How I Boosted My Website’s Revenue Tenfold in 5 Months
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
In July of this year, I purchased Honeymoons.com for mid-six figures. The acquisition was a strategic shift from managing multiple online businesses to focusing on one. While it was a gamble to move away from the portfolio model, the past five months have resulted in a 7x increase in traffic and a 10x increase in revenue for the site.
Here’s how I arrived at the decision to purchase a premium domain name and how the purchase has resulted in a much stronger overall business. Whether you are struggling to manage multiple businesses, seeking to grow organic search traffic or just starting to build your online business, I hope my lessons can help.
Related: I Spent the Last 3 Years Building My Side Hustle Into a Full-Time Business. Here’s What I Learned.
Pursuing a portfolio
In 2022, I was able to quit my full-time job managing a portfolio of websites for Thrasio and focus fully on my own portfolio. My strategy was to continue working on my main site, HoneymoonGoals.com, and build a portfolio of websites in correlated niches, such as engagement rings, weddings and Caribbean travel.
Portfolio models are hot right now. Influencers like Codie Sanchez have built a massive following promoting buying and running multiple businesses (she owns more than two dozen). My previous employer, Thrasio, built a portfolio of Amazon businesses and became the fastest U.S. company to reach a $1B valuation. While the diversification of a portfolio makes sense, I uncovered some serious downsides to running multiple online businesses that led to my decision to purchase Honeymoons.com.
2 deadly problems with the portfolio model for organic search traffic
The main benefit of building a portfolio of websites is diversification. Running a single website can be risky. Google Core Updates can decimate organic traffic. Critical partners can shut down significant sources of revenue. A portfolio can provide safety through multiple sources of traffic and income streams.
But a portfolio is hard to manage and harder to grow. After raising over $3 billion to create a portfolio of Amazon businesses, Thrasio is preparing to file for bankruptcy. The portfolio model is not quite as “cookie-cutter” as it seems.
Websites that rely on organic search traffic, like mine, need to excel in two crucial areas: quality of content and authority. I discovered that a portfolio model makes this extremely difficult.
Problem 1: Producing and maintaining top-quality content
I have a staff of freelance writers who are skilled at researching and formatting articles for SEO. However, instead of focusing on honeymoons, they needed to delve into engagement rings, weddings and Caribbean travel.
Google has been clear for decades that it wants websites to produce “helpful, reliable, people-first content.” To rank at the top of Google results and stay there, you need to create the best content on that topic, which is the most helpful information online. Hiring experts to create this content in multiple niches is incredibly difficult.
Problem 2: Being a genuine authority
Google evaluates websites on E-E-A-T, which stands for experience, expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness. These qualities are commonly called the “authority” of a website. Demonstrating true E-E-A-T is the fastest way to climb Google rankings and generate search traffic.
One leading indicator of E-E-A-T is links to your website from other websites. For example, if the Wall Street Journal references you and your website as an expert in travel, that is a sign to Google that your website has authority in the travel niche. Splitting focus across multiple websites creates a serious issue for building this authority.
Related: How I Turned My Love for Travel Into a $50k a Month Business
Going all-in on honeymoons
After a previous conversation, the owner of Honeymoons.com contacted me and told me he was accepting offers for the business. I realized that focusing on a single business with a premium domain name may solve the two biggest challenges of running a portfolio of businesses.
The acquisition was a serious gamble. Five months later, here are the results:
Massive improvements in quality and authority with an expert content team
Since acquiring Honeymoons.com, the content has drastically increased. The authoritative domain name has made it easier to attract top talent to contribute their travel expertise and experience to the website. We even hired a travel agent to assist visitors and edit content.
Moving from multiple niches to one combined has produced better, more focused content. Writers and articles are able to level up their subsequent articles instead of plateauing. For example, the website has over 250 honeymoon destinations. As we add destinations and improve the quality of existing articles, the team is able to dive deep into evaluating a honeymoon destination, as opposed to moving to a different topic.
Recognized as an authority by leading websites
The premium domain name, alongside my focus on honeymoons, has made it exceptionally easier to get mentions and links from leading websites and institutions.
In the past five months, Honeymoons.com has been referenced by The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo.com, AskMen.com and many other popular websites. After trying for years to build these mentions with subpar domain names, I am certain that the premium domain name accelerated the increased trust needed to cite our content and opinions.
700%+ increase in organic traffic
The combination of improved content and authority has skyrocketed the SEO traffic for Honeymoons.com.
For transparency, I will use metrics from the popular SEO tool ahrefs. Before my acquisition, the website was receiving an average of 5,500 organic visitors per month. Currently, it receives nearly 44,500 monthly organic visitors.
Google is rewarding the investment into quality content and the recognition of Honeymoons.com as a leader in romantic travel.
10x increase in revenue
Concurrently, with an increase in traffic, the revenue of the website has increased substantially.
The value of the monthly organic traffic to Honeymoons.com in June was $3,500, according to ahrefs. By December, the value of the organic traffic had jumped to $35,000 per month. Traffic value has increased faster than traffic volume, due to high-value search terms ranking, such as “honeymoon packages,” which would cost around $0.50 to acquire a user via CPC advertising.
This increase is directly correlated to the improvement in content quality and the jump in authority, all made possible by focusing our efforts on building a premium domain name.
Related: The Important Pivot That Built This One-of-a-Kind Travel Marketplace
Investing in a premium domain has proven to be a transformative decision for my business, offering immense benefits from enhanced credibility to marketing advantages. While it presents challenges, including high cost and strategic planning, the potential for a strong ROI makes it a worthy consideration for small to medium-sized business owners looking to elevate their digital presence.