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Amazon affiliate, Display ads, affiliate offers

The goal is to check which revenue streams are implemented on the website. If one of these three revenue streams is missing, you must rate the related control very low.

On the other hand, one stream missing is also a quick-win opportunity, so you can set the target rating as high.

The deal includes social profiles/pages

Social media profiles and pages are paramount, not only for the traffic but also for the Google ranking.

Therefore, it’s better if they are included in the deal.

If the listing does not mention any social media, check manually the website to identify them, if any.

Always ask the seller in case of doubt.

The deal includes a mailing list

A mailing list is always a good asset to get as it allows to increase revenues.

It’s also often a good area of optimisation, as it may be neglected by the site owner.

You need to assess the presence of a subscription widget on the site you want to buy. You can even try to subscribe to see what happens. Also, ask for the following information from the seller:

  • Number of subscribers, and the evolution over time
  • Frequency of emails
  • What is the mailing provider? Is it a paid plan?
  • What are the content and products advertised?

Globally, you need to assess any mailing list as a specific asset.

Affiliation ID checks

If the website contains affiliation links, do a Google request to search them and find other potential websites belonging to the owner.

This may be an attempt to increase the revenues of the listed website artificially.

Consistency between traffic evolution and revenues

Ensure that revenues are aligned with traffic’s evolution.

If you see a divergence between both, analyze it carefully to identify the cause.

Keep in mind that seeing a divergence might be an attempt from the seller to lie on the revenues in the P&L worksheet.

To assess this criteria, you need to plot revenues with traffic to see any divergence.


Revenues vs Traffic - Website Due Diligence
Revenues vs Traffic - Website Due Diligence

Here, you see that the evolution of revenues is in line with the traffic.

Usage of an escrow service

An escrow service aims at not being scammed during the transfer process of the web property you are buying.

If the seller does not accept to use an escrow service, this is a big red flag.

If the broker requires the usage of an escrow service, you should disable this control.

Detailed P&L spreadsheet

Any serious seller should give you a P&L spreadsheet so you can get a clear view of the financial aspect of the deal.

If the broker requires the usage of a P&L spreadsheet, you should disable this control.

Sustainability or revenue streams towards new ownership

When you buy a website, you want to maintain all sources of revenue. Therefore, you need to check carefully if some of them cannot be transferred to your new ownership, whatever the reason. For instance, some affiliation platforms are open to some countries but not to others.

You also need to check any particular partnership between the existing seller and affiliation platforms.

  • Check each of the revenue streams and do a first assessment.
  • Then, always ask the seller if he/she had any particular deal with them, and if yes, how to make the proper transfer.

After the commission cut of Amazon Associate in April 2020, some (big) website owners have been assigned a “custom rate card” to maintain their revenue. This is also a question to ask to the seller for Amazon affiliate sites.