The following is a guest post courtesy of EmpireFlippers.com
We all want to make money.
People come to Human Proof Designs to do just that. Here, they can buy beautiful pre-made niche sites that are ready for the budding entrepreneur to build out. While this is a significant shortcut for those who want to get into the game of building out profitable affiliate sites, there is an even shorter path to success.
Just buy the ones that are already making money.
Buying a website with a proven income can literally give you a “shortcut” to success in many ways. I put shortcut in quotation marks because it can be a risky business buying a money making website. Not only that, but there is still a lot of work to be done even if you buy a website rather than building one from scratch into profitability.
While buying money making websites can shorten the time it takes for you to be making a full-time income online (which we’ll get into more of how that happens below), we also always want to make more money.
I think it’s fair to say everyone is always curious about how they can improve their business and create a better stream of profit for themselves.
In this blog post you’re going to learn exactly how to spot a “good buy,” and I am going to drop some value on exactly how you can optimize these sites to make their revenue in some cases double over a couple of short months by implementing a series of tweaks.
Before we get too ahead of ourselves, though…
First Off… Why Buy an Affiliate Website Instead of Just Building One?
There are a ton of reasons why someone would buy a website instead of building out one. The most crucial element in my opinion is time. Building out a niche site from scratch can take nine months to a year or more before you start seeing real profits coming in. Even then, the first few months of profit are often very small amounts, and the niche site still needs time before it really “balloons” up.
A money making website that has been around for a while and using primarily SEO for its traffic source has probably weathered a few Google updates. This can help you in the future as you grow the site to survive any upcoming algorithm storms. Since they’ll have some built-in authority already, it will also help you to rank for newer keywords with less effort.
Perhaps the most exciting part about buying an income producing website (other than instantly getting a monthly revenue from a proven profitable niche) is the easy win you can make.
Every monetization strategy is a bit different, but if you make the right small tweaks and implement a few changes to an Amazon affiliate site, you can seriously increase the revenue in a short period of time.
That is, of course, if you understand how to pick the right Amazon affiliate website to buy (many of which are listed on Empire Flippers’ marketplace).
How to Make Sure You Buy a Winner Rather Than a Lemon
In the car industry, when someone buys a used car that breaks down shortly after purchasing it, it is called a lemon. They’re incredibly frustrating, and often there is nothing the car owner can do but throw their hands up in the air.
When you buy an online business, there are no do-overs.
If you buy it and it makes okay money one month and then nothing on the second month, that is on you. Because of this, it is super important to make sure you become proficient at doing good due diligence.
Due diligence is a phrase that is thrown around a lot without much explanation. The best definition or framework you should operate from is realizing due diligence isn’t a process to find what is good about the site; rather, it is a process to find out what is wrong with the website.
It is about deselection. You want to filter out all the bad buys — whether the business itself is bad or whether the buy just wouldn’t make sense for what you want.
Create a checklist. What are you looking for?
There are multiple kinds of businesses to look for. If you are looking for a lifestyle business, you’re going to buy a very different business than if you’re looking to acquire a strategic asset. A lifestyle business is all about the income coming in, day in and day out, relatively passively (similar to the kind of sites Dom sells here on HPD once they start ranking and getting Amazon affiliate commissions).
For example, if you’re looking for a lifestyle business that takes three to four hours a month to maintain, then you’re probably not looking at getting into a SaaS business. After all, SaaS businesses hardly fit a lifestyle business (typically). They require a team of developers if you don’t know how to develop yourself, proactive marketing, customer service, the whole nine yards that make this on average a far cry from a lifestyle business. However, a SaaS business in the marketing space could become a super strategic move for the right buyer who owns a business that could complement that software (such as a marketing agency).
We have an entire podcast about this idea of due diligence being a deselection process you can check out here.
Spotting a Lemon Before You Buy
While there are many things to watch for, these are some of the most important things to verify and look for when purchasing a business.
What Is the “Story” of the Website’s Traffic?
The actual traffic that is coming to a website can tell an interesting story. First of all, you want to make sure there is a real history of analytics being tracked on the website. The best two
There should be at least six months’ worth of analytics on the website. Six months, while still a small amount, is enough time to give us an overall picture of the site’s trajectory. Is the traffic steadily going down? Why? Is it steadily going up? Why?
