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With so many websites turning into multimillion-dollar buyouts and the success of online affiliate marketing, ecommerce, and blogging businesses, starting an online business is quickly becoming a popular option.
For some buyers, making a purchase saves valuable time and resources that would otherwise be spent on developing an original website from scratch. For others, an existing website or business is an appealing investment because it has an existing customer base, products, and/or services, which allows the new owner to hit the ground running.
Some people even buy websites just to flip them in the future. And with such a large pool of prospective buyers, digital entrepreneurs have the luxury of being able to sell their businesses for top dollar.
However, as with anything else of value, there are certain steps you need to take to ensure you sell your website for the highest possible price.
The 7 Best Business Brokers to Sell Your Website With
There are lots of ways to sell an online business, but using a broker is often the best option. Here are the seven best brokers to sell your website with, depending on your needs.
- Business Exits — Best for Maximizing Business Value and Sale Price
- Woodbridge International — Best For Creating High Demand and Multiple Bids
- Peterson Acquisitions — Best For Fast Business Valuations
- Synergy Business Brokers — Best For Buying Industry-Specific Companies
- Transworld Business Advisors — Best For Buying a Franchise
- Sunbelt Business Brokers — Best For Selling Companies With Low Annual Revenue
- Calhoun Companies — Best Business Broker For Commercial Real Estate
You can check out our full reviews for each business broker here.
Sell Your Website In 7 Easy Steps
In some ways, selling a website is just as easy as selling any other business. You find a buyer, agree on a price, and sign some paperwork.
But there are a few key steps you need to take in order to ensure you sell your website for the highest possible price.
Here are the seven essential steps for selling your website:
- Decide if now is the right time to sell
- Know your audience
- Understand your website’s value
- Research marketplaces to list your website for sale
- Optimize your profits ahead of time
- Approach prospective buyers and present statistics
- Close the deal and transfer ownership
Step 1: Decide if Now Is the Right Time to Sell
The first step in selling your website is deciding if now is the right time to sell. There are a few factors you’ll need to consider, such as:
- How much money is the website making?
- How much time do you have to dedicate to it?
- What are your long-term goals for the website?
- Are you ready to hand over control of the website to someone else?
Answering these questions honestly will help you determine if now is the right time to sell your website.
Often, people sell websites because they are no longer interested in them or don’t have the time to dedicate to them any longer. Others may need to sell for financial reasons, such as wanting to retire or pay off debt.
A few indicators that it’s a good time to sell your website include:
- You’re no longer interested in the topic
- The website isn’t making as much money as it used to
- You’re not able to dedicate enough time to it
- You have a specific financial goal you want to achieve
- You’re ready for a new challenge
- The opportunity cost of continuing to run the website is too high
If you’re unsure if now is the right time to sell your website, consider speaking with a consultant in your niche or a business broker with specialized experience. They can help you understand the current market and advise on whether or not selling your website is a good idea.
Step 2: Know Your Audience
Understanding your positioning in the market is key to selling your website for the highest possible price. You need to know who your target buyers are and what they’re looking for in a website.
There are a few different types of buyers that may be interested in purchasing your website, such as:
- Individuals: An individual or a group of people might buy your website if they want to take over your business or enter your niche.
- Companies: A company might be interested in buying your website if it’s a strategic acquisition or will complement its current offerings.
- Investors: An investor may purchase your website if they think it has the potential for high growth or will generate a good return on their investment. They may also buy a portion of the website, such as the domain name or customer list.
You need to understand which type of buyer is most likely to be interested in your website before you can sell it for top dollar. Consider what they would be willing to pay for and what their motivations would be.
It’s also important to consider your website’s audience. Depending on the type of website you have, the audience may be different.
To maximize your site’s value, it needs to speak to a big enough audience to be worth an investment. But it needs to speak to that audience directly enough that they’ll stay engaged.
For example, a website that sells products to dog owners would need to have a lot of traffic to be valuable. But if most of that traffic is from people who are just looking for cute pictures of dogs, it may not be as valuable as a site with less traffic that’s focused on selling dog products. Before selling your website, ensure it has commercial value.
Step 3: Understand Your Website’s Value
Once you have a clearly defined audience, you can start to understand your website’s value. There are a few ways to determine how much your website is worth.
- Revenue: One way to value your website is by its revenue. This is the most direct way to understand how much money the site generates. If your website has a high revenue, it will be more valuable to buyers.
- Profit: Another way to value your website is by its profit. This considers the website’s expenses, such as hosting, domain names, and salaries. If your website has a high profit margin, it will be more valuable.
- Multiple: Using a multiple is another way to value your website. This looks at how much comparable websites have sold for in the past and can give you a good idea of what buyers are willing to pay for a website like yours.
- Traffic Value: If your website gets a lot of targeted traffic but doesn’t generate much revenue, you can still estimate the amount of value it has based on your web traffic. This can help you understand how much the website is worth to advertisers.
You can use a keyword and site research tool like Ahrefs to estimate the value of your traffic. It accounts for your organic keywords, paid keywords, and the click-through rate of each.
If your site ranks well and gets clicks from keywords with high CPCs, its traffic value will be higher.
By conducting a quick check with the Ahrefs Site Explorer tool, we can see that Quick Sprout gets roughly 537,000 unique monthly visitors, translating to around $3.4 million in traffic value.
Ahrefs and other keyword research tools use the best available data they can, but it’s not perfect. The tool doesn’t know how much each visitor is worth to you, so it can only give you an estimate.
It’s important to use multiple methods to value your website, including Google Analytics reports, surveys, and interviews with your target audience.
