For the majority businesses, the main purpose of a website is to provide information and build a sense of trust with your potential customers. Unfortunately, a lot of websites are actually having the opposite effect, and are instead raising red flags in the minds of their consumer that can and will turn them away from a purchase. 

In this article you will learn how to stop turning off your visitors by avoiding the three most common red flags on the internet today.


Red Flag #1 - The Browser Displays a Security Warning 



In Chrome, my browser of choice, this manifest as a message telling the user that their "connection is not private" and forces them to either click a button to "return to safety", or click another link to proceed at their own risk. 


If you have been using internet for over a year it is highly likely that you have encountered this screen at least once in your online career. Now, I do not have on my mask or tights, but my spidy senses tell me that your reaction to this was less than positive. 


This screen is the #1 killer of trust and will turn away more than half of your potential visitors. 


A lot of website owners have seen this screen before, but simply clicked "proceed at your own risk".  Unfortunately, because they have clicked this link, they will no longer be presented with this screen when visiting their site and so are under the impression that it is no longer an issue. 

Unfortunately however, it is still being shown to everyone who has not yet clicked that link. Until you fix the root of the problem, it will continue to turn off the majority of your potential customers.


#2 Frequently Asking for Account information

Specifically, I am referring to websites that ask you to sign up despite not doing anything that would typically require it (e.g., browsing the website, sending a contact message etc.). Those of you familiar with illegal sports and movie streaming websites are quite familiar with this tactic, so the majority of people who encounter it will automatically have negative association with websites that deploy this technique.

Do not display a "sign up" pop up to your visitors when they are randomly browsing your website, and do not force them to create an account unless it is absolutely necessary. This is a big red flag and major turnoff for the majority of people visiting your site.


#3 Spelling and Grammar Errors



Generally speaking, spelling and grammar mistakes are honest errors that are not made with any malicious intent. Unfortunately, visitors do not care about your intent and will instead see this as a person/company who does not pay attention to detail. Their assumption will be that this a website where they will likely receive poor, and at best sub-standard service. 

This is a red flag that can have varying degrees of severity. For example, if you have a blog with hundreds of posts, an isolated spelling or grammar issue on a few of them will not raise too many eyebrows. However, a spelling error on your home, about, or contact page will definitely result in wrinkled foreheads and squinting eyes.  If you have ever made this expression before, I don't need to tell you that reaching for your card is now the furthest thing from your mind. 



Of course, there are other things that can raise red flags in the minds of your visitors, some of which are very industry and business specific. If you have a website that is underperforming, there is a good chance that you are unwittingly are turning off some your potential customers. 

If you would like to have your website inspected in order to iron out these potential wallet closing issues, get in touch with me and request a website review. I provide this service as either a short 1 hour live session, or a 2 weeklong in-depth analysis. 

These are the 3 most common red flags I see in the wild, and all three are relatively easy to fix. If you are creating a new website, do your best to avoid them. If you have a website and know that one of these three things are a problem, get them fixed ASAP.