One possible answer is that the traffic is going up due to more keywords being ranked and getting closer to the #1 spot for certain choice keywords on Google. You would be able to see this in Google Analytics by looking at the Acquisition overview and seeing a growth in the organic traffic of the website.
A website’s traffic could be trending downward if it has been penalized, though this is usually marked by a steep DROP on the analytics chart, making it easier to spot. Other reasons why a website traffic is dipping downwards could be competitors moving up, taking your place.
These are the kind of questions we want to be asking and searching for answers within the analytics.
Through analytics, you can see where the traffic is coming from. It might surprise someone who is in the trenches of building out SEO-friendly niche sites to find out that many niche sites get the majority of their traffic from social media. It might surprise you even more what kind of social media channel they’re using. Pinterest, for example, has been a recent heavyweight in sending free traffic to many websites and is a social media channel not many people think about.
If there is a lot of traffic coming from social media, you better make sure to ask how the website owner is doing that.
What are their daily tasks on Pinterest? Are they posting a certain style of pictures on Instagram? How do they craft those Facebook fan page statuses that are causing so much organic traffic coming to their page?
Learning the story of the website’s analytics allows you to gauge how healthy it is. It will also inform you of any tasks you might need to perform that the seller may have forgotten to inform you about (such as their automated Pinterest software that they were using, or something along those lines).
We always want it on an upward trend, but a downward trend doesn’t make it a deal killer if you understand how to remove potential SEO penalties.
Is the Traffic Real?
Mostly, what we are looking for in these analytics is to see if what the seller is telling us makes sense. If the website is making $3,000 a month from Amazon affiliate sales and the website is only getting a 100 visitors a month, there is definitely something shady going on here.
You will want to know what any of the traffic spikes mean. A huge uptick in traffic might be from paid Facebook ads or a post of theirs that went viral, and you will want to be aware of this. Likewise, find out the reason for any kind of traffic dips. As mentioned above, it might be from competitors starting to outrank them, or from a plethora of other reasons.
It could be as innocent as them stopping a Facebook ad experiment that had been driving traffic long enough to the site to make it look like something strange happened with the traffic dipping. Or it could be where they stopped paying click farms (people who click ads for a fraction of a penny) or stopped fake traffic bots to their website that was gaming their analytics.
The easiest way to spot bots (fake users / sessions that are specifically made to game the traffic stats of the analytics) is to look at where the traffic is coming from and ask yourself if this makes sense.
An Amazon affiliate site selling to the US market that is getting the majority of its traffic from Ukraine, Russia, and Bangladesh should be a red flag that bots are being used. If a local plumber lead gen site is getting a ton of traffic from Pakistan, that should be a red flag unless the website is a local plumber lead gen site for a city in Pakistan.
Another way to tell if there is some shady bot services gaming their analytics is to look at the time that traffic is spending on the website. If over 60 to 70 percent of their traffic is spending just three seconds on a website, then it is probably bots. You want to be careful with this; even if it is not bots, it could still be a bad decision to buy this business.
A high bounce rate (where people quickly leave a site) can lead to lower organic rankings in Google because Google believes your content is not useful enough for visitors to stay on your page and actually read the content. Google only wants to award those with good content that is actually solving or answering their customers’ (the searchers) questions.
Get Access to Their Analytics
In an age where PhotoShop and picture filters rule the day, it is important you do not rely on screenshots if at all possible. Screenshots are easy to manipulate and should be avoided. Instead, you can request viewer-only access for both Google Analytics and Clicky.
Some sellers will say these details are too intimate to share with you. While that is understandable, they also need to know that buying a business is a pretty intimate decision as well. You need all the facts you can before you make your buying decision.
If a seller is unwilling to share access or do a video walkthrough with you, then there will probably be other problems that will crop up later in the sales cycle such as during the actual migration process when you take over the website. Some sellers are genuinely paranoid that you are just going to try and steal their content strategy or something along those lines, but if they’re unwilling to give you access after you have proven to them that you are a qualified serious buyer, then it is time to move on.
If the seller will only do a video walkthrough, make sure you ask them to click on random things as well as the important things in their analytics. The reasoning is that video walkthroughs can still be faked albeit it is far more difficult, even on live Skype screensharing calls. You can avoid this by being a little extra paranoid yourself and having them click on random links or places within the analytics account.
