How to Buy a Website: Website Buyers' Network https://howtobuyawebsite.org Just another WordPress site Tue, 22 Sep 2020 18:37:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.1 Things to be Careful of When Buying a Website https://howtobuyawebsite.org/things-to-be-careful-of-when-buying-a-website/ https://howtobuyawebsite.org/things-to-be-careful-of-when-buying-a-website/#respond Fri, 04 Sep 2020 12:33:02 +0000 https://howtobuyawebsite.org/?p=30 If you decide to get into the business of website trading proceed with caution because people will try to scam you. Even if you use a verified broker, site owners will try to overprice and misrepresent their websites. You have to know what to look for and what questions to ask. The trick is to be well-informed and one step ahead of whatever scam they try to pull.

So, what do you need to look out for, and how do you minimize risk?

1.  Verify the owner

If you’re buying through a broker, chances are all the sellers have already been verified. The risk of a fake site owner is a lot greater if you’re contacting them directly and without an intermediary. However, you should still dot your i’s and cross your t’s. Ask the seller to send you their proof of identity, phone number, address, business details, tax information, and other relevant details.

One common scam people try to run is selling sites they do not own. Knowing how a business works or having access to the website is not enough to verify the owner. If you want to buy a seller’s site, you need to purchase their domain. So you also need to verify that they own the domain name for the website they’re selling. This data is easy to provide. And valid sellers will have no issues handing over any of this information. In fact, they will likely ask you to send them the same details.

2.  Know what you’re buying

When you’re negotiating with a site owner, keep in mind that the price isn’t the only thing you need to discuss. During your talk, find out everything you can about their business. Ask them how their day-to-day operations work, where they market their products, what methods they use, and what platform runs the site. These aren’t just side details, either. When you’re negotiating a sale, you need to know exactly what you’re buying.

How many social media platforms does the site have? Are they a part of the deal? Does the business contact its customers using an email list? Will you receive the mailing list as part of the price quoted? Are there copyrights or patents in place? Do they roll over with the site? What else will you need to keep the systems running? And are those assets a part of the sale?

Never assume anything during the selling process. If the site owner hasn’t mentioned it, it’s up to you to bring it up. Simply asking these questions will set you apart as a knowledgeable buyer, and reduce the risk of sellers trying to scam you. Otherwise, you may end up paying a high price for a website and only receive a domain name. You’ll complain to the site owner and your broker, but frankly, the fault is yours. You assumed other assets would be a part of the sale but never verified that information.

3.  Proof of traffic and earnings

The next step is taking stock of all the website has to offer. You need to ask for the proof of traffic, which is basically Google Analytics records. And you can cross-check these numbers against SEMRush metrics.

Once you have an overall measure of traffic, you have to check it against the site’s earnings. That means profit reports, AdSense, Ezoic records, PayPal reports, and other earning methods like affiliate marketing. As a buyer, you cannot look at web traffic or profits records in isolation. You have to look at both of them together.

When you do this, you get a greater understanding of how successful the site is. If the numbers match up, it shows the marketing efforts are not only drawing in new viewers but also turning those leads into sales. However, if a website has high traffic and the sales don’t match up, that’s a red flag. It means that the site isn’t reaching its target audience and the viewers aren’t interested in buying products. As a result, any traffic metrics are completely useless.

Once you enter the website trading world, you’ll see many sellers putting their traffic numbers forward as a point of pride. That may seem impressive. But, as a buyer, you need to understand how misleading those values can be. When you’re evaluating the worth of a site, you can’t look at individual factors separately. You have to look at how they play into each other.

Traffic is only as important as the profits it brings in. And profits are only as valuable as the methods a business employs.

4.  Cost of running the site

If the expense of running a website is high, then the overall statistics for traffic and profit can be misleading. One example is if a site’s main marketing strategy relies on high-cost advertising. The metrics may show increasing viewership and massive sales, but the website’s overall value is low.

Similarly, if a business relies on trend-based SEO content, you’ll have to update it regularly. You might even have to hire content creators or SEO experts to do the job for you. All of this will add to the cost of running the website. Ideally, you want your site to rely on low-cost sustainable methods like quality SEO or an active email list.

You also need to look into how much work goes into the daily running of a company. If a site employs freelancers, you’ll have to factor in the cost of keeping these workers on board. Alternatively, if the current owner handles certain tasks themselves, you’ll have to outsource them. Depending on how much the expense is the cost of running the site may outweigh its potential value.

5.  Growth trends

Growth trends can tell you a lot about a site. When you ask a website seller for their Google Analytics records, you need to be clear about what you want. The farther back a site’s files go, the more accurately you can determine their growth patterns. Ideally, you want the analytics for at least the past year, longer if you can get your hands on them.

While its common knowledge that you need to be careful if you see a downward growth trend, this isn’t the only pattern you need to check for. Decreasing trends just mean that customers left. Whether this is a cause for concern depends on why they left. If it was because the site owner lost interest and stopped updating content, it doesn’t matter. However, if your market research shows that a competitor emerged on the market at this time, it can spell some trouble. In this case, it means customers are leaving the seller’s site for another vendor, possibly because they have a better product.

Another red flag is if there is a massive spike in traffic. Such patterns are uncommon in the regular course of business. Unless there is a clear explanation, such as the arrival of a new, popular product, this is something to be careful about. Such increases are often because the company either used a high-cost advertising method, in which case any growth is budget-based.

