Website Incubator Service

Websites Built To Order - but also Highly Ranked in Search Engines

Web Design and SEO Expertise Combined in One Service



Website Incubator Service

Many clients have asked me if I would build them a site and get it to the first page of the search engines as a kind of package deal. Then they can either use it themselves or sell it on to the highest bidder. This suits me because it involves exactly the same SEO procedures as I normally would use. This is called website incubation or being a website incubator. I will build the site according to client specifications and then "incubate" it or promote it according to sound SEO methods. Then, when a certain agreed placement in the search engine results pages (SERPS) has been achieved I will sell it to my client for the sum agreed at the time the site was first proposed to me.

This kind of arrangement is ideal for business startups and also for existing brick and mortar businesses who wish to enter the online marketplace. As part of the website incubator service I can give ongoing advice on marketing online and also provide keyword analysis if you're stuck for the right domain name.

As to the look, design or layout of the website, that is up to you. If you're undecided at the beginning on how your site should look, I can build the basic site in the first instance using top-of-the-range website design software which will ensure that all the elements of the site are present, incuding meta tags, meta description and the proper layout, to ensure that the site may be fully indexed and "readable" by the search engine robots. From there we can work on any type of design, as long as the basic elements are preserved, which in turn will assure its high ranking in the search engine results pages, thus guaranteeing lots of clicks and lots of visitors.

As part of the website incubator process I can insert working any elements into the website which may be relevant to your needs or industry, including RSS feeds, application forms, email list software to build a database of visitors and/or customers or potential customers, as well as providing any elements or pages which are required for reasons of legal or statutory compliance in accordance with jurisdiction in the sector concerned.

As part of the website incubation service there will necessarily be lots of content generated in support of the website which is being grown in this way. So by the time the site is ready for delivery to the client it will have lots of links pointing to it from all over the Web. This will include articles, press releases, Web 2.0 content and even links from software directories in appropriate instances. By the time the website incubator service is complete there will be a whole network of other "authority" sites, directories and blogs with links pointing to it, strengthening its position in the rankings. This is very important, especially if you have competitors with their own websites in the same sector or competing for the very same keywords or search terms.

Charges for doing this will vary. As a rough rule of thumb, calculate what you are likely to make in profit every month from the completed website, assuming it had a top listing in the search engines, together with the customers that such a top listing would bring. Then multiply by 10. This means that the site, once handed over to the client, will pay for itself within 10 months. A much more attractive prospect than buying many offline businesses, where it can take years to recoup the cost of buying the goodwill and the lock, stock and barrel.

Many Internet valuation experts agree that the value of a site is roughly equal to 20 times its monthly earnings, so doing things this way, from a standing start, has definite advantages, and is certainly a good option for any shrewd investor or brokerage business dealing in websites, as well as end-user business owners, who will get terrific value for money from the incubator approach.

Of course, this is a very rough estimate and all charges and fees are subject to negotiation on a case by case basis. Website incubation is a service which can only be done in a bespoke manner. There is no off-the-peg website incubator service in existence, as far as I'm aware. Interested parties should contact me by email in the first instance.

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How To Guarantee Your Website Incubator Investment

If you're unsure about the income the finished website will produce, or are unhappy that such a strategy may be a risky investment, I'll make the following guarantee.

Before we fix a price, let's wait until the website gets to the first page of the search engine results (or whatever the agreed position is), and then I'll turn it into a functioning website, allowing customers to make contact with you, just as they would from the finished product. You'll be able to see how much you will make per month. Just multiply that by 10 and you have the cost of the website incubator service.

Now because you are making your investment based on known metrics you will be certain of your return. This removes any uncertainty about profit and ROI. Every investor's dream!


Agreed Positioning Of The Website

One would have to agree on the final position of the website in the search engine results pages, always a crucial factor in determining the "success" of a website. This will in turn determine the number of people who see the website, the number of people who click through to it, and so the number of visitors who will ultimately become customers, or who do something else positive, like sign up for your mailing list or click through to the contact page where they will make a note of your phone number and possibly contact you that way.

