Are you considering the idea of getting a web site for your business?
Then this essential guide to planning your website is for you.
Note: This section continues from the previous article where we provide essential information related to planning a new website or blog.
- For Part One of the article, go here: Understanding The Website Planning Process – Part 1
- How To Plan Your Website – What To Do And What Not To Do – Part 2
- Step 5 – Your Keyword Phrases
- Step 6 – Define Site Categories
- Step 7 – Your Content Strategy
How To Plan Your Website – What To Do And What Not To Do – Part 2
In Part 1 of this article, we looked at the following areas of the website planning process:
- Step 1 – Website Goals
- Step 2 – Naming Your Web Site
- Step 3 – Manage Your Site’s Technology
- Step 4 – Your Target Audience
(Website Planning Process)
As you can see, in the previous section of this guide we have established the foundations for planning your business 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 have a good understanding of your target audience.
At this point, many people begin building their website. We suggest, however, that you complete the rest of the planning process presented in this article, as we will now cover web content planning and reviewing effective content management and publishing strategies. Getting all of your initial planning done before you start building your website or blog could save you a tremendous amount of time and money.
Step 5 – Your Keyword Phrases
(Identify the main key phrases)
Now that you have a clearer idea of who you will be targeting with your website, it’s time to identify the main key phrases that you want online users and search engines to associate with your site. This will help search engines connect your site with your target readers.
Ideally, you will want to focus on keywords that have “low competition” and a reasonable number of users searching for these keyword phrases every month. Depending on your specific objectives, you may also want to focus on keyword phrases within your industry that have some level of commercial viability.
There are many tools you can use help you look for great key phrases, including free keyword tools.
If you have an account with Google Adwords, for example, you can use a keyword search tool like the Google Keyword Planner.
The screenshot below shows that more people search every month for the key phrase “overseas adventure travel” (> 18,000 searches per month) than “singles adventure travel“, which gets less than 1,000 searches a month …
(Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool)
According to the Google Keyword Planner, however, the number of websites competing against one another in the search space for “singles adventure travel“, is higher than sites trying to rank for a key phrase like “overseas adventure travel“. This may be because one keyword 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 commercial potential of certain keyword phrases. Typically, savvy advertisers will advertise more frequently key phrases aimed towards a “buying” public, rather than keywords aimed more towards people who are just browsing or researching products or services online.
For example, people who search online for the keyword phrase “colour printer minolta” are typically not as ready yet to invest in a colour printer as people who search for a more specific key phrase like “konica minolta bizhub 3300P 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 website, therefore, if you have some highly searched keywords in your content. However, don’t invest too much of your valuable time doing keyword research for every item of content you plan to add to your site, especially when you are just starting out.
Make a simple start. Make a list of the “top” 5 keywords you would like your website to rank well for in the search engines, make sure that the keywords you pick have a decent search volume and then use these keyword phrases organically in your posts (i.e. plan to write content for people, not search engines).
Once your site starts to attract visitors, you can then review actual data like keyword searches used by visitors to find your site from analytic tools and apply the data to improve your keyword research and get better results online.
Keyword Research Tips
Tip #1: Avoid building your marketing campaigns on keywords that return extremely low to no monthly searches, or that have no commercial value. There’s no point ranking #1 in Google for key phrases that no one is looking for. Also, if you type keyword phrases into Google and no one is advertising products for it (i.e. no Google ads show up), then that keyword most likely has no commercial value or is unprofitable.
(Keywords that have no competing advertisers are generally unprofitable)
Tip #2: Use tools to help you research keywords and generate great content ideas. Here are some widely-used free and paid keyword research tools you can use:
Free Keyword Research Tools
(Keyword Research Tool – Google Keyword Planner Tool)
The Keyword Planner lets you explore keywords and keyword-based advertising ideas (e.g. pay-per-click advertising), get keyword search history, see how a list of keywords might perform in ad campaigns and even create a new keyword list by multiplying several existing keyword lists together.
To learn more, check out the website here: Google AdWords Keyword Planner
If you don’t have access to a Google AdWords account, use the FREE tool below to help with your initial keyword research:
(Ubersuggest keyword tool)
UberSuggest is a free keyword suggestion tool that essentially lets you perform the same function as typing your subject into the Google search box and seeing what ideas or topics come up.
