Are you worried that Google’s new mobile penalty will cause your site to lose rank if you use popups? If Google penalizes your site because your optins keep users from navigating your site, that means lost sales for you. We’re not worried here at OptinMonster, though. Our optins designed for mobile devices meet Google’s requirements.

In this case study, we’ll show you how Salt Strong is gaining in search engine rankings even while increasing conversions 185% using OptinMonster.

Meet Salt Strong

Salt Strong exists to help saltwater anglers catch more fish and create memories that matter through fishing. They do this through online fishing courses, tutorials, and America’s most helpful and largest online saltwater fishing community.

SaltStrong uses OptinMonster

With over 100,000+ clicks per month from Google organic traffic alone, Salt Strong didn’t have a traffic problem. Rather, they had a lead conversion problem. They needed to better capitalize on this huge amount of traffic to capture more leads so they could make more sales.

Joe Simonds, co-founder of Salt Strong, was already using popups to collect leads on his site, gaining about 400-500 leads per week. He suspected he could improve conversions by improving those popups.

But when Joe heard about Google’s mobile interstitial penalty, which penalizes sites with popups that keep a reader from easily browsing the site, he was worried.

Their old popups covered the entire site when viewed on a phone. When a popup covers the entire page on a mobile device, the reader can’t continue to scroll the site. They have to first dismiss the optin. That is exactly the sort of behavior Google is trying to avoid.

To avoid losing their monthly traffic from Google search, they make the hard decision to turn off the popups completely and search for a more compliant solution.

How Salt Strong Uses OptinMonster

After reading that OptinMonster optins pass Google’s mobile penalty test, Joe decided to give us a try.

He started by adding smaller, slide-in popups on desktop devices on every page of the site.

Salt Strong uses slide in optins to avoid the Google mobile penalty

Within the first 30 days, leads doubled. More importantly, organic views on the site continued to climb even with the OptinMonster popups active.

Salt Strong continues to improve these rates by creating new split tests each week.

Along the way, they discovered using OptinMonster’s Yes/No feature can dramatically boost conversions. A two step optin displays a Yes, and a No button. Clicking on the Yes button can cause your optin form to appear or direct to another URL. The No button can be used to close the optin, or redirect to another URL.

The Yes/No feature converts well because it gives control back to the reader. They get to choose whether they want the optin or not. Once they’ve clicked Yes, they’ve already committed themselves mentally to that decision and are more likely to follow through by completing the optin.

Salt Strong does a particularly great job with the copy in their Yes/No buttons by injecting some fun.

They even hear from fishermen who say, “I just couldn’t bring myself to click “No, I hate fishing.”

It seems to be working. This optin converts almost 10% of readers.

Creative copywriting like this can serve as a huge boost to your conversions. By clearly reinforcing the goals of their ideal customer, Salt Strong encourages readers to click YES, I love Fishing.

Another reason this optin converts well is because it offers social proof. If 100,000 other fisherman have subscribed, then it’s probably something worth subscribing to. Even if your numbers are much smaller, mentioning them in your optin can help convince a skeptical reader to subscribe.

Avoiding Google’s Mobile Penalty With OptinMonster

There are several ways to avoid Google’s mobile penalty. Salt Strong chooses to use a floating bar popup that appears at the top of the site. The optin is not intrusive and allows the reader to continue navigating the site easily.

Remember, Google’s goal is to make sure the visitor sees the content that they were promised in search results right away without scrolling or anything blocking their view. Floating bar optins, as well as our mobile specific optins and MonsterLinks, do that.

SaltStrong mobile optins avoid Google's mobile penalty

This optin converts around 3.8% of mobile readers, while still letting them to browse the site freely.


Salt Strong was able to achieve their goals of increasing leads while maintaining and even growing their organic traffic from mobile devices, all while providing a great user experience.

  • Salt Strong more than doubled their weekly leads from 400 to 1000+ new leads per week
  • Salt Strong increased conversions 185% using OptinMonster

We asked Joe what he thought of his results using OptinMonster. He said,

“Needless to say, it was a game-changer when you can double your leads, keep the visitor experience awesome, and keep the search engines happy.”

Would you like to increase conversions while keeping your search engine ranking safe? Get started using OptinMonster today.