As you can probably tell, verifying traffic is extremely important. It can be difficult to spot everything above, especially if you are brand new to buying websites. That is one of the big advantages of using a broker that vets all the websites. It gets rid of about 99 percent of these potential pitfalls.
Reading this, you are probably thinking, “This is a ton of work!”
It is. That is why many people prefer professional brokerages that have done the majority of this work for them already versus doing it themselves. Though, if you put together a checklist of everything above and make sure to look for each of these factors when looking at a website, you’ll be far ahead of the game versus other people looking to acquire income producing web properties.
Even more important, though, is verifying earnings.
Earnings – Real or Fake?
There is no point in buying a website that is making zero money. Just as you did with the traffic, you will want to analyze if the earnings are real or fake. Depending on the monetization strategy out there (which there are quite a few different online business models) you will want to use different strategies to verify those traffic numbers and earnings.
Since most niche sites focus on the Amazon affiliate model, or affiliate model in general, it is usually a bit easier to verify the money that the website is earning. Just as with analytics, try not to rely on screenshots. Instead, you can get view-access only to their Amazon Associates account, or do a video walkthrough with them across their affiliate accounts.
One thing to watch out for is to make sure that the earnings they’re reporting are in fact coming from just the website they are selling. It can be easy for an inexperienced buyer to overlook the fact that the $3,000 a month Amazon affiliate site is actually only making $120 a month and all the other revenue is coming from 50 other websites that the seller owns using the same Amazon tracking code.
You want to make sure the affiliate tracking links they’re using are for that site alone. If they don’t have this set up properly, consider moving on from buying that website. Tell them to create a tracking link for whatever affiliate product they are promoting and come back to you in three months when they have the data that backs up their income claims.
Common Scams to Watch Out For
Unfortunately, most of the scams are at the lower end of the buying spectrum. Websites from a few thousands dollars up to the $30,000 price point tend to be the most rife with sellers trying to scam the buyer. It makes sense, since most buyers in this range tend to be relatively new buyers and thus easier for the scammer to pull off their heist.
Scams DO still happen at higher price points, so it is good to know some of the most common ones around.
One scam that is quite common is by sending fake leads to affiliate partners / offers. For example, Quinstreet is a very popular affiliate program for local lead gen sites. Local lead gen sites are sites that make money from sending local traffic (people usually searching for “city + service”) to their affiliate offers to individual clients they’ve worked out a contract with. That traffic then becomes a lead for Quinstreet. Quinstreet then sends these leads on to the business that is signed up for Quinstreet, while Quinstreet sends an affiliate commission to the website owner for generating the lead.
(If this is confusing to you, then this 11-part post I wrote about the Most Popular Online Business Models might help you understand this model a bit better, as well as other business models.)
A scammy seller might send fake leads (such as paying a click farm to fill out the Quinstreet forms) to run up revenue with their Quinstreet affiliate account. On paper, even in the back office of their Quinstreet account, everything could look perfectly fine.
Then you buy the business, and a month or two later Quinstreet bans your account when they catch onto you sending them fake leads. You lose out on your entire investment, and the seller has your hard-earned cash without you having any real recourse in getting that money back.
One way to spot a scam like this is to look at earnings compared to traffic. Is their Quinstreet earnings going through the roof compared to their traffic rates? This could be a sign that they are gaming their affiliate partner.
Keep an eye on this, and ask detailed questions if you do see this happening.
Seller Is Also the Affiliate Partner or Supplier
Sometimes the scam is that the seller is actually the owner of the affiliate network that the site is earning from, or they are the supplier of the product in some cases. While not an outright scam, you want to be aware of this.
In this kind of scenario, they could cause you to do things you normally wouldn’t do. They could potentially terminate your account if you don’t comply and all other sorts of hassles and frustrations.
The real scam here is twofold:
- They lie to you about being the owner of the affiliate program or the supplier (what else are they lying about?)
- They put their affiliate network earnings (or the profit from selling their product as a supplier) into the same income statement as their affiliate earnings.
If the seller IS the owner of the affiliate program or the supplier, just be extra careful. Make sure you know what kind of relationship you will have going forward with them, and get it in writing if at all possible.
