21 Smart Ways To Increase Website Value
The subject of website value – attracts a lot of conflicting opinions!
Worse still, there is a multitude of so-called online “website value” calculators that claim to tell you how much your website is worth! Think about it – how can any website claim to give you a website valuation, without knowing your revenues, your profit?
No wonder website owners get confused!
If you own a blog, an eCommerce site, an Amazon FBA site, a lead generation site or any type of website here are:
21 Smart Ways To Increase Website Value
Special Note: No matter if you intend to sell your website now, or indeed never sell, there is much information here that will help you build a better website business.
#1 To Increase Your Website Value, Start With the End In Mind
It was Stephen R. Covey in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, who in habit #2 introduced us to “starting with the end in mind’.
This one ‘simple strategy’ makes the difference when it comes to building website value – but it is often overlooked!
Fact is – you are never going to build website value and worth without first acknowledging it and stating it as a GOAL.
So let us start with this thought…
What is your exit plan?
Who will buy your website business?
Why will they buy your business and for how much?
A wise friend once said:
The Biggest Mistake A Small Business Can Make Is Thinking Like A Small Business
If your goal is a successful exit with a life-changing sum of money in the bank, then thinking and acting like a small business is one of the first things you will need to stop doing!
Millions of dollars (or Pounds, or Euros or whatever your currency) does not fall into your lap by accident.
There is lots more we could add here – but perhaps the most important thing is knowing who your potential buyers are.
Even if it may be many years in the future, now is the time to appear on that buyers radar, to make connections with them, to network with them.
Knowing the largest players in your market and understanding their intentions is invaluable when it comes to finding buyers for your website.
#2 Use Diversified Traffic Sources
Bloggers and online business owners boost about getting huge amounts of business from SEO, or Facebook or whatever the latest Hot Traffic method is.
But what if Google no longer likes your site or suddenly advertising on Facebook doubles in cost – where are you then?
Experienced buyers of websites and online investors will down value your website business if most of your income/traffic comes from one source.
Having most of your traffic coming from a single source leaves you vulnerable to future changes in search engine algorithms, increased competition, and other factors.
Diversity in traffic is also a factor that search engine algorithms increasingly consider more and more.
You should try to get traffic from a multitude of the following sources:
- Search (Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc.)
- Social Media (Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, YouTube, etc.)
- RSS Feeds
- Partner Websites
- Other Industry Specific Blogs
- Industry Specific Forums
- PPC Ads
#3 Create Unique Evergreen Content
Over the past few years, online marketing has shifted from ‘outbound’ to ‘inbound’ marketing. For you, this means that you must educate your customer, not just sell to him or her.
Unique content is one of the best ways to provide educational material about your industry, which informs the client and explores his needs and concerns. In addition, through such content, you can position yourself as an authority in your industry. Having a blog is one of the best ways to present your own content.
When possible, your content should also be “evergreen” – meaning it should preferably be on topics that are unlikely to change significantly in the future. Evergreen content will keep attracting visitors even in the long-term future and will keep generating new clients.
You can find many content writers for your business through freelance platforms such as:
For an example of evergreen content check out this IncomeDiary post from 2012 – Thoughts On Success
Over 5 years later this one post still brings this website traffic every day!
#4 Secure Domain variations | Major Social Media Extensions
With so many domain extensions available today it is difficult, not to mention impractical and costly to secure every domain extension.
Our advice – focus on securing at least the .com plus your local domain extension [e.g .co.uk and .com.au]
Then if you are serious about your brand also secure .net and .org
Website buyers are impressed and reassured if you own all the major domain extensions for your brand.
If you are a Startup, a great place to check both Domain Name combinations and social media username availability is NAMECHECKR
In test search below, you will see that the .com plus Twitter handle is not available – while the .net, FACEBOOK and YouTube extensions are.
Website buyers like to see that you have secured your [brand name] in all the major social media channels.
Having a different username on Facebook compared to say Twitter or YouTube is not ideal.
