Website Planning Process – Part 2

This is part 2 of our 3-part tutorial series on planning your website or blog. This tutorial covers doing preliminary research for cost-effective website development.

Web site DevelopmentAre you thinking about getting a web site built for your business?

Then this essential guide to planning your website is for you.

Note: This is Part 2 of the article where we take you through the process of planning a new business website.

Understanding The Website Planning Process – Part 2

In Part 1 of this article, we have covered the following areas of the website planning process:

  • Step 1 – Website Goals
  • Step 2 – Your Website Name
  • Step 3 – Manage Your Site’s Technology
  • Step 4 – Defining Your Audience

Website Planning Process

(Website Planning Process)

As you can see, in the previous section of this guide we have established the foundations for planning your new site. If you have followed the above process, you would have a clear idea of your site’s goals and objectives, established your website name, decided on the technology platform you will be using and defined your target audience.

At this point, you could feasibly start building your web site. We recommend, however, that you go through the planning process presented below, as we will now discuss planning your website content and reviewing effective content management and publishing strategies. Doing all of the planning work before you start building your site could save you time and money.

Step 5 – Keywords

(List your main key phrases)

(Identify your most important search phrases)

Once you have a good idea of who you will be targeting with your site, it’s time to identify the main keywords that you would like online users and search engines to associate with your site. This will help search engines connect your website with your target audience.

Ideally, you should aim for key phrases that have “low competition” and a reasonable monthly search volume. Depending on your specific business, you may also want to focus on key phrases in your niche that have some level of commercial viability.

There are many tools you can use to identify suitable keywords, including free keyword tools.

If you have a Google Adwords account, for example, you can use a tool like the Google Keyword Planner Tool.

Using the Keyword Planner tool, you can see that more people are searching every month for “overseas adventure travel” (> 18,000 searches per month) than a keyword phrase like “singles adventure travel“, which gets less than 1,000 searches a month …

Keyword Research Tool - Google Keyword Planner Tool

(Keyword Research Tool – Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool)

According to the Google Keyword Planner, however, the number of websites competing against one another for visitors searching for “singles adventure travel“, is higher than sites trying to rank for a keyword phrase like “overseas adventure travel“. This may be because one key phrase relates to a more targeted audience (i.e. “singles” looking for adventure travel) while the other is more generalized, or because there is more money to be made selling adventure travel packages to singles, etc..

Doing keyword research can also help you understand the profit value of certain keyword phrases. Typically, smart advertisers will promote keyword phrases that are targeted towards ”buyers”, rather than keywords that are more suited for users who are just browsing or researching information online.

For example, users searching online for the term “color printers minolta” are typically not as ready yet to invest in a color printer as people who search for “konica minolta bizhub 4020 review”, so if you plan to sell or review colour printers on your site, you would want to aim for longer, more descriptive and more targeted key phrases (called “long tail keywords”), hopefully with a high monthly search volume and low to medium competition.

It helps, therefore, if you have a few highly searched keywords in your content. However, don’t go “crazy” doing keyword research for every post you plan to add to your site, especially if you are just starting out.

Start simple. Make a list of the “top” 5 keywords you want your site to rank highly for in the search engines, make sure that these keywords are getting a decent number of searches each month and then use these keywords organically in your posts (i.e. plan to write for human readers, not search engine robots).

Once your site starts to draw in visitors, you can then study actual data like keyword searches used by visitors to find your website from your server logs and use this data to refine your keyword research and get better results online.

Practical Tip

Keyword Research Tips For Business Owners

Tip #1: Avoid building your advertising campaigns on keywords that show extremely low to no monthly searches, or that have no demand. There’s no point ranking #1 in Google for a keyword phrase that no one is interested in. Also, if you type a key phrase into Google and no one is advertising products for it (i.e. no Google advertisements show up), then that keyword most likely has no commercial interest or is unprofitable.

