9 web design mistakes that can kill your conversion rates

Last checked and updated on November 25, 2020

A lot of people think that one’s conversion rate optimization (CRO) is just highly dependent on content. While this statement is true, one mustn’t overlook the fact that having the wrong design elements in your site can also hold you back from success.

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According to a study, you have approximately less than a second to convince users to stay on your page. 

Creating trust online is harder because people can’t see your face directly. All they could do is to judge you based on your web design. 

That’s why there’s no doubt about it ‒ your web design can have a significant impact on your conversion rates. 

Now, let’s know what these mistakes are:

Slow page speed

No one likes to wait for a page to load. It’s especially true in a mobile-first world. Google’s John Mueller suggests that for you to achieve optimal results, a site must load within two seconds or less. 

Additionally, another study says that a one-second delay in your page loading time can cause your conversions to dip by seven percent. So let’s say, you’re an eCommerce company that’s making approximately $100,000 per day. Just a one-second delay in your site is going to cost you about $2.5 million worth of losses every year. 

Here are the most common reasons why most sites experience a slow loading time:

  • Too much use of Flash
  • Very large image sizes
  • Broken Links
  • Using too many plug-ins
  • Bad coding

Now, here are some helpful tips to improve your page load times:

  • Properly optimizing images
  • Limit HTTP requests
  • Minimize 301 redirects
  • Use server-side caching

Too many distractions

One of the essential elements of web design is having sufficient white space around texts, buttons, images, and titles. It’s because it can dramatically improve a site’s overall conversion rates. Crazy Egg even claims that it has a significant impact on the overall user experience and a buyer’s purchasing decision. 

Another study from Stanford University shows that when white space is used with page design, it develops online trust among users. Ideally, avoid any form of clutter or small print. Also, keep your margins broad enough, and always emphasize ‘excellent design’ in all your web pages. 

Unclear call to action

Another vital element that you must have in your site is a call-to-action (CTA.) Here’s the thing ‒ no one is going to make an action (sign up in your newsletter, make a purchase, call you, etc.) in your page unless you tell them to. 

Right from the start, you have to make it clear what you want your visitors to do. Not having a prominent call-to-action button in your site wastes your chance of turning those visitors to leads, subscribers, and eventually customers. 

Here are some things to consider if you want to craft a winning CTA:

  • The color button of your CTA must be contrasting.
  • The text button should clearly explain what will happen after clicking.
  • The button should be placed on a strategic location so that people can easily see it.

Using weak or common images

We all know that an image is worth a thousand words. If you’re using images that are used by hundreds of websites, then it won’t work to your advantage. So don’t just settle by using stock images. It’s essential that you use images that are high-quality, meaningful, compelling, and authentic. 

Make sure that every image that you publish in your site serves its purpose, such as encouraging users to convert.

Choosing style over substance

Don’t choose various design elements simply because it has a ‘cool’ design, or that it’s ‘in trend’ these days. Ideally, you must select designs that meet your web usability design standards. That way, you’re making sure that various elements fit flawlessly within the given framework of your web design concept.

Remember, it’s not the cool quotient of a design that will boost your conversion ratio. Instead, it’s different design elements that come perfectly to serve a larger purpose ‒ to improve your conversions in the long run. 

Not caring about SEO enough

Not caring about SEO enough can hurt your overall conversion rates and visibility in Google. So, it’s crucial that you use your analytics to know where you’re getting customers from. 

Remember that it’s one thing to use SEO to gain organic traffic on your site. However, it’s another to know what converts the best. 

Don’t just go out of your way and dominate generic keywords like “web design.” Chances are, these are immensely hard to rank due to the fierce competition. 

Instead, consider something that’s specific, and more closely related to your niche. 


Always maintain a consistent style throughout the web pages of your site. If the different elements of your site (headers, text copy, content) have different attributes, it won’t look great. 

For instance, if you’re using a blue subheader on one page, and a different color on another, you’re going to come out inconsistent. It’s also going to create a distraction. 

While it’s still possible that you mix and match various elements from time to time, it still has to be done within reason. Maintain a consistent style throughout your site. Otherwise, you might suffer a negative reputation. 

Social media unfriendliness

Do you have social sharing buttons on your site’s pages? Do you have a blog? If you answer to these questions are negative, then there’s a strong reason why you’re not attracting enough traffic on your website. 

Why aren’t the conversions happening? Well, your site design needs to be social media friendly. Part of your job is to see to it that users can easily share your content with social media. 

So, focus on creating social media experiences on your site. When you engage and interact with users regularly, you’re attracting more traffic and improving your conversions. 

Not updating the site

No one wants to stay in a site that hasn’t been updated within three or five years. 

If you’re guilty of this, and you have a site that’s designed almost five years ago, then it’s high time that you upgrade with updated design elements. 

Since technology these days is rapidly changing, it’s tough to keep up with the times. However, that doesn’t give you an excuse to update your design. 

For instance, if you’re receiving high volumes of traffic and yet you fail to keep them in your page, then all your efforts are turned to waste.

When people come across old looking websites, chances are, they’ll click away and move on to its other competitors. 

That’s why maintaining a contemporary looking website it’s crucial if you want to keep your conversions alive.

Over to you

Do you know that committing even the simplest mistakes can ruin your conversions immediately? You can use this article as your guide so you can fix these mistakes now and avoid committing them in the future. 

If your website has made these nine web design mistakes, So if you want to turn those leads into conversions, and conversions into sales then it’s high time to consider a brand new design.

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