Instead of building a completely new website for your business, you may consider buying one that already has traffic coming to it. This turnkey business solution can be a great way to jump start your marketing campaign, but only if you approach it in the wrong manner. It only takes one oversight to significantly decrease traffic levels after you acquire an existing website. Of course, we don’t want you to go through that.
Here is a guide showing how to maintain your traffic when buying an existing website.
Buy A Website In A Similar Niche
If you want to buy an existing website to use for your own business, you need to make sure it is in a similar niche. For instance, if you own a construction company, you wouldn’t want to buy a website that was used for a clothing store. Google frowns upon major shifts like this because you are no longer providing valuable services to the people visiting the website. Moreover, the current visitors will quickly dwindle when they realize the site has changed industries. Find a site that appeals to a similar audience so you don’t lose your traffic.
Don’t Change Too Much Too Quickly
If you want to change the look of the website or the general navigation of it, that’s fine. You just have to make sure that you don’t change too much too quickly. Search engines often reward you for putting out new content on a website, but they may be cautious if you completely transform the site overnight. Try to make adjustments little by little so your audience and good old Google don’t freak out along the way.
IMPORTANT: Make Your Ownership Information Private
When the domain name switches over to you, you need to immediately put the WHOIS data on private. This will cost you a little bit of extra money, but it is crucial to keeping your traffic levels up. If Google sees that the site’s ownership has changed, it will reset your page ranking. That means you will essentially have to start from scratch with your marketing, which defeats the purpose of buying an existing site.
While it is possible to recover from a PR hit like this, it will take time. In that time, you could lose a chunk of your audience that is vital to your business. Pay for privacy and maintain your traffic. It’s as simple as that.
Christopher Bower is a Member and Marketing Director of Detroit Internet Marketing, LLC and brings over 20 years' experience in marketing and online marketing. His education includes Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Marketing, and has been involved in both national and local marketing in Chicago, South Florida and Michigan.