You want to make sure that the earning from the website is the same kind of earnings you’ll earn as an affiliate, and that the seller isn’t fattening those numbers by combining both his earnings from the affiliate network he owns and the earnings he would make as an affiliate of his own affiliate network.
If the owner is being upfront and honest, then this situation could work out. It pays to be extra careful in this situation, though, and be ready to say no at the slightest reason. There are plenty of deals to be had out there without needing to complicate it via a situation like this.
Using the Same Amazon Tracking ID for Several Websites
If you’re buying an Amazon affiliate business, you want to make sure you’re looking at the net profit the site would earn based off the QUANTITY of products that site is moving due to Amazon’s tiered affiliate commission structure.
If the site is selling only 20 products a month, it is going to be earning a different amount on Amazon’s tiered commission structure than it would if it sold a 100 products a month. It is important to remember, even if the seller is not attempting to pool all of their Amazon sites into one, that the earnings they’re getting from this site might still be higher than what a new buyer gets. This is because Amazon Associates count ALL products sold across that associate’s portfolio of sites.
If you don’t have other Amazon affiliate sites when you buy this one, you should be clear at where you will be on the commission tiered structure to make sure you have realistic grasp on what you will be earning, especially since the seller might be pricing the site out at their top tier level rather than what level the site would earn on its own.
You can read more how the Amazon Associates compensation plan works here.
Opportunist Due Diligence That Leads to Easy Profit Multipliers
Now it’s time for the fun part…
Before this, we have talked about due diligence as mainly a way to deselect a site. You’re looking for any reason to just say no.
One thing we always tell our sellers on the Empire Flippers marketplace is to NEVER sell based on the potential of the website. To be clear, this is a very different thing than buying a website from Human Proof Designs, where you’re paying for the entire setup from design, WordPress installation, keyword research and a plethora of other services rather than purchasing an already income producing asset (as Dom would be first to point out, when you buy one of his sites, you will need to apply your marketing acumen to get them to their predicted earnings level).
Instead, an income producing website should sell based off what it is currently doing. However, as a buyer, there is nothing wrong with you looking at a website and seeing what kind of potential there is for the site.
As a savvy buyer, you should be looking for these “easy wins.”
They are what I like to called Possible Profit Multipliers.
What Are Possible Profit Multipliers for an Amazon Affiliate Site?
Since most everyone using Dom’s service is for the most part an Amazon affiliate, I thought I would cover this form of monetization when it comes to doing due diligence. It’s one of my favorite monetizations and the great thing is it’s both newbie friendly and veteran scalable.
Possible profit multipliers are things you notice that the seller of the site is doing wrong. Usually, these are things the website is missing that from a CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) would typically improve the earnings of the website.
Below, you’ll find a laundry list of common ways to perform good Amazon CRO that can not only increase the income of your purchased business, but also allow you to resell the business faster for a much higher price point than what you bought it for.
People who master CRO often fit what we call a Flipper Fred in our Buyer Personas.
Let’s breakdown some common elements to look for when it comes to purchasing an Amazon affiliate site.
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Are There Buyer Guides?
Buyer guides are often the bread and butter for Amazon affiliate websites. While single product reviews work well, too, a buyer guide is typically a lot more comprehensive, walking your traffic through everything related to the products you’re selling on the website.
These are often 3,000-4,000 words or even longer (I’ve seen some as long as 8,000-10,000 words) that covers everything product-wise your niche might be looking for.
For example, an Ultimate Buyer’s Guide to the Best Microwaves (Reviews Inside).
A headline like this would be intriguing to someone in the market for microwaves, and it covers quite a few buyer intent keywords (“best microwaves,” “microwave reviews,” and “best microwave reviews”).
These guides will often pick up a ton of long tail keywords, too, such as specific microwave models and other intriguing keywords. Most Amazon affiliate sites have these guides, but even having a good buyer’s guide doesn’t mean there isn’t room for MORE buyer’s guides.
For example, you could niche down a buyer’s guide to specific things.
Instead of “The Ultimate Guide to the Best Cooking Sheets,” it could be a buyer’s guide specifically about cooking sheets for cookies, or best luggage for business travel, etc.
If an Amazon affiliate site is lacking in these guides, this could be a nice content win for a buyer that could lead to significant income increase, especially once you interlink “juiced” up pages on the website to these guides (pages with a lot of backlinks tend to carry more ranking juice, so you can interlink these pages to these buyer’s guides and see a good SEO boost).
