How to Buy an Undervalued Website on Flippa

Speaker 1: Throughout the past 10 years, I’ve built and sold websites in various niches some have built from scratch, but more recently I’ve been picking up developed websites, driving more traffic and sales and then flipping them for a profit.

Now, when you find a good website, it can save you a ton of time and money, which in my opinion, can be building one from scratch. But how do you know if a website is worth its asking price? I mean, sellers want to make as much money as possible and as a buyer, you want to get it at the lowest cost. The simple answer is to find undervalued websites so both parties are happy. And in this tutorial, I’m going to show you exactly what to look for and how to buy a website that’s worth the investment. Stay tuned. What’s up, marketers, salmo here with the CEO tool that helps you grow your search traffic, research your competitors and dominate your niche. Now, I’m sure you’ve heard of sites like Flippa and GoDaddy auctions, and these are just a couple of places. But you can buy domains, developed websites and businesses of all kinds. But the problem with buying these is that there are a lot of people inflating traffic and reported revenue. In fact, many of these people will go as far as buying fake clicks to manipulate their Google analytics data. Now, the last thing I want you to do is get scammed or even feel like you’ve got the short end of the stick. So today’s tutorial is all about finding and buying undervalued websites so you can save time, money and get a head start to more traffic on the cheap. But first, we need to discuss what undervalued means. And full disclosure, this is just the way that I do it.

Let’s get to it first. Let’s talk about the commerciality of the niche on sites like Flippa. You’ll often find websites about jokes or downloading illegal content. To me, this automatically disqualify sites simply because they’re not easily monetized or legal. So you generally want to look for websites that have commercial value and this is somewhat subjective, depending on what you plan to do with the site. So you use your best judgment. Second is understanding a little bit about the value of a website, and I think it’s obvious to say that in general, the more profit a website generates, the higher its value. But again, on the buy side, the more profit a website generates, the more it’ll cost. You know, even though a website doesn’t generate any or much revenue, it doesn’t mean it’s worth nothing. So personally speaking, I like finding websites that have potential to drive a lot of traffic based on data and are not generating a ton of revenue. Now, it’s important to note that there are additional layers that most professional brokers will look at, like EBITA and discounted cash flow. But I feel like talking about this would only confuse or even mislead some of you. After all, we’re talking about super undervalued websites, and for that reason, I’ve purposefully left out additional details that I don’t think would add much value to this tutorial. All right. The third thing we need to talk about is the type of traffic you should aim for. Greg Elfrink from Empire Flipper’s, a company that buys and sells online businesses, said in a blog post. High quality traffic is good regardless of its source. I always urge people to diversify their traffic sources to gain several marketing mediums, thereby producing quality leads and sales for their business. He goes on further to say, While Facebook ads can be awesome, SEO traffic is almost always better from a selling perspective. The reason why buyers love SEO is that unlike most other marketing channels, you don’t need to monitor the campaign actively. Once you can Google for your chosen keywords, there’s not much more for you to manage. Aside from going after other keywords. So to add on to our definition of undervalued, I personally look for websites that don’t have a ton of search traffic but have the potential to drive a ton of SEO traffic and I’ll touch on the so-called potential in like five seconds.

Now, if you’re a beginner to SEO, two of the biggest things that help you ranking Google are high quality content, which is easily outsourced. And the second thing are high quality backlogs which have shown to correlate with higher rankings time and time again. And that’s the potential I’m looking for. So the agenda for the rest of this tutorial is about finding these undervalued websites that have decent link profiles. And then we’ll look for low hanging opportunities to increase organic traffic with much less work than if you are building a site from scratch. Let’s start hunting. Step one is to scrape a list of sites. So for this tutorial, I’ll be using Flippa. So go to their website, change this dropdown to website and run a blank search. Next, we’ll need to set some filters like a price range of zero to twenty thousand or whatever your maximum budget is. I’ll also set the age filter to at least one years old, and this will weed out a lot of new domains that haven’t had much time to build links or have likely manipulated their link profiles with low quality Bucklings. Finally, I’ll run the search. And since we’re looking to analyze a lot of these domains, let’s set the maximum number of results to two hundred and fifty per page. Now we’re going to scrape a list of domains to do this. I’ll be using a chrome extension called scraper, which is completely free. Once you have it installed right. Click anywhere on the page and choose scrapes similar. Now enter this piece of XPath code in the selector section and for the columns we’ll just enter a period and I’ll leave this code for you in the PIN comment. So I’ll copy all of these to the clipboard and paste them into a Google sheet. Now I’ll go to the next page and do the exact same thing and continue to do so until I’ve scraped all websites within my filter parameters. By now you should have a nice list of what? It’s worth analyzing, so let’s move on to the next step, which is to get the CEO metrics for all of these websites to get these metrics. I’m going to use a batch analysis tool which lets you bulk analyze up to two hundred websites, sub folders or you URLs in a few seconds. So I’ll paste our first two hundred domains from our spreadsheet and click analyze. Now, there are two ways to look at this data. First is the sort of buy organic traffic. And this way you’re going to find websites that are already generating a good amount of search traffic. Now, the caveat is that these sites may already be priced high. They might be in a different language where competition is lower or they may be targeting super low competition topics in various niches like jokes. The other and often more reliable way is the Sorbi domain rating, which is an HFS metric representing the overall strength of a websites baffling profile. Now, at this point, you just want to skim through the domain names because this should give you a decent idea of what the website is about. So this one seems to be about WordPress themes, which might be interesting. Not sure what understaffed dot com is, but seems to be branded. So I’ll quickly click through. And it’s another WordPress theme’s website. Now, this one is on polo shirts and I only wear t shirts. As you can clearly tell Terance that IO is illegal. So no thanks. And then snow in Canada, dotcom, which is in the larger industry of health or sleep, seems kind of interesting for me personally. The last one I look at for this tutorial is Titli Dotcom, which looks like a decent brand. Let’s go to the site. And it looks like they have a free proofreading editor, which doesn’t seem to have a paid plan of any sort. So at this point, after checking two hundred domains, I have four that I might be interested in, rigourous themes, understrength, snowing Canada entirely. Now run the metrics for all sites and we’re onto the next step, which is the spot check these link profiles. So from the batch analysis report, I’m going to click on the number in the do follow referring domains column to see which websites are linking to these domains. And what we’re looking for here are linking domains that look like they will be relevant to the business. And since we’re just spot checking, we’ll also look at the D-R of these linking websites to assess overall quality. It looks like rigourous themes has good followed links from sites like WordPress, secure server, dot net, access themes, template monster and more understrength also has some good links from WordPress, Dreamhouse site points and Comcast.

