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1. Poor structure and design

Design is subjective – we all have our own tastes. But poor design can immediately create a barrier to site success. Design isn’t just about making it look pretty – it’s about how the site works too, and by making your customers think about what to do or where to go next, you are bound to increase that bounce rate.

2. Poor/unusable navigation

Not every user will find what they want immediately. But if they can’t navigate your site easily, they’ll leave. Make it easy for users so that they invest the time to find what they came for.

‘Mega menus’ may look good, but if they make it impossible to navigate easily, they defeat their purpose. Make sure your site structure is clear and to the point. As the saying goes, ‘Don’t make me think.’

3. Slow loading pages

Speed is a hot topic, with both search engines and users judging websites by how fast they load. If you have slow loading pages, you’ll see increasing numbers of visitors give up before the content has fully loaded.

Every second you knock off your loading time can make a huge difference to your conversion rate, as various studies have shown. Faster content means greater visitor satisfaction. So, keep it simple. And make it snappy.

4. Not built for users

Don’t build your site for search engines, build it for users. They are the people who will share and link to your site.

Long gone are the days where stuffing your page with low quality content will help you in the search engines. In fact, it can harm your ranking and annoy your visitors. Make your content for your users and you’ll see a much better return.

5. Cross browser issues

Simply put, if your website doesn’t work in the popular browsers then you’ll drive visitors away. Cross browser compatibility is a big issue.

Be sure to test in all popular versions of browsers. If you’re running Google Analytics  you can see exactly which browsers people are using to visit your site.

Let this guide your test plan. There’s nothing more damaging to conversions than having 40% of your traffic coming via Internet Explorer 6, and your website not working in that browser.


These are just five of the many web design mistakes that can drive web visitors away. Getting people onto your website is hard enough, so don’t lose them with silly mistakes and overlooked development issues. There are many other things to look out for, but remember; if your website is built for users and is clear and to the point, you won’t have many issues.


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