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How to Use Popups to Drive Visitor Engagement on Your Website (3 Easy Ways)

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Your website plays a vital role in your business. For a start, it can inform, entertain, and market your products or services. However, it’s unlikely to succeed at any of those tasks if it fails to engage visitors and get them interested.

A static, passive website does little to encourage visitors to stick around and interact with your content, but a reactive site could get them to participate. One of the simplest ways to drive this sort of engagement is through the use of popups. A few simple popup messages, appearing at just the right time and targeting specific types of users, might be all you need to meet your sales goals and achieve your KPIs.

In this article, we’ll talk a little more about what visitor engagement means and why it’s such a crucial element. Then we’ll introduce three easy methods for using popups to drive visitor engagement on your site, via our Popup Maker WordPress plugin. Let’s get started!

What Visitor Engagement Is (And Why It Matters)

Engagement can mean a few different things, but in this context it refers to visitors interacting with your site (rather than passively reading a page and leaving). Engagement can include clicking around to find more information, or leaving comments and sharing content on social media. Visitors are also engaging when they follow through on your calls to action, such as by filling out a contact form or signing up for a membership.

Promoting high levels of visitor engagement on your site is crucial because:

  • It can boost your search engine rankings, meaning you’ll appear higher in search results.
  • Engaged visitors are interacting with elements of your site, so they’re going to spend more time on it. This means they’ll be exposed to more of your content, messages, and offerings.
  • When people have a positive experience with your site, they’ll be more likely to return in the future and share your content or services with others.
  • You can increase follow-through on important calls to action by using engagement to encourage clicks and sign-ups. This can help you reach your sales goals more quickly and consistently.

The more engagement you can promote, the better – so finding a convenient solution is key. Let’s take a look at one of the easiest ways to improve this important aspect: on-site popups.

How to Use Popups to Drive Visitor Engagement on Your Website (3 Easy Ways)

Popups are an increasingly common element of website design, since they’re both simple and versatile. They create small moments of user interaction that encourage visitors of your site to explore more content, connect with you directly, and take various other actions.

If you’re using WordPress, plugins are the natural way to add useful popups to your site. Naturally, we’d recommend our own Popup Maker plugin – it enables you to create and customize popups to perform a wide variety of tasks. Let’s take a look at three ways you can easily take advantage of popups to drive visitor engagement. Along the way, we’ll introduce some handy Popup Maker extensions that can help.

1. Add Dynamic Content to Your Web Pages

A static web page with content that doesn’t react to the user isn’t the best way to encourage engagement. You need to give visitors something to respond to and find a way to grab their attention. Popups can accomplish both of these tasks by adding dynamic elements to your web pages.

For example, you can use triggered popups to respond to visitors at a point where they have a particular question or need. Using information about where a user currently is on a page, you can set a popup to appear and provide the information or call-to-action the user is likely to be interested in at that moment.

To add this feature to your site, check out the Scroll Triggered Popups extension:

The Scroll Triggered Popups extension.

This tool enables you to set triggers based on user actions (such as scrolling up or down) and their position on the web page. For instance, you could set a popup to appear when visitors reach the bottom of a page, offering them further content or directing them to a sign-up form. Or you could create a popup with contact information, which users will trigger when they reach a certain section. Either way, the goal is to drive visitor engagement by giving visitors a logical next step at the moment they’re ready to take it.

2. Target Specific Users With Unique Messages

People like to receive personalized attention, and your website visitors are no exception. However, most sites treat all of their users the same, presenting identical content and messaging to each viewer. This is understandable, since customizing your web pages so they’re unique to every type of user is a tall order.

Fortunately, popups make it easy to tweak your website, presenting slightly different messages, content, or calls to action for various types of visitors. You won’t need to change your website itself, yet visitors will feel like you’re speaking directly to them and understand their unique needs.

The Advanced Targeting Conditions extension makes this level of personalization simple:

The Advanced Targeting Conditions extension.

