Website Due Diligence Checklist

As a website flipper and from helping investors acquire and operate websites, I’ve personally looked at hundreds of web deals. I have developed an ability to quickly analyse a content site for search traffic and conversion upside. Unless you simply want to cashflow a website, there needs to be upside to be able to compound returns and be able to flip. 

In terms of risks, I analyze backlink profiles and look for keyword dependencies. I’ve been burned in a deal in the past where a seller had used and removed PBN (private blog network) links which tanked the site after purchase. From this experience I’ve learned how to better evaluate a link profile to best reduce the risk. I also check to see if the majority of the site’s traffic is dependent on ranking on page 1 for a small number of big keywords or just a handful of pages which is a risk.

Below is the due diligence website checklist I use to assess whether to get involved in deals.

❏ Has the domain been dropped in the past and used as a PBN?

❏ Does the backlink profile look natural?

❏ Is the backlink profile trending up in Ahrefs?

❏ Can any PBNs be found (if non declared)?

❏ Are there any 301s or canonicals pointing to the site?

❏ Is the organic search trending up in Ahrefs?

❏ Is the majority of traffic from organic search? If not how is it being driven?

❏ Are there any keyword or page dependencies?

❏ Is the content quality strong?

❏ Is the content unique and evergreen?

❏ Is the site violating any affiliate program TOS?

❏ Is there obvious SEO upside (i.e. site structure)?

❏ Is there obvious CRO & monetization upside?

❏ What is the seller’s reason for selling?

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