6 Website Fails that are Scaring Your Customers Away

Published Oct 31, 2018. Updated Jun 14, 2019.

6 Website Fails that are Scaring Your Customers Away

Every business owner knows that to stay in business, you need a steady stream of traffic visiting your website and converting into customers. But when you’re busy brewing up new offers, you may not realize that something sinister is lurking on your website and leaving your visitors truly spooked.

Want to identify this mystery monster and learn how to stop it in its tracks? Read on, if you dare.

1. It takes forever to load

Your visitors may love a good thriller, but it’s not so cool when your website keeps them in suspense. Web pages that take too long to load are one of our biggest pet peeves, and it seems most consumers feel the same way. Studies show that 53% of mobile pages are abandoned if they take longer than 3 seconds to load.

Unfortunately, the average page load time is 19 seconds — about as long as it takes to sing your ABCs.


To make matters worse, once those visitors are gone, they’re not coming back. About 61% of users are unlikely to return to a site they have trouble accessing, and 40% will visit a competitor’s site instead.

To decrease your page load time, start by removing or compressing large files and removing Flash if you still use it. Even just these simple tweaks can make a world of difference in how quickly your website loads.

2. It’s not mobile-friendly

One of the scariest things we see in our line of work is websites that aren’t optimized for your mobile users.

If you’ve read our blog before, you’ve probably already heard that more than half of all website visits come from mobile devices now, rather than the traditional desktop computer. But that’s far from the only reason to invest in a mobile-friendly site.

About 40% of visitors will choose a different search result if the first is not mobile-friendly. If your site doesn’t display nicely on the latest iPhone, you’re going to lose traffic (and ultimately, customers) over it.

That click-and-leave behavior doesn’t sit well with Google, which monitors how long visitors stay on your site to determine how relevant your page is to the search query for which it shows up. When Google sees visitors leaving almost as soon as they land, it decides that your website must not be the right fit for that search. It starts showing your website lower and lower on the list of results, which means fewer and fewer people see it and click.

mobile web design

3. It has an unattractive layout

Even if your website loads quickly and is easy to use on a smartphone, there’s a chance that it could still frighten your customers with its ghoulish appearance. It only takes visitors 0.05 seconds (or about 50 milliseconds) to form an opinion about your website — an opinion that is based largely on how your website looks.

If the opinion they form isn’t a favorable one, you stand to miss out on a huge chunk of business. 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile website, while 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the layout and/or content are unattractive.

To avoid having your customers run away in terror, consider how you can spruce up the look of your site. Are your current brand colors easy on the eyes or do they harsh visitors’ vibes? Do you use easy-to-read sans-serif fonts? How’s the white space on your page? Do visitors’ eyes have a place to rest if they need it?

If you answered “No” to any of these questions, you may need to consider investing in a website redesign.

4. It showcases out-of-date information

Is your website haunted by the ghosts of content past? It is if the information you’ve included is out of date. When people visit your website they expect to see content that’s current. A page that hasn’t been updated in 3 years tells them that your business has grown stagnant and that you don’t care.

website content

Examine each page of your current website and ask yourself whether the content there is really up to date. Have you added or discontinued any services or products? Have any of the team members on your About page left the company, or have you made any new hires? Has your company moved offices since you added your address to the Contact page? When was the last time you published a new blog post?

Each of these are an opportunity to update your site’s information and tell customers more about your company. And it just might get you in good with Google, since it prioritizes sites that are updated regularly.

5. It’s difficult to navigate

A great website quickly guides visitors to exactly what they’re looking for. Unfortunately, what we see most often are websites that leave visitors trapped in a labyrinth of links and navigation bars.

Make your website easier to navigate by limiting the number of tabs in your main menu (we suggest 4-7 tabs, depending on your company’s needs). These should only be your most-visited pages, which typically include:

If you have several services and products to offer, you may be tempted to use a drop-down menu to showcase them all. But the end result is a cluttered-looking navigation as your visitors explore your site. Instead, we suggest grouping all of your services onto one page that your visitors can browse at their leisure.

Keeping your main menu bar clean helps visitors easily find what they’re looking for. But if you have other pages that still need to be listed, you might consider adding them to a menu in your footer. Footer menus typically include pages like:

Have you thought of any ways that you can simplify your own site navigation?

user experience

6. There’s no credibility

Want to know what’s truly terrifying for your customers? The prospect of doing business with a company that lacks credibility.

For people to feel comfortable spending money, they have to first trust that you’re good at what you do. If your site doesn’t show this clearly, you’re going to have a hard time convincing them that you’re the right company for the job.

Fortunately, adding credibility to your site is fairly simple. If your business has won any awards — like readers’ choice awards, local area awards, or Better Business Bureau awards — display them prominently on your homepage.

If any of your past customers or clients have left positive reviews on your Facebook or Yelp pages, add them to your site. These can be a great way to add social proof to your homepage or service pages, and that kind of word-of-mouth marketing goes a long way with your audience — 74% of consumers say reviews and testimonials are a key factor in their purchasing decision.


You can also build credibility by starting to blog on your company website. Blogging is a great way to showcase your knowledge and expertise while educating your customer base about what you do and how you do it. Not surprisingly, 81% of consumers trust the information and advice they read on blogs. And since 47% of buyers consume 3-5 pieces of content before deciding to make a purchase, your blog may be just the push they need to send them right onto your waiting checkout page.

Stop scaring the customers already!

Are you struggling to keep traffic on your site long enough to convert them into customers? You’re not alone, and we have the solution. We’ll work with you to turn your nightmare of a website into a daydream that your visitors love to browse. Ready to get started? Contact us to learn more.

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