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 DesignAre you considering the idea of getting a website built for your business?

Then this guide to planning your website is for you.

Note: This is Part 2 of the article series where we provide essential information about planning your website.

Understanding The Website Planning Process – Part 2

So far, we have covered the following areas of the website planning process:

  • Step 1 – Website Goals
  • Step 2 – Naming Your Site
  • Step 3 – Managing Your Technology
  • Step 4 – Your Site’s Target Audience

Website Planning Process

(The Website Planning Process)

As you can see, in Part 1 we have established the foundations for planning a new site. If you have followed our recommended 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 use and defined your target audience.

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

Step 5 – Keyword Phrases

(List your most important search phrases)

(Identify your principal search phrases)

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

Ideally, you should aim for keywords that have “low competition” and a reasonable monthly search volume. Depending on your specific objectives, you may also want to focus on keywords within your target niche that have some level of commercial profitability.

There are many tools you can use help you identify good keywords, including free keyword tools.

If you have an account with Google Adwords, for example, you can use the Google Keyword Planner Tool.

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

Keyword Planner Tool

(Keyword Planner Tool – Google AdWords)

According to the Google Keyword Planner, however, the number of web sites competing against one another in the search space for “singles adventure travel“, is significantly higher than sites trying to rank for a keyword phrase like “overseas adventure travel“. This could be because one key phrase relates to a specifically 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 experiences to singles, etc..

Doing keyword research can also help you understand the profit value of certain keywords. Typically, savvy advertisers will promote keyword phrases aimed towards attracting a “buying” public, rather than keyword phrases targeted more towards attracting people who are simply browsing or researching information online.

For example, people searching online for the key phrase “color printer” are typically not as ready to buy a color printer as people who search for a more targeted keyword phrase like “konica minolta pagepro 4650EN review”, so if you plan to sell or review colour printers on your website, you would want to aim for longer, more descriptive and more targeted key phrases (called “long tail keywords”), hopefully with a high search volume and low to medium competition.

It will help your site, therefore, if you have some highly searched keywords in your posts. However, don’t invest too much of your valuable time doing keyword research for every post you plan to add to your site, especially when you are just starting out.

Start simple. Make a list of the “top” five keywords you want your website to rank well for in the search engines, make sure that the keywords you choose get a decent number of searches each month and then use these keyword phrases organically in your content (i.e. aim to write content for people, not search engine robots).

Once your site starts to draw in visitors, you can then analyze actual data like keyword searches used by visitors to find your site from analytic tools and apply this information to refine your keyword research and get better results online.

Useful Tip

Tips For Business Owners

Tip #1: Avoid building your advertising or content marketing campaigns on keyword phrases that show extremely low to no monthly searches, or that have no commercial value. There’s not much point ranking #1 in Google for a key phrase that no one is interested in. Also, if you type the keyword phrases into Google and nobody is advertising products or services for it (i.e. no Google advertisements show up), then that keyword most likely has no commercial interest or is unprofitable.

Keywords that have no competing advertisers are generally not worth targeting

(Keywords that have no competition for advertisers are generally unprofitable)

Tip #2: Use tools to help you build keyword lists and generate commercial content ideas. Below are a number of useful free and paid keyword research tools you can check out:

Free Keyword Research Tools

Keyword Planner

Keyword Research Tool - Keyword Planner Tool

(Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool)

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

For more information, visit this website:

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

Ubersuggest.org

Ubersuggest keyword suggestion tool

(Ubersuggest keyword tool)

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

This tool saves you time going go through the alphabet from A-Z to discover keyword topics related to your subject:

Discover new content ideas with the Ubersuggest keyword tool

(Explore new content ideas with the Ubersuggest)

To use this free tool, check out the website here:

Paid Keyword Research Tools

The keyword research tools below can 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 competitors’ keywords and formulating a content SEO strategy for your site:

Market Samurai

Market Samurai Keyword Research Tool

(Market Samurai)

Market Samurai is an inexpensive tool that provides not only keyword research but also some great additional content research tools, with excellent training tutorials on performing keyword research for SEO purposes.

For more details about this software tool, visit the site here:

SEMRush

SEMRUSH Keyword Tool

(SEMRUSH Keyword Tool)

SEMRush lets you add the URLs of your competitors and the tool will show you all the keywords that site is ranking for, making it easier to find short-tail and long-tail keywords that you can then target.

