Everyone is in a panic after Google released its new mobile rules: does it mean that every mobile site with a popup will be ranked lower in searches?  Does it mean you shouldn’t focus on optimizing your mobile site?

Not to worry. We’re here to separate myth from fact and give you some practical tips to keep your mobile site going strong, popups and all.

Google’s goal is to penalize sites that have “take-over” popups ones that fill the entire screen, block all content, or position themselves to look like the real webpage when they are not.  On the flipside, Google will award higher rankings to mobile sites that abide by their standards.  They want mobile-friendly sites with well-positioned engagements and easily-dismissable popups. Your visitors probably do too.

For automotive dealerships, this change could mean making some adjustments. First things first: check your mobile engagements to see if they fit the new requirements.  If you work with a vendor, confirm with them that your site is in good shape.  If your engagements don’t fit the qualifications, it’s time to update them so your rankings remain high and customers can find your dealership website.

Not sure where to start? Here are some best practices for mobile-friendly popups, recapped from our latest post in Dealer Magazine:

  1. Fat-Finger Friendly: Make mobile popup fields big and easy to fill out.  Being fat-finger friendly is crucial when engaging mobile users. You should also limit your fields– the fewer fields to fill out, the more likely you’ll get a visitor to convert into a lead. Just remember, don’t let the fields take over the entire page of content. Find the right balance.
  2. Size does matter:  Optimize the dimensions of your popups for mobile so your site visitors have a good experience – and so that you comply with the new Google requirements. One option is to position your popup as a banner along the top of your site or as a slider in the corner.  Make sure to optimize your text size, too. If you’re using a text size or font that readers have to zoom in to see, Google will no longer consider you mobile friendly.
  3. The infamous “x” button: Make your popups easy to exit.  If you don’t have a clear “x” or “no thanks” button, you’ll probably be marked as spam by Google.  Don’t try to lock your website visitors into a commitment to convert.  They’ll probably get annoyed and bounce – and once the new requirements kick in, they won’t even see your site. 
  4. Nix the add-ons: If you have applications like Flash on your mobile site, the time has come to remove them. These are not compatible with the new standards and will affect your ratings negatively. For dealerships that are using “click-to-calls” and live chat boxes, make sure users don’t have to download anything funky to engage with your site.

At AutoLeadStar, we’re preparing for the change as well by ensuring that all our offers and engagements fit Google’s new requirements. Popups will be correctly sized and positioned, easy to decline, and with no incompatible add-ons. You’ll continue to benefit from the best lead capture out there along with excellent rankings.

mobile friendly pop up

So no need to freak out Google hasn’t banned popups.  In fact, Google will probably reward sites with compliant mobile popups so keep up the good work! For Google’s official guidelines, click here.

Want to optimize your dealership’s mobile site within Google’s qualifications? Contact us for a free consultation. 216-242-1320, or tweet at @autoleadstar