One of the most attractive features of websites is the ability to increase in value over time. If built and maintained correctly, you can go from sinking money into a black hole to becoming a multi-millionaire. However, getting to that point needs some careful thought.
The easiest part of converting your website into cash is the sale. For that, excellent intermediaries like Flippa exist. They’ll support you through the entire process, from valuing your site to listing it and eventually, ensuring the final sale is successful.
What Contributes to Website Value
There is a misconception that the more visitors a site gets, the higher its value will be. While visitor volume can serve as an indicator, it goes a lot deeper than that. What potential buyers want to see is the fiscal viability and overall quality of your website.
Traffic needs to be tied to revenue to serve as an accurate indicator of value. For example, you can have 1,000 visitors generating $500 monthly for you, or 10,000 visitors generating $10 each month – the discrepancy may be large.
How to Boost Your Site Value
To increase the overall quality and value of your website, there are some key areas you can focus on.
1. Lay a Strong Foundation
PageSpeed Insights analyzes site performance and offers suggestions for rectification.
The first step to success is a website that performs well. This means that it should have a sturdy foundation that’s secure, and responds quickly to queries. Aside from improving user experience, fast sites also convert traffic better.
To get a better idea of the areas your website should perform well in, you can make use of Google PageSpeed Insights. PageSpeed Insights will evaluate your site and provide some metrics on how well it performs according to Google guidelines. It will also break this down into various areas you can focus on individually, such as Time to Interactive and Total Blocking Time.
2. Diversify Sources of Website Traffic and Income
Flippa example – PersonalityMax, a website which sold for $245,000 had diverse sources of traffic – about 40% of the website traffic is coming from non-search channels (source).
One thing that website buyers dislike greatly is risk. By having more diverse income and website traffic sources, you’re essentially reducing that risk.
If you’re relying on sheer volume to boost earnings on your site, then most would look towards an ad integrator like Google Adsense. However, many other opportunities exist. Aside from placing ads, you can also use affiliate links from sources such as CJ Affiliates or Amazon, direct advertising or brand partnership, or even consider paid user subscription.
Aside from monetization, where you get your traffic from can also play a role in reducing risk. While the strongest source of web traffic is organic search, you should also be able to draw some numbers via various social channels as well as email subscriptions. Be sure to make use of email marketing and social media tools in the market to grow.
The key to success here is diversification. So long as you’re able to diversify successfully, you won’t have to worry too much if one channel shuts down for some reason or other.
3. Build In-depth Content
Flippa Example – OutdoorMancave, a website sold for $138,000 had more than 100 pages of well-written articles at the time of sale (source).
The number of visitors you get on your site may come from various sources. Search traffic is particularly valuable since it’s typically based on the strength of your content. The more content you build and the higher quality it is, the more likely it is you will draw a respectable number of visitors.
Focus on evergreen content that is likely to draw traffic for longer periods of time. Content which has a long lifespan is also attractive to potential buyers as they can save time and money on content when taking over your site.
Make sure the content built is of high quality and follows Google Search Quality Guidelines to demonstrate expertise, authority, and trustworthiness for better ranking. Doing so can help you lay the groundwork for stable SEO in the long run.
Excellent content should:
- Be of sufficient length (1,000 words or more)
- Cover a narrow field comprehensively
- Present information accurately
- Be communicated clearly
- Make use of engaging visual elements
But this is just a starting point, there’s much more to considering when creating content.
4. Investigate the Competition
The WHSR Tool can help you quickly see what technologies competing sites are running.
The race toward building site value isn’t a one-player game. As you’re building your site, others are as well. Even if you’re unaware of them, they will be competing against you for visitor traffic.
Knowing the competition is one way to beat them at their own game. From time to time, check out who’s competing in the same space and carry out some basic analysis. For example, use the WHSR Tool to see what site infrastructure and apps they are running, and SEO Tools like Ahrefs to investigate their ranking pages.
5. Build Strong Links
SuccessfulBlogging has a decreasing traffic trend but was sold for $45,000 – 2.4x of its annual income. I believe the site’s strong link profile (81,000+ links) is likely one of the reasons for the good valuation (source).
Link building is one way of helping search engines better understand and rank your pages. Typically, a single page of content isn’t enough for it to be evaluated comprehensively. After all, search engines need to compare it with literally millions of other pages.
To help identify your content, you need links to serve as an association of sorts. Link building needs to be applied internally and externally. Internal links help reinforce the structure of your site and show search engines how content is related. External links help reinforce your site credibility.
External links are links that exist on other websites that point towards your content. Aside from content identification, inbound links help search engines gauge the authority of a page. The stronger a website that links to your content, the better your content will rank.
It is much harder to get a link from a site that is popular and authoritative. If you do manage to get these, they will greatly improve the value of your site to future potential buyers.
6. Keep an Eye on Design
Many website owners have made the mistake of designing a website according to what they think looks great. Website design needs to have greater depth than that. Remember that you’re not building it for yourself alone but to satisfy the needs of both visitors and search engines.
One of the clearest demonstrations of this is Google’s mobile-first initiative. Given the increasing number of internet users browsing from mobile devices, Google now requires websites to build for efficiency on these platforms.
The design elements you choose, the layout of your site, and many other factors come into play when designing your website.
Make sure your site:
- Is well structured
- Makes correct use of URLs
- Has the right METAs in place
- Uses supported image types and sizes
7. Target the Right Keywords
Google Trends lets you do basic comparatives to gauge interest in specific keywords.
Earlier, we mentioned building strong content, but you also need to make sure you build the right content. Before you build a stack of long articles, do your SEO groundwork to ensure that the content sits on solid ground.
This means that the keywords you target should have value and at least a decent search-demand volume. If you haven’t signed up for an SEO tool yet, then one way of doing this would be to use Google.
Google Trends can give you a rough idea of search demand, while Adwords will be able to show you estimated values of keywords. This method is a little rudimentary but can serve as a quick fix if you’re just starting out.
8. Reinforce Using Social Proof
If you’re selling something through your website, you can boost conversion rates by making use of social proof. By showing potential customers the opinions of what others who have bought from you think, you can encourage collective behavior.
After all, if 1,000 people have bought “Product X” and love it, surely they can’t all be wrong, yes? Social proof can easily be integrated into your website strategically at no significant cost. Think of it as a helpful tool for your digital marketing activities.
Some ways you can make use of social proof include:
- Showing positive customer reviews
- Using customer testimonials
- Showcasing volumes sold
- Making use of celebrities or influencers
And much more.
Conclusion: Keep the End Goal in Mind
The recommendations listed in this article are but the tip of a very large iceberg. From the time your website is birthed, it can take significant effort to really boost in value. The trick is dedication and keeping your endgame in mind.
Sometimes, a bit of motivation can go much further than a mountain of instructions. Investing time and energy into increasing the value of your website can have great payoffs when you decide it’s time to sell.