June 19, 2022

7 Reasons Your Website isn't Making Money


In today’s video, I’m explaining 7 reasons why your website isn’t making you any money. Let’s go!

So it’s the same old story: you got an amazing website, you think it’s bomb, you think people are going to run to it in droves. And so in this video, I’m gonna break down 7 reasons why your website isn’t making any money, the things you can do to fix that, and ways that you can turn your website into a money printing machine.

I’m going through 7 ways that you can really optimize your website to convert. Now I’m showing you websites that have done millions in conversions, millions in revenue, and hundreds of lead acquisition options here.

So the main reason I wanna show you in real time, as opposed to having this structured list, was to give you real-time things that you can implement right now to improve your website.

First, I wanna show you something I learned a couple of years ago from Rand Segall. He posted a video of the ideal layout for a website. Now you don’t wanna follow this to a “t,” but it does have the fundamentals that you need to make a website conducive to growth. So of course, you wanna have everything that the user needs to make an informed decision before the fold on your website.

So that starts with a title or a headline, or some type of a tagline, a subtitle potentially explaining that tagline, a CTA/Call-To-Action–that could be a button or the main point of contact you want users to make on your website. And then, of course, some type of social proof–this can be a little bit lower on the page, but this can be a testimonial, a link to your case studies and then some type of visual.

Keep in mind that most users are going to visit your website and read from left to right, so the most important thing should be in that top left corner, and everything should flow smoothly so that that user can make an informed decision on if they want to collaborate with you.

So let’s go through some of these things.

1. Messaging

Your messaging isn’t clear, it’s not concise, it doesn’t tell that user exactly what they need to know as soon as they get to the website.

On our agency website here, you can see that it says, “We craft profitable brands and websites for startups.” That’s what we do, that’s pretty much ALL we do. So it makes it easy for the user to come here and know exactly what type of service we’re supposed to provide, to understand that they want to work with us.

So that’s one: make sure that your messaging is tight, make sure that it’s easy to understand, and you don’t have to make this elaborate, crazy type of tagline. Just keep it simple, that’s the biggest thing: keep it 7-10 words, one sentence, something you can say to someone in an elevator pretty easily, without them getting confused.

2. Call-To-Action

You want to have clear calls-to-action throughout your site. As you can see here, we have two calls-to-action here, we have a call-to-action here or a button, and all throughout the website. You’ll see this on any type of website that you’ll find out there, where it’s really easy and clear to make a decision.

So if I go to Slack’s homepage, for example, we’re gonna understand and see all those right here in their design. You can see that I’m on Slack’s features page, you see–boom–clear call-to-action, “Get started,” or “See all features.”

If I click “See all features,” it’s gonna let me scroll through the page and learn more about the brand. They even have this sticky menu up here to make sure that call-to-action is always clear and easy to see as I scroll throughout that website.

So make sure that you have calls-to-action throughout–don’t overload, folks! Keep it consistent across the board, but try to make all of your buttons or calls-to-action go to a place where they can perform some type of action, and convert on your website.

3. Social Proof

Another thing I always recommend–and you’ll be surprised how many agencies I see that do this: they don’t have testimonials, case studies, or anything that proves that they’re great at what they do.

So I always, always recommend doing it above the fold. If you can’t fit that above the fold, you can make sure you include it on your homepage somewhere so folks can learn a bit more about you.

Now on my personal website–johndsaunders.co–if you scroll down, you’ll see testimonials from real customers that we’ve collaborated and worked with. This works really, really well.

Another thing that you can do is focus on getting Google reviews that you can then leverage. An honest review is great, because you can put it on your website. But if you’re using Google for reviews as well, now you have a place to house those reviews and then you also show up locally in that map pack, which is gonna be crucial to your growth.

So step three, make sure you have testimonials, reviews, or some type of social proof that shows folks you know what you’re doing. You can always reference back to this file here, as you can see, I’ve got my social proof here, and then under the fold–meaning once you start to scroll on that website–there’s more social proof.

People need to know what it’s like to work with you and how to collaborate. I’ve had clients or prospects reach out to us and then they’ll go and reach out to our other clients and get testimonials and real, live reviews to make sure that we’re good at what we do, and that they want to work with us.

So make it easy for users to find those testimonials and reviews on your website.

4. Budget

Next thing you wanna do is make your user experience as simple as possible so that users know exactly if they’re the right fit for you. Now I did this, I talked about this, and how to vet folks in my form on my last video–you can check that out right now in the upper right hand corner.

If not, I’ll explain it really quickly here. So this is just our form on the website, I’m gonna keep it simple here and just start to fill this out–Name: awol.com, type–okay, so here’s where it gets funky, right? I’m not sure if that’s the right word, but it’s cool: it works.

So throughout the vetting process on our form on our website, we have this question: “What type of budget have you allocated toward the project?” And then, we have three options here.

