How to Use SEO Friendly Modal Windows


Modal windows are sometimes referred to as “lightboxes” and often function as popups within the Web 2.0 platform space. Usually, when you click on links or images, another webpage opens. Sometimes, a separate window or alert message appears on the computer screen. In the case of a modal window, however, new content overlays the webpage rather than opening into a new page. You may see visual cues, such as screen darkening in the area around the window, or animation. To use search engine optimization (SEO)-friendly modal windows effectively, you can embed keywords geared toward your product, service or information.

  • Design modal windows that include specific keywords and phrases that apply to your service or business. Place them in any location in which you might use a popup window. Use these modal windows for visual appeal, particularly on a relatively basic website. Not only can they enhance the look of the page, but they can also increase usability for Web visitors who may become customers.

  • Develop modal windows that display inline Web content. The content will be on the webpage and simply remain hidden until a function is executed. In this way, that text may be indexed by the major search engines. For the best accessibility, display the text on webpages that have CSS JavaScript disabled. From an SEO standpoint, if that content was on a separate webpage, or in a page with a popup window, it might be necessary to consider using a rel=”nofollow” attribute on the link, which would render the text useless, since it wouldn't pass for PageRank, making it unrecognizable in search-engine ranking algorithms.

  • Put modal windows in place of short pages that may have very simple one- or two-line messages. Doing this can eliminate the need to be concerned about popup blockers that can break webpage functionality. This can also keep people from getting distracted on your website and navigating to other pages. When that happens, it can be difficult to guide people back to the original webpage. Modal windows can make it easier for people to start or finish a transaction.

  • Consider using modal windows on Web landing pages. For example, a page designed for splash effects might include a place for Web visitors to click and open a modal window with text inside. Design the phrase on which to click in a way that motivates visitors to become potential customers. One way to do this is to provide a "special offer." Think about what potential customers might be looking for and how you can provide it, using the modal window. Ensure that the content designed includes links to all of the appropriate webpages.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use modal windows to earmark sections of the website for advertising or lists of links.
  • Put important information for which you don't want to waste an entire webpage in modal windows.
  • Perform tests before going live with modal windows to avoid webpage or website deletions.

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