5 Explained Tips to Avoid Google Penalty, Keep Your Rankings & Build Your Email List

Yeah, that's right.

If you wish to keep the search engine rankings you so worked hard for and still build your email list effectively come 2017, you'll continue reading this post.

Sometimes in August, on the 23rd to be precise, Google announced on it's webmaster central blog that it'll be adding a penalty to sites with intrusive popups

(Your highest converting opt-in form)

....that obstructs mobile users from accessing the information they need quickly and sites using these tactics may not rank as high anymore.

search engine rankings

Google also added that these interstitials get in the way for MOBILE users and it poses a threat to it's mission.

Making content accessible i.e help users quickly find the best answers to their questions, regardless of the device they’re using.

This pretty much sums it all...

... Your current list building tactic needs restructuring cause if you didn't see this announcement Google made or you've decided to ignore it.

It may cost you your rankings.

Which in turn will make a huge difference in your traffic.

I've thought about these and came up with a few solutions for my websites cause I'd likie to still keep my rankings and build my email list.

If that sounds like what you wish to do too then stay with this post as I unleash some ideas, suggestions we're currently using/testing for our websites.

Are you ready?

1. Maybe Stay Away From the Obvious

Full screen popups, Welcome (scroll) mats...

At least from the mobile version of your website to avoid having issues, PC view MAY be fine as Google didn't mention about it.

Lets give you a clearer insight on the types of interstitials Google says might decrease your rankings.

popus from google

Image: Google webmasters blog

It's quite clear from here. Any popup on your website that disturbs users from being able to access your content immediately on mobile phones could decrease your rankings come 2017.

What to do?

That's why we're here and the first step is getting rid of those types of popups you may have on your website.

At least from the mobile version of your website. Got it?

Let's move on...

2. Use Thrive Leads

Not neccesarily important but super useful especially for bloggers.

Thrive leads is one if not the best and most powerful list building plugin out there for WordPress.

I've written several articles including 7 reasons on why you should buy Thrive leads, It's what I use on all of my websites,

Now you may think that I'm trying to sell you a plugin right there cause my affiliate link is definitely up there...

... I'm also trying to pitch to you the fastest and easiest solution to build your email list without getting Penalized by Google's new rule.

Thrive leads provides multiple opt-in form locations and helps you create forms, track, and collect email subscribers efficiently right from your WordPress dashboard.

As we go further in this article, you'll understand why this plugin is a must have.

3. Use The Ribbon or Navigation Style Opt-in form Location Instead

Since most people now use the internet, browse their favorite websites from their mobile phones.

According to this report by SEO Experts, mobile usage beats desktop and continues to SOAR.​

mobile usage stats

Chances are that most people already browse your website through their mobile phones, It'd be a great mistake, waste not to optimize your mobile website for leads.

Now that Google says no more popups. It disturbs users (Which is quite through). The search engine giants does state a few exception to it's new rule.

You can still use Interstitials even on your mobile website but there are limits. Below are examples of interstitials that would not be affected by the new signal

if used responsibly...

Image: Google webmasters blog

Image: Google webmasters blog

If you use any of these Interstitials, you're safe but tell me, What opt-in form type looks very similar to these?

The ribbon forms 🙂 Simple.

Now you can head over to hellobar and create a basic form with less control and options or stay with Thrive leads and come up with something that'll resonate with your audience and show you data that'll help you gain insights to how your optin form is doing.

Your choice.

While you're still here, Let me show you how this works with Thriveleads: I've quickly created a new lead group.

thrive leads dashboard

When you click which opt-in form type you'd like add, It gives you an option to chose from..

We're going for ribbon form remember?  Do the clicking and lets create your first form.

Then move forward by creating and giving your form a name. Once that's done... It's time to design your form.

Now here's one of the most beautiful things about Thriveleads. There are tons of beautiful templates you can take and turn to yours in seconds.

thrive form templates

You can still go further to the Template cloud to find more beautiful templates to use. Create, edit and connect to your email marketing software, Deploy and see how your form performs.

That's how this works.

One reason why I'd vote for Thriveleads again is that it has the power to show or hide your forms on mobile or desktop, with this option... You can further control the display of your opt-in forms.

4. Content Upgrades

In case you've been thinking of content upgrades and wondering whether to use it or not...

... now might be a good time to try.

One backlinko reader,  Josh used content upgrades to boost his conversions by 529% in 45 minutes.

The power of content upgrades.

A case study ​on the crazyegg blog also featured a 492% increase in conversions using content upgrades.

Lets be quite frank, These days no one wants to subscribe to newsletters anymore... Unless you're giving me something? No way.... I'm joining your email list.

no way

Img: Memes.com

Content upgdares are just the better version of your normal article in a PDF;

...or might be something to compliment your web content that you're offering for download in exchange for the email address of whoever wants it.

​Looking at this from a neutral point of view; It does makes sense.

In this no popups time, Content upgrades are a better alternative to turn to. Check out these 28 ideas for content upgrades from Sumome to quickly get a hang on what we're discussing here.

Here's an example of a content upgrade from Backlinko.com

content upgrade

See what Brian's offering there? It's a no-brainier, I'd subscribe to get access to his PDF checklist (Absolutely).

With the help of Thrive leads, who says you can create content upgrades like these in minutes? Again, this process is stupidly simple. Navigate to thrive leads >> create a lead shortcode >> connect your software >> design and add form to post.

It's that simple then last but not least, Lets explore:

5. Slide In Forms

Personally I haven't done much with slide in optin forms but it does have two spectacular features I'd like to point out:

  • It does grab attention with the way it comes in.
  • It's one of the Less intrusive opt-in form types.

Remember, that's what we're looking for, That's what we need.

Slide in opt-in forms are those little opt-in forms you can configure to trigger whether time or exit intent based and they slowly bring their heads up either on the left or right hand side of your website.

They can be easily dismissed and equally grab your visitors attention.

With the tightness of my schedule and the rigorous testing of other elements we have in queue, I'd like to invite you to test this opt-in form type and lets see how it goes.

You may in fact mail me with your results, I'd like to feature you and your results.

Quick tip: Thrive leads can also help you set this up in minutes.

So can I count on you then? Perfect.

Now that We're Here!

Building your email list is very keen to a successful online business, Many businesses who failed to catch up on this either regrets it later or goes out of business.

Why? no stream or medium to drive traffic consistently to your website.

As building your email list is important so is Keeping your search engines rankings, Need I not remind you how hard it is to rank these days and how your competitors are waiting for just the right time to take your spot.

Following the tips in this post should set you in the right path and help you stay on the good side of Google's new ranking signal.

With that we're done with this post however, I'd like to hear what you think... You really think these methods will work? Hint: They're for me.

..Or you have a better idea? Share it with us using the comment form.

Thanks for stopping by and do not forget to share.


Howdy! I'm Me: Babs. I'm a Nigerian. I've created money making websites that Google loves and driven thousands of responsive visitors to my websites and client's. When it comes to building successful online businesses? Babs knows 92% of it. Learn more about Babs and the Blog →

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