18 Factors that will Increase the (cash) Value of Your Website

Ahmed August 22, 2009 25

What are the factors that increase the monetary value of your website? This is what I’m going to discuss here.
You may have tried a hundred times and failed or your very first site may have sold for a very high price?

If you’re not earning from your site and maintaining it is costly, then it’s very important to ensure you are able to sell your site for an amount which would reflect the time spent on it. This is because maintaining a popular site can go beyond ones budget and lead to the site going down and many months of hard work following closely behind.

The Domain Name

This is very important. The better the domain, the greater the value of your site. A good domain name on its own is worth a lot (such as toys.com which the company Toys ‘R’ Us recently bought for $5.1 million).

  • Age
    An older domain name which has a history adds lots of value from both SEO and monetary value.
  • Length
    Generally the shorter domain name is worth more than a long one. There are many reasons for this which I won’t go through in this post to stick to the current topic. The only cases where a long domain name is worth lots is where you have a perfect keyword/brand/name match such as:

  • TLD
    .com is best. .net and .org follow behind .com. Country specific TLD’s will be valued in their country such as the .co.uk for the UK.
  • Simplicity
    Is the domain simple to remember and type? (Such as www.bing.com).
  • Page Rank
    The higher the Page Rank (PR), the greater the value of the domain.
  • Alexa/Compete Rank
    Higher Rank = Higher Value

Number of RSS Subscribers/Twitter followers

Basically, if  you have a couple of thousand subscribers to your site and 10,000+ Twitter followers then that tells a person your site is very popular and liked by hundreds of thousands of people. Thus, gaining lots of loyal visitors who return often.

One important point to note: A site can have 100,000 useless Twitter followers. What’s important is the number of genuine (and thus quality) followers.

Social Media

  • Has your site been featured on the front page of Digg? Delicious? Design Float? etc.
  • Is your site discussed on other sites and forums?
  • Number of Bookmarks via Delicious?
  • How often is your site retweeted?
  • number of tweets per post

Number/Quality of updates over the last few months

The more updates your site has had over the last few months will very likely add value to your site. However, this only applies if they’re quality updates and have been very popular.

Google Rankings

  • Is your site ranking on page 1 of Google (even better – Number 1) for its main Keyword(s)?
  • If so, is the Keyword Popular? A site ranking well for “Photoshop Tutorials” will be more valuable than a site ranking for “Photoshop Text Tutorials” simply because the former is searched much more that the latter.

The Design

A great looking site (such as www.webdesignerwall.com) will add thousands…

Ads and Income

Does your site have a source of income (through ads and sponsors etc.)?

Number of Registered Members

If your site hosts a community/forum, then the number of registered members is a very important factor. If you have a couple of thousand followers, this can potentially increase the value of your site by thousands.

Newsletter/Email subscribers

Gaining high number registered newsletter subscribers is very difficult. Users are more reluctant to give their email address than to subscribe to an RSS Feed and so to have a large amount of email subscribers shows you and your site is a trusted one.

Number of unique visits/page views

This is probably the first thing a potential buyer will want to see and is the biggest selling point of a site.

If a site has a low number of monthly unique visits, then it will probably be the first and last thing a potential buyer will look at. Sometimes, just this will be enough to put a price tag of hundreds of thousands of pounds on your site. (The buyout of YouTube is a good example)

CMS Powered?

If your site is very well organised and built using a modern framework (PHP, ASP/X etc.) and CMS (WordPress, Drupal, Magento etc.) then it will attract a lot more people and increase the base value of your site quite a bit.

The reason for this is that most people are not masters of PHP, ASP/X and the different CMS’s out there! If you built your site using pure OOP (or no OOP at all!) then it will be very difficult for someone to become fully conversant with the code. By using popular packages such as WordPress, the buyer will have the peace of mind due to the very large community out there.

The Industry

The bottom line is that some Industries are worth more than others. Two sites may be equal in all factors except the industry.

For example:

A website on Photoshop tutorials will generally be worth more than a site on a site about cups…

Running costs

  • Is your site expensive to run?
  • Do your ads and sponsors bring in enough to cover hosting costs?
  • Do you advertise anywhere elsewhere? If so, how much?
    If this is a high figure then the value of your site will be lower.

SEO/Social Media Optimised?

  • Is your site optimised for the three major search engines?
  • Have you registered your website on all the social media sites relating to your industry?

Original files

  • Do you have the original PSD’s and template files for your site, logo etc.

If you have a record of all changes to your site/emails/documents/registrant certificates etc. then it would earn the trust of many potential buyers and thus you can add another zero to the price… OK, maybe not another zero but definitely a good amount!