It uses information gathered about an individual user – the URL they clicked on to reach your site, their browser, or the actions they’ve taken, for example – and presents specific popups based on those details. So, for example, you could present all visitors arriving from a particular website with a special offer. Or you could create different messages for first-time visitors and logged-in users. This is a smart way to encourage all visitors to engage, by treating them as individuals with specific needs rather than as a faceless audience.

3. Discourage Visitors From Leaving Your Site

Once a person leaves your site, they aren’t likely to return any time soon. Given this, you want to encourage visitors to stick around long enough to find something on your site that speaks to them, or they’d like to take action on. You may only have one chance to get their attention. Therefore, you need to encourage them to draw out their initial visit and ensure they see your most important information or products.

As you’ve probably guessed by now, popups are the answer to this particular problem. You don’t want to use popups to force users to stay on your site – that may understandably irritate them. However, you can use popups to subtly encourage people not to leave.

If this solution intrigues you, the Exit Intent Popups extension is a solid choice:

The Exit Intent Popups extension.

This add-on is able to detect the moment when a visitor is probably about to leave your site (because they’ve moved their cursor away from your web page in their browser window). You can then create popups that direct the user’s attention back to your site. You could promote a special deal, or offer a sign-up form or survey – anything that encourages someone who was considering leaving to re-engage with your content.

Conclusion

Chances are you’ve spent a significant amount of time and resources developing your website. The best way to get those investments to pay off is to keep visitors coming back and convert them into members, clients, or customers. Engaging visitors while they’re on your site is a smart way to meet your KPIs and sales targets.

To help you get started, we’ve discussed three easy ways to drive visitor engagement on your site using Popup Maker extensions. To recap, they are:

  1. Add dynamic content to your web pages using Scroll Triggered Popups.
  2. Take advantage of Advanced Targeting Conditions to target specific users with unique messages.
  3. Discourage visitors from leaving your site through Exit Intent Popups.

Do you have any questions about how to use popups to drive visitor engagement on your website? Let us know in the comments section below!

Image credit: Pexels.

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John is a blogging addict, WordPress fanatic, and a staff writer for WordCandy.co.

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6 Comments

  1. Craig Brown on August 7, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    I would have enjoyed this article more if it used real examples for each of the three points, otherwise this blog is made how I would usually design a blog, ie flat / static.

    • Daniel Iser on August 7, 2017 at 9:35 pm

      @Craig Brown – Thanks for stopping by, great point. I will make sure to mention consider that in the future.

  2. Andrew on August 8, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    For SEO purposes, I now think long and hard about the use of popups. Googles ability to crawl sites may be hindered at best, or might even be marked down if a popup is encountered. If you’re traffic is all paid of course, popups are great and increase conversions many times over.

    • Daniel Iser on August 8, 2017 at 12:31 pm

      Hey Andrew,

      Thanks for stopping by to leave us a comment.

      As to your point, are you referring to Google’s new interstitial policy that penalizes sites that use them on mobile devices? If so there are many ways around it.

      Second popup content is index-able, even while hidden, but there are ways around that as well (Remote Content) for instance.

      Lastly we have extensive targeting capabilities so that you can keep the popups super relevant to both the page content & other advanced things like user, referrer etc. When you follow best practices & begin doing targeted campaigns that way you are much less likely to have any issues with SEO penalization.

      Popups work, their effectiveness has been proven by many studies, but we completely agree that they need to be used appropriately.

      • Jaswinder Kaur on August 9, 2017 at 1:40 pm

        Very nice and Informative article on the Topic!

        I’m using Mailmunch for collecting emails. I just started it a while ago after blogging almost for two years.

        Thanks.

        • Daniel Iser on August 9, 2017 at 6:38 pm

          @Jaswinder – Thanks for stopping by to leave a comment. Glad you found it of use. Be sure to join our mailing list as we have great new quality content already lined up for the next few months.

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