If you haven’t heard of David Jenyns yet, you will sooner or later. As a serial entrepreneur, SEO expert, and now website flipping pro, he’s got a lot going on so if you haven’t crossed his path yet, I’m sure you will. I had the opportunity recently to interview him and his website flipping partner, Ryan Malone. David briefly talks about SEO and then him and Ryan discuss their latest website flipping endeavors.
FW: Dave, I want to thank you for the interview. It’s a real honor to have the opportunity to interview such a highly successful entrepreneur. Let’s first briefly talk about your SEO company, MelbourneSEOServices.com, and SEO in general as I believe it’s imperative that website flippers have a grasp on SEO. When did your company launch and what type of businesses does your company typically work with?
Dave: Thanks for the opportunity. Melbourne SEO Services launched in early 2010 and previously we’ve been working on building our own businesses with a focus on online marketing for the past 10 years. After numerous people asked “How do you do, what you do?” it became obvious there was a need for our services.
Typically we work with small to medium-sized local businesses that have a high client value. Coming from a very competitive niche, the stock market, we’ve been able to achieve almost immediate results for our clients in their less competitive markets.
FW: So would your company work with the average website flipper?
Dave: We’re happy to work with anyone as long as we can get them a positive return on investment. Accordingly, one of the first stages in working with the Melbourne SEO services is the business analysis. In short, we will only work with businesses we know we can help. Our primary objective is to ensure the client gets a positive return on the money they invest with our company.
For this reason, hiring our services to do your SEO, for the average website flipper, might not be the best idea. That said, as part of our own staff training, we’ve recorded a whole series of video training products – this is the best place to get started if you want to learn how to do SEO for yourself. You can find out more about them at www.theSEOmethod.com (aff).
FW: SEO is a complex topic but from a high level, what are the most important things to know when it comes to SEO? Is it on-page factors, off-page factors – what is it?
Dave: You’re right SEO is a complex topic – it’s pretty hard to try and cover it in a nutshell. Recently I recorded a one-day workshop where I spoke for seven hours, at double speed, and still don’t think I covered everything there is to know about SEO.
That said, if pressed, I’d say the most important component of SEO are the off-page factors. Get a good keyword rich domain, get your on page factors right, and build as many backlinks as you can from a variety of sources – and that’ll be a good start. The whole art and science of SEO is to replicate what happens in nature. So, sell a good product, and do all you can to get the word out.
FW: You are primarily a SEO guy, but what are your thoughts about social media?
Dave: I know I’ve positioned myself as an SEO guy, but I really see myself as an online web strategist. I love building businesses online. If you look to my stock market trading business, and my SEO business, both of them incorporate excellent SEO strategies and social media campaigns. The fact is, YouTube can’t be beat for quick and easy wins in SEO, while twitter and Facebook are best used for building up your brand and reputation.
FW: Now let’s switch gears and bring your website flipping partner, Ryan Malone, into the conversation to talk about your foray into website flipping. It appears you have sold about 20 websites on Flippa starting in February of this year. Have you sold websites through other places, or has Flippa been your exclusive avenue of selling?
Ryan: In late 2009, I was talking to Dave about the idea of selling websites, and we both found out very quickly that it was something that the both of us were interested in learning more about. Combined with my customer experience and sales, and David with his serial entrepreneurship and SEO background, it was really destined to be a force to be reckoned with.
Anyway, the both of us sold our first websites on our own, each through separate marketplaces, Digital Point and Flippa, and it was obvious that the results from selling on Flippa were much better. From here, it has really been a no brainer, you simply go where the market is, and Flippa is where the market is right now.
FW: I know you have a bunch of websites to unload. David’s SEO “testing portfolio” consists of 583 domains. Will you be selling all of these?
Ryan: It’s very hard to say. At the moment we have two focuses: focus one is to develop a comprehensive course for budding website flippers and those who want to make a business out of flipping websites, and the other focus is to identify opportunities within that group of 580 odd websites. Some of them have performed really well over their lifetime, so we simply identify which ones are ready to sell and work on the ones that aren’t just baked enough yet.
FW: Once David’s portfolio is sold, will you be involved with website flipping on any level or will you be done?