History/Email’s documented?

Is the history of the site recorded in detail (such as previous hosts, etc.)? If so, then this would also add lots of value to the site.

Competitions/featured

A site that has won many competitions (especially the difficult ones) will have its value increased considerably. Similarly, if the site has been featured on other (good quality, authoritative) sites will return a similar benefit.

Offline Recognition

As soon as your site is recognised offline, you have reached the next level. This is very difficult to attain and can take a good few years of very hard work. However once achieved, will add amazing value to your site.

Some of the places you can be recognised on are:

  • Magazines relating to your industry
    E.g.  This site being featured in the UK based Web Designer magazine.
  • A national/international newspaper prints an article you wrote on your site
  • Your work being featured in museums and events

It all depends on your industry!

Conclusion

The points mentioned above are only some of the major ones. If you gain high marks in all of them, you can be sure your site is worth a fortune and there will be many out there who would be waiting for the sign (for sale) to go up!

However, if your site is worth a high figure, I’m sure you wouldn’t want to leave it anyway!!!

Hope you enjoyed this article. If you think I have missed anything, be sure to shout out!

25 Comments »

  1. Natalia Ventre August 22, 2009 at 22:20 - Reply

    Right now, I’m not planning to sell any site, but what you say about keeping the original files, choosing a TLD and a CMS are tasks that must be done from day one, so I’ll pay attention just in case.

    • Ahmed August 23, 2009 at 12:49 - Reply

      Thanks for the comment Nat.
      These points are surely important!

  2. Cheatad ! August 23, 2009 at 13:47 - Reply

    Thanks for great tips, Ahmed.
    Dugg…

    • Ahmed August 23, 2009 at 16:15 - Reply

      Nice one!

  3. favSHARE August 23, 2009 at 18:24 - Reply

    This article has been shared on favSHARE.net. Go and vote it!

  4. TGDStudios August 23, 2009 at 19:37 - Reply

    This a wonderfully well written article. Thank you, I am at the tail end of designing my own site so any great information like this is so worth its weight in gold, or some other heavy expensive item :)

    • Ahmed August 24, 2009 at 11:09 - Reply

      No Problem. There’s many more awesome articles planned!

  5. Jared Thompson August 24, 2009 at 01:26 - Reply

    This article has been featured here
    http://jaredthompson-design.blogspot.com/2009/08/ultimate-list-of-best-links-from-last.html

    Keep up the good work!

    • Ahmed August 24, 2009 at 11:10 - Reply

      Nice one! Thanks for the feature.

  6. Nicholas August 24, 2009 at 17:48 - Reply

    Too bad, “Fill it to the brim with amazing, original content” didn’t make the cut for this list. :-/

    • Ahmed August 24, 2009 at 17:50 - Reply

      Good Call!

  7. morison dony September 17, 2009 at 20:23 - Reply

    Hello. Great job. I did not expect this on a Wednesday. This is a great story. Thanks!

  8. Lycan November 16, 2009 at 22:21 - Reply

    Those are some good points. But, with a lot of competition out there offering very similar items for free, it

  9. Davel eMarketing December 27, 2009 at 09:28 - Reply

    thanks for sharing these valuable information, one thing for sure you will get more value from your website if it is optimised for some populer term and those term drive a lot of traffic to your website. Name in url does help but not very crticle as you can not see all the website ranking for a term have that term mention in their domain name

    • Ahmed December 27, 2009 at 19:31 - Reply

      Totally Agreed!

  10. RSS Icons June 5, 2010 at 09:50 - Reply

    Hi, I just stumbled upon this site (again!) so this time I thought’d I’d say thanks for the awesome site! Keep it up.

    • Ahmed June 6, 2010 at 15:32 - Reply

      Nice 1!

  11. seo community March 17, 2011 at 07:05 - Reply

    Perfect post. Those are exactly the factors that can measure to estimate the website’s value. There are some other factors (e.g content and website’s speed) also but the above are really the basic.

  12. Cloud9 April 6, 2011 at 20:43 - Reply

    Good article. A great place to get aged domains is at godaddy auctions. Just do a little research and you can pick up great short names that have history and age.

  13. Jason Walker May 25, 2011 at 13:21 - Reply

    Interesting article, not all 18 factors will apply to each domain but a grat was to gauge the worth of a domain.

  14. epic commissions September 14, 2011 at 06:59 - Reply

    My 2011 will be better being aware of that!

  15. Ferdinand May 8, 2012 at 04:37 - Reply

    Great article. The problem usually arises when you realize that your website’s name is the main factor in scaring away potential visitors :(

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