Buying and selling a domain name is one of the profitable online businesses. In this process brokers used to buy a domain with high Google PageRank or buy expired domains and sell to the interested users for much more premium price. Generally the brokers are individual people or registrars like GoDaddy. Unlike domain names there are very few reputed companies online selling the complete website. In this article let us explore the things to be considered before buying a website and how can you buy it formally.
Factors Before Buying a Website
Decide Your Niche and Criteria
If you are a buyer looking for a specific need then list down your requirements before buying. The below table can help in defining your requirements; you can use a range so that searching a seller within the range will be easy later.
|Factor||Range / Criteria|
|Type||Blog, Content Site, Ecommerce Site, Review Site or Forum|
|Industry||Automotive, Internet, Finance, etc.|
|Price (or Bid)||$500 to $1000|
|Traffic||100 unique page views per day|
|Estimated earnings of current site per month||$50 – $100|
|Current earning mechanism||AdSense, Affiliate marketing or Ecommerce|
|Domain Age||1 – 3 years|
|Domain Extension||.com, .net, .org, etc.|
|Site Age||1 – 3 years|
|Google PageRank||0 – 3|
|Platform||WordPress, ASP, etc.|
Review the requirements and fix what you exactly need. Some of the requirements like type, industry, site age, domain age are easy to find out while some other details like traffic information are to be obtained from the site owner before purchase.
Getting Analytics Data
Traffic and revenue details are important for any type of sites you are looking to buy. The easy way is to get the details from Google Analytics so that you have reliable information. You can ask the owner to add your Gmail id as a user in his Analytics account so that you can directly get the access and verify the data.
Check the followings when you have access to Google Analytics or any similar analytics account:
- Number of page views per month
- Number of unique visitors per month
- Type of traffic – social, search engines, referral and direct.
- Countries, platform and language details.
The country information will make it clear from which country the traffic is coming more and the type of traffic will tell you the percentage of search engine traffic.
Checking Original Content
It is also important to check the originality of the content especially when you are looking to buy a content or blog site. Be aware people do selling as a business which means they do one of the following things which will be useful for you:
- Copy the content from other reputed sites.
- Create automatic feed from reputed sites especially most of the news sites will have this problem.
- Create automated video site from YouTube channels.
It is highly recommended to verify how the seller got the content and verify with Google search about the originality of the content.
Getting Earnings Data
If the seller uses AdSense advertising program first you need to ensure you have AdSense account. Similarly be sure what type of revenue you can continue to make from the site. For example, if you are looking for WordPress theme selling site then you should be able to provide continuous support to the users who already bought themes. This essentially means you should have WordPress theme development experience in order to buy such a site.
Where Can I Look For Buying a Website?
When you find a site online and not updated for years, the simple and easy way is to contact the site owner directly. The reason is that most of the owners will set the hosting / domain to extend on auto renewal mode and hence the site will be up and running like normal sites though the owner is willing to sell.
Second option is to find the broker site where the owner listed the site formally for selling. Search in Google for “buy a website” and you will find hundreds of broker sites offering marketplace for buying and selling sites without knowing each other. There are both advantages and disadvantages of using a broker site.
- Transactions are formal and safe.
- In case of discrepancy if you are not satisfied you can revert back the transaction.
- Important things like Google Analytics, Earnings details, Site name are mentioned transparently.
- Brokers list the sites with fair valuation though the site owner can change the price.
- You may need to pay brokerage fee.
- Most of the bidders are brokers and their main objective is doing buy/sell business rather than buying and maintaining the site.
- Difficult to find really interested sellers as sellers list sites to get traffic from the broker site.
- Team of brokers can manipulate the data and show it as real.
Remember buying the site will lead to lot of indirect expenses other than the actual one time cost. For example, domain registration, site hosting, email hosting, theme used on the site, plugins used on the site, etc. are additional cost generally not mentioned in the selling price. Also you may need to pay a commission if you are going through broker sites. Prepare for those hidden expenses in your budget when you prepare the requirements.
As far as we checked buying a quality website is quite a difficult task for individual users. This can be done with the help of brokers more easily but again quality of the site is really a question which you need to verify as a buyer. Most of the formally listed sites (for sale) are real junk sites without any purpose and the quality sites will cost hefty amount for buying. So we highly recommend looking for buying a site with budget range and with a clear objectives of what will you do with the purchased site.