Why You Should Buy Ugly Websites
“We Buy Ugly Houses!
You’ve probably seen signs that say that a million times.
Why do people buy ugly houses?
Because there is a great opportunity to do some quick improvements. Buy low, sell high.
We want to do the same thing with websites.
Ugly websites include websites that have a bad design, are outdated, or don’t incorporate some of the more recent SEO practises.
Here are three major ways a website can be “ugly.”
Undertrafficked means that the website was established and built without some of the most important SEO practises put in place. For example, if a website is not mobile responsive, it’s missing out on traffic. About 52% of global web traffic originates from mobile devices—for some websites, that number is as high as 70% to 80%. Google’s not going to rank you high if you’re not mobile-responsive.
That’s an example of a site-wide SEO failure. It might be something like site organisation, not having SSL turned on, or the page speed being very slow.
When you identify sites that have pretty good traffic and it’s been pretty stable over time, but they’re subject to these basic SEO problems, you know that you can make some pretty quick money with a few easy fixes to increase traffic quickly.
A lot of times you’ll find sites that have decent traffic, but their earnings relative to the traffic are very low. You need to see where that traffic is coming from before deciding if this is a good investment. If most of the traffic is coming from some third-world country, that might explain why it’s not making money.
But if it’s coming from Western countries, or if there’s a discrepancy between the revenue per thousand page views and what you think it should be for that niche, then that’s a very real opportunity. Lots of guys today are buying Adsense monetized sites and replacing Adsense with other networks like Adthrive or Mediavine, etc.
A third one is kind of under-optimised. A website may have high paying ad networks, and even their own digital products that they’re selling with high margins. They may have the right mix of revenue streams, but they’re just not optimised.
There’s some leak in the funnel. Examples include:
- No follow up with customers.
- Not capturing e-mail addresses
- Not marketing to people who’ve already purchased products.
- No push notifications on the site
- Not optimised to convert.
All of these things represent under-optimization that can be easily identified and fixed, making it a great opportunity for a smart investor.
Buying ugly websites represents a fantastic opportunity, but sketchy websites or websites with bad fundamentals are not good places to put your money.
Make sure the website has some age, that it has some consistency in the traffic, that the graphs are flat or headed up, that the content as a whole is quality.
You don’t want a website articles that are all 300-word articles or have accuracy or grammar problems. Those things would require a rewrite of the entire site to fix.
Make sure a website is legitimate and safe.
Don’t buy anything that’s suspicious. Sites that have had black hat SEO performed on them, practise unethical or unsustainable behaviours, or try to maximise loopholes that are going to close soon are bad bets
Sites that are already fully optimised will require a lot more subtle strategy to take them to the next level. These “ugly” websites may require a little bit of work, but you can turn them around pretty quickly with basic strategies. Keep your eye out for under-trafficked, under-monetized, and under-optimised sites.