It might look the way you want it to look, have a history in Google and lots of back links, and already be getting the traffic that you’re hoping for. It might even be generating an income!
Just like other businesses, websites can be purchased as ongoing concerns, complete with inventory, reputation and customers. You’ll find them for sale on a variety of online sites and forums such as Flippa.
Buying a website is definitely not going to be right for everyone, but in some cases can be a valid option worthy of strong consideration.
Give yourself a head-start
With a new website, you’re usually starting from nothing. You have no traffic, no content, Google doesn’t know you exist yet, and you have no statistical history to help you research the best keywords… the list goes on.
To get a new site up to speed, you’ll need to promote it, build a database and accumulate content and statistics. It could take months or even years before you get to the point where it’s performing the way you want it to.
When you buy an existing website, you might just find one that is already chugging along nicely. It will have been online for a while, Google will have had time to index the pages and it could already be delivering targeted traffic.
You’ll be able to test how it ranks for various search terms and examine the statistics showing you where the traffic is coming from.
You might find that it already has some back links pointing to it too, giving it valuable weight in Google’s index and creating the potential for you to more easily optimise it to rank better for the specific keywords you want to target.
The potential for saving time and money promoting your website could be enormous.
Want more articles like this? Check out the business websites section.
Why do people sell?
Sometimes the owner of a website might have started it for fun, but has decided to focus on another project. In other cases, the owner has deliberately built the site up to a point where it’s worth selling.
I had a customer a few years ago who ran an SEO campaign with us to promote his part-time business. When his term hit the front page of Google the enquiries became too much for him to handle, so he asked me to delete the website. I suggested that he try to sell the site instead, and he was both surprised and delighted when a competitor showed immediate interest in buying it!
The downside of buying a website
As mentioned above, there can be some definite advantages to buying an established website, but there can be disadvantages too. These are some of the most important to bear in mind:
- You’ll probably need to compromise on the design in the first instance and perhaps pay for the logo and/or colour scheme to be updated
- You might need to compromise on the system and set up of the website
- You’ll need to spend some time researching and waiting until you have found a suitable website to buy
With any business purchase, it’s important that you do your due diligence. Always seek professional advice, and make sure you don’t succumb to any of these traps of buying a small business.
That said, buying a website is a still an option that should be considered. It can be particularly beneficial if you’re a small business owner or soloist, and especially if the main function of your website is to establish a blog and drive targeted traffic to your door.
Have you bought an existing site instead of establishing one from scratch? If so, please share your tips for a successful outcome below.