Snow in Canada has links from Bussel Goodman. Project Sleep Phones and Women Daily Magazine entirely has some decent links from G to the Bookseller, Educators, Technology and Baltimore Post. Now, how do I know these are all decent links? Well, some of them are recognizable and reputable sites and others seem like relevant domains to each respective niche. Remember that this step is just about spot checking and not doing a deep dove because we’ll do that later. So all seems good. So let’s move on to the next step, which is to analyze traffic trends in organic keyword rankings. Since we’re already in these reports, just click on Overview in the left sidebar menu. Then I’ll click on the organic search tab to see the traffic trend for the website. Over time, looking at rigourous themes, they’ve had some spiky traffic. So consistency hasn’t exactly been on their side. And I tend to see this often with sites that haven’t really optimized their website with SEO in mind, for example, not targeting keywords intentionally that are related to their site. So let’s go to the Organic Keywords report and you’ll see that their rankings are lacking. And from initial glance, it doesn’t look like they rank for any meaningful keywords. For example, Ryan, his swim, which is from one other theme demo pages, doesn’t provide any value for them as a theme’s business. Now, this to me isn’t a horrible thing. It just seems like a sign of the website not using their link profile to its maximum potential, considering it has over thirty five hundred referring domains in a domain rating of eighty three, which is quite high. So I’ll leave this on my list of sites to analyze further. I saw under strapped dotcom, they also have solid domain level metrics and looking at the organic traffic graph, they’ve had slow but steady growth and quickly looking at their organic keyword rankings. You’ll see that they rank four relevant terms and have built a decent demand for their brand name, which is tough to do. Let’s add them to our list of sites to analyze further. Next step is snoring. Canada Dotcom. They have decent domain level metrics, but look at their organic traffic chart. If we hover over the graph, you’ll see their traffic got smashed in August twenty eighteen, which may have very well been from Google’s Medek update. Personally, I’m not passionate about the topic of snowing so much that I would care to play with this kind of volatility. So I actually rule this website out and not bother looking further. Finally, is type dotcom. They’ve had some decent traffic growth. Over time, looking at their organic he support, they rank high for competitive keywords like free online proofreading tool and several variants. Now that we’ve checked the main metrics for these domains, let’s move on to the next step, which is to analyze the background profiles of the remaining websites. To see the back profile of the website, go to the backlands menu in the sidebar. Next, set the link type to do file to only see the value parsing links for the website. Now, the first thing that I notice is that the top back links are all from home pages. And if you look at the far right side, you’ll see similar links, which are links with the same anchor text and surrounding text. This is usually a sign of state wide links. And as Google states on their Links Games page, widely distributed links in the footers or templates of various sites may be classified as unnatural links clicking through to this domain, which has forty nine hundred similar links. You’ll see that it’s from a site wide footer link that gives attribution to the creators of the WordPress theme. And since almost all of the links seem to come from site wildlings just like this, I would personally devalue the link profile a bit. And because I don’t feel like gambling today, I think I’ll remove this from reviewing further. Next up is understrength dot com. And since there are themes to, it appears as though they have site wide links from people using the theme. As you can see for this link, they’re using the anchor text under Streptococcal. Let’s go to the referring page and search for it. So I’ll do a fine for their domain name under Stop Dotcom, but nothing appears.

