June 26, 2020

Reducing expenses of your website portfolio

Every quarter I review our company expenses. I get as excited every time because I know that small changes or cancellations will reap a better bottom line.

I know that it takes money to make money, and that is, to an extent, true in website investing.

Surely, one could buy a website, write all the content and chase links themselves, and only have the cost of hosting + annual renewal of domain to bear, but if you want to put fewer man-hours - you have to invest.

At the same time, I want my money to spent in the best possible way to get the best return of each dollar put in.

Better ROI can be achieved in two ways, growing your revenue more than what your expenses grow or cutting down on your expenses while keeping the same revenue levels.

Some ways of reducing costs while remaining the same revenue

The key here is to really find those costs that doesn't correlate with revenue - if we cut it off, could it affect our ranking? If not, we can cut costs without having a risk of losing any revenue. Here are some ideas to spark the mindset you should have when doing the cost review.

Domain renewals

One thing that usually slips between the cracks of recurring costs is the cost of domain renewal. That's usually because they're spread out and in a sense doesn't appear to be that much of a recurring expense.

During our Q1 review, I managed to save $606 per year in domain renewals.

What did I do?

I switched domain registrars.

I switched over to Cloudflare's no-markup domain registrar which instead of, Godaddy, takes $7.85 instead of $26.99.

It also consolidated the number of domain registrars we have to only 3 registrars instead of 9 (Cloudflare doesn't do .se's yet.)

Annual payments

We all got those paid services we just cannot live without.

Mine are the following: Ahrefs, Screaming Frog, Gist, RunCloud, SERPRobot.

If you already been a customer for some time, or know that you're going to need their services for 12 months ahead (at least), pay annually instead of monthly.

We managed to save $350.37 per year just by paying annually instead of monthly. We received the exact same services, but we now pay for about 10 months of the year instead of 12.

Servers

Servers gonna cost, that's just the way it is.

Here we've done major improvements in terms of security and infrastructure by moving from shared hosting to a VPS solution (Vultr). Improving and adding costs sometimes is vital to have a good structure that can scale, do not forget this.

What I did was contacting the brightest mind I know of in terms of servers and asked him to plan the infrastructure, set it up and then maintaining it.

We went from $2 per site to $4.66. But let me tell you, it is totally worth it. Way better speed on our websites and the security is great.

What you can do here though is see how much of the paying capacity of each VPS we're using and if we have two VPS that isn't maxing the capacity - we consolidate them into one VPS.

This way, we were able to save $480 per year.

So far we've saved $1436.37 in the coming year on small but necessary changes.

Automation

This one is huge for a company like ours.

We're contracting a developer whose sole role is to help us with automation at Hekkup.

So far we've automated these tasks:

  • Keyword sorting (semi-automated)
  • Word counting (semi-automated)
  • Selecting Amazon products (based on specific inputs)
  • Assigning Trello-cards based on Google Sheets input (for assigning tasks for VAs and content team)

It's hard to estimate how many hours this will save us, but I'd estimate 300 hours per year. If we value our time at $40/hr, that'd be $12,000 saved each year.

These automations also remove people out of the equation which helps our small team act fast without having others to rely on. Fewer possible bottlenecks!

One thing to keep in mind is that this really only is applicable for those who have scaled their website portfolio and is expanding.

If you have a handful of websites, I'd say it's cheaper to go on as is, as long as you don't require an immense amount of new content or maintenance.

Can you go for a cheaper alternative?

For me personally, rank tracking is one of those things I really don't like spending a lot of money on.

Sure it is nice to be able to update your rank tracker with your 1000 daily credits with unlimited updates, but really, one look per day is enough. Usually, nothing drastic happens overnight, and if it does, a cheaper alternative will show that just fine.

Let's say you're going with Accuranker as your rank tracker - $110 per month for 1,000 keywords. I know Accuranker is a great service and all that, but SERPRobot could serve you the same type of service for $14.97 per month.

I'd think the $1140.36 annually you save here can be invested in something that reaps a better ROI than what Accuranker does.

And this applies to any service that isn't directly correlating with your revenue.

By just these easy tips one can save $14576.73 per year.

If you, like me, want to continue running your business in 5-10 years from now, this figure will be $72k-$144k - and this is money that you can cash out or reinvest (to grow the revenue side, hopefully, faster than your expenses side to receive an upside).

I hope these tips were helpful! Do you have other ideas on how one can cut the costs without affecting the revenue levels?