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.

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Website DesignAre you thinking about getting a web site 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 step-by-step through the process of planning a new website or blog.

Understanding The Website Planning Process – Part 2

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

  • Step 1 – Website Goals
  • Step 2 – Your Web Site Name
  • Step 3 – Manage Your Web Technology
  • Step 4 – Define YourSite’s Target Audience

The Website Planning Process

(Website Planning Process)

As you can see, in Part 1 we have established the foundations for planning a new website. If you have followed the 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, many people start building their website. We suggest, however, that you go through the planning process presented below, as we will now address web content planning and looking at effective strategies for managing and publishing your content. 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

(List the principal search phrases)

(List your main search phrases)

Now that you have a good idea of who you will be targeting with your website, it’s time to identify the main key phrases that you want visitors and search engines to associate with your website. This will help search engines connect your website with your target audience.

Ideally, you should aim for keyword phrases that have “low competition” and a reasonable number of searches every month. Depending on your specific goals, you may also want to focus on keyword phrases within your industry that have some level of commercial profitability.

There are many tools you can use help you find great keywords, including free tools.

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

The screenshot below shows that more people are searching each month for “overseas adventure travel” (> 18,000 searches per month) than “singles adventure travel“, which gets less than 1,000 searches a month …

Keyword Research Tool - Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool

(Keyword Research Tool – Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool)

According to the Google Keyword Planner, however, the number of websites competing for visitors searching for “singles adventure travel“, is higher than sites trying to rank for a key phrase like “overseas adventure travel“. This may 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 products to singles, etc..

Keyword research can also help you understand the commercial value of certain key phrases. Typically, savvy advertisers will advertise more frequently keyword phrases that are aimed towards a “buying” public, rather than keywords targeted more towards attracting people who are just browsing or researching information online.

For example, users searching online for the term “color printer” are generally not as ready to purchase a colour 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 site, 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 helps, therefore, to have a few highly searched keywords in your posts. However, don’t spend too much of your valuable time doing keyword research for every piece of content you plan to add to your site, especially when you are just starting out.

Make a simple start. Begin by making a list of the “top” five 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 keywords organically in your posts (i.e. plan to create content for human visitors, 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 apply the data to refine your keyword research.

Tip

Practical Tips For Business Owners

Tip #1: Avoid basing keyword phrases that show extremely low to no monthly searches, or that have no demand. There’s no point ranking #1 in Google for keyword phrases that no one is searching for. Also, if you type keywords into Google and no one 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.

Key phrases with no competition for advertisers may be unprofitable

(Search keywords with no competition for advertisers are typically unprofitable)

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

Free Keyword Research Tools

Keyword Planner

Keyword Planner Tool

(Google’s Keyword Planner Tool)

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

To learn more, visit the site here: Google Keyword Planner

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

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 keyword ideas related to your subject:

Discover new content ideas with the Ubersuggest

(Explore new content ideas with the Ubersuggest)

To use this keyword tool, visit this website: Ubersuggest Keyword 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 time analyzing your competition’s keywords and formulating a content SEO strategy for your site:

Market Samurai

Market Samurai Keyword Research Tool

(Market Samurai)

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

For more details about this software tool, visit the site here: Market Samurai Keyword Research Tool

SEMRush

SEMRUSH Keyword Tool

(SEMRUSH)

SEMRush lets you add your competitor’s URL and it will then show you all the keywords that your competitors’ sites are ranking for, allowing you to easily find short-tail and long-tail keywords that you can use to grow your own site.

For more information, go here: SEMRush Keyword Tool

Keyword Spy

Keyword Spy Keyword Research Tool

(Keyword Spy)

Keyword Spy is an SEO tool that is primarily used for researching keywords. Use Keyword Spy to view competitor keywords, as well as research keywords for your own website.

