This is a great question Ashley, and like every SEO question the answer is: “It depends.”
Thanks for asking, stay tuned next week for more questions and answers.
Just kidding… let’s dive in and take a look at a couple of different scenarios.
Using a modal itself isn’t necessarily good or bad for SEO – it’s all about how the modal is coded and implemented.
In fact, let’s not limit this to modals. The following advice and techniques can also apply to popups, interstitials, and overlays as well.
There are two major ways to implement a modal.
Option 1: Include the Content in the Page Itself but Not Make It Visible at First
The technical term you may hear in regard to this is that the modal content is “loaded as part of the DOM.”
In this case, the modal will be fully crawlable and indexed as part of the page by search engines.
(We can debate how much weight it will be given, but that’s a different question for a different day.)