Or it’s because the site used dubious SEO methods to get a jump in rankings. You won’t know until you look into the matter. Either way, the site is a bad sell. Black hat SEO or even gray hat can get your website blacklisted by Google. You could lose your investment overnight. If a seller is unwilling to provide their metrics it means they’re hiding something.

6.  Business strategy

When you purchase a website, you don’t just buy a domain, but an entire business strategy. That means you need the company to have multiple profitable products and systems in place to sell them. Everything else, from the audience to marketing, falls within that. A smart buyer knows that the results are only one part of the purchase. How the website is getting its results is of greater concern.

As a buyer, you need to ask the right questions. Find out who the target audience is, which social media platforms the site uses to contact them, how they market their products, and why they’re so successful. If you’re looking to buy a site, you don’t just need them to be successful; you need to be able to emulate their success.

Audience

Can you get the same results with this website? Because the running of a business depends on any number of factors. For example, a website may be successful because the owner has a deep understanding of their audience. This will reflect in their content and sales tactics. But if you cannot do the same, then buying the site will not benefit you.

Marketing

Similarly, if the website has a brand identity centered on the owner, this is a cause for concern. Many younger business owners build their marketing strategy around Facebook Lives and IGTV videos that give their customers a window into their lives. This is not a business model that will survive if the website changes hands. And if the owner sells you their domain and starts their company under a different handle, all their customers will follow.

Systems

A final concern is the dependency of the business model on the owner. If the site is being managed by one person you’ll either have to shoulder all of their work or outsource it. And if the current owner is handling technical tasks that you do not have the necessary skill for you’ll have to hire experts to do them for you. All of this will add to the running cost of the business. Ideally, you want to buy a website that suits you personally.

7.  Reason for selling

Keep in mind that these sellers are people who have spent years building their businesses from the ground up. And if they’re getting rid of a profitable website that they have so much personal investment in, they probably have a good reason for selling. Your concern is whether that reason negatively affects you.

One situation in which it is safe for you to buy a website is if the owner wants to reinvest their money in a different venture. Alternatively, if a website hasn’t been updated for a long time, that’s a good sign that the site owner lost interest. These are both good reasons for selling. However, if the seller doesn’t have a clear answer, you should be cautious.

There are many cases where everything looks good on paper, but the sale is actually a bad decision. It all comes down to why the owner is selling the website?

Competition

If a site owner has had success in their niche but is losing customers to a new competitor, they may choose to sell the site while still in a good place. How can you check for this in the growth trends? If you look at the website’s records, you’ll see a long upward trend that eventually flattened out and is now going downwards.

Smart sellers may offload the site when the profits are stagnant if they know their competitor has a better product or sales strategy. That’s why you need to conduct market research before you buy a site.

Product

Ideally, you want a website that has multiple sources of income. But, this isn’t always the case. Many times a site only has one top-selling product. So, it forms a marketing strategy around that item and builds a massive fan base. Such sites are risky because if that product loses value, the website will go bust in a single day.

An owner who thinks their product may lose traction or is trying to avoid risk will sell their website when it is at peak popularity for massive profits. There are no downward trends or other evidence to show that this will happen. Hence, it is always recommended that you buy a website will multiple profitable products.

The trick to avoiding risk while buying a website is to take your time. Do not rush the process. Check each step and find out everything you can about the business before you invest.

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How to Determine a Website’s Valuation https://howtobuyawebsite.org/how-to-determine-a-websites-valuation/ https://howtobuyawebsite.org/how-to-determine-a-websites-valuation/#respond Fri, 04 Sep 2020 12:32:05 +0000 https://howtobuyawebsite.org/?p=28 To get into the business of website trading, you need to know how to determine a site’s value. Whether you want to place an offer or set a price for your site, you’ll need to know its worth. On average, a website sells for two to four times its annual profits. Where a site ranks of that scale depends on a number of factors.

When you visit a broker, you’ll notice a common trend. Website owners often overvalue their sites. That’s because they’re taking into account all the personal effort they put into growing their brand. They’ve made an estimate based on emotional investment instead of objectively evaluating the assets the site offers. As a buyer, you have to negotiate.

Overall, you can estimate the value of a site using ten factors.

1.  Growth trends

Trends for web traffic over a significant period increase the value of a website. How do you determine this? By getting the site’s Google Analytics records. You need two sets of data.

First, you need web traffic records from recent months. Part of a site’s value is how much audience it has at the time of sale. This also lets you eliminate the possibility the site is on a downward turn. If the site faced a Google penalty or is losing business to a new competitor, the analytics will show that. Downward trends reduce the value of a website. Once you’ve looked at these numbers, you’ve done your due diligence.

Second, you check the long-term analytics from the past year or longer. If a site is only a few months old, it will be harder to sell. The more data an owner has for traffic and revenue, the better placed they are to ask for a higher price. Any website with one or more years of data is worth more. A site with two years showing an upward growth trend will have a high price.    

2.  Quality of traffic

Google Analytics records aren’t the only ones you need. You also need to ask for proof of earnings. That means profit reports, AdSense, Ezoic records, PayPal reports, and other earning methods like affiliate marketing. As a buyer, you cannot look at web traffic or profits records in isolation.

You need to view traffic in the context of the site’s sales. That way, you see how many potential leads convert into paying customers. The conversion rate helps determine the value of a website. It answers the question of whether the site is reaching its target audience and converting them into buyers.

