10 Things That Turn Visitors Away From Your Website

10 Things That Turn Visitors Away From Your Website

what not to put on your website

10 Things That Turn Visitors Away From Your Website

10 Things That Turn Visitors Away From Your Website

I recently published a post on Twitter asking "What are things you HATE when you visit a website?".

This was a very active conversation!  Over 5,000 views and over 60 comments.  Keep in mind many of my Twitter followers are in the marketing industry, or are bloggers, influencers or entrepreneurs.  So this feedback is very valid, and I think we can all learn from this what might turn a potential customer AWAY from your website.

Let's explore 10 things that people HATE when visiting a website.  These are things that you should AVOID to keep people on your site longer!


#1 Avoid Tiny Type / Text that is hard to read

This is a great point, especially for someone that is 40-something and increasingly finding text hard to read on my cell phone device.  Even though many computers and devices have the capability to increase or zoom in - it is still a better practice to make sure the text you are presenting in the first place is a reasonable sized font.  When I am creating my blogs & website pages, the default text size is 12pt.  However I always increase it to 14 for better user experience.  Remember too that the size of font is an accessibility issue.  


don't use tiny text on a website

#2 Avoid Poor Color Choices for Background & Text

Great advice!  Poor color contrast can be hard to read, and is terrible for web accessibility.  I came across a website recently that had a light grey menu background but the text was an off white and it was impossible to read each menu bar item.  See below an example of poor colour contrast choices vs good choices.

website mistake colour contract

#3 Avoid PopUps

This was by far the most popular topic of the Twitter conversation.  I lost count at 20 responses where people strongly advised they HATE popups of any kind when visiting a website.  So best to just avoid these if you can.  If you are going to use a popup, please make sure that it is as easy to close as possible and does not disrupt the user experience - but just know that people in general hate popups - so why bother?

In addition there is argument that popups interfere with user experience and may affect your website SEO in a negative way.

Using pop-ups in an inappropriate way can trigger a penalty from Google. To avoid a penalty, Google recommends using pop-ups that don't make your website's content less accessible and are easy to close. We can assume that pop-ups could have an indirect impact on your SEO if they degrade your visitors' experience. - Source www.wisepops.com

#4 Avoid Ads

This was mentioned multiple times as something that people hate when visiting a website.  I'm of the opinion it really depends, because I know many bloggers that rely on the revenue of ads for a source of income.  I think what people mean in general is they hate too many ads.  Invasive ads.  Ads that really take away from the focus and content of a site.  So if you are going to have ads on your website keep in mind placement and user experience.

avoid too many ads on your website

#5 Cookie Banner

I absolutely agree with this one - it drives me crazy!  Does a website or business really need one of these banners?  Since I am not a legal expert I will not give any advise here, but direct you to research this topic for yourself.

Here is an article that might help:


Whatever you decide you need on your website keep in mind that users don't like "Accept Cookie" banner popups. Consider what is best for your user and your UX but at the same time keeping your company compliant with relevant laws.

#6 Poor Navigation

Again mentioned a few times in the thread.  How many clicks does it take to find pertinent information.  How are your menus structured?  Is your contact information easy to find. Do some testing on customer flow & user experience to make sure your navigation is easy to understand.  It is always best when creating menus on your website to KEEP IT SIMPLE.  

#7 Lack of Information / Product Description

As a consumer I agree with this.  There is nothing more frustrating than to have interest in a product and there is very little information on the product on the website.  It does not entice me to buy.  Product descriptions especially if you run an e-commerce website are a vital piece of your product pages.  Not only do complete and accurate product descriptions help your customer, and therefore your sales, they are also good for SEO.  So putting in the time and effort to completing all of the sections about your product are absolutely worth it.  With new AI tools available, this can even further reduce the time and improve your results.  Interest in learning more about how to use AI tools in your digital marketing? Check out this blog post I wrote using mostly AI over on Dufferin Media:

Harnessing The Power Of AI For Your Digital Marketing Strategy

product descriptions

#8 Slow Loading Pages

In this fast paced digital world, people do not have the patience to wait for the dial up modem!  Slow loading pages are one of the biggest and first reasons that a visitor will close your web page.  In addition slow loading pages are a huge red flag to Google, and your SEO will be negatively impacted.  

If you have Google Search Console set up it will warn you if any pages are loading slowly.  You can also try this tool from Google.

You should try to correct this immediately on all pages that are loading slowly.  Here is a great article of what might be causing the slow down courtesy of Dreamhost:


#9 Not Responsive / Not Mobile Friendly

It is really easy today to have a mobile friendly and responsive website, as nearly all popular website creation programs automatically provide this coding.  If your website is not mobile friendly - chances are your website itself is outdated, and it's time to get it completely rebuilt.  Remember a website has a fairly short shelf life of 3-5 years max.  If it is older than that you are risking out dated technology.

non responsive website

#10 Auto Playing Video

I can't believe this is still a thing...but I actually came across a website recently where the video on the front page automatically started playing.  This is just...wrong.  Please turn this off.

In Conclusion

I found this little social experiment very helpful.  It gave a broad idea of a list of what to avoid when you are building your website.  What I found interesting is the list really resonated with me both as a consumer, and as a digital marketer.  In general most of the things people HATE on websites - Google does too.  So if you follow some of these tips you actually will be improving your visitor satisfaction and pleasing Google - hopefully gaining better SEO, outranking your competition, and getting more sales and customers.


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