Tools, techniques and tutorials

Sale Stoppers: Why Some Websites Never Generate Any Business

man unhappy with website sales stares at screen, line drawing

“Why have I invested all this money in a website? It never generates any leads or sales for my business!?! What a waste!”

Have you ever found yourself screaming in frustration at your website because it’s not giving you any return on investment?

Guess what, you’re part of a vast army of disappointed website owners.

Determining the cause of website non-performance isn’t always easy, but we have to start somewhere, and usually in our consulting business at Horizon Web Marketing we start, not with paid search or “organic” SEO, but by looking at the website and asking ourselves: “How can this website do a better job earning money for its owners RIGHT NOW?”

We call this process “conversion rate optimization” (CRO), and it’s all about doing more with the traffic you already have BEFORE you go out and try to attract a bunch of new visitors.

We know from our own experience that this process can bear rich fruit for small business, and so we decided to host a free webinar to give you some actionable tips for identifying and correcting simple, common mistakes that might be standing in the way of your website’s ability to convert visitors to customers.

Join us for free, and ask your questions at the end of the webinar.  I’d love to have you attend, and I’m sure you’ll find it a profitable hour.

This webinar is limited to 100 attendees at the live session.  It will be recorded and freely available for only 30 days after the broadcast date, so make sure you sign up today:

Followbright founder Erin Pheil on splitboard crosscountry outing

Splitboarding and Web Design

Splitboarding vs Snowboarding

Splitboard crosscountry skisMy friend Erin Pheil (owner of Followbright, a web design company) and I were discussing splitboarding, a passion of hers, and how she views another passion, web design.

First of all, “What is a splitboard?” I asked. She explained that a splitboard is a special type of snowboard designed to be split in two lengthwise, to form two separate planks. When special skins are attached to the two planks the splitboard (now in two pieces) can be used to climb ascending slopes.

Why would one want to use a splitboard? Answer: to do back country snowboarding which in recent years has taken off in popularity. It is in the back country where pristine powder is more likely to be found. (Note – Wikipedia: snowboard sales are declining in recent years, while splitboard sales are rising.)

In order to better understand snowboarding vs splitboarding, here are some differences between them:

Location• Ski resort• Anywhere, especially back country
Ski lift• Required• Not required
Fresh powder• Limited access• Virtually unlimited access
Downhill route• Pre-defined by ski resort• Self-defined
Prep Needed• Minimal• Fair amount

So, how do you prep for splitboarding?

Splitboarding requires a fair amount of preparation and planning. Erin explains some major considerations.

Followbright founder Erin Pheil on splitboard crosscountry outing

Ascending a hill on splitboards, almost like uphill cross country skiing

Successful and safe splitboarding requires that you must:

  • Have the understanding that you just can’t show up and go wherever you’d like, like you can at a ski resort
  • Plan your route
  • Inform people of your whereabouts, and always let people know where you are going
  • Check weather conditions
  • Check avalanche conditions
  • Have avalanche certification (preferably Level 2)
  • Understand your group’s dynamics
  • Be highly knowledgeable in back country safety and rescue
  • Constantly assess the situation at all times


Watch Erin enjoy the goods after a two hour long skin on her splitboard in the backcountry of Colorado.

Splitboarding and Web Design

Interestingly  enough, Erin thinks of her web design business in splitboarding terms.  What does this mean?

Erin feels that a special type of client is a good fit for her business.  Her best web clients tend to have a splitboarder (not snowboarder) mentality, as explained below. 

An ordinary snowboarder might be satisfied with a very basic experience, at any ordinary ski resort. Similarly, an ordinary business might be satisfied with an ordinary website design. A client with a splitboarder mentality might be looking for a special experience, on fresh powder away from the tourist crowds. Such a client might be seeking a special website to do special things.


(Not a Good Fit for Followbright)


(Good Fit for Followbright)

  • Considers website as an electronic brochure, full of pretty pictures
  • Views website as a 24/7 salesperson who never sleeps
  • OK with simplistic website, developed by ordinary web developer with “one-size fits all” mentality
  • Requires complex website with many moving parts that work well together by customized programming
  • Lowest price = primary motivator
  • Budget = an investment yielding an ROI that will pay for the web project many times over.
  • Understands that a larger investment will be involved.
  • Typically in a great hurry, having treated web marketing as an afterthought
  • May be in a hurry, but willing to allow enough time to get the job done right the first time
  • Not coachable
  • Coachable
  • Not willing to listen
  • Willing to listen, has intellectual humility
  • May hem and haw, often delay a decision, may have second thoughts afterwards
  • Decisive, confident.
  • Interested in expediency over all else, not appreciative of the subtleties of a job well done or best web design practices
  • Appreciates a job well done and expresses that appreciation
  • OK with cheap copywriters and mediocre content
  • Understands that well written content is critical to search engines and to web visitors

Splitboarding Approach Yields Results

Uphill with skins under the skis

Splitboarding uphill, forging your own path

Some of Erin’s results can be seen on her website and include:

  • Sales increase of 29% to 100%, often within one month to six months
  • Gross revenue up $400K in 20 months for one client
  • 190% new clients in 12 months for another client
  • CEOs testimonials saying “You saved our business” and “I can sleep for the first time in months because of you.”