The Negative Effects of Bad Website Design on Your Business

A bad website design can severely impact your business by reducing credibility, wasting money, losing potential customers, and harming SEO rankings.
5 min read
Written by
Chase Stephenson
Published on
May 16, 2024

The Negative Effects of Bad Website Design on Your Business

By Chase Stephenson
May 16, 2024

Consumer expectations for a responsive, immersive, and visually appealing website experience have never been higher. In fact, 72% report that a badly designed website affects their opinion of a business. If your website is poorly designed, you may lose potential customers, waste money, increase bounce rates, decrease conversion rates, and damage your search engine optimization (SEO) rankings. Clearly, a bad website design can negatively affect your business. This article explores what makes a website design bad and outlines four significant negative effects.

Signs of a Bad Website Design

Web design encompasses layout, branding, user interface (UI), content, and user experience (UX). Here are some common pitfalls:

  • Lack of Mobile-Friendliness: Sticking to one device type is outdated. 85% of adults expect a website to look as good on mobile as on desktop.
  • Difficult Navigation: Poor functionality makes it hard for customers to find what they need. 42% of people will leave a website because of poor navigation.
  • Inconsistent Design or Branding: Visual appearance is crucial. Signature colors, like Starbucks green or Cadbury purple, can increase brand recognition by 80%.
  • Cluttered Layout: 38% of users will leave a website with an unattractive layout. Remove unnecessary elements and reduce visual clutter.
  • Broken Links: 73.72% of users who reach a 404 error page will leave and not return.
  • Excessive Pop-ups or Ads: These disrupt the browsing experience. 58% of users find pop-up ads the most annoying type of digital ad.
  • Slow Loading Speeds: Nearly 70% of consumers admit that page speed impacts their readiness to buy from an online retailer. Daniel K Cheung, senior SEO manager at Adobe, notes that pages that don’t load immediately can cause customers to abandon the site.

To avoid bad design, prioritize user experience, conduct usability testing, gather feedback, keep up with design trends, optimize website speed, use straightforward navigation, and ensure visual consistency.

Four Ways Bad Website Design Hurts Your Business

  1. Reduces Your Credibility A consumer’s judgment of your website’s credibility is 75% based on its design. Your business is judged by the quality and professionalism of your website. Content errors, low-quality images, inconsistent branding, or slow loading speeds can make visitors question your credibility. An outdated site, lack of content, or broken links might suggest your business is inactive. Angela Escobar, content manager at HPOne, states that trustworthiness and expertise are essential for credibility. A site that conveys experience and honesty can influence visitor behavior positively, encouraging them to share personal information, revisit, and hold favorable opinions about your brand.
  2. Wastes Your Money A bad website design that deters potential customers results in lost sales and revenue. Money spent on marketing, web design, web hosting, and content creation is wasted if the site doesn’t convert visitors into customers. For example, ineffective marketing attracts visitors who leave due to a poorly designed site, and poor web design investments result in low conversion rates.
  3. Loses Potential Customers 88% of consumers are less likely to return to a website after a negative experience. Visitors frustrated with slow loading speeds, excessive pop-ups, broken links, or navigation issues will leave and not come back. Consumers want to achieve their goals quickly and easily. A cluttered and unorganized site drives potential customers to competitors. Lauren Pottle, digital marketing consultant at Wizard Pi, warns that visitors deterred by a poorly designed website will likely choose competitors, resulting in lost business opportunities.
  4. Harms Your SEO Rankings Bad website design can sabotage your SEO efforts. Google’s ranking factors include quality content, user experience, bounce rate, page loading speed, site architecture, grammar and spelling, and mobile usability. Poor design impacts these factors negatively, causing your site to rank lower on search engine results pages (SERPs). This makes it harder for customers to find you.
    To improve SEO, ensure high-quality content, provide a good user experience, reduce bounce rates, improve loading speeds, structure your site well, use proper grammar and spelling, and optimize for mobile use.

In Conclusion

Good website design is crucial for enhancing user experience, establishing trust and credibility, improving search engine rankings, increasing conversions, and keeping visitors engaged. Regularly update your content, ensure easy navigation, and make your offerings clear to maintain a positive online presence.