This website merge case study will offer some valuable insights into a complex process of not only buying existing websites, but merging them together for maximum results.
I am going to keep it short, sweet and to the point. No extra fluff or crap you do not need.
I will share as much as I can, without giving away the domains and will do monthly updates.
|Website #1||Website #2|
|Price||$11,900 (30x multiple)||$35,000 (38x multiple)|
|Migrated to my server||April 28, 2023||August 26, 2023|
|DR/UR (time of purchase)||51/35||41/39|
|Referring domains (time of purchase)||1,400||2,380|
|Raptive earnings (average)||$385||$850|
|Organic/social traffic (time of purchase)||44% / 31%||32% / 40%|
|Keywords ranking (time of purchase)||3,847||13,300|
|Total posts (time of purchase)||459||463|
|Merged Website #2 into Website #1||9/9/2023||9/9/2023|
Earnings & Traffic
|Website #1||Website #2|
|August 2023 – Organic Sessions||5,597||8,408|
|August 2023 – Raptive Earnings||$511.73||$877.85|
April 2023 – Purchase Website #1
In April I was randomly looking through websites on Flippa when one caught my eye. I did not love the URL, but there were so many other things that looked promising.
Here is a rundown of why I decided to purchase it with screenshots for proof further below.
1. Evergreen Niche
The site does fall under a “mom blog” but it is super niche with a very evergreen topic. Not only is the topic evergreen, but it is one that will be growing a lot in the coming years.
Website did not qualify for Raptive but the seller was on a Platinum account which allowed them to pass it to me with the account. This was a huge plus for me.
I liked that it was already making an average of $10-$15 per day and the RPMs are very attractive.
The website also earned a very small income from Amazon.
Seller had the profit listed at $385 per month and was asking $11,900 for the website. For a 30x multiple it was a no brainer for me.
Website had a DR of 51 and UR of 35 (Ahrefs) with over 1,400 backlinks from sites like healthline.com, cafemom.com, motherearthliving.com, naturalnews.com, and more.
Anchor text was well diversified across brand and keywords and there were no spammy backlinks at all.
Site was ranking for roughly 4,000 keywords. Many of the keywords has a solid CPC in Adwords which means higher earnings for me. 😊
5. Social Media
The sale did not include social media accounts. The seller bought the website at auction so those were not available. This is why the cost was 30x multiple instead of more.
But the site had a solid following on Facebook and Pinterest.
The Facebook page also had 2 private groups as well. While at the time I did not have access to those, I am happy to say after about 6 weeks of convincing – I was able to secure those pages and groups! This gave me almost 12K people to connect with!
I had no luck with Pinterest, but did create a new account.
The followers are very engaged and passionate so this was a huge win and already improved the value of the website!
I loved the spread of traffic on the site. It was roughly 44% organic, 31% social, 21% direct and 3% referral. This means a LOT of opportunity for improvement. Google likes it enough to rank it for keywords, but the site may not be well-optimized since organic is so low.
This is a huge decision maker for me.
7. Time on Page & Bounce Rate
Bounce rate was around 80% and time on page for many pages were several minutes. This shows people were engaged with the content.
The website design and layout was pretty dated and boring. I knew a better layout, site speed, and CTAs could greatly impact earnings and users. Lots of room for improvement.
The space has some pretty strong competition, but not so much that it would be overwhelming to compete or even beat them.
10. Age / Ownership
The site was originally started by someone who has expertise in the niche in 2009. She owned it for many years before selling it. The person who bought it seemed to take care of it, but then got involved with the Income School, which later was investigated by the FBI.
This is how the seller I bought it from got it – they bought it at auction from the auction the FBI forced on them.
So, generally speaking the age and ownership was good. It was never used for anything other than a blog and the site has not changed much since 2009.
May 2023 – Content Pruning
All I did in May was a content audit and content pruning based on the audit findings.
The website had 459 posts at the time of purchase, now there is 249.
I deleted a total of 210 posts in May.
Below is my analysis process:
- Run a crawl with Screaming Frog and used the GSC, GA, and Ahrefs API to pull in additional data. I used a 12 month period for the data.