If a site has high traffic and low sales, that’s a red flag. It shows that a website isn’t reaching its target market. As a result, the audience is worth a lot less. A new owner can change the marketing strategy or add SEO value. But, if a website isn’t reaching the right viewers, there is no solution. You cannot alter the audience of a site. How if you think you can convert those wasted leads into potential buyers then the website may be a potential investment.

3.  Sustainable SEO Use

A website sells for a higher price if it has sustainable SEO use. That’s when the keywords used keep their position in the rankings with little upkeep. When a site gains a good portion of its traffic through a solid SEO strategy, it is worth more money. A new owner can sustain these profits at a low cost and with little effort. And the net revenue is a lot more than what you’d get from a different strategy like paid advertising.

When it comes to SEO value, you also have to look into whether a site uses white hat or gray hat SEO. If you aren’t an expert on the subject, its best to stay safe. Based purely on the risk of Google changing its algorithm and current market value, sites with white hat tricks are worth more.

4.  Multiple Income Sources

A website is worth anywhere between two to four times its yearly net profits. Overall, the income of a business can be because of many reasons. When you’re looking into buying a site, you need to find out how it makes its money. Are all, or most, of its profits because of one product? Or is the total profit evenly divided between multiple items? Do some products do better than others?

If a site has high traffic, high revenue, but only one sellable item, it is a bad investment. Because what happens if that product loses value? Your site goes bust in a single day. That’s why the more sales opportunity a website offers, the higher its value. Any website with multiple products costs more. Ideally, a site should have at least three to four top-selling items.

However, ‘varied income sources’ doesn’t always mean products. It can also refer to multiple versions of the same service, depending on upgrade options. Additionally, find out whether the items in question are trend-based or ever-green. If you think a site will lose value over time, current profits don’t matter.

5.  Active Email List

When it comes to the true worth of a website, profits and traffic are surface-level factors. To a beginner, they may seem like the things to look for. But, in reality, they’re simply smoke and mirrors. The real value is in the things that hold up the foundation of the business. And nothing bumps up the price of a website more than an active email list.

The mailing list draws in the viewers so you can build traffic and sell the products so you can make profits. As a buyer, you want to buy a site with the systems in place that get you the results you want. Buying the end product isn’t your goal. So, make sure your priorities are straight before you get started.

It also isn’t enough to just build an email list. You have to monetize it. And when you’re buying a site, you have to find out if the mailing list is a part of the deal. If it isn’t, ask for it. A quality email list will increase the price of a website, even if other factors aren’t being met.

6.  Social Media Presence

Metrics aren’t the only measure of the value of a website. When you calculate the overall price of a business, you have to consider soft and hard factors. Having a strong brand identity elevates a website’s ability to sell products. The value of this factor is similar to that of the email list and works in tandem with a site’s social media presence.

If a business has a huge social media presence and can interact with its viewers to create a strong brand identity, they can sell to them again and again. That relationship between a website and its audience is very valuable.

However, a strong online presence only adds value to a site if they’ve properly monetized it. Like previous factors, you need to view it in the context of the hard data that shows profits and leads generated from social media. Whether on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest, figure out how much value it adds in return sales.

Before you buy a site, you need to find out what their marketing methods are. You also need to confirm that these accounts are a part of the sale or the price quoted.

7.  Advertising

A lot of websites depend on advertising to increase their profits. But, when it comes to evaluating the value of a website, this lowers the selling cost. This is another example of why it is crucial to know how a website is making money. If all of a site’s profits are due to a massive ad budget, any sales will take constant daily effort and money to maintain. Hence, those growth trends don’t hold value.

As a buyer, you want a site that makes profits at little cost for upkeep. Whether their trump card is quality SEO, a huge social media presence, or an active email list, it must be self-sustainable. A website owner with high profit and traffic values may try to sell their site at a marked up rate. If you haven’t looked into whether those numbers are solely off advertisements, you will lose money on a bad investment.

8.  Transferability

A valuable trait that is often overlooked is the site’s ease of transferability. If you’re buying a website, can the owner simply hand over the reins? Or will it involve the transfer of vendors, assets, workers, freelancers, and other resources? You also need to find out what and who is involved in running the website. If the company hires outside workers, find out if you can keep them on.

Additionally, will you need a handover period where the old owner shows you the ropes? How will this affect the running of the site? Is the current owner handling tasks that require technical knowledge that you don’t have? Can you outsource these tasks? And how much will that cost? You have to ask all of these questions before you decide to buy a site.

Another important but often overlooked question is what platform the site uses. Is it an open-source CMS, or will you have to deal with the hassle and expense of changing web-builders? If the site is on a basic plan, will you need to change hosting as well? Was the domain bought through the site builder or independently? If the platform is restrictive, it can become near impossible to change, and you lose a lot of money in the process. A website that can be handed over without issues costs more.

The final aspect to consider is whether the sale will affect customers. For some sites, the clients never need to find out the company changed hands because the product remains the same. However, for others, the process can affect sales and profits. Find out whether the owner used a personal approach to market their brand. If a site’s marketing strategy is based around the owner’s Facebook Lives and IGTV videos, a change will disrupt the entire process.

9.  Growth Potential

Growth potential refers to the subjective value of a site. The earlier points refer to the objective value of a website for any buyer. However, in some cases, a certain company is worth more to the buyer because of personal reasons. Often this happens when you already own a site in a particular niche and are buying a second website. If this is the case, then it may be worth your while to spend more money than another buyer because the site is worth more to you.