Long story short, it’s because understrength actually hides their link using CSFs, which is a hard past for me as this is bad practice. You can see that if I remove this bit of access code display none and you’ll see the link at the bottom of the page. So with the somewhat shady link building practices that are going on here, I’ll pass right away on this domain. Finally is type dot comes back and profile. It doesn’t seem like they’ve done a lot of link building, but have some relevant links in addition to scraper links, which is for the most part out of their control. But if you remember, they’ve had some growing traffic and our ranking for some hyper relevant and competitive terms. Plus, by buying the site, you’d also get access to the code for their product. So this is about the only site I’d look at further. So from here, you should do a manual review of the background profile, try and spot a natural links from places like PB’s and make an educated decision from there. As a last measure, I’ll go to the Anchors report, which will show us all anchor texts and the distribution that are used on backlands pointing at the websites pages. As you can see, the majority are using branded anchors or naked you URLs, which is likely a sign of natural growth as opposed to link manipulation. This is ideally what you’d want to see from a site. All right. The next step is to analyze the website for low hanging places for improvement. At this point, we want to see if there’s a way we can improve the website’s traffic without a significant amount of effort or resources. So the first thing I’m going to do is run a website audit using a site audit tool. This will automatically search for over one hundred predefined technical issues. So as that’s running, let’s see if we can identify areas for improvement. So I’m going to go back to Site Explorer and this time I’ll go to the Best Buy Links report, which will show us the pages that have the most back links. The first thing I notice is that they have links to both the TPS and FDP version without a three on redirect. In fact, they had the same issue here on the secure and unsecured doped up version. And if I click on these URLs, you’ll see that indeed they do not redirect. And if I check the source code, they don’t seem to have a canonical take either. This isn’t the end of the world for the site, but it’s a super easy way to fix a technical issue. Another thing you’ll notice is that they don’t really have any links to their blog.

And by looking at the titles and slug’s, they don’t seem to be making intentional efforts with their keyword targeting or on page efforts. In my opinion, this is probably the weakest point of their website and one of my greatest strengths. So this seems super attractive for me to help the site get more traffic and exposure for the tool. Finally, I want to get an idea of the organic search competitors in the industry to know who will be up against. So I’ll go to the Competing Domains Report to see other websites that are ranking for similar keywords as type and a few that I immediately recognize are slick. Right. Hemmingway app and Lee. Now, since Tipsheet doesn’t have a ton of back links, I see this as a growth opportunity to get more links traffic and increase the value of the site in six to twelve months. The last check I do here in Site Explorer is to go to the broken back on this report and it doesn’t look like Titli has any issues here, so that’s too bad. But to illustrate what I’m looking for, I’ll show you on the. Rigorous theme sight from before, if you go to the Broken Backlands report, you can see all links pointing at the broken pages on the site and you’ll see a couple here, which you could redirect to another relevant page or recreate the page. This is a really easy way to funnel link equity back to pages that could use them or to redirect them to other relevant pages on your site. The last and final thing I’ll do is go to the finished website on it and see what low hanging technical fixes I can make from the overview page. I’ll scroll down a bit until I hit the issues table. This will show you all technical issues that were caught to learn what these issues are. You can click here, which will pull down a description and to actually apply fixes, just click on the number beside the issue to see the affected pages. So let’s say that after all of these checks, I was happy with what I saw an opportunity to grow a website past what the previous owner was able to do. It’s the last thing I’ll do is look for areas to better monetize. On a monetization note, they aren’t monetized yet, so there’s a ton of potential here. A couple of ideas that come to mind are to create a premium tool or to improve their API, which is currently in beta. At this point, I’ll go to flip a dotcom and search for type dotcom and I’ll go to the listing details from here. You’ll need to read through the listing where the seller will normally explain what they’ve done and their ideas for growth. And they say users are begging for a premium version with more features like a browser extension and mobile integration. I received many requests to sell API access to the tool and integrate more checks. I have a list of ideas that I’m happy to share with a buyer. Now, remember, these are all just ideas. So rather than dreaming about becoming the next billion dollar company, you need to do market research and evaluate whether you have the funds, knowledge and resources to grow the company. Now, if everything looks good to you and you are ready to take on giants like Ramli, I would recommend contacting the seller, verify traffic and revenue, if any, and begin the negotiation process. Now, the reason why I like to go through these kinds of steps is because when I buy a website, I’m looking for growth and longevity. My greatest advice to you would be that if it doesn’t check all or most of the boxes that are absolute must haves, then be patient. The last thing you want to do is sit on a site that you have no desire to grow. And I can tell you that money alone won’t be enough motivation to get it going. So to conclude, even though there’s massive potential in a relatively untapped industry, I don’t think I’d buy this site simply because I don’t have the technical know how to improve the product, nor am I interested in proofreading software. But someone out there is. Bottom line, if you’re going to buy a website, trust no one. Instead, dig into the data, assess points of weakness and buy it for a price that will be a shortcut to growth and a nice trade off for your time. Now, if you enjoyed this lesson, make sure to like, share and subscribe for more actionable SEO and marketing tutorials and let me know in the comments if you would rather build a website from scratch or buy one and improve it. So keep grinding away. Always do your due diligence and I’ll see you in the next tutorial.

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