Speaking of buyer’s guides, you can use Human Proof Designs keyword packs service to help you grow your site out with other extra keywords you may not had thought of, which could lead you to building out entirely new buyer’s guides for the site as well.
Amazon Product Comparison Tables
Product tables are an awesome way to get your traffic to click off your site and into Amazon via your affiliate link. These tables should be placed high in the post, preferably above the fold. Most people are not looking to read the 4,000-word guide, so having this table up top will help them see in a quick glance what kind of gear they need and what is the best option.
These tables should be comparing the different products to one another. You should take a feature that every item has and use that as one of the comparisons you can make. While you should never use actual prices on an Amazon product listing (since the listings can change prices very frequently, and listing the price on your site could get your affiliate site banned), you CAN use symbols such as $$$$ to reflect if the item is a high ticket or low ticket item compared to the other items on the comparison table.
Likewise, you could use stars as your rating for which product you like the most outside of price. However, to stay perfectly in line with Amazon’s Terms of Service, you might be better served by using a different symbol than stars or make it VERY clear that this is your personal rating. If you do include stars, make them different from just copying what the Amazon reviews stars are, and again make it clear they’re your personal rating and not Amazon’s.
Along with seeing if there are product tables, you can split test to see if having images in the columns of the table are helping or hurting the conversion rates. (Read more about split testing Amazon affiliate sites here.)
There are many ways to create product comparison tables. If you’re using WordPress, you can simply just install the TablePress plugin. Likewise if you’re using Thrive Content Builder, they have a table module you can throw onto your website pretty easily.
While the vast majority of Amazon affiliate sites are earning from the US market, there are still sales that most affiliates are missing out on by simply not localizing their Amazon affiliate links.
If you’re doing due diligence on a site and you notice through their analytics that they’re seeing quite a bit of traffic also coming from the UK, Australia, or even across Europe, there could be an easy opportunity to increase the income of the Amazon affiliate site simply by adding a localization plugin.
The plugin will make it so that visitors from outside of the US visiting your affiliate site will be automatically redirected to the Amazon store that corresponds with their country when they click through on your links (and thus make it so they can buy something through your cookie tracking link).
There are many plugins out there that do this, and it is typically very easy to install, especially for WordPress sites.
Using Amazon Colors & Styles of Buttons
Amazon is split testing CONSTANTLY on its website. They are conversion machines. This means we can take them as our mentor when it comes to how we should design our website.
You can split test the style and colors of any buttons you have on your website. Instead of just having a “Buy Here” link, make it a “Buy Here” orange button with rounded edges. When they click through to Amazon, they will be greeted with the same “1 Click Buy Now” orange button as well.
This primes the traffic, and since the sales page (the Amazon product listing) echoes your design, it drives continuity and can often increase conversions.
Move People to Amazon as Quickly as Possible
Many articles have a LONG introduction. You want to make sure your affiliate links are as close to the top of your article as possible next to your pitch. If you can avoid your visitor having to scroll down to access your affiliate links, the more money you are likely to make.
Likewise, in informational and how-to style articles, you can pepper affiliate links throughout that content. If possible, look for opportunities to add tables, buttons, and contextual links where the visitor doesn’t have to scroll down to see them.
The faster you get people off your site onto Amazon, the better.
It is not uncommon for associates to see a 60 / 40 percent split with their Amazon affiliate earnings where only 60 percent of their affiliate sales are even related to their niche website topic. That is almost half of all sales coming from unrelated and unintentional product referrals.
Get that traffic off your website!
Test Different Themes
While testing themes can be a bit of a hassle, the earnings difference can be more than worth it. A few hours of implementation and a couple months of testing both premium and free themes, and themes designed specifically for Amazon affiliates (as well as those not designed for them), and you could see significant increases.
It might be the original theme is the highest converting for you — but you won’t know until you try it.
When you do this, please make sure to create a backup of some kind of your website. You don’t want to accidentally install something that sends all your content into an unformatted hell for you, such as getting rid of all your product tables or doing something weird in general to the content.
Backup and save often as you test different themes!
