9 Tools For Assessing A Website’s True Value

Having an online presence is a must in today’s digital culture.  Most successful businesses invest a great deal of time, money and effort in their website and their overall web presence.

Buying and selling websites and domain names can, unfortunately, be a shady industry. Most dishonesty comes from people trying to scam new buyers. Additionally, there are sellers trying to sell a website without providing the right information and statistics to buyers. Often, they don’t have this data as they didn’t realize (until they come to sell) that they were going to need it.

It goes without saying that buying and selling websites can be a risky endeavour.

Fortunately, there are various tools that you can use to help verify the true value of a website.

What Websites Can Help?

Take a look at these two different scenarios:

Scenario 1: An entrepreneur wants to sell an online business built around selling computer accessories to customers.  As part of the deal, he was forced to sign a 2-year non-compete agreement with his investors.  A year later, he was ready to sell an almost completely identical business that had a few years of history — which meant he had zero intentions of honouring his non-compete agreement.  Needless to say, it was nearly impossible to sell his business.

Scenario 2: You are thinking about purchasing a website that generates a substantial portion of its earnings through affiliate marketing.  How can you guarantee that all of the revenue is being generated by the website that you want to buy?  How do you know that the entrepreneur doesn’t also have other websites with the same affiliate tracking codes on them?

There are tools that you can use to help figure out if the person you’re buying the business from owns other, similar websites, or if there are any other sites where they are displaying the same affiliate codes and pumping up the revenue numbers on the site they’re trying to sell you.

Domain Tools:

DomainTools.com allows you to check both the ownership history of the website you’re buying, as well as other domains owned by the same person.

Who Rush:

Similar to DomainTools.com, WhoRush.com helps you discover other domains that could possibly be owned by the person you’re thinking about buying a business from, and lets you look up their affiliate tracking codes, AdSense IDs, Analytics IDs, and more information.

Reverse Internet:

ReverseInternet.com is a mishmash of different tools and combines both Who Rush and SEMRush into one useful service.

How To Verify The Traffic

Very few sellers are going to tell you that they’ve built their website on a sand foundation.

Some sellers know exactly what they need to do and say to get you to buy the website. They know exactly what it takes to build traffic and rankings but without proper investment, that tends to only last for a short period of time.

Other sellers may not necessarily know what they are doing and could have done things while building the business that spells potential doom for their website in the future.

Thankfully, there are a few different tools you can use to verify how a person has built their website and whether, or not the traffic is going to last after you buy it.

Google Analytics:

One of the first things you need to do when thinking about buying a website is to verify how well distributed the traffic is across different channels.  Are they getting a large amount of traffic from a few keywords? Are they tapping into a wide range of traffic sources like direct, referral, social, and organic search?  Strong referral traffic can be a great indicator of stronger keyword rankings.

Open Site Explorer:

Open Site Explorer is an excellent free tool. You can use it to figure out how a website is being linked to from other websites and whether it is going to be negatively impacted by algorithm updates.  The tool can help you identify a website’s authority and compare it to the competition.  It can also help you figure out if the owner has used any shady link building tactics.

SEMRush:

SEMRush, and tools like it, are incredibly valuable for figuring out how competitive a niche is and where easy pockets of growth are for the website.  SEMRush is also great for tracking down shady link building tactics. It’s important for you to validate the SEO strategies that were used by the previous owner.

How To Build On What You’ve Discovered

The tools above are going to help you significantly when it comes to identifying how the website you’re thinking about buying was built and whether or not the seller believes their website has been properly built. Unfortunately, the seller may be hiding the fact that they’ve used shady strategies.

Despite having those tools in your arsenal, you still need to make sure that the website you’re thinking about buying is both profitable and sustainable.

Here are a few tools to help you with that:

Built With:

BuiltWith.com is a free tool that will help you figure out everything you need to know about the technology that a website is built around.  It’s incredibly useful!

