% of your sites revenue.

Another thing to take into consideration? Google suggests their most important factor in ranking sites is user experience. So don’t mess it up with obnoxious ads!

Now, you're probably asking yourself why would I give up these leads? My question for you is were those valuable leads anyways, or were people just filling out the form to get to their desired destination? If people are interested in your products or services, and are true leads, they will find a way to contact you. Your job is to make sure they have an easy way of doing so. There are so many other options you can use without getting penalized by Google or ruining the user experience.

Lost Without Your Pop-Up Ads?

Here's Some Alternatives:

The first option is to make sure you have a contact form in the sidebar of every page. This gives the user the option of filling out your form anytime they are ready to convert. In conjunction with the sidebar forms, ensure your contact number is visible in the top right of your header.

Another Option is using Interactive Banners on your site. Examples of this are put in you zip code and we’ll find you an agent or banners with clear call-to-actions and discounts if you click on the banner to purchase. But be forewarned do not use flash style banners, Google absolutely hates them and they will cause you to be penalized. Also make sure your Ad Layout is correct by not have more than 2 banners (including Ads) above the fold of your website or you could be penalized. (Above the fold refers to the portion of a webpage that is visible without scrolling)


In Conclusion, pop-ups are proven to put your sites rankings at risk due to user experience issues. They also have a habit of bringing non valuable leads, and, in extreme circumstances, cause people to never visit your site again.

At the end of the day, it is just best to stick to contact or subscribe forms for the most valuable leads to your company.

Filed Under: customer experience, website marketing, website design