This tool saves you time going go through the alphabet from A-Z to discover keyword ideas related to your subject:
(Explore new content ideas with the Ubersuggest keyword tool)
To use this keyword tool, check out the website here: Ubersuggest
Paid Keyword Research Tools
The keyword research tools below will help you not only discover 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 Keyword Tool)
Market Samurai is an inexpensive tool that provides not only keyword research but also some great additional content and SEO research tools, with excellent training tutorials on performing keyword research for SEO purposes.
For more details about this software tool, visit this website: Market Samurai Keyword Tool
(SEMRUSH Keyword Research Tool)
With SEMRush, you can enter the URLs of your competitors and it will then give you a list of all the keywords that the site is ranking for, allowing you to easily find short-tail and long-tail keywords that you can then target.
For more information, visit this website: SEMRush
Keyword Spy is an SEO tool that’s primarily used for researching keywords. Use Keyword Spy to identify the keywords that your competition is using, as well as do research on keywords for your own site.
For more information, check out the website here: Keyword Spy Keyword Tool
Step 6 – Define Site Categories
(Define web site categories)
The next step after doing some initial keyword research is to decide on specific topics in your niche or industry that your visitors will be interested in learning about and create a list of “categories” for all the topics that you plan to publish content about.
For example, if your business is travel, your categories could include topics like: “corporate travel”, “adventure travel”, “exotic destinations”, “family holiday destinations”, “travel accommodation”, “travel discounts”, “cruises”, “air travel”, “Latin America,” or any category of travel-related services you offer.
Aim to create an initial list of about 3 – 12 categories. You can always add more categories to your site later on.
Web Site Category Tips:
Tip #1: WordPress Makes Managing Categories Easy
WordPress offers two fundamental ways of grouping and organizing content on your website or blog (WordPress refers to these as taxonomies): “categories” and “tags”.
WordPress makes managing categories easy. It also lets you easily add new categories and match your posts to different categories to help keep all of your content organized.
(Use WordPress to easily manage your categories)
Tip #2: Use Categories To Improve Your SEO
Targeting the right keywords when naming your categories 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 thinking about your categories …
(Use WordPress categories to improve your search rankings)
Tip #3: Use Categories To Improve Your Site’s Navigation
Categories allow users to find content on your site more easily.
With WordPress, every category you create has a searchable webpage.
This allows your visitors to find all content published under that category in one place …
(WordPress categories help to site navigation)
To learn more about using WordPress post categories, refer to this step-by-step tutorial: How To Set Up Categories In WP Posts
Step 7 – Your Content Strategy
(Define your content strategy)
Now that you have created a list of keywords and 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 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.).
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)
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:
Content Strategy Tips:
Tip #1: Your “Static” Website 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 to 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:
- Name of your business and brief description of your business.
- Content for your “Main Page”.
- Content for your “About Us” page.
- Content for your “Products/Services” page(s).
- Site Categories.
- Business Contact Details (e.g. business address, email, telephone numbers)
- Images (e.g. stock images, etc.). Image formats = .jpg, .png or .gif.
- 2 – 3 initial articles to be used as “seed content” for your site (saved as Word document or plain text file).
- List of all external links and additional contact details to be included in your site (e.g. ”Suppliers”, etc.
- Downloadable documents (e.g. promo videos, PDF reports, price lists, etc.)
- Also, make sure that all web addresses that you plan to add to your website 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 help you begin writing a list of content ideas for your website.
Write down 12 keywords, and for each keyword, write down one article idea you can add to your site.
You can also easily write a blog post about any of the following topics:
- Your products or services
- Your company and the people in it
- Educate visitors about your industry – the challenges it faces and how your business is addressing these
- A business event you have attended
- ”How to” tutorials for customers
- Reseller tips and training
- What area of your business could you educate prospective customers about to help eliminate objections?
- What problems do you or your services help your customers solve?
- What information can you provide to help more clients buy from you?
- What are some of the more common FAQs you get from interested visitors and prospective customers?
- etc …
Once you have created a list of content topics, keep adding to your list on a regular basis.
Tip #3: Learn Ways To Run Out Of Web 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 ways to never run out of new content ideas.
(Learn ways to never run out of web content ideas)
The “Infinite Web Content Creation” email training series covers the following areas of the content creation process:
- Creating An Effective Web Content Strategy
- Content Writing Tips
- Writing Web Copy
- Content Posting Guidelines For WordPress
- How To Never Run Out Ideas For Blogging About Your Business
- Outsourcing Your Content Writing
- Time-Saving Content Creation Strategies
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