With so much competition, it takes time to build a web presence and attract organic traffic. For a completely new site, expect to spend 6 – 12 months before you rank for any topics of significant value and 18 – 24 months until your site approaches its full potential. Google has an inherent mistrust of new websites and wants to see you behave responsibly for a while.
What if there was a way to skip the wait?
Attract qualified traffic within a few weeks instead of waiting for months (or years)? Launch fresh articles and instantly attract an audience? And avoid the shakedown period of a new custom coded features? Well… there is.
If you have a little extra cash to spend, you can skip the hassle and buy an existing website.
The best part? You get a running start on attracting organic traffic. The website will come with an audience, so you can start testing the offers and refining your sales pitch. You will get audience insights at least 12 months faster and can tweak your growth plans. Even better, the website already has credibility with Google, so new content ranks faster.
If the website is already writing about a topic, you can see it rank within weeks. You can add entire sections of related content and get on the front page within a few months. We did this with a website we acquired and grew our traffic over 10 X within 12 months.
Existing websites can accelerate your progress in several ways…
Aged Domain Name
As a website ages, it builds trust in search engines. The Google “trust” factor is an SEO term given to an aged domain as long as the domain has not committed any serious violations. As long as the domain has a good history, it builds trust in search engine algorithms. Trusted domains are given a higher boost than a new domain, because the aged domain has established traffic patterns and back-links from satisfied users.
It takes time for search engines to evaluate and rank content. New content gets an initial boost, but then it ranks naturally after data is gathered. The site owner has to market the content to improve its rank slowly. Established content usually ranks better, because people have linked to it, referred it to other readers, and the content has already been evaluated by search engine algorithms. When you buy a website, you buy all of its content, so you already have content ready instead of creating your own. You must still build on the site after purchasing it, but the content already written helps you maintain a web presence.
Analytics Data on Content & Past Tests
If you’re managing a portfolio of websites, this can be absolutely priceless. Buying a website usually gets you access to the previous owner’s Google Analytics history, which tracks which pieces of content are working, what is making the most money, and any past marketing tests. You can get a peak at the type of visitors that a website is attracting using demographic data. When you compare their results with other sites in your portfolio, you’re going to find money: ideas which you can quickly scale across the other websites.
You Buy Current Customers
For e commerce sites, the site owner sells you not only the website, but you also get the site’s customer list. A database of customers is a goldmine. You can use this list to send marketing emails or newsletters to gain revenue on return customers. A customer list also helps you gather statistics, so you can figure out how to tackle marketing the new site.
Completed Programming and Site Customizations
Even if you decide to use WordPress, which is notoriously simple to set up, you still need to buy a theme, customize the site, and apply plug-ins to the new website. If you don’t have the coding skills, you need to hire someone. When you buy an existing website, the site is generally complete. You might have some additional customizations you want to make, but the site’s coding is generally complete for it to operate after the sale.
If the website you buy is already monetized, you start with a site that’s already making money. Of course, you need to maintain the site and keep adding fresh content to generate more income. However, you start with a website that is already earning. It’s still no guarantee that the website will succeed in the future, but at least you start out with a revenue-generating site and don’t need to build up income from a new website.
Immediate Income Growth
My favorite part of the whole deal. Digital publishing is a big complicated beast, with a lot of different moving parts. Nobody is good at everything. I’m good at analytics, technology, and digital advertising. My friends are good at content and social media. Everyone has their key strengths, those handful of winning plays which “put them over the top” in an investment.
You can see an immediate lift (within weeks) just by doing what you’re good at!
- Are they using AdSense? Flip Them To A Better Ad Network or Affiliate Offers
- Are they a victim of “Black Cat” SEO? Clean it up! (see our case study below)
- Is the website slow? Simplify the WordPress Setup (and use a CDN)
- Affiliate offers not working? Start testing other offers and angles!
It’s not complicated, it’s not risky. Literally just do your thing, running proven plays.
Bonus: Publish New Content For Related Topics
Another “money in your pocket” growth play. Many blogs have huge gaps in the content they cover, topics they could easily rank for but never bothered to follow through. Use your SEO tools (CanIRank is great for this) to find the topics where you are most likely to rank and invest some money in adding content. Along the same lines, look to add these keywords into content that already ranks for similar terms. This is the second best investment you can make in this entire process, claiming your place in topics where the new blog should already rightfully be ranking well in Google’s results.
We did this to an acquisition (which was way behind plan, at the time) and built the website into a powerhouse (12 X Gain in valuation) in under 12 months.