Step 4: Research Marketplaces to List Your Website for Sale
If you’re serious about selling your website, you’ll want to check out different places to sell it. There are a number of popular website listing platforms and marketplaces to choose from, each with its own benefits.
The three most popular places to sell a website are:
- Empire Flippers: One of the most popular websites for selling websites is Empire Flippers. They have a huge marketplace, and they vet all of the websites that are listed on their site. This adds a level of trust for buyers, making it a great place to sell your website.
- Flippa: Flippa is probably the easiest place to list your website for sale. it doesn’t have the same level of vetting as Empire Flippers, but it does have a large audience of buyers and is one of the best marketplaces for less expensive websites.
- Exchange: Exchange is a new marketplace for selling websites that was created by Shopify. It has a lot of the same features as Empire Flippers and Flippa, but it also allows you to sell digital products, in addition to websites. This makes it a great option if you have an online course or other digital product that you want to sell along with your website.
You may also opt to sell your business with a broker. Doing it this way gives you access to the broker’s large network of buyers, greatly increasing your chances of finding a buyer willing to pay top dollar for your business. And since most of these buyers are prequalified, you’ll have a better shot of finding the right fit.
It also takes a lot of the work off of your plate, as the broker will handle most (if not all) of the marketing and paperwork for you.
Step 5: Optimize Your Site and Profits Ahead of Time
To maximize the sale value of your website, it’s important to optimize both your website and your profits before listing it for sale. This means ensuring your website runs smoothly, generates consistent revenue, and has a strong, SEO-friendly foundation.
Chances are, buyers will vet your site for things like Google penalties, SEO issues, conversion rate optimization, and content quality. So it’s important to make sure your website is in tip-top shape before listing it for sale.
Here are a few things you can do to prepare your website for sale:
- Conduct an SEO audit using a tool like Screaming Frog (it’s free). This will help you identify any technical SEO issues that could be holding your site back.
- Check your Google Search Console account for any manual actions or penalties that have been levied against your site. If there are any, take the necessary steps to fix them before listing your site for sale.
- Research your top organic keywords and make sure your website is optimized for them. This includes creating content around these keywords, as well as optimizing your title tags, meta descriptions, and website architecture.
- Evaluate your link profile and make sure it’s clean. This means removing any low-quality or spammy links that could be hurting your site’s SEO.
Conversion Rate Optimization
- Audit your site’s user experience (UX) and design. This will help you identify any areas where users are getting frustrated or confused and make the necessary changes to improve the overall experience.
- Test different elements on your website to see what helps convert visitors into leads or customers. This could include things like your headline, call-to-action (CTA), forms, etc.
- Use tools like Google Analytics and Crazy Egg to see how users interact with your website. This will help you identify any areas that need improvement.
- Evaluate your content. Bad copy can be a major conversion killer, so make sure all of your content is high quality and relevant to your target audience.
- If you’re selling products or services on your website, make sure your pricing is competitive. This doesn’t mean you have to be the cheapest option out there, but you do need to make sure your prices are in line with what your target market is willing to pay.
- Review your costs and see if there are any areas where you can cut back. Doing in the months leading up to your sale could make your business more attractive to potential buyers.
- Use a price waterfall analysis to see where you can increase prices without negatively impacting demand. This will help you boost profits without turning away potential customers.
- Analyze your customer lifetime value (CLV) and make sure it’s high enough to justify your asking price. A low CLV could mean you’re not making enough profit from each customer to support the sale price of your business.
- Evaluate your current customers and where they come from. If you’re heavily reliant on one particular source (e.g., Google Ads), that could be a red flag for potential buyers.
Step 6: Approach Prospective Buyers and Present Statistics
Getting near prospective buyers is just half the battle. You will now need to give them reasons to buy your website.
And don’t worry—they’ll ask for them.
Be prepared to answer questions regarding:
- The current monthly profit your website generates
- How much traffic the site receives
- Your website’s conversion rate
- The average customer lifetime value (CLV)
- Any trends you see in terms of traffic and revenue
- Your thoughts on how the site could be improved
The key here is to be honest. Don’t try to inflate any numbers or make your website sound better than it is. Prospective buyers will do their own due diligence, and they’ll quickly figure out if you’re being dishonest.
It’s also important to remember that you’re not just selling a website—you’re selling a business. And businesses are only as valuable as their ability to generate revenue.
Check your Google Analytics account to see how much traffic your website is getting.
If you’re selling products or services on your website, review your sales numbers to see how much revenue you’re generating.
Use a tool like Crazy Egg to see how users interact with your website. This will help you identify any areas that need improvement.
Step 7: Close the Deal and Transfer Ownership
The closing process looks different for every website sale, but there are some key steps you’ll need to take to make sure everything goes smoothly.
First, you’ll need to sign a purchase agreement with the buyer. This document will outline the details of the sale, including the final price, any conditions that need to be met, and the timeline for the transfer of ownership.
You will also need to transfer the domain name and hosting account to the new owner. If you’re using a service like WordPress, you’ll need to export your content and give the buyer access to your account so they can import it into their own account.
On the business side of things, you’ll need to cancel any recurring payments you have set up (e.g., for your domain name, hosting, or email), and transfer any licenses or memberships you have.
You’ll also need to make sure all of your accounts are in good standing. This includes things like paid search campaigns, social media accounts, and any other accounts that are associated with your website.
Final Thoughts About Selling Your Website
If you want to get the most money for your website, it’s best to use a broker or marketplace. They will help you find the right buyer and negotiate a fair price.
If you are selling an online consumer products site, check out our blog post on how to sell an ecommerce business.
And if you want to get a better grasp on what the buying process looks like, check out our guide on how to buy a business.