If you think you can get away with a site that screams “1997 called they want their website design back” think again. Online visitors are getting more and more savvy and the expectation to have a website that meets today’s design standard is very high. In fact, while you could be at the top of your industry, if you’re site doesn’t meet the expectations of today’s internet visitor, you’re credibility could take a hit. Add to the mix that you have mere seconds to meet expectations, communicate specific a message, and make someone you may never have met do what you want them to do – your site must not only look great – it better darn well perform great too.

Not convinced your ugly site isn’t OK? Check out the list of four negative effects of an ugly website below and see you’re willing to take the risk.

**UPDATE** We updated this blog post on 7/28/16 to include a 5th effect.

5 Negative Effects of An Ugly Website

1. Low visitor retention and high bounce rate

red tricycle on sidewalk

If the site does not look good, it is more unlikely that people will stick around. There are several reasons why Apple products sell the way they do making them the most valuable company in the world. One reason is that their gear is aesthetically pleasing – it just looks great. From the box to the hardware inside the box, everything is designed so that it looks great. Apple knows, especially online, people buy with their eyes first. If you can’t make your site visually appealing then you might as well take it down, because it is costing you business.


2. Loss of interest and reduction in repeat visitor traffic

girls jumping in the sunset air

People trust companies that are current and innovative, so if your site doesn’t convey this, you’re losing business. Do you know what the gap between expectation and reality is called – frustration. As I mentioned above, you have seconds (between 3-5) to match the expectation the person has about you or your company with what they see on their screen. If they get to your site and their expectations are not met, you just frustrated them – tough to make a sale to a frustrated person.


3. Bad photos = no sharing of your site’s pages

frog taking pictures

If you are not intentional about this on your site, visitors may not give your content a chance.
Great content is nice, but great content that is visually appealing or even stunning media can not only keep a visitor, it will get them to come back. Even better is that they share your site. This is a real win for your website.


4. Unorganized websites cause low conversion rates

legos on floor

If the website is not well organized and messed up, it will not impress prospects and possibly won’t buy your products or offers. Have you ever been to a store and not know where anything is? Unless your Costco and do this on purpose (so you buy crap you don’t need) then you will have visitors do two things. Leave and not come back. Be sure to bake into your beautiful design, thoughtful visual cues so that a visitor knows how to navigate your site, find what they need, and contact you about it.

Your website can reflect on the image of your company. If you have a website that makes your eyes bleed, that will send an impression to the visitors that you might not be taking care of the company = so how will your take care of them?

Like it or not, your website is an extension of your brand. Part of an effective brand is keeping your promises to your customers or audience.

5. Penalties from Google search rankings


Google started penalizing websites that aren’t responsive (mobile-friendly). And let’s be honest. Most unresponsive websites are…ugly. The whole pinch and zoom thing is so 2011. Out of all the websites updates you may need at this point, the most important one is to get your site responsive. Even if you don’t redesign it just yet. It really needs to at reformat on a mobile device. If not, you can expect Google to push your website to the bottom of the page list.

If you are doing the diligent thing and driving people to your website, make sure your brand continues to “keep its promise” by giving them an online experience you can be proud of.

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