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4 Top Ranked UK Websites For Sale

Discussion in 'UK Websites For Sale' started by Magician, May 19, 2009.

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  1. Magician United Kingdom

    Magician Member

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    Hi Folks

    Not sure if this is place for this but if not hopefully admin will move it accordingly.

    I am considering putting up for sale 4 of my top ranked UK mortgage related sites and I could use some advice from someone with finance related website selling/buying experience. An indication as to the sort of value I should place on these sites would help with the decision as to whether they are put up for sale or not. I could also use some advice on where the sites should be advertised for sale to enable the maximum chance of getting the best deal.

    Each of the sites has been designed to target a different niche in the UK mortgage market. Each of the sites have been targeted at the very top keyword phrases in their niches and quite frankly have top rankings for almost all these phrases in Google, Yahoo and MSN Live. All the sites are FSA compliance approved.

    The sites have unique content written by professional mortgage journalists and been designed to generate quality leads for a whole of market mortgage broker and as such currently have a revenue model based on broker fees and Lender commissions. Obviously, with current market conditions placing mortgages has been much more difficult over the past 12 months so the revenue mentioned below for each site which is the last 12 months revenue is about half of what it was in the previous 12 month period. The volume of leads however has remained constant which goes to show that lenders have yet to get back to a sensible lending policy which will happen sometime soon.

    I have also transitioned these sites from a PPC model to that of a natural listings model which has now reduced the cost of advertising on 3 of the sites to £0. Two of the sites are now getting the same amount of leads as when using PPC the third (which was producing 300 – 400 leads a month with PPC) is almost at the end of the transition period. I choose an aggressive route for this site by switching off PPC and then redesigning the site with SEO in mind and starting the SEM campaign which is almost complete and has already seen huge gains in Google rankings and is also starting to see large increase in traffic. I choose a less aggressive route for the 4th site and have almost completed the transition to zero cost advertising without losing any visitor traffic or lead volumes.

    Over the last few months I have also tested adsense on two of the sites to see if passive income generation was also possible. These two sites are now producing around £1000 a month in adsense revenue which has had no effect on the generation of leads and therefore I am now placing adsense ads on the other two sites.

    Some Stats for the sites…

    Note: The number of leads shown here are top quality leads that are a perfect fit for today’s lender criteria. The site generates many more leads that are filtered out both at the enquiry form level and those that the mortgage advisers qualify out of due to other reasons like unable to contact. These leads are the ones that fit today’s criteria and offer the opportunity to close a deal.

    Site one.
    Total Number of Site Pages: 270 Keyword Targeted SE Optimised site Content pages + 250 blog article pages.

    Current Average Number of quality mortgage leads per month: 100 LPM.

    Monthly Advertising Costs: None for the last 12 months

    Last 12 Months Revenue Generated from Lender commission and broker fees only. £40,000

    This does not include revenue generated from existing clients returning or revenue generated from cross selling home and life insurance which is in addition to this figure.

    Google Search Engine Positions for the most competitive niche keyword phrases (There will be many other long tail keyword phrases that the site ranks for which we do not track):

    1) Google.co.uk/co.uk (The Web)/.com: 387 Page1 listings (93 Page 1 No1, 310 Page 1 Top5). 141 Page 2 Listings, 82 Page 3 Listings.
    2) (MSN) Live.co.uk/.com: 86 Page 1 Listings (14 Page 1 No 1, 55 Page 1 Top 5), 72 Page 2 Listings, 32 Page 3 Listings
    3) Yahoo.co.uk (The Web)/.com: 26 Page 1 Listings, 27 Page 2 Listings, 29 Page 3 Listings

    Monthly Traffic: 6500 Unique Visitors, 13000 Visits, 80,000 Page Views

    Site Two:

    This site is a true Google Authority site. Site Submenu displayed in the listing under the top keyword phrase search.

    Total Number of Pages: 151 Keyword Targeted SE Optimised site Content pages + 250 blog article pages + 1400 Financial Resource Directory Pages.

    Current Average Number of quality mortgage leads per month: 70 LPM

    Monthly Advertising Costs: None for the last 12 months

    Revenue Generated From New Business Only May 1st 2008 To 30th April 2009 = £56,000

    This does not include revenue generated from existing clients returning or revenue generated from cross selling home and life insurance which is in addition to this figure.