There are many reasons why such a purchase can pay off for you. For example, if you purchase a company as a “sister site” you can cross-market your products and double your sales for both. Alternatively, if a website has an active email list but does not make significant profits because they have a poor marketing strategy, you may want to spend more money simply to get your hands on the mailing list.

At the end of the day, this is a subjective point. How badly you want a certain website should play into your final decision, but only if it will directly impact your profit margins.

10.              Active effort

As a buyer, you have to take into account how much time you’re going to put into your website. It’s easy to look at an earnings report and convince yourself its the business for you. But owning a website isn’t easy. If a current owner is putting in eight hours a day, you will need to do the same to make their projected profits. And if you cannot, then their site is not the one for you.

A website that makes passive income with little effort has a higher value than the one that requires constant upkeep. When buying a site, find out:

  • how much work the current owner puts in
  • whether you can outsource or automate tasks
  • how that will affect your bottom line

If you’re buying a business, you will need to put some time and effort into it. Just make sure your purchase meets your requirements.

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Why Website Investing is a Great Way to Become Your Own Boss https://howtobuyawebsite.org/why-website-investing-is-a-great-way-to-become-your-own-boss/ https://howtobuyawebsite.org/why-website-investing-is-a-great-way-to-become-your-own-boss/#respond Fri, 04 Sep 2020 12:30:32 +0000 https://howtobuyawebsite.org/?p=26 You’re sitting at your office desk, contemplating starting a business. You start by spending your breaks looking for ways to make money online. Eventually, you take the step to set up a website. Over time you make a few hundred extra bucks a month. But that isn’t enough to quit your day job. It’s one thing to start a side gig and another to quit your 9 to 5 to become your own boss.

Let’s be clear; it can take a new business anywhere between two to four years to take off. The first step is turning an idea into a sellable product. Then you spend months marketing, producing, delivering, running quality control, and handling customer service. All while working a day job because your company is still in the red, with no guarantees any of it will work.

Simply starting a website from scratch means creating content, using SEO, growing an email list, developing a brand identity, using social media, and building an audience from the ground up. And after all of that, there’s still a big chance you will fail.

What if we told you there was a way to skip all of that? A risk-free method for you to become your own boss, not in two to four years, but today. This isn’t a get rich quick scheme. It’s a way for you to invest in your future and make a lot of money. If you want to become your own boss, you need to get into the business of buying and selling websites. What does this mean, and how does it work?

How you can buy websites and skip the hardest part about starting an online business

The hardest part of starting an online business is building an audience. There are so many layers to this process. Not only do you need to build traffic to your site, but it needs to be the right type of traffic. It isn’t enough for people to visit your website; you also need them to buy a product after. Even if you’re using expert SEO strategies, marketing on every social media platform, and combing through your email list, organic growth takes time. Buying a website means starting on step 15 instead of zero.

You’re basically buying a pre-packaged business plan. It has everything you could want. An audience, a product, and all the systems already in place. More than that it’s already making a profit, so there’s a zero percent chance of it failing. Someone else has already taken the time to nurture this seed. All you have to do is water it to help it grow. Now it’s up to you to take this working plan and make it better. If you think you can come up with creative solutions and innovative ideas to grow a business, this plan is for you.

How you go from owning a website to becoming a boss

Before you start this process, you need to map out your goals. If you take the right steps, you can go from buying one website to owning multiple. It’s a ripple effect. So you spend your initial investment on a small site, with midrange traffic, in a niche you like. Then you take a few months to grow that business, with better marketing strategies and professional SEO tips. Wait till you’re satisfied with the jump in profits and make back at least a portion of your money. Now you can either sell it for more than you spent. Or buy another site in the same niche. There are multiple reasons why people collect websites.

1)   Sister Sites

The goal of website trading is to maximize the revenue of a site before you offload it. And there are many reasons why buying more than one site ups the value of both. How can you add a second site to your current plan to increase viewership for both? One strategy is to purchase a sister site that meshes well with your existing website but attracts a different audience. Say you have a gardening blog, and you buy a second site that reviews tools and gloves.

Now you have access to two groups of customers for the same niche. By featuring your content across both of your platforms, you double viewership for both. It is a delicate process, of course. If you’re going down the rabbit hole of cross-promotion as a marketing strategy, both sites need to have prior solid branding. Any steps you take should not pollute or water down either brand. Done correctly, this gives you a solid standing in your niche and is a great way to become your own boss.

2)   SEO value

Another move you can make is to buy a site that has higher SEO value. Quality SEO value is part of what to look for in a website. But it can also add value to a previous purchase, whether that’s through links or keywords. Since both sites share a niche, the main keywords will overlap. However, the lists of additional keywords are endless. Knowing what phrases draw in most traffic is the key to SEO success.

If your goal is to become your own boss by buying websites, then your strategy changes. There are several ways to determine the value of a site. But you’ll always have to prioritize one factor over another to stick to your budget. So, if your first site’s success is off its marketing style, buy a second site that adds most of its value through keyword traction. Now you know how to market to your niche’s audience and what SEO strategies to use. The more you know, the more valuable your overall brand.

3)   Email lists

Mailing lists are the golden goose of marketing. With a website, your email list is what will make you the most money. It’s also the most reliable. Experienced bloggers will tell you that Google’s algorithms have changed tremendously over the past decade. How you use SEO now is a far cry from how you used it in 2010, or even 2015. The same is the case for social media marketing and every other aspect of running a website. You have no idea what changes will occur in the online landscape or the long-term effects they’ll have on your business.

