Updated: Jun 18
Pop-ups have their place. Nothing against them. Use them. But use them correctly.
I recently visited an author's website. I love this author too, and I was going to buy one of her books. Direct from her website. I was on my phone, as most of the world is when they visit someone's site.
More than 65% of people will view your website on their phone or mobile device.
This author's website was laid out very nice. Loved the colors. Would have spent a hot minute exploring it. But after about 10 seconds on the site, a pop-up slid out from the side. It was a review pop-up from a reader who bought one of her books. As soon as that pop-up went off the screen, another popped up.
These were the small rectangles that probably weren't very big on a desktop or laptop screen. But on my phone, they took up half the screen. I couldn't click on the ebook link because the pop-up blocked it. Unless I timed my screen tap just right. Oh, and these pop-ups showed up every 3-5 seconds. There was no way for me to stop them. Usually pop-ups have an X somewhere to close it. These did not. They more than likely did, but since I was on my phone, I couldn't find the X.
Oversight, I'm sure...but very annoying.
Guess what? I left the site. Didn't buy the book. I may buy it from an online retailer, but that kind of defeats the purpose of selling directly from your own site?
Pop-ups have their place. And when done correctly, they work.
The problem isn't using pop-ups.
Did you catch that? POP-UPS ARE NOT THE ISSUE. Optimization is.
On any site provider, whether it is WIX, Shopify, or any WordPress site, there are ways to optimize so that your mobile version works for readers. There are elements, like certain pop-ups, that don't translate well on the mobile side. Hide or delete those elements on the mobile side of your site. The last thing you want to do is drive your visitor away. This will result in loss of traffic and ultimately loss of sales.
When setting up your author site, especially when selling direct to your readers, make sure you think about the reader's experience. Remember, most traffic, especially initial traffic (first-time visitors) will come from mobile devices. Don't forget about them.
There are many other things that you need to implement to make your site work for you and not against you. But this is one of the most annoying and easily fixable barriers to gaining sales and traffic.
Again, I'm not saying don't use pop-ups. I want you to think about using them in a way that enhances your site and doesn't make people leave after a few minutes.
Side note: There is an aspect of your desktop site that I will touch on here. There are many people who cannot see or have low vision, so maneuvering around your website is harder for them than others.
By setting up your site to accommodate those with disabilities such as blindness, you can widen your website's reach and make it inclusive to those with disabilities. This is accomplished by making sure you add text descriptions to your photos or other elements that ereaders cannot see...by setting up a text description on those elements, ereaders will tell the user what your photo is via text.
There are many websites that will help you with this. There recently was law change that seeks to enforce compliance. It is something that is time consuming and can take a fair amount of resources to make your site is compliant, but in the end it will help your site be accessible to all.