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Pop-Ups and Autoplaying

User experience is an essential component of SEO. Google has been updating its search algorithm for years, trying to tie search rankings to UX so that users online can have the best possible experience. Much of SEO now revolves around providing users with the best possible content and making it easy for them to find.

But what will provide a good user experience? It’s impossible to please everybody. Your target audience isn’t usually everyone on the entire Internet, so if there’s a smaller demographic that makes up your user base, there may be more specific guidelines for what they’re looking for. If you do have a very broad audience, you can still try to appeal to most of them.

And there are some things to avoid doing that will help improve the user experience on your website.

Bad Advertisements

If you’re trying to sell a product or a service, advertising is necessary. It may sometimes seem like users hate all ads, but that’s not necessarily the case. They hate bad ads, which will make up to 82% of Internet users click away from a website that hosts that ad.

Some behaviors to avoid:

  • Pop-up ads
  • Autoplaying videos
  • Autoplaying audio
  • Unpausable ads
  • Retargeting

As nice as it may seem to try to force users to look at your ads, that won’t actually convert them to customers. In fact, it may do the exact opposite. No one likes it when an ad begins to autoplay and won’t let them pause it. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself – would you do that behavior in person? If not, then don’t do it online.

Intrusive and annoying ads can actually harm your brand and your company’s reputation. Users form bad opinions of brands from just a single negative experience with an ad for a product or service. That’s not to say you should avoid advertising altogether – advertising itself is fine. Just make sure that you aren’t creating bad advertisements that will push customers away instead of interest them in what you have to offer.

Pop-Up CTAs

It’s nice that you want your users to sign up, subscribe, or visit another page on your site. But repeated pop-ups asking users to do these things can actually drive them away from your website instead. You don’t need to avoid pop-up CTAs altogether, but be careful in how you use them.

Remember the philosophy “all things in moderation.” That will serve you well with pop-up CTAs. Have them pop up only at certain places on your site or during certain stages of the user’s experience on your website. You can create smart CTAs that will only pop up at certain stages.

It’s also important to make sure the copy on your CTA is polite. If a user has to view a pop-up, they’ll be less annoyed if it’s at least polite. If your CTAs come across as too pushy, that may alienate your users instead.

Autoplaying Multimedia

It’s not just autoplaying ads that are annoying to users. Videos content is important to engaging with your users, but if it’s set to autoplay, that can turn off many potential viewers. Not everyone is always in a place where it’s okay to watch a video with audio. Some users may be at work or in public and they just want to view your site without having a loud video forced on them.

It’s easier to click the back button than it is to try to pause the video or to turn down or mute the volume and most people will do exactly that.


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