But, your mailing list will never fail you. It is a direct lifeline between you and thousands of potential customers. Ideally, your first website should come with an active email list. If you followed the factors for getting started on buying a website, you made sure it was part of the deal. However, your initial email list may not have enough names or active buyers. If this is the case, it might be worth your while to buy a second website with a large and active email list. Even if the site adds no other value to your arsenal, just getting your hands on a valuable mailing list will increase your profits.

Conclusion

When you’re looking to buy a second website, you cannot follow the same steps you did the first time. The trick to adding another site to your portfolio is identifying the weaknesses of your current website. Whether that’s poor SEO keywords, an inactive email list, or a small audience, pick your weakest link and fix it. The path to becoming your own boss is all about having vision and foresight. When you’re focused on the bigger picture, you can turn a small website into a massive business and make thousands of dollars flipping it. The factors that add value to your site remain the same, but the way you use them depends on your plan for success.

How to optimize a site like an expert?

There’s a difference between making a little money on the side and earning a living owning websites. The steps you take when you’re looking into buying a site are not the same as the steps you take to maximize profits. If you want to optimize a website like an expert, here’s what you do.

Step 1 – Run A/B tests

No matter how much research you do beforehand, there’s no way of knowing what will work with a 100 percent certainty. That’s why you have to run A/B tests to tweak your content and strategy. When you test the different elements of a site, you see what works and what doesn’t. To compare the changes, you need metrics for conversion rates.

Analytics tools like Crazy Egg, Lucky Orange, and Optimizely add value to your website by identifying areas of maximum and minimum activity. Some common features include:

  • funnel analysis
  • visual editor
  • test scheduling
  • segmentation
  • statistical analysis

Step 2 – Check SEO metrics

The top two tools you need in your arsenal are Google Analytics and SEMRush. While Google Analytics is the best app to study your own site, SEMRush allows you to do the same for other websites. Together they form the power duo that lets you identify the holes in your strategy and the potential answers in other people’s sites. When you’re in the business of buying websites, keeping an eye on both these sets of data is essential to your success. If you want to run your business like a boss, you need to start dealing with hard data.

SEMRush also helps you cross-check the metrics a website owner sends you when you’re looking to buy their company. Often websites will try to convince you they’re worth more than they actually are. That’s where bargaining comes in. Checking the numbers is a must when you’re trying to determine the value of a site. You cannot simply take their word for how valuable their site is.

Step 3 – Clean up keyword cannibalism

The first thing you need to do after you buy a site is to clean up your keyword capitalism. If you want to be taken seriously as a website trader, you cannot make rookie mistakes. These are the kind of errors beginner bloggers with little SEO knowledge often make. Keyword cannibalism occurs when you have multiple articles on similar topics using the same keywords. So you’re basically competing against yourself and hurting your own rankings on Google.

When you dilute your backlinks, all of your content ranks lower. It’s also very easy to check if you’re struggling with keyword cannibalism: simply Google, your domain name, and the keyword in question. If two articles rank on the top together, you probably messed up. Fixing these mistakes can boost your rankings quickly.

Conclusion

Overall, the difference between buying one site and owning websites to become your own boss is simply a matter of vision. You either have it, or you don’t. If you want to start a business out of trading websites, you need to approach this with a clear strategy. The basic rule is that all of the websites you own at one time should be interlinked. Whether you use sister sites to cross-promote, capitalize on an active email list, or simply want to peak at a competitor’s keyword list is up to you. As long as you have a strategy in mind, you’ll likely see an increase in revenue.

If you want to treat this as a business venture instead of a side gig, that means dealing with hard data. Analytics tools like Crazy Egg, Lucky Orange, and Optimizely can help you identify the areas you need to work on. Similarly, you also need to keep an eye on SEO strategy. Your goal here is to maximize a site’s potential and then flip it. If you’re going to sell a website on the market for a high rate, you can’t make beginner mistakes. Educate yourself on SEO and make sure you remove errors like keyword cannibalism.

Also, keep an eye on the metrics. Two tools you need to have are Google Analytics to study your stats and SEMRush to keep an eye on the competition. There are a dozen other tools that can help you get where you want if you’re willing to put in the work.

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What to Look for in a Website https://howtobuyawebsite.org/what-to-look-for-in-a-website/ https://howtobuyawebsite.org/what-to-look-for-in-a-website/#respond Fri, 04 Sep 2020 12:28:26 +0000 https://howtobuyawebsite.org/?p=24 If you’re a creative thinker looking to make money online, you have a lot of options. And if you’ve decided to get into the business of website trading, it means you’ve done your research. Getting started on buying a website is easy and only takes some basic know-how. It’s what comes next that determines whether you get a return on your investment. If you want to make profits, you need to know what to look for in a website.

The biggest mistake you can make is to take a website at face value. Your goal isn’t to own a fun site, with a clean layout, and midrange traffic. What you’re actually buying is a virtual business, with customers, products, a brand image, a social media presence, and an email list. If there are any employees, freelancers, or other resources onboard, then you want those too.

Why? Because your goal isn’t to overhaul their entire business. It’s to tweak it till it reaches maximum productivity. You’re looking for a website that has the potential to be better than it currently is. And with these simple tricks, you can put any site to the test.

1.  What platform does the website use?

As a beginner, you should never overlook this critical factor. All platforms are not the same. To start, you need to understand the difference between CMS systems and hosting solutions and how they interact with hosting providers.

