Selling A Small Business Website
A Comprehensive Guide for Selling your Non-eCommerce Website
After years of hard work, you’ve created something valuable. Now it’s time for you to enjoy the fruits of your labour. You’re selling your business, and you want to make sure you do it right.
There are many steps to think about before selling a business, and you have to get all your assets, expenses, and profits in order. Not only so you can successfully manage your business’ transition to the new owner, but to ensure you’re getting a great price.
That’s why we’re here to tell you the good news: You might be sitting on a golden egg without realizing it.
Your website might be one of the most valuable assets belonging to your company right now.
Your website and your digital assets are worth as much as someone is willing to pay you for them. When you are negotiating your business sale, you want to ensure your digital footprint gets considerable attention. That means that if you can genuinely demonstrate value and create a fantastic pitch for your website, then you can sell it for whatever great price that you truly believe it deserves.
Include All Your Digital Assets
When you consider your business’ assets, consider your digital assets. Those Business Digital Assets Include:
- Your website
- Balance sheets/ Excels
- An email list
- Subscriptions to software
- Your social media accounts/ Anywhere you have an online presence
There are many ways that websites make money in addition to eCommerce. Many things make your website valuable aside from income.
What makes a website valuable?
1- Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is a process that improves the ranking of your content on search engines. Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, can be broken down into three main areas:
On-page optimization would include keywords in headings, title tags and meta descriptions.
Off-site optimizations include mentions in other blogs or citations from credible sources like universities or government bodies through directory listings. These provide credibility to your site, which results in higher rankings for your site’s pages when they appear in search engine results pages (SERPS).
Technical optimizations are things like having a mobile version of your site to make it easier for mobile searchers to find you and having a sitemap so that search engines can generate indexed results faster.
Search engine optimization isn’t a set of rules or guidelines but rather a process in which you constantly work towards improving the ranking of your content on sites like Google and Bing.
One of the most valuable factors of SEO is time. The longer a website has been active, the more likely it has excellent SEO. An important consideration when selling your business.
2- Attracting Traffic in Your Niche
If you have a well-made website, you don’t need to look for customers in your niche. They come to you.
An excellent way to do this is by including blog posts or service pages centred around a specific phrase or keyword.
For example, a dentist in Halifax might make a service page called “Halifax teeth whitening” so that people already prepared to make a purchase visit your page.
Once a user finds your website, you can direct them to your in-person business, and in that case, your website demonstrated its value.
We recommend introducing the option for people to answer how they heard about your business. You could include this question-and-answer sheet when clients arrive during their first visit.
Armed with this particular evidence and paperwork, you can demonstrate exactly how many new clients your website is responsible for and apply a more accurate number value to your website’s worth.
3- Ad Revenue
If you sell ad space on your website, you should include this in your list of assets.
Many publishers use Google’s AdSense, which gives you the option between auto ads, which Google places for you, and Ad units, which you would have complete control over.
Ads typically don’t make much money, and they serve best as a supplementary income and the other primary sources of income on your website. However, you should include any money you make from ad revenue in your website’s monthly earnings.
4- Affiliate Links
You have your business and your products or services to sell. You don’t want to direct any traffic to your competitors.
However, there may be products that are in your niche that you do not sell.
For example, perhaps you own a gym. You have a website for scheduling and membership inquiries, and you have service pages that get people in touch with personal trainers, etc. But your clients keep asking about proteins and dietary supplements, and, although that is in your niche, it’s not something you sell.
In this case, you can find your favourite protein powder and search for their affiliate program. If you find one, you can sign up. You’ll receive a link that is specific to you. You will receive compensation every time someone purchases by clicking on your link.
If you haven’t already, you may want to introduce some affiliate links to your website. You will increase your profits and your website’s value.
Before selling your website, consider which items on this list apply to you. Are you receiving ad revenue? Are you using your site to find potential customers?
All these things must be assigned a number and added to your website’s total monthly value.
You can use these specific figures and your knowledge of your website as negotiating tools when you speak to someone interested in buying your business.
What is my Website’s Value?
Even if you aren’t generating income through the methods listed above, your website still has monetary value.
Maybe you feel that the figure of 35 times your monthly income doesn’t apply to you because your website doesn’t directly generate revenue. But you can still price your website by showing its value to a potential buyer.
Here are the things that make your website valuable and what you should bring up when selling your website.
It strengthens your brand authority and brand awareness.
People may have trouble trusting a business that they can’t find online. Or worse, they might not even know your business exists in the first place.
It allows you to maintain your business’ reputation.
Your website is a forum in which your business can speak for itself. You can include an About Page, a mission statement, case studies, a reviews page, and more. It gives you more control over how people perceive and understand your business.
It’s affordable marketing.
An optimized website means people can find your business and learn about your services. Those are clients you didn’t have to pay much for, as the cost of a website doesn’t represent an exorbitant expense.