- Exported all data to a spreadsheet and looked for posts that had no traffic or backlinks. I would look at each post to see if I can use it or should just delete it. If I thought it had content I could use or improve – it would go to draft mode, the rest would just get deleted. I do not do redirects or anything for these if there is no traffic or backlinks, I just let them drop off.
- Then I look for posts that had some traffic and no backlinks and do the same.
- Next would be analysis of posts that have traffic and backlinks. Are they worth saving or merging? If it had backlinks but was NOT worth saving, I would redirect to a similar posts so I do not lose the backlink juice.
I will do a video of this in the future to show the process in full. Be sure to follow me on YouTube to know when it is ready!
But at the end of this analysis, I had 210 posts deleted – none of which had any backlinks so they were just deleted.
June + July 2023 – Content Cleaning
Cleaning of remaining posts.
I am only about 1/3 of the way through this process at the time of this writing. Cleaning included new images, updating content, and better optimizing posts.
I have done nothing else during this time.
August 2023 – Content Cleaning + New Revenue Stream
Cleaned a few more posts and am trying to merge some posts into one amazing article.
Updated some PDF files and did a few FB posts.
This month was exciting though! I actually came across an old ebook and soft-cover book the original owner had created. One she actually sold on Amazon and it had excellent reviews.
I reached out the original owner on Instagram – and she gave me her blessing to use all of the content and was excited to see her baby come back to life.
So, I now have 2 new items I can sell! I am hiring someone to redesign both of these items and will get those up on Amazon, Etsy, and wherever else I can sell them.
I hope to have these items available in October after I redo them.
The screenshot below is the traffic improvement I am already seeing from the work above.
The purchase data was early April 2023, and you can see some nice slow growth through August 2023.
August 2023 – Purchase Website #2
I was not planning on buying another website, and I struggled for a few weeks to make a decision, but I pulled the plug and I did it.
The website was being sold by the same seller I bought site #1 from – and it was the exact same niche, but not a lot of overlapping content!
I won’t bore you with all the details from above – my reasons for buying the website were pretty much the same.
Below is some things to note about this site:
- The Ahrefs rank for this website is under 2,000,000 while website #1 is over 5,000,000
- The UR is 41 and DR 39 with 2,380 referring domains from websites like hubspot.com, washingtonpost.com, businessinsider.com, and buzzfeed.com to name a few
- The site currently ranks for over 13K keywords.
- No social profiles were included in the sale
- Organic traffic is 32%, social is 40%, direct is 27% and referral is 2% meaning lots of opportunity for growth
- Revenue is averaging $850 per month with Raptive ads, it gets a small amount of Amazon revenue as well but I did not even count that. The seller wanted $39K for the website – I offered $30K and they accepted. This is roughly a 36x multiple.
- Site was migrated to my server on August 26, 2023.
I cannot merge the website for at least 30 days from August 26th as the seller has a contract with Raptive ads and needed to give 30 days notice. So, I will start the merging in early October!
September 2023 – The Migration
I got word from Raptive I can merge the sites! Today is September 9, 2023 and the merge is now complete.
Here was my process for merging.
- Export database and images from website #2
- Import database and images to website #1
- Edit htaccess to do a page to page redirect from website #2 to website #1 (code is below)
- Used Google Search Console change of address tool to let Google know that website 2 is now under a website 1
- Updated database to change all Amazon links to my ID
- Updated database to make sure all internal links were reflecting website #1 URL
- Ran a Screaming Frog crawl to address any broken links
Next steps are to do a complete content audit.
Below are screenshots of the before and after for the number of posts for both sites.
The htaccess code for redirect
This is the code I used to do page to page redirects and add a separate redirect just for the home page. The page to page redirects mean if a user tries to land on websiteb.com/this-page – they will be taken to websitea.com/this page.
The home page I wanted to have redirect to a specific page where I talk about the acquisition of the website.
Use this code at your own risk! While in most basic WordPress websites it should work, you may have different settings or a server that may require it be done in a different way.
RewriteEngine On RewriteRule ^(.+)$ https://newwebsite.com/$1 [L,R=301] RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://newwebsite.com/website-merger/ [L,R=301]