    Double Opt in Newsletter Subscribers: 1148

    Google Search Engine Positions for the most competitive niche keyword phrases (There will be many other long tail keyword phrases that the site ranks for which we do not track):

    1) Google.co.uk/co.uk (The Web)/.com: 411 Page One listings (132 Page 1 No1 Ranked, 261 Page 1 Ranked 2-5, 18 Page 1 Ranked 6-10). 28 Page 2 Listings, 3 Page 3 Listings.
    2) (MSN) Live.co.uk/.com: 256 Page One Listings (64 Page One No 1 Rankings, 146 Page One Rankings 2-5 and 47 Page One Rankings 6-10) 24 Page Two Listings and 10 Listings on Page three.
    3) Yahoo.co.uk (The Web)/.com: 199 Page One Listings (46 Page One No1 Rankings, 100 Page One Rankings 2-5 and 43 Page One Rankings 6-10), 43 Page Two Listings and 20 Page three listings.

    Average Monthly Traffic for past 12 months: 5500 Unique Visitors, 13,000 visits, and 50,000 page views

    Site Three.

    Number of Pages: 167 Optimised Site Content Pages + 150 Blog Article Pages

    Current Average Number of quality mortgage leads per month: (Jan – April 2009) 34 LPM with no PPC.

    (300 – 400 LPM with PPC switched on. We have all the stats to support these numbers and still have the PPC campaign set up which can be switched on in seconds) The reason for switching PPC off 12 months ago was that we already had enough leads for our advisers with the other website campaigns, basically we could not handle the volume of leads and the site remained untouched until the redesign.

    Monthly Advertising Costs: None for the past 12 months

    Revenue Generated From New Business Only May 1st 2008 To 30th April 2009 = £17,978.00

    Note: This revenue has been generated by the site without having the benefit of the rankings now being obtained and without PPC.

    Double Opt in Newsletter Subscribers: 3704

    Google Search Engine Positions for the most competitive niche keyword phrases (There will be many other long tail keyword phrases that the site ranks for which we do not track):

    1) Google.co.uk/co.uk (The Web)/.com: 408 Page1 listings (104 Page 1 No1 rankings, 242 Page 1 Ranked 2-5, 62 Page 1 Ranked 6-10). 134 Page 2 Listings, 65, Page 3 Listings.
    2) (MSN) Live.co.uk/.com: 103 Page One Listings (21 Page one No1 Rankings, 49 Page One Ranked 2-5, 12 Page 1 rankings 6-10) 84 Page 2 Listings, 62 Page 3 Listings.
    3) Yahoo.co.uk (The Web)/.com: 227 Page One Listings (47 Page One No1 Rankings, 137 Page One ranked 2 -5, 49 Page One Rankings 6 – 10) 68 Page 2 Listings, 61 Page 3 Listings.

    Traffic for April 2009 No PPC. 4500 unique visitors, 10,000 visits, 53,000 page views.

    Site Four:

    Number of Pages: Number of Pages: 143 Keyword Targeted SE Optimised Site Content Pages + 250 Blog Article Pages.

    Current Average Number of quality mortgage leads per month: 309 LPM

    Last 12 Months Advertising Costs: Google Adwords PPC Cost May 1st – April 30th 2009 £51,692.

    The site was completely rebuilt and optimised for the natural search listings in December 2008 and once launched, the SEO campaign began. This is now complete and we are gradually replacing the reliance on PPC with our natural search rankings. This has meant a huge reduction in costs for the site whilst maintaining the same volume of high quality mortgage leads.

    January 2009 PPC Costs £5227 Leads Generated 339
    February 2009 PPC Costs £2393 Leads Generated 296
    March 2009 PPC costs £2026 Leads Generated 315
    April 2009 PPC Costs £1416 Leads Generated 285

    Last 12 months revenue From New Business Only May 1st 2008 To 30th April 2009 = £340,540

    Double Opt in Newsletter Subscribers: 7470

    Google Search Engine Positions for the most competitive niche keyword phrases (There will be many other long tail keyword phrases that the site ranks for which we do not track):

    1) Google.co.uk/co.uk (The Web)/.com: 443 Page1 listings (74 Page 1 No1, 320 Page 1 Ranked 2-5, 94 Page 1 Ranked 6-10). 95 Page 2 Listings, 25 Page 3 Listings.
    2) (MSN) Live.co.uk/.com: 316 Page One Listings (95 Page 1 No1 Ranked, 158 Page 1 Ranked 2-5, 63 Page 1 Ranked 6-10), 36 Page Two Listing and 5 Page three listings.
    3) Yahoo.co.uk (The Web)/.com: 142 Page One Listings (20 Page 1 No1 Rankings, 80 Page One Ranked 2-5, 22 Page 1 Ranked 6-10), 58 Page Two Listings, 16 Page Three Listings.

