Website flipping is similar to house flipping. In both cases, you purchase something and work on it for a length of time to increase the value. After a certain period of time, you sell it for (hopefully) a big profit. Just like with houses, there is some big potential profit to make when buying and then selling a website. My name is Ryan Gunn and I am the Seller Representative for Motion Invest. I have put together some tips for flipping websites, based on my experience of helping people sell their sites at all different price ranges.
Tip #5: Make Sure To Get The Proper Google Analytics Access From The Original Seller That You Bought The Site From
An important part of evaluating sites for Motion Invest comes from the Google Analytics data. If you don’t have any Google Analytics data for us to work with (or if you don’t use an alternative like Clicky), we won’t be able to sell your site. Google Analytics plays a big part in looking at what the site could be worth and what the value is. We are not alone in this, as a lot of people and places will ask you for the analytics data when looking to buy your site.
After you buy a site that you (eventually) want to flip, make sure to get the historical Google Analytics data along with it. You should be able to tell the seller that you want the administrative access on the account, which will put you in control of the data. If you don’t get this data, you will have to start a new Google Analytics account and you will have no historical data to work with.
Having no historical data would be an issue when you are trying to flip a site. Let’s say that you bought the site in March and did a bunch of work on it. This same site continued to grow and now you want to flip it in July. If you have the historical data, you can showcase how strong of growth that the site has had over the past few months. If you don’t have the old data, you will only be able to show buyers how the site has done over the past 5 months. They won’t be able to see all of the growth that the site has had.
Another situation would be if the site took a hit after you took it over. Not every website purchase is going to be a massive success story. Let’s say that you took over a site and then it was hit by a Google Update or lost some keyword rankings. If you have the historical analytics data, you might be able to showcase that the site is doing better than the same time last year. In some cases, you can change the valuation to the last 12 months, which might help you get the site sold. If you don’t have the old data, you will just have a declining site to show interested buyers.
This is a pretty simple and easy tip but one that a lot of people forget.
Tip #4: Make Sure To Keep Get The Proper Income Proof Data From The Old Seller
In a similar vein to tip #5, you should try to make sure to get proper income proof data from the old seller when you buy a website. That way, if you wanted to flip the site in a few months, you would be able to use both the income data from the old seller and from when you took over the site.
At Motion Invest, we like to keep track of the monthly income for each site that we evaluate. So that means we like to know the exact earnings for January, the exact earnings for February etc. We would recommend keeping track of the data in this same way. So if you are buying a site, you should make sure to get yourself the proper (monthly) income proof data from the original seller from the past year.
This will allow us (in most cases) to combine your new data with the old data from the original seller. If you only have your own monthly income from when you took over the site, we would need you to wait 5-6 months before we could potentially move forward. If you have kept proper records, we could combine the old data with the new data to help you flip your site.
This just isn’t for our benefit, a lot of buyers like to see how the site has done over the course of a full year. Keeping good records of the income data could help you with your flip.
Tip #3: Stay In Contact With The Previous Seller, In Case You Need Something From Them
It is always a good idea to try and stay in contact with the original person that you bought the website from (whenever possible). That way, if you need something when you go to flip the site, they will be able to help you out.
Let’s say that you go to sell a site that you bought a few months ago and a buyer is asking to see something specific from before that. Sometimes buyers want to see random historical data before deciding to make a purchase. Or, a buyer could ask you a specific question about a traffic drop that happened before you took over the site that you have no idea about. Having a good relationship with the previous seller would allow for them to go back into their files/ account and get you the information that you need.
We understand that this is not always possible. That is because sometimes the original seller will not respond to you or will completely ghost you. That is a crappy situation and nothing that you can do about it. Whenever possible though, keeping the email of the previous seller is always recommended, just in case you need it.
Tip #2: Wait Until The Site Is Flat Or On An Upward Trend
Another tip is to wait to flip your site when it is flat or on an upward trend. This is in terms of both traffic and income if possible. An upward trend means the analytics data (and income data) is increasing every month. So the site made $100 and had 2,000 visitors in January. It then made $125 and had 2,500 visitors in February. It then made $150 and had 3,000 visitors in March etc. That is an upward trend and showing a lot of nice growth. A flat trend means that it has stayed around the same income and visitors (per month) for the past several months.
Let’s say that you bought a site four months ago and it has increased in traffic and earnings since you took over. That is going to look really appealing to buyers as they will want to buy it in hopes that it will keep improving. That is going to give you a great chance of selling your site and at a good price.
Let’s say that you bought the site four months ago and it has constantly dropped in traffic since you took over. That is probably the wrong time to sell as it will not look very appealing to buyers. The traffic and earnings are dropping, so you might not get full value for the flip (based on what you paid). You are probably better to wait another few months to get the site back flat or an upward trend before trying to sell it.
There are exceptions to this rule. Sometimes, a niche is seasonal, so an income/ traffic drop is expected after taking over a site. If your site is in a niche like that, it is always good to compare it to the same month as last year to see if it has grown or declined. For example, you would check how the March 2022 data compared to March 2021.
Tip #1: Add A Few New Income Sources
After taking over a website, a smart thing to do is to add some additional income sources.
For example, if you bought a site that only used Amazon USA to monetize, you could consider adding display ads as well. That way, you are also cashing in on earnings from different visitors to your site.
Let’s say that the site you bought in the above example was making $100 a month on Amazon USA when you bought it. Let’s also say that you added Ezoic ads, which increased your average by $20. If your site stayed at the same traffic (no growth at all) your income average would be $120 instead of $100. It might not sound like much but when you go to flip your site, it could pay off. 35x of a site with an $100 income average is $3,500. 35x of a site with a $120 income average is $4,200. By just adding these display ads alone (and not growing the site), you are increasing your overall value.
Don’t go too far though. Buyers like to purchase sites where they can find some easy wins. If you have completely maxed out every single affiliate program possible, it will be harder to sell (since there is less upside for the buyer). There is a fine line that you need to walk if you want to flip it quickly.
Thanks for reading out list of tips for flipping websites and I hope that this was able to help. If you want to flip a site, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our free evaluation tool on our website.