Since switching to AuthorityAzon a few months ago, sales on all of my Amazon affiliate websites skyrocketed. I've been consistently getting between 5 to 8% conversion rates without worrying about optimization. I'm proud to say that this system works.
Creator of the Authority Azon Theme
Heat maps are incredibly useful. They allow you to see exactly where someone’s mouse is or where they’re clicking on your site. These maps can reveal all sorts of data for you.
Many people click on images, yet not many affiliates are making images clickable affiliate links. This is a super easy win.
Likewise, you should make sure you have contextual links if at all possible where the heat map is the strongest. People tend to click text links more than any other style of link, so this could get more of your traffic off your website through your affiliate link.
All Links Open into New Windows / Tabs
This is another fairly easy win. It is no secret that your website is rewarded SEO-wise when people stay on your website for a longer period of time.
Just because you want people to get off your website as quickly as possible to Amazon doesn’t mean you need them to leave your website. Instead, have all your affiliate links (and really every link) open up a new window.
By doing this, you increase how long someone stays on your page while still directing them through to your affiliate link. Google rewards websites where the visitor stays longer by increasing the amount of keywords you will rank for on the search engine. By doing this, you also get the visitor to become “cookied” by Amazon since they opened up your affiliate link. Amazon uses tracking cookies to see if that person buys anything from your website within 24 hours — which is why it is so important to get the visitor off your website and onto Amazon as quickly as possible.
Use Visual Website Optimizer
Visual Website Optimizer is an awesome tool for easily split testing different versions of your pages and different styles of formatting.
It allows you to deeply personalize your content to your traffic, and it also includes analytics plus heat map software to help you decide what pages are converting best and why.
It is outside of the scope of this post to go into a deep dive of the software, but check out their website for more information. Using something like VWO could significantly increase the revenue of a bought digital asset over a few months with relatively very little effort in terms of hours put in on your part.
Build an Email List
One of the most overlooked components of an Amazon affiliate site is an email list. If you’re building just a dinky niche site, you may not want one, but in my opinion every affiliate site should have the potential to be something truly “more.”
Creating an email list allows you to do A LOT more marketing. Now you’re marketing to more than just random people that find your website off Google; you’re building an actual brand relationship with them.
While you can’t put Amazon affiliate links into your emails, you can use your emails to send your list to your money pages.
You could create an entire autoresponder that sends them to your various buyer’s guides, product reviews, and informational articles with your Amazon affiliate links sprinkled in.
Not only will an email list often increase your net profit, but it also increases the value of your website overall.
Plus, if you decide to add other monetizations such as Clickbank offers, you’ll have an entire targeted email list to promote that product.
Add Other Affiliate Programs
There is nothing stopping you from adding other offers on your website. Don’t limit yourself just to Amazon if you really want to grow your website. Create all sorts of offers, from info products to paid premium communities, and even CPA offers if they’re related to your niche.
This goes back to the last tip — building out an effective targeted email list will open the door for a lot more monetization opportunities.
Take advantage of it!
Google Speed Test
The speed of your website is very important as a ranking factor. All things being equal, the faster website is going to outrank you.
There is no better way to see how Google thinks of your website than using their own speed test.
The speed test will list out how well your site scores both on desktop and mobile devices. You want to get as close to 100 out of 100 as possible. In addition to this score, Google will actually tell you what is wrong.
Even if you don’t know how to fix what Google is telling you is wrong, you can go to a place like Upwork and hire someone who can fix it easily (and often cheaply).
This can be a huge win if you’re buying an Amazon affiliate site already earning money but has a very slow load speed (especially on the Mobile side when you consider 56 percent or so of all internet traffic is currently coming from mobile devices).
Interlinking the Site
Interlinking all of your articles together on your website in ways that make sense is an awesome strategy.
When doing due diligence on buying an Amazon affiliate site, look at all the content. Is the content interlinking as much as possible to other pieces of content on the site?
Can you increase it?
An easy way to do this is to go and categorize ALL of the content on the site in a separate spreadsheet. Then go through each piece of content, reading through it, and look for opportunities to interlink to relevant articles. You could also add extra content to the article to make the link more relevant if it isn’t naturally already in the article.
We’ve seen sites on our marketplace that have had as much as 80 articles sitting completely isolated. As in, someone who came to the site would not ever be able to get to those articles. A buyer came in, bought the website, and interlinked all those articles with the other content. He instantly saw a jump in his revenue simply from interlinking his website.