CMS systems

Content Management Systems are user-friendly tools that help you make, manage, and modify your website. All without any technical knowledge. Sites like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal have gained massive popularity in this market. A huge reason why is because of how easy they are to use.

So, if you’re buying a WordPress based site, you don’t need to know how to code. As a result, you save money on tech support staff. CMS systems are also cheap and open source, which means you fully own your site. You can use free plugins, choose themes, add SEO settings, and choose your web host. Most hosting providers have a separate WordPress hosting plan along with their basic plans. Unlike regular shared hosting, this efficient design caters to the CMS user.

If the site you are looking to purchase is CMS based, find out what hosting plan it has, and what services it offers. Look into the monthly expense and potential costs to upgrade your plan or move your site to a different server.

Website builders

Another term you’ll hear is hosting solutions or website builders. If you use Youtube, you’ve probably come across a WIX ad a few too many times. Other options include Weebly, Shopify, and Squarespace. These web builders are easier to use, often give you constant support, and have built-in eCommerce features.

However, they are not CMS. Overall, they are less flexible and more expensive. But, that’s not the worst part for a website buyer. Not only do you not own your site’s design content, but you also cannot move to a new host without changing your web builder. Similarly, if you’re feeling trapped in the limited options your web builder offers, you’ll also have to change your hosting. Either way, the process is long, painful, and expensive. It involves moving your files, databases, and email addresses.

And all that’s assuming your domain isn’t registered through your web builder. Because if it is, you’ll have to change your URL, in which case none of your old links will work. Any previous customers trying to follow a Facebook link to your website won’t be able to find it. Your website will also drop in search rankings and Search Engine Optimization. Overall, this will create a world of mess for you.

Conclusion

Before you buy a website, look into whether it is on a CMS or web builder. Then find out who the hosting provider is and what package they’re on. Also, take into account whether you’ll need to make any changes and how much that will cost you.

2.  How old is the domain?

Few people know that the age of a domain factors into whether it ranks on search engines. Notice that we didn’t say how high. Other factors like SEO, marketing, and content have more to do with how high a page ranks. However, new domains don’t rank on search engines.

Part of the reason Google doesn’t push new domains is to prevent spam. Interviews from experts, like Google’s Matt Cutts, confirm that domain age doesn’t affect SEO rankings. So, the age of a website shouldn’t contribute to its price because it won’t help you. As long as your domain is more than six to eight months old, you’re good to go.

3.  Has the website faced any Google penalties?

The number one rule of the internet is that you cannot scam Google. Sites that use black hat SEO tricks, like keyword stuffing and cloaking, find their way onto a list. Once that happens, there’s no going back. In situations like these, a site owner may try to offload their site onto an unsuspecting victim. But do not be fooled. One look at a Google Analytics sheet will show if a site’s ranking tanked because of penalties.

4.  What are the sources for traffic and profit?

When it comes to generating leads and making sales, you need multiple sources for traffic. But, those sources cannot be tapped out. All of your profits cannot come from a specific group. The wider the base you can appeal to, the more buyers you can pull. Before you buy a website, you need to find out who their target audience is. And whether there is potential for growth.

To put this into perspective, compare four different business models.

  • Website A appeals to two different groups but only succeeds in selling to 40 percent of each group. It is a good investment because you can still attract the other 60 percent and increase revenue.
  • Website B appeals to two different groups that are tapped out. Profits are at a maximum, and no new clients can be pulled. There is no growth potential.
  • Website C has customers in one group; however, you have identified a second untapped market. If you buy the website, you can market to them and significantly increase sales. It is a good investment.
  • Website D also has clients in only one group, but there is no other potential. This severely restricts profits.

The current profits of the business depend on its existing audience. If you want to increase revenue, you need the website to have growth potential. Keep in mind that you cannot change the core audience for a website, no matter what else you do. Tumbler may try to attract businesses, but it will forever remain a space for high school and college students. If you don’t think you can sell products to the audience of a site, don’t buy it. 

5.  What are the growth trends of a site?

The growth trends for a website can show many things. Ideally, you want a gradual increase in sales and traffic. However, if you see profits stagnating over the past few months or years, the current owners either lost interest or were unable to market successfully. This is an excellent opportunity for you to step in.

Alternatively, a downward slope can spell bad news. A consistent decrease means that customers took their business elsewhere. Research to find out whether a competitor emerged on the market around this time. What did they offer that this website could not? Are you willing to put in the work to compete? Huge rises and falls mean the company took risks that worked, but they could not maintain them. Look into whether they spent a lot of money on marketing and ads during these highs.

6.  How much of its success is due to SEO use?

Search Engine Optimization is the use of keywords and high ranking phrases to improve the quality and quantity of web traffic. The chances are that a site with increasing growth trends will already have some SEO use. Applying these strategies can take time, effort, and money. Hence, it’s useful to buy a website that has steadily increased its rankings through SEO use over the years.

However, all SEO is neither good nor useful. While you consider which site to buy, look into the terms they use that keep them relevant. Ask yourself whether they are sustainable. Every niche has certain core phrases that have long-term value. A site based on quality SEO tactics will take less effort to maintain. Meanwhile, if a website’s ratings are because of fad-based phrases, they will lose traction quickly without upkeep.