Of course, the number one position at the very top of page one is the desired ranking in any situation, but some keyword search terms are more difficult than others; and even for experts, determining where you can eventually place a website can be a matter of guesswork after all the various tools we have at our disposal have been used. A website can be optimised and optimised and, in a competitive market, still only manage to reach a number 6 position, for example. This will, of course, affect visitor numbers, therefore customer numbers, hence revenue and profits.

Therefore it is always best to decide on what the value of a website is based on a number of possible outcomes. This should be done to prevent disappointment later. The position is the one thing that cannot be guaranteed. The only guarantee that can be made is based on the ratio of visitors to customers, which is in turn determined by the position or ranking or placement of the site itself. Everything is based on visitor numbers. Having said this, of course, nobody can guarantee what the search engines will do. Nobody can guarantee what web visitors will do, or how peoples' tastes will change over time.


Determining Website Visitor Numbers

Many studies have been done to try to determine how many vistors result from where your website is place in the search engine results pages, as this is such an important metric at the centre of any Internet marketing strategy. Most studies have shown that there is a huge difference between the number of people who click through to the first position website and the number who click through to the rest.

A study by Cornell University (by Laura A. Granka, Thorsten Joachims and Geri Cay) which has been published widely shows the click through distribution as follows:

Ranking Number 1 receives 42.1 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 2 receives 11.9 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 3 receives 8.5 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 4 receives 6.1 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 5 receives 4.9 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 6 receives 4.1 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 7 receives 3.4 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 8 receives 3.0 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 9 receives 2.8 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 10 receives 3.0 percent of click throughs.

It should be pointed out that the sample size was quite small and that these figures have been criticized for several reasons. But basically, you can see the massive importance of getting a number one spot in the search engines from this data.

There are other studies based on industry sector and even the number of words in the keyword search term (the so-called "long tail" keywords) and even more eclectic studies which I will not bore you with.

Of course, traffic from the website incubator service will not just come from the main site being optimised; it will also come from the authority sites, blogs, directories, etc. (see above) which will contain content with links to the main site. For this reason, traffic sources may be assumed to be many and varied, and in an increasingly complex and diverse Internet it may be difficult to know where some site visitors are coming from without the proper metrics. (For this reason I always use Google Analytics to keep track of who is looking for what, and from where.) Ultimately the visitor figures will be considerably larger than the traffic solely from the site itself, however highly it is placed.


Cases Where Website Incubation Will Not Work

The website incubator service offers a design element but sells itself mainly on its SEO component; that is, the high placement of a website within the SERPS for certain highly trafficked search terms. I place far more emphasis on search engine placement than anything else. This is especially true in competitive markets.

For this reason, it would be unreasonable to expect a good performance for certain search terms which are extremely competitive. I will consider commissions on a case by case basis, but being asked to get a site ranked highly which is based around the search term "weight loss", "car insurance" or "secured loans" would be an untenable proposition for any client, or any SEO, for that matter. Therefore I reserve the right to turn down commissions if they are centred on keywords which are just too competitive. Given time, any search term can get a number one listing, but it would be unfair of me to expect a client to wait five years for this to happen.

Instead, I would urge clients to consider the "long tail" options instead. Such search terms are easier to rank for and they have a much better conversion rate. Consider the advantages of "weight loss planner online", "car insurance for young drivers" or "secured loans for self employed women" instead. These search terms are much more specific. Consider it: people searching using these keyword phrases know exactly what they're looking for. They're homing in to take some kind of course of action; that means they're much more likely to be heading for a sale. These are far better than the more generic search terms!


Practice Due Diligence

When commissioning a website or when buying an incubated website you must ensure that all aspects of it are right for your purposes and for the purposes and intentions of your business. This includes making sure that the keyword phrase (search term) which is targeted is the right one, and that the visitor figures are accurate and can be verified. Nothing can make up for poor research at the start of the process. But equally, do not trust things like projected visitor numbers as a result of that research, as even the most reliable sources of web metrics have been known to be inaccurate, sometimes wildly so.

Always make decisions based on actual, verifiable data. I will give plenty of guidance all through the process and at every stage, but in the final analysis I cannot be held responsible for bad decisions that were made by clients.


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