Have you heard? Google is taking reader usability on mobile a step further in 2017. They are adding a signal in their search ranking algorithms that ultimately will not rank sites as high on mobile searches that have pop-ups, intrusive objects that must be “dismissed” to read the full content, and such other than legally obligatory material.
This means that they are going to start counting pop ups in their algorithm for how user-friendly a website is.
I know. I know.
Everybody hates pop-ups right? But the truth is, the are very effective. So, I, as well as thousands and maybe even millions of other website owners have learned to use them and count on their handy nature to capture leads and gather followers.
Alternatives ways to effectively collect email addresses without a pop-up box
Instead of panicking and having your blood pressure rise to the nth degree before January, I encourage you to first and foremost read their own commentary on pop-ups, interstitials, and reader usability.
Then with a cool and level head, proceed to accept change that MiloTree, facebook hover boxes, and floating subscriber opt-ins may be a thing of the past for your site. That is unless they find a solution for mobile devices.
But also know that you can go in to MOST services and turn it off mobile. Either way, it’s good to know your options because it could change again in the future.
Watch a video on how to implement these opt-in strategies at the bottom of this post.
Create a specific newsletter landing page
This should be very first on your list if you do not already have it set up.
Make a page where potential subscribers can come and see what’s in it for them. Not only does it help convert because it’s about enticing the reader and not about “Hey look at me! Subscribe now”, but it also means you are adding to your page views and simply have a place to send people.
It can be as simple or elaborate as you want, just obviously make sure you embed a sign up form on the page.
Design a text button to entice your audience to subscribe
Go into PicMonkey, Canva, Photo Shop, or whatever you use for image creation and make a subscribe button or two or a few that you can use on your site.
Make it match your site in terms of colors, fonts, etc. so that readers have a greater chance of recognizing it as yours instead of writing it off as an ad.
Personally, I choose to make mine the full width of my content area. Do what feels best to you and make sure that you’re cross checking how it looks on mobile (that’s the whole point here, right?) to make sure it’s legible and not too small.
Design your site differently or include Hello bar, SumoMe, or other bar at the top
While I am not 100% sure how these are going to show up in algorithms, it’s worth noting that you can actually design your page to have a button at the top. Some of what Google has said is that if it’s small enough, then it’s exempt from the demerit of death.
I personally prefer the click to my newsletter page versus just having an email collection box because my subscriber rate went up.
In SumoMe’s settings, you can choose to set parameters such as never showing on mobile which would help in the instance of trying to not get “dinged” by google for readability.
Strategically place opt-in links inside of posts
Go through and add the image you created above into your posts. I will be adding it in the very middle or close to it for many posts. This means that like the exit-intent pop up boxes or like the percent scroll opt-in forms, you’re giving the option in the middle or end of your content.
In fact, I have started using Thrive Leads in order to create opt-ins that are in fact pop ups. But the difference is that the user has to actually click in order for it to fire. I most typically place a small bar in the middle of the post or about a 3rd of the way down and then one that’s larger and more prominent at the very end of a post. (Images above and below to see how I made custome imagery and then used the Thrive Leads short codes around the images to create a click-based pop-up)
These have long been popular, though on mobile, they are typically at the bottom underneath all of your content.
But don’t forget about the option! Especially as a big bright button that’s hard to miss, it may still convert well both on desktop and mobile for you.
Use Genesis Simple Hooks for subscriber opt-ins
If you run Genesis, this is a powerful tool that I believe every site owner should have installed. It makes for quick and easy changes and you don’t need to really know code to do it. (In fact, check out the video below and I show you how to create code without knowing a lick of coding!
With this handy-dany tool called the Genesis Simple Hooks visual guide, you can get a great idea of where you want to place the clickable image opt-in buttons. Though you might still have some playing around to do!
Just be sure you’re checking all posts and pages to make sure it’s exactly the layout you want, including archives pages, because that’s normally where it’s not as “pretty” as some would like.
What Would Seth Godin Do
Regardless of if you run Genesis or not, WWSGD is a really great option to collect email addresses. It gives you the option to be at the top, bottom, or wherever you use a tiny piece of code they give you. Plus you can also restrict it to just posts or have it on pages as well.
A neat addition here is that you can change what someone sees if they’re a new or returning visitor. So maybe it invites them the first time and the second time it’s one that says something to the effect of “stay in the know and never miss the latest news” because you know they’re a returning guest.
Again, just like with simple hooks, be aware of how it looks on pages such as archives, because it could be pulling more than you want in the header meta data.