For more details, check out the website here: Keyword Spy Keyword Tool

Step 6 – Defining Site Categories

Define website categories

(Define site categories)

The next step after keyword research is to decide on specific areas in your niche that your visitors might be interested in learning about and create a list of “categories” for these topics that you plan to publish content about.

For example, if you run a travel agency, your categories could include topics like: “business travel”, “luxury travel”, “romantic destinations”, “family packages”, “long-term accommodation”, “travel tips”, “train travel”, “air travel”, “Latin America,” or any category of travel-related services your business offers.

Plan to create an initial list of about 5 – 10 categories. You can always add more categories to your site later on.

Tip

Website Category Tips:

Tip #1: WordPress Makes Managing Categories Easy

WordPress offers two fundamental ways of grouping and organizing content (WordPress refers to these as taxonomies): “categories” and “tags”.

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

WordPress makes managing your site's categories easy

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

Tip #2: Categories Help To Increase Your SEO Rankings

Using the right keywords when naming your categories can improve your site’s SEO rankings.

WordPress lets you easily create search engine-friendly URLs that include your categories as keywords (great for SEO, so keep this in mind when planning category names …

WordPress categories can increase your SEO

(Use WordPress categories to increase your SEO)

Tip #3: Categories Can Improve Your Site’s Navigation

Categories help visitors find content on your website more easily.

With WordPress, each category you create gets its own searchable webpage.

This lets your users browse all posts published under that category in one place …

Using categories improves your site's navigation

(Using categories improves ease of navigation for your users)

We have written a detailed tutorial about using WordPress post categories here: Configuring Post Categories

Step 7 – Your Content Strategy

Formulate your content strategy

(Formulate your content strategy)

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

You need content for your “fixed” website pages (e.g. your “About Us” page, legal pages and your products, and you will also need content to publish regularly on your site.

Useful Tip

Useful Tips For New Website Owners:

Tip #1: Your “Fixed” Web Pages

Make sure that you have content for all of your “fixed” 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 to avoid additional costs caused by delays or unpreparedness.

Below is a basic checklist of the content you will want to have ready prior to building your website:

  • Name of your business and a brief business description.
  • “Front Page” content.
  • “About Us” page content.
  • “Products/Services” page content.
  • Site Categories.
  • Contact Details (e.g. business address, email, telephone numbers)
  • Images (e.g. company logos, etc.). Image formats = .jpg, .png or .gif.
  • 1 – 10 initial 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 in your site (e.g. ”Vendors”, etc.
  • Media files (e.g. videos, PDF documents, white papers, etc.)
  • Also, check that all URLs 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 Website Content Topics

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

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

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

  • Featured product
  • The people in your company – who are they and what do they do
  • Educate visitors about your industry – the challenges it faces and how your business is addressing these
  • A industry event you have attended
  • ”How to” tutorials for customers
  • Reseller tips and information
  • What area of your products or solution could you educate prospects about to help eliminate sales objections?
  • What problem do you or your services help your customers solve?
  • What reviews can you provide to help more customers buy from you?
  • What are common FAQs you get all the time from enquirers or prospective customers?
  • etc …

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

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

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 content.

Content Creation Email Training Series

(Never run out of ideas for new content)

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

  • Creating A Sustainable Web Content Strategy
  • Content Writing Tips
  • Copywriting Principles
  • Content Posting Guidelines For WordPress
  • What To Write About
  • Outsourcing Your Content Writing
  • Time-Saving Content Methods

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

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How To Plan A Website: A Money-Saving Guide For Business Owners

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This is the end of Section 2

To continue reading this article, click on the link below:

How To Plan Your Small Business Web Site: A Useful Primer For Non-Technical Business Owners – Part 3

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Images: Planning, Social Media, Blogging.

"These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know." - Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

WPCompendium.org provides hundreds of FREE WordPress tutorials for beginners. Our detailed step-by-step tutorials will save you money and teach you how to start, manage, and grow a website or blog using WordPress that puts you in complete control and delivers results with no coding skills required!

Originally published as Website Planning Process – Part 2.