4 Reasons Your Website Is Scaring People Away

Posted: Jan 10 2014, 11:31am CST | by , in News


Most small business owners aren’t web designers, so we entrust our online presence to a professional. As the internet has evolved, however, consumers have become savvier about what they will/will not tolerate in a website experience. While most visitors will remain on even the most annoying site until they get the information they need, there are some things that may scare even the most determined visitors away.

To help refine your site, be aware that there are a few things that may be prompting guests to frantically search for the back button. Unless you want to lose potential customers to competitors, it might be time to contact your web designer.


According to Nielsen research, nearly half of smartphone and tablet users say they use their devices as second screens while watching TV. Potential customers may also be visiting your website while at work, while listening to music, or while hanging out at the local coffee shop. This means that blaring narration or music through your guests’ speakers is unlikely to endear them to you.

This is especially relevant in a time when more businesses are realizing the value in placing video on their sites. Some site owners are aware that noise can be a nuisance and launch video with sound muted by default. Visitors then have the option of activating sound if they choose. While this is a less intrusive option, be aware that video can slow your page load times, which can negatively impact search engine rankings. Videos also have the ability to crash web browsers on systems with instability issues. If a visitor’s web browser crashes while loading your page, what are the odds that visitor will try again once that web browser is restored?


What does a customer see when he or she first visits your page? Dozens of small pictures? Long paragraphs of text in small font? The problem with both of these is that they tend to overwhelm the visitor, leaving them with nothing to focus on. A clean, focused design sends the message that you are a professional business they can trust.

For best results, use as few images as possible, with each image reinforcing your message. Text should be well spaced and easy to read and colors should enhance the site rather than distract from it. There is a psychology behind color that can result in greater conversions if utilized correctly.

Your content should also be substantive, as well. If you’re still writing for outdated search engine optimization tricks, you’ve already lost anyone who might read it. This generally refers to chunks of text with one key phrase repeated 15 or so times, with each mention in bold, but it is especially relevant when the content being provided doesn’t have any real value whatsoever. “If you’re looking for a Texas law firm that can meet your Texas law firm needs, contact this Texas law firm today.”

Read over your content and ask yourself, is this information that will satisfy a reader looking for true information? These SEO tactics can result in a penalty from your favorite search engine and may be seen as generally poor content, resulting in lower search engine rankings. Even if your site ranks at the top, if customers find your content unreadable it’s unlikely they’ll stick around after reading a sentence or so.


To pick on a non-business site as an example, Jim Carrey’s official website demonstrates how being too artistic could scare potential customers away. Carrey’s site has won awards for its landing page design, but a celebrity’s guests don’t mind having to look past his artistry to find the information they need. A business often doesn’t have that luxury.

You know your customers better than your design team. When someone visits your website, what information is he seeking? Directions to your office? Prices? Examples of your work? If a customer can’t readily find that information from your landing page, all the artistry in the world isn’t going to win that customer’s business.

The same is true for any call to action on your site. Avoid overwhelming visitors by making sure each element of your page sends the same message. “Try our business. Call today for a free quote. See examples of our previous clients.” All of these tell the public that you want its business and have the background necessary to do the job.


As tempting as it can be to monetize your site by covering it in ads, all of that clutter reduces your credibility. For evidence, take a look at a few “get rich quick” scam sites that promise customers the world in exchange for a small fee. Usually those sites are covered in ads and autoplaying videos that give the site an overall cheap look.

But scam sites aren’t the only culprits. In recent years, news sites have been notorious for loading their sites down with ads, some of which either launch repeatedly, despite users’ attempts to pause them, or pop up in a way that obscures visitors’ views. Too much of this and these sites scare away the very readers they’re trying to attract. Sure, a visitor may really want to read that article, but will he persist despite the many obstacles you’re throwing in his path?

Another way to annoy customers is by requiring them to register or provide an e-mail address to view content on your site. Gathering e-mail addresses to build out your mailing list may be your ultimate goal, but there are ways to get this information without bullying your visitors into giving it. Besides, unless a visitor is desperate to see the content you’re offering, they’ll probably choose to go elsewhere over adding themselves to your mailing list.

A well-designed website provides a clear, concise message while also being aesthetically pleasing. By keeping design simple and classy, businesses will portray themselves as professional and successful, which will naturally result in increased conversions and repeat site visits. For businesses that prefer a more hands-on approach, many professional templates are available that will do the job, whether you’re using WordPress or a hosting service for your company website.

Source: Forbes

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