    Last 12 months Average Monthly Site Traffic: Unique Visitors 9000, Visits 15000, and Page Views 65000.

    Look forward to receiving your comments.

    Thanks

    Magician
     
  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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  3. Magician United Kingdom

    Magician Member

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    Hi Folks

    No one with any ideas?

    I have just used the sitepoint valuation tool to get some indication of value which they say is the most accurate online valuation tool available as it utilises input from accountants, website brokers etc and the values of similar sites that have been sold previously. Obviously, anything is worth what the buyer is preapared to pay and the seller is prepared to sell for.

    Anyone got any comments on this tool?

    Thanks

    Magician
     
  4. JMOT

    JMOT (20) Well-Known Member Trusted Trader

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    if you could bear to maintain these thru the current mortgage market lull/crisis you'd be sitting pretty for a sale come the up-turn rather than selling out now...
     
  5. Magician United Kingdom

    Magician Member

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    Hi Thanks for the comment.

    I fully understand what you are saying but there are other reasons for looking at a sale now that I can only disclose to serious buyers. These have nothing to do with the business though as you can see from the numbers in the last 12 moonths even in the worst times ever seen in the financial services market the sites are doing pretty well.

    When lenders change their current policy of making life difficult these sites will be very well placed to capitalise on their positions. The previous 12 months mumbers are in excess of twice that of the last 12 months, add to that the fact that lead costs have no been cut to almost £0 and its all upside from here on in.

    Regards

    Magician:p
     
  6. Magician United Kingdom

    Magician Member

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    Just a quick thanks to all those who have sent me PMs re the sites, thanks for your interest and guidence.

    One thing that has poppod up from one of the enquirers is the question that Google results are down to well... Google. Firstly let me say that I am stricktly white hat SEO and reaaly do know my stuff. If google did something with the algo that effected these sites then every other site in the rankings would go down too, thats for sure.

    All of the backlinks to the sites are quality perminant backlinks, no rubbish, no rented links and actually no purchased links either. These links will remain as long as the sites they are on remain.

    Secondly, For those that prefer PPC each of these sites started life on PPC campaigns which are highly optimised for ROI and are all still in tact so can be turned back on in seconds..

    At present I think the sites are likely to be put up for auction on sitepoint as this seems to be most peoples recommendation.

    Hope it helps

    Magician
     
  7. Magician United Kingdom

    Magician Member

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    Hi Folks

    Once again thanks for everyones interest and input and especially for the great comments about the sites it is really appreciated, I guess you appreciate how hard it is to get these kind of results.

    Due to the overwhelming amount of interest shown both from this site and a few others that I have asked for and recieved guidence along with serious interest I can now say that the sites have moved from "considering" to "for sale".

    Thanks for all your help.

    Regards

    Magician.
     
  8. Magician United Kingdom

    Magician Member

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    Hi Folks.

    Just to let you know whats happening. I put up the website info to try and get some advice rather than sell at this point. However, with the interest it created it has tipped the balance and we will be selling them.

    I put a document together with a lot more info in but have now been advised that there are legal implications which I must adhere to so I have to completley rewrite the website prospectus document and produce a memorandum of sale for each of the webistes which has now slowed things down.

    I may be an expert at getting sites ranked but I am a complete newbie at selling them. I never relalised that being absolutley honest could get you in so much trouble. I have been advised that due to the value of the sites I must go through a website broker to ensure the legalities are all met so at this point in time I can not disclose any further information about the websites.

    Obviously some of you guys were really hot to trot on this and all I can do is apologise for my lack of knowledge in selling website assets and hope that this has not caused anyone any undue probems problems. I have emailed everyone that has already bid for the sites to let them know the situation and have closed bidding on the sites at this point in time.

    What I will do is let you know when things have been sorted out. If anyone can recommend a good website broker that would help.

    Newbie dumbo Magician
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2009
  9. VSC

    VSC (28) Active Member Trusted Trader

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    Hi,

    The valuation guide is 12-18 months net revenue.

    As I understand this is the standard way of valuing sites.

    But at the end of the day it's what someone is prepared to pay.

    Have you thought of advertising one on sitepoint? You can set a reserve, so you know you'll either sell or get your min price.

    Good luck,

    VSC
    PS. You might always be able to increase monthly revenue by offering ad spots?
     
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