Website Mistakes Destroying Your Brand

In the entrepreneurial system, website based offenses are considered especially heinous. At Invent Your Empire, the dedicated designers who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad known as the Website Visitors Unit. Here are their stories from a survey of over 200 people.


  1. An instant pop up to sign up
  2. When it’s ugly
  3. When I can’t immediately figure out what it is, topic, company etc.
  4. Pop-ups that cover everything and have a really tiny “X” button to close it
  5. A video that auto-playing audio
  6. Seeing “your” when it should be “you’re”
  7. Seeing a “made with wix” tab in the corner
  8. Stop being a stingy f*$& and upgrade your page, please. It will make you look 432% more professional – guaranteed
  9. Not being able to find a contact number quickly. Sometimes I just want to talk to someone.
  10. Too busy too much going on
  11. Not mobile friendly. I’m on my phone more than a computer
  12. No contact number. Any kind of automatic sound. Pop-ups that have a timer
  13. Anything that tells me I’ve been entered into a contest as the 1000th visitor or some such and redirects me to a spammy looking information gathering page. I proceed to unlike said business or page on all social media immediately
  14. If they don’t have pops ups. nowhere to sign up to email
  15. I hate when links don’t open in a new tab/window
  16. Poorly written copy
  17. Ads especially on blogs and when I accidentally click on them they take me to other sites and then I can’t get back to the original website
  18. Slow to load
  19. Can’t easily find contact information (I don’t care if it’s a google voice line or a address – give me something that’s not a form)
  20. Outdated technology (remember what websites looked like in the 90’s?)
  21. Ads that float over the website, either in the header or footer
  22. Ads that make the site I was reading reload itself
  23. When it got stuck in 1998
  24. A super slow loading time due to pictures being too large, any typos, or even terrible type choice
  25. Waiting for a page to load not because of the content, but too many Adwords videos and ads.
  26. No buttons
  28. Full-screen pop-up/overlay while I’m trying to read an article
  29. If it’s really cluttered. I like a good layout that is simple, clean, and easy to navigate. Also when it isn’t up to date with the information
  30. When the share buttons are in the way of the content
  31. Too many words
  32. Small print and cluttered graphics
  33. TEN MILLION pop-ups. Like share buttons on the side, scroll box in the bottom right corner, a welcome mat and then a popup. Ugh and soo many ads. UGH, I leave immediately
  34. And that chat box in the corner. Like, I know you’re not sitting there waiting for me to ask questions lol
  35. Summarize a point, and include a dropdown for the deeper explanation. Keeps it clean, makes everybody happy
  36. The not-so-subtle pop-ups that require you to add your email address before you can see the content. Bye bye…
  37. When I can’t find the newsletter form. Sometimes I don’t need a content upgrade because I just know I love that person’s stuff, but you can’t find the forms
  38. No pop-ups unless someone clicks a button because they want to get something. Otherwise, subscription forms or landing pages do the trick.
  39. Sign up for my newsletter….. GRR, no! #noonecaresaboutyourewsletter #havewenotlearnedaboutleadmagnetsyet
  40. Being forced to buy something in too many places or feeling pressure
  41. Pop-ups particularly those that have a guilt button for no thanks as in you wanna pass up on millions?
  42. I hate when a page has more advertising for affiliates than it does their own content
  43. Parallax scrolling
  44. Endless single page websites without proper navigation
  45. When they say: “Do you want _________ I’ll show you how!” The phrase “I’ll show you how” is SO over-used that it’s become a cliche
  46. When I’m on your site 10 minutes and I still can’t figure out what the hell it is you do
  47. That you need to turn off ad blockers to show the content
  48. No phone numbers or locations visible on the homepage
  49. Links that either lead to nowhere, don’t work or open in the same window so you have to keep going back if you are actually not done on the site
  50. A crappy logo, and an overloaded menu
  51. No-follow buttons for social media especially if it’s a blog
  52. A busy background image. Like when someone decides to use a highlight yellow color all over their site background
  53. Typos!! It’s your website for crying out loud-care enough to proofread. And if you don’t know the difference between lose and loose, or affect and effect, find someone who does and have them edit for you
  54. 10 second load times
  55. Hard-to-find menus
  56. The light boxes that pop-up
  57. Bad navigation
  58. When it looks like they threw it together themselves in a day and put no effort into the design
  59. When you click to see a list (top 10 things to help you __) and each one is on a separate page that has to be loaded. Mostly used on dumb clickbait articles, but it drives me mad!
  60. cute terms for things in the menu, that make it unclear and having to click around to try to find what you want because of it
  61. Also, those videos where they say they’re going to give you some amazing info and it goes on and on for about an hour and they never get to the point
  62. Aesthetics: Poor quality images, bad stock photography, comic sans or other similarly shitty fonts, oversized fonts, animated gifs, clip arts, cluttered content, misaligned elements, no white space
  63. “Copyright 2009”
  64. What also irritates me is when the only write part of their blog out and post the rest as a video without a transcript so if you either can’t watch the video or don’t like to because you like skimming through the articles

And the top suspect is...


Google now penalizes websites that have automatic pop-ups on mobile. I recommend that you keep the pop-ups (because they do work) but enable them on “exit-intent” only – that means they only pop up when a user is about to leave your website.

If you’d like to show something before that, try a top bar or the gentle scrolling corner version. This article explains pop-ups in deeper detail.

Website Mistakes Destroying Your Brand

by The Beekeeper time to read: 5 min