Again being on every social media channel is impractical – focus on the BIG ones like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Linkedin. In short, establish yourself on the social media channels that your customers frequent most often.
A lot of social media can be automated – but we discourage anything spammy or BOTS crawling across the Internet auto liking certain hashtags!
Suddenly losing your Facebook or Twitter accounts because of spammy practices is a way to decrease website value!
A great way to automate your social media is to use IFTTT
For example, with IFTTT you can easily set INSTAGRAM up so that every time you do a post it also posts to Twitter, your Facebook page, and Pinterest account.
By automating your social media marketing and presence, you increase your website value faster.
#5 Increase Website Worth Through Testimonials and Star Ratings
Social proof is an essential persuasion tactic.
It creates trust with your customers, making it more likely that they will commit to making a purchase. It will also make the information you provide appear more reliable.
And there’s no better way to give social proof than by using testimonials and Star Ratings.
By placing testimonials on your website, you significantly increase your website value.
Customers relate to your brand more easily when they see active engagement coming from others like them.
Today’s evolved entrepreneur doesn’t just deliver a product – they deliver an experience!
How will buying from you differ from buying from a competitor?
It is that difference that will create the biggest increase in website value!
Scott Cook, co-founder of Intuit put it brilliantly:
“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.”
This is why testimonials and endorsements are essential when building website value.
How Do You Get Testimonials?
In short – ask for them!
Follow up with customer satisfaction surveys that ask questions like:
What, specifically, was your favorite part of my product, and why?
If you were to recommend my product to your best friend, what would you say?
Of course, some customers will give you testimonials without asking – but the best policy is to ask.
You can add a link on your website where customers can provide their testimonial.
See the Expert Photography Submit Testimonial Page
Star Ratings are a slightly different subject and one that worries some entrepreneurs.
What if your competitor or a disgruntled ex-business partner decides to give you a nasty review?
Yes, that could happen – but most Star Rating services give you the opportunity to respond.
A website with thousands of 4 and 5-star reviews you will have a lot more website value than one without any star review scheme.
Accept it entrepreneur – transparency is essential in the modern business.
Businesses such as Amazon and Tripadvisor would not be the massive sites they are today without a Review Scheme.
Also, check out: 19 Online Review Sites for Collecting Business & Product Reviews
Want even more proof?
Check out useproof.com
This website helps deliver higher conversion rates on your website by displaying recent sales and opt-ins.
#6 Get A Premium Domain Name
Premium domain names are short, memorable, easy-to-spell names that end in popular extensions like .com. They cost more than normal domains (often a lot more) – because they are more likely to drive traffic to a website.
Also, when it comes to branding and authority – owning the generic keyword domain name (especially the .com) adds a lot of value to a business. You can use these Premium Domains to point at your main website or develop new websites on them that compliment your business. See also #8 below – Turn Your Website Into a Hub
My Own Experience:
Back in the early 2000’s, I was running a portfolio of successful lead generation sites in the home improvement niche. As that business became successful we invested in a number of generic keyword domains that added to the authority and reputation of our business. This strategy paid off handsomely when we eventually sold the business.
And it doesn’t even have to be an obvious strong generic term – check out this example:
Getting a premium domain that relates to your industry or products can give you a significant and lasting competitive advantage.
Quality domain names can also help your website achieve higher rankings in search engine results, giving you greater visibility and increasing your website value.
To purchase premium domain names, you can visit any of the following markets and search for key terms in your industry:
Of all the suggestions we are making for increasing website value this one has one of the highest cost implications – but if you have a successful business and are serious about building a valuable brand this is still one of the best things you can do.
#7 Inbound Link-building (Backlinks)
Getting back-links from reputable, high authority websites is a great way to build value. Overall, it helps you achieve two things.
First, getting back-links from highly reputable and authoritative websites makes your own domain more authoritative. Higher authority means you to rank higher in Search Engine results resulting in more traffic and greater revenue.
Second, back-links increase the diversity of your traffic sources directly by adding referral traffic.
That’s two benefits into one!
