10 things to consider before you buy an existing domain

When you think of the perfect domain name for your business needs, you might jump on a registry to find out if it is available. You might find that someone else already owns that perfect domain. Now, you need to decide if you are going to try to buy the domain from the current owner.

Before you make an offer on the domain or take steps to make the domain yours, there are a few things that you have to consider. This is because the current domain statistics and information can have an impact on how your website performs. Here are 10 steps for you to follow before trying to buy an existing domain:

Step 1. Find out if the domain is blacklisted. Site Securi is a good place to check the status of a domain. If a site is blacklisted, there is a good chance that the domain has been sending spammy emails or doing other things that have led to the domain being marked in this manner.

Step 2. Check Bing Webmaster and Google Analytics. This can give you an insight into what’s been going on with the domain. You can see if spammy websites have been sending traffic to the domain. You can also check other traffic patterns for the website. Of course, Google Analytics won’t be much help if the person didn’t have it set up on the domain.

Step 3. Access the Google Search Console for the website. You will have to be granted access to check the information on this console; however, the effort to get this access might provide a nice look into the site. You can check security issues and the manual notes on the account. This lets you know about any penalties or adverse actions that Google has levied against the domain.

Step 4. Look into anchor texts pointing to the website. The most important anchor texts for you to review are those that point to pages you will keep. The anchor texts pointing to the website need to accurately reflect the information you will have on the page. This is one way that Google checks relevancy of the website. You may have to reach out to the webmaster on pages that point the website and ask them to update the links if you do purchase the domain.

Step 5. Check links on the domain. Some spammers and scammers will use nice content with links that go to unscrupulous websites. The goal of a website is to have outbound links that lead to reputable websites and to have incoming links from the same types of websites. The internal links should point to pages that are representative of the linked text.

Step 6. Conduct a SERP analysis. This helps you to determine if there are any troublesome pages on the current website. You might be able to spot spammy or malicious pages, and this search could let you know if a website has been hacked.

Step 7. Verify the domain registration location. Ideally, this will be in the same country as you are located in. An IP location tool might be helpful to find this out. Not only can the registration location determine where traffic to the website comes from, it can also impact the domain speed.

Step 8. Determine the domain speed. The last thing that customers want is to have to wait forever for the website to load. It is possible that this will change for the better or worse if you migrate your content to the domain, but finding out the starting point might help you. Web Page Test and PageSpeed Insights can help you here. These tools might also give you information that you can use to speed up the page loading if you end up buying the domain.

Step 9. Consider the NAP. One of the most important factors that can impact a website’s performance is whether the locals can find it or not. The company name, address, and phone number, which are known as the NAP, affect this. If the domain has already been registered with the larger data providers like InfoGroup or Localeze, contacting representatives to update the records is something you will have to do if you purchase the domain.

Step 10. Confirm the Domain Authority. Moz has a unique way of determining how authoritative a domain is. This is known as the Domain Authority, or DA. You should check the domain’s DA and compare it to the DA of your current website if you have one. If the new domain’s DA is lower, be prepared to work hard to get it to rank higher. This can take time, but you might find that it is worth the work if the new domain name will pull more visitors to your website.