Search keywords with no competing advertisers may not be worth targeting

(Keyphrases that have no competing advertisers may be unprofitable)

Tip #2: Use keyword research tools to help you build lists of keywords and generate commercial content ideas. Here are a number of widely-used free and paid keyword research tools you can use:

Free Keyword Research Tools

Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool

Keyword Research Tool - Keyword Planner Tool

(Keyword Research Tool – Google Keyword Planner Tool)

The Keyword Planner lets you search for keywords and keyword-based advertising ideas (e.g. pay-per-click advertising), get keyword search statistics, see how a list of keywords could perform in ad campaigns and even create a new list of keywords by multiplying several existing keyword lists together.

For more information about this tool, visit this website: Google Keyword Planner Tool

If you don’t have access to a Google AdWords account, you can use the FREE tool below to help you with your initial keyword research:

Ubersuggest Keyword Tool

Ubersuggest keyword suggestion tool

(Ubersuggest)

UberSuggest is a free keyword suggestion tool that essentially lets you perform the same function as typing a topic into the Google search box and seeing what topics or ideas come up.

This useful tool saves you time going go through the alphabet from a-z to discover new keyword ideas related to your subject:

Discover new content ideas with the Ubersuggest

(Discover new content ideas with the Ubersuggest keyword tool)

To use this free tool, visit this website: Ubersuggest Keyword Suggestion Tool

The keyword research tools below will help you not only uncover many profitable keyword phrases and long-tail keywords to use when planning content or a pay-per-click advertising campaign, but also save you time analyzing your competition’s keywords and formulating a content SEO strategy for your site:

Market Samurai

Market Samurai Keyword Tool

(Market Samurai)

Market Samurai is inexpensive and provides not just keyword research but also additional content and SEO research tools, with excellent training tutorials on performing keyword research for SEO purposes.

For more information, check out the website here: Market Samurai Keyword Research Tool

SEMRush

SEMRUSH

(SEMRUSH)

SEMRush lets you enter the URLs of your competitors and it will then show you all the keywords that your competitors’ sites are ranking for, which is great for researching short-tail and long-tail keywords that you can then target for your own website.

For more information, visit this site: SEMRush

Keyword Spy

Keyword Spy

(Keyword Spy)

Keyword Spy is an SEO tool that’s primarily used for doing keyword research. Use Keyword Spy to view competitor keywords and to research keywords for your own website.

To learn more, go here: Keyword Spy

Step 6 – Defining Site Categories

Define site categories

(Define website categories)

After doing your keyword research, the next step is to decide on specific areas in your niche that people may be interested in learning about and create a list of “categories” for all the topics that you plan to post content about.

For example, if you run a travel agency, your categories could include topics like: “corporate travel”, “luxury travel”, “exotic destinations”, “holiday packages”, “travel accommodation”, “travel discounts”, “train travel”, “air travel”, “Mexico,” or any other travel-related categories that match your services.

Aim to create an initial list of about 3 – 10 categories. You can always add more categories to your site later on.

Useful Tip

Useful Tips For New Business Website Owners:

Tip #1: WordPress Makes Managing Categories Easy

WordPress provides two basic ways of grouping and organizing content (WordPress calls these taxonomies): “categories” and “tags”.

WordPress gives you great control over managing your categories. It also lets you easily add new categories and match your posts to different categories to help keep your content organized.

Use WordPress for easy management of your categories

(WordPress makes managing your website’s categories easy)

Tip #2: Categories Help To Increase Your SEO Rankings

Choosing the right keywords in your category names helps to improve your website’s SEO rankings.

WordPress allows you to create search engine-friendly URLs that include your categories as keywords (great for search engine optimization, so remember this when planning category names …

WordPress categories can improve your SEO rankings

(WordPress categories can improve your SEO)

Tip #3: Use Categories To Improve Site Navigation

Categories allow users to find content on your site more easily.

WordPress turns every category you create into a searchable web page.

This allows your visitors to find all content published under that category in one place …

WordPress categories can your site's navigation

(Using categories improves site navigation)

For a detailed tutorial about using WordPress post categories, go here: Using Post Categories

Step 7 – Define Your Content Strategy

Define your content strategy

(Plan your content strategy)

Now that you have created a list of keywords and categories, the next step is to define your content strategy.

Organizing Your Website Pages

Your website should have standard pages like Home, About Us, Contact, legal pages, and product / service information pages and any additional pages specific to the needs of your business (e.g. a staff directory page linked to your About page, FAQ, etc.).