For more details about this software tool, visit this website:

Keyword Spy

Keyword Spy Keyword Research Tool

(Keyword Spy)

Keyword Spy is an SEO tool that’s primarily used for doing keyword research. Use Keyword Spy to identify the keywords that your competition is using and to do research on keywords for your own website.

For more details, visit the site here:

Step 6 – Defining Website Categories

Define site categories

(Define site categories)

Decide on specific topics in your niche or industry that your visitors will want to know more about and create a list of “categories” for these topics that you plan to publish content about.

For example, if your business is travel-related, your categories could be organized into topics such as: “corporate travel”, “adventure travel”, “exotic destinations”, “holiday packages”, “overnight accommodation”, “travel tips”, “cruises”, “air travel”, “America,” or any category of travel-related services you offer.

Plan to create an initial list of about 3 – 8 categories. You can always add more categories to your site later on.

Practical Tip

Tips For New Website Owners:

Tip #1: Use WordPress For Easy Management Of Your Categories

WordPress has two basic ways of grouping and organizing content on your website or blog (WordPress refers to these as taxonomies): “categories” and “tags”.

WordPress gives you great control over the management of your categories. It also lets you easily create new categories and assign your posts to different categories to help keep all of your content organized.

WordPress makes managing your website's categories easy

(Use WordPress to easily manage your website’s categories)

Tip #2: Categories Help To Improve Your SEO Rankings

Selecting the right keywords in your category names can 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 keep this in mind when selecting category names …

WordPress categories help to improve your search rankings

(Use WordPress categories to improve your search engine optimization)

Tip #3: Categories Help To Improve Your Site’s Navigation

Categories allow users to navigate more easily through your website’s content.

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

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

Using categories improves site navigation

(Using categories improves ease of navigation on your website)

To learn more about using post categories, go here:

Step 7 – Create Your Content Strategy

Plan your content strategy

(Formulate your content strategy)

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

Organizing Your Website Pages

Your website should have standard pages like Home, About Us, Contact, legal pages, and product / service description 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.

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:

Tip

Content Strategy Tips:

Tip #1: Your “Fixed” Web Content

Make sure that you have content for all of your “fixed” website pages already written before you begin building your site, 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 before you start building your website:

  • Your business name and a brief business description.
  • Content for your “Home Page”.
  • Content for your “About Us” page.
  • “Products/Services” page content.
  • Site Categories.
  • Contact Details (e.g. business address, email, telephone numbers)
  • Images (e.g. stock images, etc.). Image formats = .jpg, .png or .gif.
  • 2 – 5 initial blog posts to be used as “seed content” for your site (saved in Word document or plain text file).
  • List of all external links and additional contact details to be included on your site (e.g. “Resources”, etc.
  • Downloadable content (e.g. videos, PDF reports, price lists, etc.)
  • Also, make sure that all web addresses that you would like to add to your site are working and all other details like spelling, phone numbers, etc. are correct.

Tip #2: Create A List Of Content Ideas

Here is a “quick and easy” method you can use to create a list of content topics for your website or blog.

Take each of your keywords and turn those into topics for content that you will create.

You can also write a blog post about each of the following topics:

  • Featured product
  • Your company and the people in it
  • The industry you’re in
  • A business event you have attended
  • Tips and how-tos
  • Affiliate tips and information
  • What aspect of your business could you educate prospects about to help eliminate objections?
  • What problem do you or your services help your customers solve?
  • What information 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 content ideas, continually add to your list.

Tip #3: Learn How To Run Out Of Content Ideas

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

Infinite Web Content Creation Email Training Series

(Learn ways to never run out of ideas for new web content)

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

  • Creating An Effective Web Content Strategy
  • Content Writing Tips
  • Writing Web Copy
  • WordPress Content Posting Guidelines
  • How To Never Run Out Of Blogging Ideas
  • How To Outsource Your Content Writing
  • Time-Saving Content Strategies

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

***

A Practical Guide To Website Planning For Business Owners

***

This is the end of Section 2

To continue reading this tutorial, click here:

Images: Planning, Social Media, Blogging.

***

"I love the way your email series "Infinite Web Content Creation Training Series" is documented and presented. It is very absorbing and captivating. The links and tutorials are interesting and educational. This has motivated me to rewrite my content following the concepts I am learning from the email series." - Mani Raju, www.fortuneinewaste.com

***

Originally published as Website Planning Process – Part 2.