Ryan: Website flipping is what I do, so I can’t see that ending any time soon. Once development of the course is completed and we have developed the entire backend for this process, my focus will be on identifying qualifying clients and bringing them on board, much in the same capacity as I currently work with David.
Dave: Moving forward we’ll be looking to starting buying and building these websites up… we’re looking to become a modern day Berkshire Hathaway.
FW: That’s an ambitious goal, but given your track record, David, I have no doubt you’ll accomplish it. Speaking of goals, let’s talk about WebsiteFlippingBroker.com. At the time of this interview the site hasn’t launched yet but can you tell me what your plans are with this site?
Ryan: It still is very much under development, however, I can confirm that there is going to be a very comprehensive guide to not just selling websites, but what it is that will sell a website. The domain name itself will most definitely leave room for further development down the track, whether or not this includes a site flipping broker service similar to what I provide to David. This has yet to be drawn up and decided upon. In any sense, this is a very big “watch this space” scenario.
FW: I want to switch focus now and talk about some of the specific strategies you employ with your auctions. In your interview with Flippa, you mentioned that you like to put a BIN on your listings during the last 12 hours of the auction. Please explain this strategy and why you use it then vs using it right when you list your auction?
Ryan: From experience, and I know that this depends entirely on the kind of website that you are selling, the most action that your auction receives will almost always be within the final four hours. It it at this time when people are more committed to buying, and if there is a lot of competition within the auction, then the chances of a BIN price being snatched up is always going to improve tenfold.
Dave: Ryan is spot on. We like to start our auctions low to get people bidding and emotionally involved and then we like to offer a BIN price right at the end, especially if we find bidding has stalled.
FW: You also mentioned in the interview that when you transfer a site to a buyer, you suggest that minimal changes are made to the website within the first month or two from the transfer. Why is this?
Dave: We do this to reduce the chance of any rankings to be affected. The change over period is the most sensitive and we don’t want to do anything to rock the boat.
FW: Looking back at your previous auctions I noticed that for a while you were offering a “site installation service” for $80. However, you didn’t offer that on your most recent auctions. Why the change?
Ryan: We still offer the service. There is a good chance that this may have been mistakenly removed from auctions as we are forever testing new sales templates that me and David put together. The service is generally a very fast turnaround as this is a service that I provide myself personally. As such, it is very personalized, which a we all know is exactly what people like. We have had a lot of buyers who have paid to have me install the site for them. All-in-all, for those who don’t want to waste time getting a website up and running, it’s good value. The other good thing is that it is a great tool for building rapport. I don’t think that there is a single person who has asked me to install a site for them who hasn’t come back to bid again.
Dave: I think this was actually an oversight when we listed our recent auctions. I’ll have to have a word with my Flippa broker about it:)
FW: Sorry, Ryan. Didn’t mean to get you into trouble…lol. How do you guys normally handle Flippa’s success fee? Do you pay the success fees in full or split it?
RYAN: There is always going to be a difference of opinion in this matter. Personally I like to split it 50/50. This isn’t in any way related to the financial aspect at all, more just a way of sharing the load with buyers. I like to make sure that in all auctions that I share equal ground with those who purchase from me.
Dave: I agree with Ryan. I think 50-50 is only fair.
FW: Finally, I know you are big fans of video so it’s no surprise that your walk-through videos are a key component to your listings. How important of a role do you think they play with your listings? I mean, is a guy crazy not to use video in his auctions these days or is he fine leaving them out? After all, aren’t detailed text descriptions and screenshots enough?
Ryan: Video is a great tool that you can use, and coming from a sales background myself, I think that if there is anything at all that you can offer the buyer to help them make a well informed decision to purchase, that is always going to work in two ways. One, if they like the video and the explanation of the site and what they will receive, then they will place a bid. Second, it is a rapport-building method as well. Personally, I have received a lot of feedback about the videos, all very positive, and the results for that are reflective as well in our 100% success rate. Definitely not going to say that someone is crazy for not using video, but I will say that it is extremely highly recommended.
Dave: Video can’t be beat no matter what you are doing online you need to do more video!
Thanks, David and Ryan, for your time. I wish you both all the success with your website flipping endeavors ahead!