Your website may also need special pages or sections, such as a members-only section for customers, private access pages for resellers or affiliates, and so on.

Practical Tip

If your business provides a number of services, don’t list them all in one page. Instead, create a separate page for every service you offer. This allows search engines to better index and rank your website and web pages and creates multiple landing pages (i.e. entry points) for visitors to find and access your website.

Create separate landing pages for each service your business provides

(Create separate landing pages for each service your business provides)

Many businesses make the costly mistake of lumping all of their services in one page. If you want to, you can have a main ‘Services’ page which lists all of your services with links from each service pointing to their own separate page for more details.

Organizing Your Web Content

You will need to create and content to every page you plan to have on your website as well as create and publish new content on a regular basis to attract visitors, educate prospects, train clients, etc.

Ideally, your web content plan and content marketing strategy should be defined at the digital business planning stage before your website even gets built.

To learn more about the planning process we recommend for keeping your website and web content organized as your business grows, see this tutorial:

Useful Tip

Content Strategy Tips:

Tip #1: Your “Fixed” Web Pages

Make sure that you have content for all of your “static” website pages already written before you begin building your website or blog”, especially if you plan to get someone else involved in the process. This will help you avoid additional costs caused by delays or unpreparedness.

Below is a simple checklist of the content you will want to have already prepared prior to building a new website:

  • Business name and brief description of your business.
  • “Main Page” content.
  • Content for your “About Us” page.
  • “Products/Services” page content.
  • Your main service/product categories.
  • Contact Details (e.g. business address, email, telephone numbers)
  • Images (e.g. company logos, etc.). Image formats = .jpg, .png or .gif.
  • 2 – 5 initial articles to be used as “seed content” for your site (saved in Word document or plain text file).
  • List of all URLs and additional contact details to be included in your site (e.g. ”Vendors”, etc.
  • Downloadable content (e.g. videos, PDF reports, price lists, etc.)
  • Also, check that all links that you plan to add to your site are working and all other details like spelling, phone numbers, etc. are correct.

Tip #2: Create A List Of Web Content Ideas

Here is a “fast” method you can use to create a list of content topics for your website.

Go through the list of keywords you created in Step 5 and turn these keywords into topics for web content that you will create.

You can also easily write an article about any of the topics listed below:

  • Your products or services
  • A company award your business has received
  • The industry you’re in
  • A business event you have attended
  • Client tips
  • Reseller training
  • What aspect of your products or solution could you educate prospects about to help overcome sales objections?
  • What problem do you or your services help your customers solve?
  • What reviews can you provide to help more prospects buy again from you?
  • What are common FAQs you get all the time from visitors and prospective customers?
  • etc …

Once you have created this list of web content ideas, continually add to the list on a regular basis.

Tip #3: Learn Ways To Run Out Of Web Content Ideas

We provide our clients and subscribers with comprehensive training email on how to develop a content marketing strategy, how to promote your business with content, and ways to never run out of ideas for web content.

Content Creation Email Training Series

(Learn ways to never run out of content ideas)

The “Infinite Web Content Creation” email training series is designed for WordPress website owners and covers the following areas of the content creation process:

  • Creating An Effective Web Content Strategy
  • Content Writing Tips
  • Effective Copywriting
  • Content Posting Guidelines For WordPress
  • How To Never Run Out Of Web Content Ideas
  • How To Outsource Your Content Writing
  • Time-Saving Content Creation Methods

Enter your details in the form below to subscribe now and start receiving training content immediately!

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How To Plan Your Small Business Website: A Comprehensive Primer For Business Owners

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This is the end of Part 2

To continue reading this article, click here:

The Web Site Planning Process: A Cost-Saving Blueprint For Non-Technical Business Owners – Part 3

Images: Planning, Social Media, Blogging.

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"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and has authored hundreds of FREE WordPress tutorials for beginners. WPCompendium.org provides detailed step-by-step tutorials that will teach you how to use WordPress with no coding skills required and grow your business online at minimal cost!

Originally published as Website Planning Process – Part 2.