A good way to start link-building is to join the conversation on other blogs in your industry, provide valuable content to other websites in your industry through guest posts, and get links from partner sites. [ see #13 Guest Posts]
#8 For Maximum Website Value Turn Your Website Into a Hub
A good copywriter friend of mine once told me that as soon as he discovered a winning product or offer he would ‘knock himself off”.
Success breeds copycats – and my friend’s strategy was that in this instance, he may as well “compete with yourself” by creating a related but not identical product. (It could be a superior product with better features and more expensive or even an inferior product with fewer features and cheaper)
A hub is the center of activity. If you can turn your website into the center for your industry, it will become a strategic asset. You can achieve this by providing access to vital resources about your industry through your site or a series of related sites.
In point 6 above – we emphasize the advantages of buying Premium Domains.
For example, if they are 6 main keywords that describe your product offering and you own most or all of them as .com’s you will be default be creating a HUB and recognized as the premier authority.
Education of the customer is essential.
Customer education can come in the form of your own content, links to other highly authoritative industry leaders, as well as a place where customers can come and discuss.
So long as customers can navigate to everything they would need from your website, you are achieving this goal.
Reality is there will always be those who will try to emulate you – and unless you have a patent-able concept it will be difficult to protect yourself from them. The successful entrepreneur knows this and will of course also do all they can to protect their Intellectual Property (IP)
Indeed another way to add website value is to create IP (Courses, software, systems) related to your websites. If you can show that you are doing this and successfully protecting yourself, buyers will be encouraged and more likely to make you a substantial offer.
Talking of copycats here is a brilliant 2.15 min video that is too good not to share.
#9 Keep Good Records
Prepare for your buyers’ due diligence – in particular financial, legal and website due diligence.
If you run your website keeping in mind you plan to sell it one day, this kind of information will be at your fingertips.
Keeping financial records for a website is relatively straightforward – just make sure that if for example, you have more than one website that all income attributable to each website is clearly defined in your accounting. Likewise with costs. This is essential if you only plan on selling some of your websites and not all of them.
Likewise keeping track of traffic and sources of traffic is pretty straightforward with Google Analytics.
Again, make sure if you have multiple websites that you can show each website’s traffic individually.
Are there any skeletons in the closet?
Disagreements with former business partners, disputes with suppliers? unpaid bills? unhappy customers?
Don’t be naive and think the due diligence process will not discover these ‘issues’.
Indeed nothing puts off a buyer more than that feeling you are trying to hide something.
A sensible buyer will require you to sign a disclosure making you liable for any undisclosed issues that come up after the sale is concluded. All the more reason to disclose everything remotely legal or negative – even if you think it is not that important.
In fact, disclosing issues is more likely to make a potential buyer feel confident in purchasing your website business.
#10 Make Sure To Optimize Your Website For Mobile Access
OK, this should be obvious but it is remarkable how many ‘old websites’ with good evergreen content have never been updated to mobile friendly. Of course, this represents an opportunity for the entrepreneur who can pick them up cheaply and convert them to mobile-friendly.
The ever helpful Google have a mobile friendly test
Without a well optimized mobile experience, you’re likely to lose a lot of traffic, and with it significant revenue.
Not to mention that given how fast the mobile age is developing, you’re liable to fall behind the competition. If you want to increase the value of your website, it’s a must to ensure that it is mobile-optimized.
You can use an online tool, such as HubSpot’s Website Grader, to check how well your site is doing in terms of mobile optimization amongst other things.
#11 Use Great Copywriting
Effective copywriting is key to communicating your brand’s message to the consumer. It’s also the key to more sales. With well-written copy, you can tap into your buyers’ psychology, and start getting the results you’ve always wanted.
In this manner, you can increase customer engagement, click-through rate, conversions, and purchases. Great copywriting will make your online real estate more attractive and more valuable – and this is true regardless of your monetization method.
Related: How to Create a Killer Offer
#12 Use Multiple Monetization Channels
Buyers like websites that have multiple sources of income.