By looking into the quality of keywords, you can determine how much effort and money SEO maintenance will take. You can also use this research to check how well the target audience responds to the tactics used. Use this to identify room for growth. As with previous factors, you don’t want to buy a site that has maxed out its SEO potential. Try to focus your attention on businesses that gain traction with relatively low SEO use. With the right strategies, these sites can grow many times what they currently are. That is how you identify a quality investment.

7.  Have they made an effort to market their website?

While SEO deals with search engine rankings, marketing is directly responsible for selling products to customers. Add both these factors to content and product quality, and you have the trifecta of business success. Before you buy a website look at their social media pages, what do they post on Facebook and Instagram? How often do they share information, and are their customers satisfied? Can you isolate clear steps to improve their strategy?

Alternatively, based on their product type and target market, would they be better suited to a different platform, say Pinterest? You don’t need a degree in marketing. Even a beginner can figure this out if they’re asking the right questions. All you need to do is look at the website’s marketing protocols. If you see a way to improve a successful site’s marketing strategy, you can increase profits three to four times. Sometimes it only takes an outside view and some creative thinking. So, if a website doesn’t have a strong brand identity, find a way to build one before buying it. In business, sales often improve with a change in management because of new ideas.

8.  Why are they selling their business?

Asking the owner why they’re selling their website is extremely important. Don’t just take their word for it either; verify and confirm. If it’s because they want to invest their money in a different venture, it’s safe to buy their site. However, owners may also try to offload their website if they’ve been blacklisted or lost business. Ask for both their earnings reports, whether that’s AdSense, PayPal sales or affiliate earnings and their traffic reports.

But, the situation is not always so black and white. If a site is making good profits but has seen dips in recent months, it may have a competitor offering better rates and pulling customers. In this case, the owner will be desperate to offload their business before it tanks. You need to do thorough market research to identify if this is the case. Do not enter a market with stiff competition, especially with an inferior product.

Overall, if you’re looking into a website:

  • check what platforms the site is using, CMS, web builder and hosting
  • find out what the costs to change services would be
  • look at site analytics to see if they’ve faced any penalties
  • identify the target audience, sources of traffic and growth potential
  • ask for analytical data to prove these claims
  • ensure the site has steady growth trends
  • inspect whether the SEO use is sustainable or trend-based
  • evaluate marketing efforts and areas for growth
  • look into the website’s running costs including staff and resources
  • figure out why they’re selling their site
  • research possible market competitors

When investing in a site, you need to look at its financial history, current profit margins, and future potential. Keep these key factors in mind and you can’t go wrong.

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Getting Started Buying Websites https://howtobuyawebsite.org/getting-started-buying-websites/ https://howtobuyawebsite.org/getting-started-buying-websites/#respond Fri, 04 Sep 2020 12:27:29 +0000 https://howtobuyawebsite.org/?p=22 In this era of remote working, the lure of making money online is a strong one. Almost everyone considers the idea of starting a blog or building a website. But setting up a website is hard. You need to spend months building traffic before you ever see any profit. What if we told you there’s a way around that? And it’s so easy you could not just do it, but start making money today!

The sheer volume of content on the internet makes it impossible for a new site to make a splash. That’s why the best way you can make money online is by buying and selling websites. It’s the easiest thing in the world. And unlike other popular schemes, not a lot of people know about it yet. So if you get into the business of flipping websites now, you’ll be ahead of the wave, which means massive profits for you. There are many reasons why owning websites is a great way to become your own boss. All you need is some basic know-how to get you started.

If you’re new to the game and don’t know what you’re getting into, this guide will break down the simplest way to get started buying a website.

Step 1: What type of website should you buy?

The first step is deciding what type of website you want to buy. Don’t confuse this with what to look for in a website as that’s a whole other topic. The technical and strategic decisions come later. This initial step is simply about picking a niche.

Evergreen vs. trend-based niches

There are two types of websites, evergreen topics, and trend-based. If these terms are new to you, don’t worry, they’re relatively straightforward. A trend-based niche is any business that relies on the popularity or recent hype of a subject. So, a handknit woolen clothing store can only sell products during one season. On the other hand, an evergreen niche, such as weight loss, sells products year-round. When you’re buying a website, pick an evergreen niche, so you make the most profits.

The audience

The main reason you’re buying a website is for its audience. So, when you’re considering a specific site, you need to be very clear on who the target market is. Within this, there are two things a beginner buyer should take into account:

  • is the site successfully reaching its target audience
  • are you comfortable with this demographic

Since this is your first site, you need to keep things simple. Once you buy a website, there are steps you can take to maximize profits. However, that won’t work if you don’t understand the needs of the audience. So, as a beginner, you should pick the demographic you know the most. That can mean college students, stay-at-home moms, working women, younger men; it’s up to you.

Step 2: How much should you spend on your purchase?

Buying a website is an investment. Best case scenario your returns are many times the money you put in. Worst case scenario, you breakeven or make less than the amount you spent. As a smart buyer, you need to be aware of this risk. Before you start looking for websites, set a budget for yourself, and stick to it.

Say your initial benchmark is $5000. Only look at sites for less than that value. Make an offer for less than your maximum when you begin bargaining. If you overinvest and bump it up to $5500 or $6000 during a purchase, you’ll regret it later. Because now it’s more stress on you to get a higher return on your investment. As a novice buyer, the more stress you take, the greater your chances of making a mistake.

There is a detailed process on how to determine the value of a website that you must look at before you finalize a purchase. However, during the initial stage looking at the Google Insights or SEMrush score is enough to make a basic estimate. These tools can give you an approximate value for how much web traffic a specific site is getting. Sites with a score between 1000 and 2000 are cheaper but still give you an audience to work with.

