Month 1 after buying a website is critical. What tasks should you focus on that provide the highest return on investment? That’s the question I answer in this write-up.
Here is what’s covered:
- How does Month 1 fit into the website flipping lifecycle
- 5 Foundational Tasks to perform Month 1
- SEO Tasks to perform
- 2 Operational Tasks
- Actionable next steps
Let’s get into it!
Month 1 Within The Website Flipping Lifecycle
Staying efficient and on task when flipping a website is crucial to getting the most out of it. I prefer to organize tasks into steps that guide me effectively towards the end goal already in mind for the acquired site.
The lifecycle of a website flip can be broken down into 5 stages:
How does this apply to a timeline? The first month is very busy. Prior to the first month, you are busy with the acquisition of a site for flipping. Then, Month 1 begins in the “Stabilize” stage where you are setting up the foundations.
Getting the basics done while stabilizing and optimizing the site for fast growth in the coming months is crucial.
Let’s cover the tasks you should do Month 1.
5 Foundational Tasks to Perform Month 1 After Buying a Website
Getting the foundational tasks finished in month one is crucial. These set the stage by getting cash flow directed to you immediately, improves multiple aspects of the site, and sets the stage for all the growth and optimization steps that follow.
Task 1: Switch Monetization To Your Accounts
The affiliate links and display ads don’t automatically switch over. Once the site is in your control all those links need to be switched over. Switching out full affiliate links usually isn’t a problem as long as you have affiliate accounts with the same programs.
For the common problem of shortened Amazon affiliate links, I recommend a WordPress plugin, “Add & Replace Affiliate Links for Amazon” which I review in full in my post on how to switch out shortened Amazon links.
The sooner these are switched out and sending money to your accounts, the better. This cash flow will increase with changes made to the site and help fund some of the work to come.
Task 2: Transfer Site to a Quality Website Host
Site speed is not only a major part of Google’s algorithm for ranking websites, but good site speed drastically improves a user’s on-site experience. This is not an expense to cheap out on.
A good reliable hosting plan that helps a site score highly in all of Google’s speed tests is an essential part of a good foundation.
I highly recommend the following hosts:
- Cloudways (I personally use them)
Any one of these will get the job done for you.
Task 3: Improve Foundation (Plugins, Theme)
One of the best things about working with WordPress sites is the number of plugins that quickly fix major problems.
My first step is to change to a speed-friendly, high-quality WordPress theme if the site doesn’t already have one. I love to use GeneratePress. Navigation needs to be easy, the code needs to be clean, and site speed needs to be optimized.
Next is adding these four plugins. These are added to virtually every single site I put through the flipping process.
Preferred list of plugins that I use:
- WP Rocket for caching
- Short Pixel for image compression
- AAWP for Amazon Affiliate links
- Ninja Tables Pro for comparison tables
These plug-ins are easy to add to a site and add serious amounts of benefit to site speed, proper affiliate links, and excellent comparison tables to improve monetization in the future.
Setting a proper foundation is crucial to make all the work that follows worth it.
Task 4: Ensure Proper Analytics and Tracking
There’s no way to track the failure or success of work without proper analytics. In addition, the proper analytics of website traffic and affiliate results will be necessary when it comes time to flip that site several months (or even years) down the line.
It’s extremely simple to install tracking, such as Google Analytics, to your WordPress site. You can install it manually or add a plugin that integrates everything.
Task 5: Perform Site Redesign (optional)
This depends on what the site looks like when I acquire it. If the theme is good, looks good, runs smoothly then I might not do much.
If the site looks like it was made in 2008, is cluttered, and the theme is bloated with extra code, then it’s time to look for a new theme and design.
My go-to theme is GeneratePress.
SEO Tasks to Perform Month 1
There are many SEO tasks that need to be tackled as early as possible. Internal linking between relevant articles, optimizing on-site SEO, and looking for outreach opportunities are all important.
There’s one SEO task that stands out immediately in month one and should be the top SEO priority after acquiring a new site.
That’s performing a site content audit.
Task 6: Perform a Site Content Audit
This process is looking at the pages that are working, as well as those that aren’t, and figuring out what to do with non-performing content to optimize the site.
Good articles can be made better, underperforming pages can be improved, and terrible pages might be re-directed or even deleted to improve the overall site health.
Performing a content audit of the purchased site is one of the first steps I take with any recently acquired site.
If you’re not sure where to start, go with the content audit guide over at AHREFs. That is a good template to use on a content audit for the new site.
2 Operational Tasks to Perform Month 1
There are two major operational tasks that need to be tackled in month one. These are crucial for the monetization and optimization steps that follow.
Task 7: Find Dedicated Writers and/or Content Agencies
Outsourced content can be made from just dedicated writers or just content agencies, though I tend to use primarily dedicated writers. This allows me to control quality.
The advantage of content agencies is their ability to produce massive amounts of articles in a relatively short time. However, you are unlikely to have any true experts.
Good dedicated writers can take longer to find and can’t produce as much content, but you can find true experts who write in-depth authoritative articles. Perfect for creating EAT for Google.
You need to not only have the keywords and article topics picked out, but an article template to show the writers how you want these to be formatted and written. This goes for content agencies and dedicated writers.
Task 8: Implement any Major Revenue Easy Wins
Many sites are only monetized one way. Oftentimes even that is not fully optimized. Implementing fast and easy major revenue easy wins is a great way to get the cash flow going.
The first step is adding display ads from a quality display ad program like Ezoic, Mediavine, or AdThrive. This increases revenues, diversifies sources and will scale as traffic numbers are improved.
For increasing affiliate income, comparison tables are the way to go. Adding good comparison tables to high-traffic pages is a great way to get more affiliate sales and increase revenues.
Actionable Next Steps To Follow
Month 1 is critical.
All too often, I see website investors buy websites and let them sit idle. There are many growth levers on a website to increase revenues in a short period of time, so as an investor it’s in your best interest to take advantage of them.
If you are going to focus on just a few of these tasks, these are the 3 I highly recommend:
- Switch monetizations to your accounts: this is a no-brainer and should be done immediately
- Implement any major revenue easy wins: this gives you a boost in revenue and thus a boost in motivation to work on the site
- Use a fast website host: a fast site leads to better performance in the search results
These are mission-critical. While the remaining tasks should be done in Month 1 for maximum performance, they can be delayed.