For example, if you are a blogger you can make income from selling your own informational products, creating a mastermind group, run your own events (seminar/conferences), run Google Adsense, website sponsorship and as an affiliate.
If you have an eCommerce store, you can also add Google Adsense to your site or launch your own affiliate program.
If you train your mind to look out for opportunities for additional revenue streams they will appear.
One store we know was selling herbal teas – but then discovered there was a huge demand for the tea caddies the teas got shipped in. (all because one customer emailed to ask if they could buy the empty tea caddies)
Whatever the case, multiple sources of revenue make your business stronger.
#13 Guest Posts | Write For Authority Websites
Quality guest content is a great way to form relationships across your industry. You can invite other authorities from your industry to post articles on your blog. And you can also get your content on other valuable sites as a guest writer.
Note the word Quality here!
IncomeDiary gets a huge number of guest posting requests but publishes very few.
The reason is simple.
Most of the so-called guest bloggers are more interested in getting a quality link back than they are in delivering quality content!
If you are going to write for an authority website take the time to produce something of real value, something that adds value to the readers’ life, something that makes the reader appreciate the website more.
Writing a load of average commentary that could be found on just about any average website is a waste of your time and the authority websites time!
IncomeDiary guidelines for writers include:
=> Your post must be original — NO SPUN CONTENT;
=> You agree you will not publish the content anywhere else (i.e., in your own blog or as a guest post in other blogs);
=> Author bios/bylines which are displayed on the post page can include one link (no keyword stuffing);
=> Articles can include non-self-serving useful and relevant links, none in the first paragraph (spammy and self-serving links will cause the article to be rejected);
=> Great grammar and spelling required — US or UK English and
=> Guest posts need to be no less than 1,500 words. (ideally in excess of 2000 words)
Guest posts are a wonderful way to generate high-quality back-links, get referral traffic and increase your brand awareness.
Creating quality guest posts is also one of the best ways to increase your site’s rank in Google search results. An incredible asset to have, which will certainly increase your value.
#14 Create A Sales Funnel
Not every website is a Sales Funnel.
Many websites are just information sites – where the visitor leaves and buys elsewhere!
A Sales Funnel, on the other hand, collects your information (usually with a lead magnet or offer) and SELLS you something.
Or as a friend of mine likes to put it:
“Give me your information, let me sell you something”
Without a properly thought out Sales Funnel your website will not be able to convert adequately.
A sales funnel involves integrating all elements of your website such that everything works together to drive sales.
From building customer awareness to gathering leads, to finally monetizing them, a sales funnel helps you bring everything together.
It also helps you clarify your strategy, and understand where future growth may come from. Such understanding can help you extract a higher value from your existing customer base.
Being able to demonstrate a sales funnel that works is one of the best ways to add value to a website.
#15 To Add Website Value – Build An Email List!
If you have been following IncomeDiary for any time, you will know the importance we attach to email marketing.
An email list of clients is precious since it provides access to a particular, targeted group of people. And you already know that your services and products interest your subscribers.
Putting out future offers to your list of subscribers is likely to give off much better conversions than cold emails. Not to mention that if you ever decide to sell your business, this will be a precious asset. A list of customers is one of the key assets buyers are looking for and without question a sure fire way to add website value.
#16 Make Use Of Original Image & Video Content
The use of image & video content is one of the best ways to drive user engagement.
Having a multitude of ways to present content, marketing material and products increases conversions and customer enthusiasm.
Video content, especially when hosted on YouTube, can also help improve search rankings. It will also improve user engagement and will increase share frequency on social media.
Visual content is also essential to create a clear brand image. With original pictures and video, you can increase the value of your online real estate.
Well produced videos are a great way to add value to not only an article but your website.
For example 21 life Lessons from Steve Jobs
#17 Deliver Your Content Through a CDN
A CDN, or Content Delivery Network, is a series of cache servers that store your online content and provide it to users from the closest server. Nowadays, CDNs deliver more than half of all traffic over the web.
A CDN adds value to your website for the following reasons:
- Faster page loading speed.