It aids in recruitment.
Many recruitment websites will not approve or accept recruiters who don’t have a business email or website. A good website means better employees, which means higher customer satisfaction.
Add all these value points to your pitch and use them to negotiate the price that your website indeed elicits. The more concrete evidence of worth that you can provide on behalf of your website, the more money you can reasonably charge for it.
Consider hiring a digital firm.
If you want to make sure you aren’t missing any subtle points or sources of value, hiring a digital firm is the safest thing to do. A professional can add up your digital assets and assign an honest price to all of them with a digital firm.
A digital firm has experience with pricing websites and negotiating on their behalf. By hiring an agency, you benefit from all their contacts and expertise. With a firm in your corner, it’s helpful to know how to price your website and ensure that you aren’t missing out on an opportunity by selling it. How much is my website worth?
Here are the questions that a digital firm will ask you, and here are the factors that will allow you to assign an accurate price.
- How much traffic does your website generate?
Your website’s traffic is probably one of the essential factors to putting a final price on your website.
By traffic, we mean how many people access your website.
Many website owners report earning about $30 per 1,000 page views (and that’s with all the bells and whistles: affiliate links, ad revenue, the works). But that figure will be different for each website, so you should calculate how much you make per page view on average.
The types of traffic that your website may be getting include:
- Organic traffic:
Organic traffic is how many visitors come to your website directly from search engine results. That means you didn’t pay for your article to be at the top of the results page, but instead, you wrote a helpful article around a specific keyword, and it earned its higher ranking on the search engine results page.
You can achieve higher rankings on Google results pages by learning more about search engine optimization (SEO) and applying what you know.
- Search engines traffic:
Search engine traffic represents how many visitors arrive at your website from search engine results from paid advertising search platforms, such as Google AdWords.
- The growth rate over time:
Over time, the growth trend is the difference between how many visitors you had when you started your business’ website and how many you have now.
You should mention how quickly the number of visitors grew and how many visitors you could achieve after starting with nothing when selling your website.
- Visitors’ origin:
Where are your visitors coming from? What is the outreach capability of your business’ website?
Do you have other web pages, such as social media or an email list designed to direct traffic to your webpage?
Those resources typically take time and money to assemble, and they add to your website’s value.
Keywords refer to the words and phrases that people are Googling.
These keywords can be precious, especially if they are high-competition or high-search-volume.
Some people invest a lot of time and money into making their page show up for specific keywords, so if there are search phrases that lead users to your page, you should consider that.
A business name or a blog post that comes up on the first page of Google is quite valuable compared to a blog that comes up on the fourth or fifth page. Your “ranking,” or rather, how high your site appears on the search engine results page, will influence the price of your site.
- What type of website do you have?
The price of your business’ website will also depend on the type of website you built.
You should keep in mind two website types when defining what website you will create for your business, resulting in better pricing when selling it.
- Subscription-based websites:
These are websites for which part of the content is only accessible to subscribers.
As expected, this type of website is the most valuable, as it involves recurring payments from members.
Of course, you should provide exclusive content to get subscribers, such as access to industry publications, newsletters, courses, events, discounts on products or services, etc.
- Content-based websites:
It is probably the most common one and the easiest one to build. Content-based websites don’t have a paywall or a paid restriction on any of their content.
It doesn’t have subscribers, so it depends mainly on traffic coming from search engines and social media platforms.
Content-based websites don’t necessarily have less value. The value changes because the visitors and money are coming from different sources.
- How much does your website make?
As mentioned earlier, there are many ways to profit from a website.
- Calculate how much your website is making,
- Subtract the recurring costs of upholding the site, such as:
- The cost of blog writers,
- Cost of the domain,
- Cost of keywords research tools,
- Cost of the web hosting service, etc.
- The remainder is the net profit that comes from your website.
- Multiply that by 35 to get a minimum price for your website.
- Start building off that base price with the other sources of value points that we’ve mentioned.
Hiring a digital firm to value your digital portfolio is probably the wisest choice, as it would help you price every digital business asset you have alongside your business assets.
It is not only about how much your website is worth. It is also about how much your online content, online presence, domain name, business brand, and reputation are worth.
All of this can come from a well-structured website, but ultimately, it is your business assets, both digital and otherwise, that will put the final price on your business.
Takeaway: How Much is Your Website Worth?
Put on your selling hat because your website is worth as much as you can prove the value in it. That means amassing every potential source of value and turning it into a great pitch.
We recommend hiring a digital firm to make sure you get the best price you can for your website.
Use this article to determine how much value your website brings to your company. Make sure you add it to your other business assets.
If you still have questions and would like to speak to an expert in digital assets, please do not hesitate to reach out. We’d love to discuss your business goals…even selling it.