Banned Check:

If you’re thinking about buying AdSense websites, verify that the site or the site owner is not banned from AdSense.  This is great for checking content-only sites, too, that you believe may have been monetized with AdSense in the past.  If you’re planning on taking over a content site and plan on monetizing with AdSense, used BannedCheck.com to verify it’s safe.

Google Trends:

Google Trends is a great tool for identifying whether you are potentially buying into a dying industry.  A large number of websites are sold every day because the owner knows their niche is nearing the end of its life.  Google Trends can help you identify whether or not the business’ niche is on a downward trend.

The More You Know

Even though there is a lot of risk when it comes expanding your web presence, a smart buyer will be able to navigate through the risk to find those hidden gems.

Knowledge is power. Knowing is half the battle when it comes to protecting yourself from the unsavoury characters trying to pass sand foundations onto unsuspecting buyers.

Using the tools laid out here, you don’t necessarily have to rely on what the seller is telling you. You can verify for yourself exactly what they are doing and how they have built the website. You can then take it on and use it to enhance your business and your brand.

 

Warning: Your slow site load speed is a killer

Warning! Your Slow Site Load Speed is a Killer!

If your site load speed is longer than two seconds, you may be losing as much as 33% of your potential traffic!

I can hear the warning alarms blaring in your head right now. They went off in my own head not too long ago, when I first hear that significant statement.

Do you even know how long your site takes to load? I’ll give you a hint:

Typing it into the browser and counting isn’t going to give you an accurate time. People have different internet speeds and different browsers. You need a tool!

In this post, I’ll give you two free ways you can check the speed of your website and three action steps you can take right now to make it load faster. Ready?

Two Tools to Check Your Site Load Speed

Using a tool will tell you exactly how fast your website loads (given a good internet connection) and what you need to do to make it load even faster.

Related Reading: 7 WordPress Plugins You Need to Create Amazing Content

1. Google PageSpeed Insights

Google PageSpeed Insights Tool

Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool ranks your website’s mobile and desktop pages on a scale of 1 to 100. What’s great about this tool is that it tells you exactly what you need to fix in order to hasten your site’s loading times.

2. Web Page Test

Web Page Test

The Web Page Test tool is similar to Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool, but it tells you exactly how fast your website loads. If you’re over a three-second load time, that’s a big red flag!

You’re probably wondering: “What can I do to make my website load faster?”

3 Action Steps for a Faster Website

Don’t fret – there are a few relatively simple things you can do to quickly speed up your site.

1. Simplify your design

One of the easiest and quickest ways to increase load speed is to reduce the amount of “stuff” that has to load. That could mean fewer images, videos, custom JavaScripts or widgets, ect.

Besides, there’s nothing wrong with white space. In fact, one study found that most people find simple websites to be more compelling (and they stayed on them longer).

2. Remove Unused Plug-ins and Addons

WordPress is awesome – it lets you add plugins to do almost anything! However, with this extensive library of cool stuff comes a lot of clutter; and this clutter can seriously slow down your website.

Take a good, hard look at your list of plugins. Are you actually using them all? Which ones can you get rid of? Strip it down to the bare minimum and watch your load speed shrink.

Pro Tip: Download the P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) to see which plugins are taking up the most bandwidth.

3. Install a Cache Plugin

I know, I know – I just talked about how plugins slow your website down, and now I’m telling you to download more?!

Hear me out. A caching plugin like WP Super Cache can significantly speed up your website by saving elements of the page to make them load faster whenever a user returns to your site.

If you need help setting up your plugin, check out this complete beginner’s guide.

Conclusion

A slow site load speed can cause people to leave your site and never come back. It hurts your search engine rankings (because of the increased bounce rate) and means you’ll have less overall traffic.

These three steps are so simple and easy to do that you really have no excuse not to do them. Take 10 minutes right now to go through them and make your site as fast as a cougar!

What ways have you used to speed up your website? Let us know in the comments below!

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