It’s an easy win from an SEO and conversion perspective since readers reading and liking your content will probably want more relevant high quality content to consume.
Take Advantage of SEMRush or Ahrefs (and Moz Toolbar)
If you’re looking to become a serious online marketer, then you should be using some serious tools. Two of these tools are SEMRush and Ahrefs that you can use to significantly increase your traffic and thus your earnings when used in conjunction with the Moz toolbar.
The idea is that, if there are websites that are more or less equal in authority to your website, then you should be able to rank easier for all the keywords that they are ranking for. After all, their website is just as powerful as yours.
Using the Moz toolbar you will want to see the Domain Age (DA) of the website you’re looking to purchase. DA is how Goolge gives authority to a website. The higher DA your website is, the more likely it is to rank for more keywords and rank higher for competitive keywords. Once you got the DA, you will want to start searching on Google for niche related blogs or valuable keywords.
You could use search queries like this if you were in the wood carving niche:
“Best wood carving blogs”
“How to carve wood”
“Different types of wood good for carving”
These kinds of keywords should bring up other blogs and niche sites, maybe even some real authority sites. You want to gather ALL the domains using the Moz toolbar that show a DA either slightly lower than your site or slightly higher than your site (-3/+3 or -5/+5 from your acquired site’s DA).
Once you got 20-30 different domains with a similar DA as the site you’re looking to buy, throw all those links into either SEMRush or Ahrefs. You will be able to use these tools to see what keywords these websites are ranking for and how much traffic each keyword is giving the website.
Since they’re ranking for these keywords and have a similar DA as you, it’ll be a piece of cake for your website to rank for these keywords as well if you create better content than them.
This is an excellent way to do a little “shortcut” when it comes to keyword research for a site you’re looking to build or purchase.
Upgrade the Content
If you purchase a website and really want to take things to the next level, consider upgrading your content. A significant way you can do this would be to make videos of your content. These videos could be explainer videos where you talk about the content the reader is about to read, or you could just make an entire video talking about what your article is also talking about. Some people enjoy reading, and others enjoy watching, so you can give them options in this way.
You don’t have to do it yourself; you can hire someone easily enough on Fiverr or Upwork to do this kind of work for you, relatively cheaply.
This is especially a good idea if you start exploring other monetization strategies that can often have higher profit margins, such as Clickbank or other digital product offers.
The best way to go about this is to use a tool like Ahrefs to go through your newly acquired site and see which piece of content is getting the most traffic and traction currently. Those are going to be your best ones to add a video. If you were building an email list, too, you can email your list to come back to that page with the updated content for them to experience it in a brand new way (and hopefully buy some extra things from you).
Not only will this increase your conversions, but also the multimedia will help you rank for even more longtail keywords. Plus, you will start growing a second channel of organic traffic via YouTube, which as most people know is the second-largest search engine in the world and is full of valuable traffic.
Use Due Diligence to Buy Good Sites with Easy Wins
Due diligence is all about looking for reasons to reject a site, yet it is also all about finding these easy wins. As you can tell, there are plenty of easy potential wins to look for. Some might take just a couple hours to implement, and others might take a couple weeks. Either way, nothing above that I mentioned is especially hard for someone willing to sit down and learn how to do it.
If you end up looking to buy a website, refer back to this post. It can save you a ton of headaches from both scams and just bad buys. Not to mention, if you implement everything we talked about above, you stand to make a significant increase in your acquired website’s monthly revenue — something we all want. For a deeper dive, you can check how our buyer process works here.
Remember, one of the beauties of buying a website and improving those revenues is you can always turn it right back around after a few months and sell that business for sometimes double what you bought it for — not to mention after all the earnings you got during the months you held onto the website.
If you already have a profitable business and want to see what it might be worth, we’ve put together a free valuation tool you can check out here.
Gregory joined Empire Flippers in April 2016 as the Content Manager. He manages the flow of content surrounding our brand – blog posts, guides, podcasts etc. – from producing the content to promoting it.
His goal is to grow the the reach of the company and introduce us to new audiences. Gregory was born in Anchorage, Alaska where he worked in the oil fields and now travels around Southeast Asia. He loves fiction, science and in his free time he moonlights as a novelist.