Now, someone that has a budget of less than $15K is probably not gonna finish completing this form because they feel like their budget is not where we are as an agency. And it’s true–that’s going to get rid of a lot of tire kickers, a lot of folks that might not fit your ideal budget and it’s gonna help you really hone in on making sure that the clients or prospects that are visiting your website really want to convert and work with you.

So make sure that you have some type of question or something like this on your website. Because what we had before was, we had a website, the form was super basic, and we were getting tons of leads.

But a lot of those leads either didn’t have the budget, they weren’t the right fit, and they weren’t really the perfect client fit for us. So, as I said–and one, have clear messaging, right? That messaging should include who your ideal clientele is.

Ours are startups. Now that call-to-action is great as well, because they’ll be able to click that after they look at some of your testimonials and reviews.

Of course, in this fourth reason your website is not converting, it’s because you’re now being focused and providing an ideal budget of the client that you’d want to work with.

5. Interactions

Another reason that your website is not converting–and this is reason number 5–is probably because you’re not measuring the interactions on your website.

So here’s a business called blackillustrators.com, this is a platform where you can download illustrations featuring people of color. Now we can go ahead and make some design elements and make this site beautiful, but we’re doing that out of the blue, right? We’re not using the data that we have to make those decisions.

So what we did was we added Microsoft Clarity. Microsoft Clarity is a really cool tool that you can use–and you can add to your website–that will tell you where folks are clicking on your website. You can see the heat map–I’ll show you a homepage of the heat map so you have an example of that–and you can see exactly where folks are spending most of their time.

A lot of folks are clicking on the illustration packs, so we want to make sure that page has strong calls-to-action, and make sure that the most popular illustration packs are toward the top. We also see that a lot of people are typing in the search engine, so we want to make sure that we have all the search keywords and terms that we might need.

Also, people love the business category, so a lot of illustrations that we create have to do with that business category. See how we’re using this heat map to make informed decisions on how the interactions on this website should complete.

You can also look at recordings using Microsoft Clarity as well, and see live interactions of people using your website. This is crucial, because I can look and say, “Okay, well this person spent only this amount of time on this page, maybe we could make some changes.”

Now Microsoft Clarity is free, as well as Google Analytics–which you probably know about already–so jump in there, look at the top performing pages, look at your heat map using Clarity, check out your recordings, and see how you can make changes to your website that’ll make it better and more conducive to converting users.

6. Simplicity

The next recommendation I’ll make–and this is number 6–is, just keep it simple, you all.

Sometimes people do too much with their websites–they’ve got too much going on. As you can see here, our menu has 5 items: that’s it. There’s no sub menu of a sub menu, of a sub menu, there’s not 15,000 places that you can go, we keep it very streamlined and very simple for the end user.

If you look at all the top websites–look at Stripe, for example, probably one of the best payment processing platforms on the planet. You can see that it’s very simple, right? They have a main menu of 5 items–now some of these have mega menus, but overall the structure is simple.

As you scroll through the website, there aren’t a ton of calls-to-action–you got one here, as you scroll down, you’ve got one here, further down, you’ve got one here. It’s really simple and streamlined. This is probably one of the biggest payment processors on the planet.

But make sure that your website experience is simple. Don’t have more than six main navigation items, don’t convolute the content on your website, and make it really easy for users to find what they’re looking for.

Some easy and simple ways to do that are having your contact info in the header or the footer, making sure that there aren’t too many calls-to-action throughout each page, and making sure that the website is, of course, responsive for all the different device types.

7. Branding

Last thing I’ll say is, your branding doesn’t enforce trust in the user.

So I see websites all the time where the branding is just atrocious, and people will always tell you, “Oh well, branding doesn’t matter, the look and feel doesn’t matter. It’s the quality of the content.”

And to a certain degree, that’s true, but people’s first perception of your website is visual: is it appealing, does it look great, how is the overall flow, are the colors balanced and nuanced, looks great? You wanna make sure that your website looks amazing–and I’ll tell you all right now: we had a website before that looked okay. It wasn’t insanely great, and the conversions were okay.

Once we rebranded and refreshed our brand and went and said, “We’re charging a premium to our clients, we want to make sure that our website looks premium as well.” Now we need to make that change to make sure that that matches the type of client that we’re gonna go after. And we saw our leads skyrocket.

Now what I’ve done is, I’ve created a design systems guideline page–which you can download for free as a clonable in Webflow, where you can create a page like this on your website, where you have all of your branding assets and designs all consistent throughout the entire platform. So you can grab that–I’ll put the link in the description so you can go ahead and get that.

But again, you wanna make sure that your branding is on point for users that visit your website. And the main reason being is that you have to instinctively be appealing to the end user. As soon as they visit the website, they have to see consistency across the board, because the way your brand looks is going to be reflected in how you work.


Thank you all for checking out the video content. As you know, Subscribe, Like, drop a Comment below with any questions you have, and I’ll be happy to answer them. I will see you all next week.

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