Businesses and individuals don’t always consider a website as a valuable asset when it comes time to pull up stumps and move on to the next entrepreneurial adventure. But there can be gold in them, there pages. According to Luke Moulton of Flippa.com, if you’re considering selling your website as part of your business or separately, it pays to be prepared.
Just like dressing up a house for auction, giving your website a spit and polish prior to sale will ensure you achieve the best outcome. The following seven steps can help make your treasured site shine, prior to putting it on the market and attracting top dollar.
1. Gather Statistics
Discerning buyers will want to review historic detailed reports on the traffic your website attracts. They will want to know metrics such as: how many visitors per day, where are the visitors coming from and what keywords they’re typing into search engines to find your site.
Google Analytics, the ubiquitous free website statistics package, is easy to install and something every website owner should be using. If you’re not using Analytics already, ask your website developer to install it on your site… like now!
If you’re using e-commerce to sell products or services via a shopping cart, then make sure Google Analytics e-commerce tracking is installed.
2. Update Your Content
If your content is out of date, spend some time making the information on your site current. No one likes to see a news section with the most recent article was published two years ago. Also, ensure that you own the copyright to all the content on your website. You can’t sell something that’s not yours to sell.
3. Spruce up the Design
The real estate analogy applies here. A lick of paint and polished floor boards can do wonders for your sale price. So, if your site is looking a little late 90s, it may be worth spending some time and money on a face lift.
4. Isolate Website Generated Revenue or Leads
Unless you have an e-commerce website, chances are it’s a lead generation tool (i.e. People find your website using search engines like Google, then submit an email inquiry or call you).
Tracking leads generated via your website is important for your day-to-day marketing reporting, and becomes even more important when it’s time to sell. If you can quantify how many leads your website generates your business, and even more importantly, place a value on these leads, then you can begin to establish the value of your website.
Google Analytics has can be used to track inquiries submitted via forms on your website and there are also companies that can help you integrate call tracking.
5. Gather Associated Account Details
You may have other accounts that you’ve used to promote your website, such as social media accounts (i.e. Twitter, Facebook pages and YouTube channels). These can all be used to add value to your sale. You may also be using an email provider to send email campaigns to your list. Make sure you check with your email provider that you are able to transfer this list to a new owner.
If your website has been custom built form the ground up, then the buyer will require documentation on how to use it. Your website developer should also provide documentation around how the site was coded, so that the new owner can maintain the site.
7. Prepare for the transfer
When the deal’s done various accounts are going to have to be transferred into the new owner’s name. Make sure you have all your account details ready so you can transfer the following:
– Domain name registration
– Hosting account (the buyer may choose to change hosting providers)
– Website Login Details (if you using a Content Management System)
Taking these steps a couple of months prior to putting your website on the market will ensure that you’re prepared for any questions a potential buyer might throw your way. As with all business transactions, make sure you’re forthcoming with any other requested information and try to be as transparent as possible.
Luke Moulton is the marketing manager at Flippa.com, the largest global marketplace for buying and selling websites. With 10 years experience in online marketing and website development, Luke now helps educate people around website trading.
Photo: Myki Roventine