Step 3: Where to buy a website?

Once you decide to start looking for a site to buy, you can take the easy route or the difficult route.

The easy route

If you want to save yourself the time and hassle of finding a website on your own, you can contact a broker. Our company collects information on a variety of sites available for purchase. Since all the data is in one place, you just need to browse through our listings till you find something you like. We also make sure all of the companies on our website are legit and looking to sell, so you don’t have to worry about scammers.

You can choose to let us shoulder the load, but you don’t have to. You do have other options.

The difficult route

If you don’t want to buy through a broker, you’ll have to do all the heavy lifting yourself. This takes more time and effort on your part but is entirely doable. First, you find a website that has an audience. Look for owners who started a site as a hobby, gained some traction, but stopped updating. Next, you negotiate with them. Keep in mind that these website owners may not want to sell their sites at first. So, you’ll have to be convincing. But, if you can talk them into making a deal, you can negotiate for a lower price. Keep in mind that you run the risk of being scammed.

Step 4: What will you get for your money?

It makes intuitive sense that if you want an up and running website, you’ll have to spend money on it. But what exactly are you buying? The audience? The traffic? Or something else entirely? Before you get started, you need to know exactly what you’re getting for your money.

1)   Domain and Hosting

When you’re buying a website, your basic purchase is the domain and hosting. The domain is your website’s name while hosting is the server where the site is stored. Think of it as virtual real estate. You don’t own the website until the domain is in your name. If a person claims they own a website, but the domain isn’t in their name, they’re trying to scam you. Make sure you check the website’s domain history and verify who owns the site before you buy it. If you’re buying through a broker, find out if they run these checks before listing sites.

2)   Useful traffic

When you’re buying an up and running website, you’re paying for useful traffic, not overall traction. There is a big difference, and you need to know what it is before you get started. Your entire strategy depends on you making money the minute you buy the site. That means you’re assuming the business is monetized. Just because a website gets online traffic doesn’t mean it is making any money.

While traction is important, it is of little value on its own. If viewers are looking at your page and moving on, you aren’t making any money. So, how do you make sure a website has useful traffic? For one, don’t assume anything. Ask the website owner for proof of traffic, through Google Analytics or a similar app, and proof of earning, through AdSense, sales reports, or other accounts. You need to know that a business has an audience and that they’re willing to buy products before you invest.

3)   Business model

You buy a website instead of starting your own because you want to start on step ten and not climb your way up from step one. Look into what the previous owner’s business model is. Do they sell goods or services? How many people buy their products in a month? Do they sell multiple items? Find out everything about how they run their online business. Make sure they have consistent revenue over four to six months and various streams of income.

Also, a good tip is to ask them where they think their site could improve. Since the owner knows the market, chances are they have some ideas on how you can grow the business.

4)   Operating procedures

You also need to find out what the operating procedures for the business are. What systems are in place to keep things moving? Depending on what type of site you’re buying, they’ll have a system in place for production, delivery, review, payment, and quality control. If the website employs freelancers like designers or writers, they’re a part of this process. So are other agencies they use, such as a payment gateway.

You also need to take into account the tasks the current website owner manages themselves. And if they have skills you don’t, you will have to outsource those tasks as well. Prepare a complete list of the skills needed to run the business and the costs involved.

5)   Email lists and social media presence

Ideally, the business should have basic marketing strategies in place. Confirm what assets are a part of the sale. Do you get access to a working email list and active social media accounts? Are there other copyrights or patents in place?

The mailing list is the key to making money from a website. It’s how you contact your customers with information on new products and services. Without it, your website is cut off at the knees. And a quality email list takes years to build, making it an integral part of the sale. Buying an online business without an email list is like cutting a tree off at the trunk. Without its roots, eventually, it will shrivel up and die.

The same is the case with social media accounts. Even if a website isn’t active on its Instagram and Facebook pages, a little effort can turn them into huge income streams. If the seller isn’t volunteering this information, you need to ask them directly. This will give you the added benefit of showing the site owner that you know what you’re talking about. Once you establish yourself as a knowledgeable buyer, you reduce the chances of a seller trying to scam you by overpricing. Also, find out if the site has any history of legal issues.

Step 5: How much work will it take to run this website?

Before you buy a website, consider the workload. Some sites are low maintenance, while others require constant attention. The more processes involved in the daily running of the business, the more effort it’ll take. You may not have the time to dedicate to the task. And if you fail to maintain the success of the site, by the time you can sell it, it’ll have lost value. Not only will you not make a return on your investment, you’ll probably lose money. Find out how much of the process you can outsource or automate. Also, consider that if you hire more freelancers than the current owner, you’ll make less profits.

While this may seem like a lot of information to keep track of, there’s no need to get overwhelmed. It’s really just a step by step process. Don’t skip any levels, and you’ll be good to go. At the end of the day, your goal is simply to find out everything you can about the website you plan to invest in. This guide just highlights a few factors and key areas for you to look into.

Overall, if you’re getting started on buying a website you should:

  • pick an evergreen niche
  • choose a relatable audience
  • set a budget and stick to it
  • contact the website owner or a broker
  • know what you’re buying
  • make sure the site has a successful business model with multiple income streams
  • find out if a quality email list and active social media pages are a part of the deal
  • know what the basic operating processes and costs of running the site are
  • understand the workload
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