As you know I have recently bought two websites. Let's look at their performance and what I plan to do to increase it. I have no idea how realistic my plan is...…
The Second Website I Bought: Predictions Coming True?
While you may have been eagerly waiting for my post about PBN, I decided to whip up a not-so-short but sweet text about the second website I bought for my portfolio. I gave it a nickname Horse 🐎 (see my other website nicknames here). The website has started showing some good numbers, and I think this is a bet that turned out to be a sure one. So far, the website looks like being an awesome investment, and I thought it will be probably interesting and useful for you to read about it!
In December, the real website revenue exceeded the projected one by 50%.
What is the projected revenue in this case? I took the one that was used by the online broker to figure out the price of the website. It is an average revenue calculated based on the last three months before the website was put on sale. I bought the website in November, so the average revenue was based on the numbers from August, September, and October of the year 2015.
For the December increase, I blamed the Christmas season… but January promises to be even better! We are in the middle of the month, and the revenue has already exceeded the number expected for the whole month. I hope that by the end of the month it will double the expected revenue.
It is both surprising and not surprising. I expected the website to have some potential, but I did not expect it to grow so soon so much.
How I Bought The Website
While I wrote about my first purchase here, I never wrote a post about how the second one went.
At the beginning of November, I was still thinking of buying yet another website to make my investment portfolio more complete and diversified.
My favorite online broker – and the one I have used so far – is EmpireFlippers (read about my first experience with them), and I also bought this website from them.
Every Monday morning around 10-11 AM (ETS) EmpireFlippers publish a bunch of new websites. I noticed the pattern a while ago, so that day I was eagerly waiting for new listings to appear.
Usually, I am in the office at this time. I work as a software developer, and my schedule is flexible enough to allow me to spend a random couple of hours doing my stuff. I compensate for it by working during lunch or staying late.
So, I saw this listing – the price was very affordable $1,997 with the listing price multiple 20 and the monetizing platform AdSense. I told myself – let’s take a look – and sent a request for more info. My experience taught me to always do due diligence no matter how attractive the website description looks and how cheap the price is.
In 20 min I received a response from an EmpireFlippres (EF) agent with the URL, the most valuable piece of the information, and some other info.
I put the URL on SemRush and immediately saw the keywords, the competition, and the traffic.
The competition presented but it was not very big.
I opened the biggest competitor in SEMRush. The comparison between my website and the competitor showed me that there is room to grow in terms of keywords.
I took a look at the competitor’s website and found out that they also use an affiliate program that “my” website does not seem to use. Very good, yet another opportunity to grow!
But what about the backlinks?
The additional info email claimed that the website owner did not use any PBN: “No PBN have not done any backlinking whatsoever”. So I threw the URL into SEO SpyGlass, the tool I use to analyze backlinks. And it looked like the email statement was very true! While SEMRush showed one backlink, SEO SpyGlass showed zero backlinks.
This all looked very positive but at the same time, the listing price multiple was only 20 (to find out what it is, read this post.) This was the evaluation by EmpireFlippers, and it showed that they did not believe that the website had a great future (in terms of growth, I assumed, since there was no PBN or spammy backlinks).
But zero backlinks… and opportunities to grow… I could not let this chance go.
So, in one hour ten minute after receiving the info email, I replied to it – yes, I want to buy the website, and I have already sent you a wire transfer.
As usual, to confirm the purchase, I had to wait until my wire was received by EF. Usually, it takes about 2 hours. If somebody else sent a wire at the same time and their transaction passed before mine, I would lose the deal. So, I had to wait and hope that this would not happen.
For some reason, it took quite to EF a while before confirming the purchase. I got the response only in about 12 hours. As you already know, I was the lucky one 🙂 I have no idea whether there were other potential buyers… and in the end, it does not matter.
During the transfer process, I got in contact with the seller. He confirmed the zero backlink profile and said he never applied for any affiliate program. I told him my plan to grow the website, and he agreed it was a good one.
We still keep in touch, and once in a while, he asks me about how the website is doing. And I am happy to tell him that the website has been doing super well!
What I Have Done So Far
I bet you are super curious to hear what so special I have done with Horse Website!
The answer is – nothing special.
Recently I published the action plan for the website, and it contains the following steps:
- run Adsense experiments;
- test the AdSense ad unit placement.
- sign up for the affiliate program;
- find more keywords to rank for;
- start building backlinks.
Here are the steps I have acted on so far:
- run Adsense experiments.
That’s it! And the experiments are not even finished. Though they already show that only one ad variation out of three has a positive impact, so I cannot say that I did some ground-breaking changes.
However, this is not the only things I have played with; there were other improvements I’d applied before I published that action post.
So here are the other improvements I did:
- put the website on CDN CloudFlare, and it now caches up to 50% of requests;
- allowed the Gambling ad type to show.
Both traffic and click-through rate (CTR) have increased – thought the traffic grew moderately. Gambling ads are probably responsible for the CTR. As of the traffic… I guess that the website was growing before it was put up for sale, and now the growth has simply continued.
As per AdSense Terms and Conditions, I am not allowed to disclose “click-through rates or other statistics relating to Property performance as pertaining to the Services”, but I can show a snapshot from Google Analytics that demonstrates a difference in the traffic for November 2015 – January 2016 and August 2015 – October 2015.
As you can see, the traffic did grow, but not that much to justify the revenue increase. So, my guess here is that Gambling ads have been doing well with the website audience.
Soooo… so far, it has a pretty exciting journey with my website #2 🙂 Maybe it is too early to celebrate, but I sure hope it will stay this way! We will see – stay tuned