- Can handle high levels of traffic.
- Blocks spamming bots.
- Increases security against DDoS attacks.
The speed benefit is the most important. Delays in page loading time cause significant drops in conversion rates. You can check your current page loading speed here. You should preferably aim for pages that load under 3 seconds.
There are both free and paid CDNs. From the free CDNs, two excellent choices that integrate well with WordPress websites are Cloudflare & Incapsula. From the paid options KeyCDN, MaxCDN and Amazon’s CloudFront are all good options.
#18 Use an SSL Certificate (HTTPS)
Acquiring an SSL certificate is essential to assure your customers that their connection to your website is secure. Its presence significantly increases customer trust, as well as the value of your online property.
Among the many other benefits, SSL encrypts data your clients send to the server. The certificate ensures that the data can only be read by the intended parties.
Other advantages include:
- Protects against phishing.
- Required for Payment Card Industry (PIC) compliance.
- Provides certification that the website is yours and not a carbon copy.
- Increases customer trust and conversions.
Despite the cost of acquiring an SSL, the benefits it provides are well worth it!
#19 Use Personalized Content
Many successful websites today make use of personalized content. Such content is most effective in eCommerce businesses, but it can work with other monetization methods as well.
Personalized content allows you to target the products/information shown to users based on personal data. This data includes:
- Geographical Location.
- The device used to access the website.
- Search terms used.
- Local time.
- Referring URL.
- Visit frequency.
- Client behavior on the page and viewing history.
With personalized content, you can increase conversions, improve lead nurturing, and be more customer friendly. Besides, you can also target your customers with more specific marketing material.
This is why having personalized content can have a significant boost in your website’s value.
#20 Build A Network of Internal Links
The following is especially important for BLOGs.
It is a fact that every time IncomeDiary publishes an article it appears on other websites (scrapped) often within minutes.
The worse culprits get a cease and desist – but even those who get past our radar will find that this article they have ‘published’ will have lots of links embedded within it linking to our content. This article alone has 14 links to other related articles within the site.
A website without a proper system of internal links is very difficult to navigate.
Isolated, un-linked content is also more easily stolen by competitors or internet bots.
If you publish an article with many links to other pages of your website, it’s easier for users to navigate to resources they may be interested in.
In addition, it’s harder to copy your content since internal links will still redirect to your domain.
Such links also help you build the relevance of individual pages with regards to search engines.
Of course there is content (such as in a Sales Funnel) where you would not wish to cross-link or take the visitor away from the task at hand, but generally speaking, that is not the kind of content that gets stolen.
#21 Ensure You Have High-Quality UI/UX Design
Get a professional design for your site’s user interface and user experience. It will help you build a stronger brand image and will increase your website’s conversions as well.
Having a professional image that customers can relate to is one of the main ways to increase the value of your website. You can contract professional designers through crowd-sourced design competitions on the following sites:
Alternatively, you could also use the freelance platforms previously mentioned especially if you’re looking to work primarily with only one designer.
Implementing a high-quality design plus the other 20 steps is essential if you want to sell your website at the highest price as quickly as possible.
To create a truly valuable website business you should:
a) Systematize and automate as many procedures as possible.
With the technology available it has never been easier to automate tasks. If you can show to potential buyers that you have been reinvesting profits in making your website more efficient and that they can reap the benefits when they buy your website, they will pay more for your website.
b) Remove Yourself
For a successful exit, you should be able to demonstrate that the business can operate without you.
A business that relies on an owner to succeed is going to sell for less than one that can operate without the owner.
You know you have a successful business when you can remove yourself and the business operates perfectly well without you.
Looking for a Website Broker?
Our grateful thanks to Logan Chierotti and the team at BizSold.comSM for their assistance with creating this article.
BizSold are masters at extracting website value with over 500 successful sales and 10 years of website broker experience.
Barry Dunlop is a lifelong entrepreneur, Mastermind Facilitator and sales coach who launched his first Internet Business in 1998. He invests in renewable energy technology, Domain Names, and Website Flipping.
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