10 Damaging Web Design Mistakes That Repel Visitors

woman pinches nose with fingers looks with disgust something stinks bad smell

Oh, websites.


91% of people state need and speed as priorities when visiting a website.

79% of people who don’t like what they see on a website will retreat back and search for another.

50% of people will use a business less often if the company website is not mobile-friendly.

48% of people disclosed that if a site wasn’t mobile-friendly, they received the impression a company “did not care about their business”.



Today, a lackluster website isn’t just aesthetically disappointing- it’s also traffic-reducing.

Low engagement means you’ll potentially have lots of visitors.. but, lots of missed opportunities to convert traffic into customers.

A poorly designed landing page is the equivalent to a rundown gas station you stop at on your road trip. Minimal engagement between customer and proprietor. Unless you’re starving or in need of a souvenir, you probably aren’t intending on doing anything more than just using the restroom… and, leaving. Which is fine.. for you. The proprietor, however, ideally would like to see your debit card rather than your eye-contact-avoiding power walk to the porcelain throne.

If you and your website are in the same boat as our gas station proprietor, your customers are staying only for as long as it takes to load the Google search results again. Rude.

So, how can this be avoided?

Well, you can’t shut off the world outside of your website any easier than you can legally and morally force “In-it-for-the-Bathroom” road trippers to use more than your toilet paper.

Plus, your website is your online sales rep- and, like all personnel, should be knowledgeable and presentable.

Here’s a list of 10 of the most damaging mistakes to make regarding your website design:


1. Confusing Message

A customer should be able to immediately determine what your website is trying to say from the get-go.

Figuring out what promotion or proclamation your page is trying to relay should not resemble the effort involved in an Olympic event. Simplicity is far more digestible than intricacy.

Ask a friend or family member to describe to you the impression they receive from each page or section of your site. Does it match up with your business’s intentions?

2. Slow loading times

Even if your website is damn near award-winning, a page that gives a turtle a run for its money isn’t going to catch attention, let alone keep it.

The probability of visitors abandoning your site reaches 106% between loading times of 1 – 6 seconds. (Bluecorona.com)

To make matters worse, page speed is used by Google as a key ranking factor.

Additionally, Google has noted 3 seconds is the accepted best practice for load times to keep visitors on-site. (Neilpatel.com)

3. Lack of (or, unclear) call to action

A great website experience- especially for first-time visitors- should clearly tell the customer what to do, where to go, and how to feel.

“Get Started”, “Contact Us Today”, and “We’re excited to share this offer with you!” are all great ways to steer focus.

4. Distractions from the main content

Your visitors are going to your site for a specific purpose, and anything that diverts their attention from that goal is seen as a nuisance.

Unless a message is providing a jaw-dropping discount or incentive, refrain from populating your site with pop-ups.

For instance, there is a time and a place to invite visitors to mailing lists. Shoving a pop-up invitation upon entry to your site (possibly for the first time before they have even developed an opinion of your company) is a recipe for disaster. 

5. Inappropriate or hard-to-read fonts

In addition to the obvious frustration-inducing factor of being unable to read the text, you significantly limit accessibility.

Fonts consisting of an elaborate, cursive style are not digestible to everyone’s eyes- this is especially damaging if you are trying to establish rapport with new visitors.

6. Navigation that isn’t visitor-friendly

Scavenger hunts are great for Easter, but not great for visitors trying to locate pertinent information on your site, such as contact information. Key pieces of information should be clearly labeled and easy to reach.

Navigation menus that are too small, improperly labeled/colored, or worse, 404-resulting, all heavily detract from your site’s credibility.

7. Unhelpful on-site search engine

If your page includes an on-site search engine to help visitors navigate your site, make sure that it is functioning optimally.

If a customer’s search results in irrelevant information or a diversion into a jungle of ads, your customers are likely to find a more accessible (and, professional) website.

8. Poor grammar

As your online sales rep, your website frequently provides visitors with their first in-depth look at your business.

Even seemingly small punctuation or grammar issues chip away at the credibility bolstered by the rest of your site.

9. Misuse of video/animated navigation

While messages in the video format are incredibly useful for drawing attention, too much of them turns people off- very quickly. Think of walking in New York and being assaulted by flashing videos and banners- it’s hard to see advertisements as separate entities instead of just a huge, headache-inducing patchwork of noise.

Plus, incorrectly implemented video and moving graphics stagger loading times. Unless the message is incredibly complimented in video format, this is one feature to scale back on.

10. Lack of H1 headings and H2 subheadings

Unorganized headings is another way to turn people off of your site. Walls of text with low “skim-ability” are experience-killers.

Plus, headings (or, lack thereof) are used to rank businesses in search engines. By providing further, detailed information, headings and subheadings help bots to determine what your site is about.


Fusion Group USA

Our dedicated team of web designers is ready to help- whether that means building your website from the ground up or rejuvenating your existing page (Makeover: Fusion Group USA edition). These websites we’ve designed are testaments to our ability to deliver outstanding results in either of the aforementioned website situations.

Regardless if your goal is lead generation, maximized conversion, or something else, you can rest assured that your website will be the best “online sales rep” that money can buy!

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