how and where to buy a website

How & Where To Buy A Website

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Purchasing an existing website can provide a major shortcut to having a successful online presence compared to starting a site from scratch. Buying a site with established traffic, revenue streams, and domain authority gives you an asset that could take years to build organically.

However, identifying the right opportunity and properly evaluating, negotiating, transferring, and optimizing a purchased website can be a little overwhelming. Here’s an overview on how to buy a website and jumpstart your journey!

Determine Your Goals and Set a Budget

Before you start looking at potential sites to buy, decide what you want to accomplish. Do you want an established site with significant traffic and revenue? Or are you open to a newer site with growth potential? Outline the key criteria you are looking for – niche, site type, monetization model, level of existing success metrics.

You’ll also need to set a realistic budget and brush up on your negotiating skills. Website prices can range from a few hundred to over a million dollars depending on traffic, revenue, authority, brand equity, and other factors. Be clear on what you can afford before you start evaluating listings to avoid wasting time on sites outside your financial reach. It’s totally fine to start small and work your way up! As you sell a site, that frees up the funds for an even bigger site down the road.

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Research the Market and Find Opportunities

Once you have an idea what you are looking for, it’s time to start your search. Good places to find websites for sale include website brokers, online marketplaces, and niche forums. Setting alerts and connecting with brokers who specialize in your niche can help uncover upcoming deals before they hit the general market.

When evaluating potential listings, look beyond just traffic and revenue numbers. Also consider the quality of content, optimization for search, website speed, responsiveness, and overall presentation and branding.

Use tools like SEMrush and Moz to look at historical trends, backlinks, and traffic sources (sign up for free trials whenever possible to save some cash!). Identify sites that match your goals and have clear potential for growth with some time and effort.

Here are some of my favorite places for finding websites:

Website Flipping – Buy & Sell Websites

Flipping Websites™

NNM Flipping – Buy & Sell Websites Marketplace

Motion Invest

Flippa

Perform Due Diligence Before Buying

Before completing any purchase, you must perform thorough due diligence on the website. Get access to analytics dashboards, financial records, and other documentation.

Look for any suspicious activity such as traffic spikes or drops. Verify that claimed traffic, links, and financials match reality. Look for technical issues or vulnerabilities that may need addressed. Identify any weaknesses you could improve on.

A proper due diligence process takes time but can help avoid costly mistakes or surprises down the road. Be sure to read A Guide to Performing Thorough Due Diligence When Buying Websites for more details on this crucial step.

Negotiate a Fair Price and Purchase Terms

Once satisfied with your findings from due diligence, it’s time to make an offer and negotiate price and terms. Avoid going back and forth too many times, but don’t be afraid to make a case for a lower price if your research justifies it.

You can even consider creative terms like an earnout structure where the original owner gets a percentage of future profits for a set period of time after the sale, or seller financing where they accept payments over time.

Be sure to use a secure escrow service to hold funds during the transfer process. This protects both parties. Read How To Negotiate the Best Price for a Website for tips on valuing sites and creative deal structuring.

Transfer the Site and Launch

After the purchase terms are finalized, it’s time to transfer the website to your ownership and control. The first step is updating the domain registration and nameservers to point to your hosting account. Be sure to get all hosting logins, databases, and assets from the seller.

You’ll also need to update any references to the previous owner, including contact emails, social media accounts, and author bylines on articles. Resubmit the site to search engines and redirect all traffic to the new domain if you purchased a site built on an existing domain. Read A Comprehensive Guide to Transferring a Website After a Sale for a step-by-step process.

Optimize and Grow Your New Site

Once the site is fully transferred, the real work begins. You’ll likely want to audit the site for optimization opportunities – speed enhancements, security checks, user experience improvements. Look for ways to further monetize traffic through affiliate partnerships or driving email subscribers.

Creating fresh, high-quality content on a regular basis is key to maintaining and growing search traffic over time. You can also look for ways to freshen up existing evergreen content with new stats, images, and examples. Promote top content on social media and link internally to related articles.

By leveraging the existing assets while making thoughtful improvements, you can maximize the potential you saw in the site during your initial research and due diligence. Down the road, a revitalized successful site could even become the source of your next website sale and profit!

Buying an established website can provide an incredible head start versus building a new site from scratch. But only with proper goal-setting, research, evaluation, negotiation, and post-purchase optimization can you fully realize the potential value of your investment. Follow these steps carefully to set your new site up for success.

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