While it can be quick and easy to create your own website from scratch these days, an increasing number of people are turning to buying already-established websites instead. Sure, it may cost you more money upfront, but the competition on the Internet is so fierce these days that you likely have a much better chance of succeeding with a website that already has a decent amount of traffic.
However, keep in mind that not every website with a following is going to give you a return on your investment, let alone make a profit over time. That’s why it is so important to make sure you do your research before buying a website. Here are some things to take into consideration.
There are a ton of different website building platforms available on the Internet, and each one has its own pros and cons. When you’re looking into buying your first website, take the time to learn everything you can about the platform and what’s going to be available to you in terms of features and technology.
Some of the most important factors that may influence your purchase include the upfront and ongoing costs, access to a team of experts if you require assistance, and generally if you’re going to be able to do everything you want to with your new website. You’re going to be spending a lot of time with this platform, so make sure you know all the ins and outs.
Is the website successfully reaching its target audience? And is it the same audience that you want to reach with the website? Once a target audience has already been established with a particular website, it is incredibly difficult to change it with another. Make sure the audience you have in mind matches or at least complements the one that is currently being targeted by the website.
The history of a website or domain is a key factor to consider when determining its potential for success. Therefore, before purchasing a website, it’s important to get your hands on any detailed analytics reports about its history.
When reviewing the reports, some of the things you should pay particular attention to include:
- Google penalties. While it is possible to save a website that’s been nailed by Google for black hat SEO tactics and the like, it can be difficult and time consuming. This effort could probably be put to better use with a different website.
- Domain age. If the domain is under a year old, it may not rank very high in search engines. If you’re willing to wait for your ROI then fine, but if you want to start making money right away then you may want to look for an older domain.
- Growth trends. If there has been steady growth when it comes to factors such as ranking, traffic, and conversions, then that’s a good sign. However, large peaks and valleys may indicate sneaky SEO tactics and a reliance on expensive advertising campaigns.
Now, keep in mind that if the seller is unwilling to hand over these analytics reports, you’ve likely dodged a bullet. Take it as a sign that you should move onto a different website.