Before You Sell Your Website: Part 2 of 2
--Language permitting you to assign or transfer the contract without their consent.
--An assignment-of-rights clause giving you copyright to the content.
--A provision clearly detailing any fees you pay these folks.
Get Your Financial Books and Records in Order. You should have records of your website's revenue and expenses for the past two to three years in a commonly used format (such as QuickBooks) broken down by customer, advertiser or other revenue source.
Update Your Website Analytics. Your buyer will want to see website traffic reports for the past two to three years. If you are using an analytics program other than Google Analytics, you may want to sign up for free traffic reports, as many buyers are unfamiliar with other products.
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If you have used any paid link-building services to generate search engine optimization rankings for your website, be sure that they haven't used any black-hat SEO practices, such as keyword stuffing, spamdexing, invisible text, doorway pages, use of paid links or improper link-building techniques, use of unrelated keywords, spam comments or duplicate content, webpage swapping or article spinning -- these are big red flags for buyers. Be prepared to provide details about any past search-engine algorithm change (sometimes called a Google Dance -- see http://metamend.com/archive/education/google-dance) that may have adversely impacted your site's SEO rankings.
Calculate Your Pre-Closing Revenue. When selling a website, there's usually a gap of 30 days or more between the date of contract and the closing (actual transfer of the site). What happens to the revenue that will accrue during this period? Make sure you have a sense of how much revenue your site realizes from month to month, as that is likely to be a key part of the purchase-price negotiation with the buyer.
Cliff Ennico (email@example.com) is a syndicated columnist, author and former host of the PBS television series "Money Hunt." This column is no substitute for legal, tax or financial advice, which can be furnished only by a qualified professional licensed in your state. To find out more about Cliff Ennico and other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit our webpage at www.creators.com.