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 thinking about getting a website built for your small business?

Then this detailed guide to website planning is for you.

Note: This section continues from the previous article where we take you step-by-step through the process of planning a web presence.

The Website Planning Process – Part 2

Up to this point, we have looked at the following areas of the website planning process:

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

Website Planning Process

(The Website Planning Process)

As you can see, in so far we have established the foundations for planning your business site. If you have followed this 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, many people begin building their website. We recommend, however, that you go through the planning process presented below, as we will now start to move into web content planning and looking at effective web content publishing and management strategies. Doing all of the planning work before you start building your site will help you save time and money.

Step 5 – Your Key Phrases

(List the most important keywords)

(Identify your main key phrases)

Now that you have a good idea of who you will be targeting with your website, the next step is to identify the main keyword phrases that you would like online users and search engines to associate with your website. This will help search engines to connect your site with your target readers.

Ideally, you will want to focus on keywords that have “low competition” and a reasonable number of people searching for these each month. Depending on your needs, you may also want to focus on keywords in your industry that have some level of commercial viability.

There are many tools you can use to identify great key phrases, including free keyword tools.

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

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

Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool

(Google’s Keyword Planner Tool)

According to the Google Keyword Planner, however, the number of web sites 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 could be because one set of keywords 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 packages to singles, etc..

Keyword research can also help you understand the commercial value of certain key phrases. Typically, smart advertisers will invest more time and money promoting key phrases that are targeted towards ”buyers”, rather than keyword phrases that are more suitable for people who are simply browsing or researching products or services online.

For example, people who search for the keywords “color printer minolta” are typically not as ready yet to buy a colour printer as people who search for a more targeted key phrase like “konica minolta magicolor 7450 II grafx 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 keyword search terms (called “long tail keywords”), hopefully with a higher 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 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” 5 keywords you want your web site to rank highly for in the search engines, make sure that these keywords get a decent number of searches per month and then use these key phrases organically in your posts (i.e. aim to create web content for humans, not search engines).

Once your site begins to bring in visitors, you can then study actual data like keyword searches online users are typing into search engines to find your site from analytic tools and apply the information to refine your keyword research and get better results online.

Tip

Useful Tips For Business Blog Owners

Tip #1: Avoid building your advertising or content marketing campaigns on keyword phrases that return extremely low to no monthly searches, or that have no commercial intent. There’s no point ranking #1 in Google for keyword phrases that no one is interested in searching. Also, if you type key 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 interest or is unprofitable.

Keyphrases with no competition for advertisers may not be worth targeting

(Search words with no competing advertisers may be unprofitable)

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

Free Keyword Research Tools

Google Keyword Planner Tool

Keyword Planner Tool

(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 statistics, see how a list of keywords might perform in ad campaigns and even create a new keyword list by multiplying several keyword lists together.

To learn more, visit this site:

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

Ubersuggest.org

Ubersuggest

(Ubersuggest)

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

This useful tool saves you time going go through the alphabet from A-Z to explore new keyword ideas related to your subject:

Discover new content ideas with the Ubersuggest

(Discover new content ideas with the Ubersuggest)

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

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

Market Samurai

Market Samurai

(Market Samurai Keyword Tool)

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

For more details about this tool, go here:

SEMRush

SEMRUSH

(SEMRUSH Keyword Tool)

SEMRush lets you enter the URLs of your competitors and the tool will then give you a list of 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.

To learn more, check out the website here:

Keyword Spy

Keyword Spy

(Keyword Spy Keyword Research Tool)

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 and to do research on keywords for your own website and content marketing strategy.

To learn more about this tool, visit this site:

Step 6 – Defining Web Site Categories

Define website categories

(Define site categories)

Decide on specific topics within your niche or industry that your visitors might 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 be organized into topics like: “business travel”, “adventure travel”, “romantic destinations”, “holiday packages”, “travel accommodation”, “travel accessories”, “cruises”, “airfare discounts”, “America,” or any other travel-related categories that match your services.

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

Practical Tip

Practical Tips For Business Website Owners:

Tip #1: WordPress Makes Managing Categories Easy

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

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

WordPress makes managing your website's categories easy

(WordPress makes managing categories easy)

Tip #2: Use Categories To Improve Your SEO

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

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

Use WordPress categories to increase your SEO

(WordPress categories help to improve your SEO rankings)

Tip #3: Categories Can Improve Ease Of Navigation For Visitors

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

WordPress turns each category you create into a searchable webpage.

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

Use WordPress categories to improve ease of navigation on your website

(Using WordPress categories improves your site’s navigation)

If you need help using WordPress post categories, refer to this step-by-step tutorial:

Step 7 – Your Content Strategy

Define your content strategy

(Define 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.

Useful 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:

Practical Tip

Tips For New Business Website Owners:

Tip #1: Your “Static” 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 before you start building a new website:

  • Business name and a brief business description.
  • Content for your “Home Page”.
  • Content for your “About Us” page.
  • “Products/Services” page content.
  • Your main service/product categories.
  • Business Contact Details (e.g. business address, email, telephone numbers)
  • Images (e.g. staff photos, 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 URLs and additional contact details to be included on your site (e.g. ”Vendors”, etc.
  • Additional files (e.g. videos, PDF reports, white papers, etc.)
  • Also, make sure that all URLs you are planning to add to your website and all other details like spelling, phone numbers, etc. are correct.

Tip #2: Create A List Of Website Content Topics

Here is a “quick and easy” method you can use to help you begin writing a list of content ideas for your website or blog.

Write down 15 keywords, and for each keyword, create a list with one content idea you can add to your website.

You can also write articles about any of the following topics:

  • The products or services you sell
  • Your company and the people in it
  • The latest industry news – what’s big news in your industry right now?
  • A networking event you plan to attend
  • Tips and how-tos
  • Reseller information
  • What aspect 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 information can you provide to help more clients buy from you?
  • What are common FAQs you get from enquirers and prospective customers?
  • etc …

Once you have a list of content ideas, continue adding to this list.

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 web content ideas.

Content Creation Email Training Series

(Never run out of content ideas)

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

  • How To Create An Effective Digital Content Strategy
  • Content Writing Tips
  • Effective Copywriting
  • Content Posting Guidelines For WordPress
  • What To Write About
  • 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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A Money-Saving Guide To Website Planning For Business Owners

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This is the end of Part 2

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

Images: Planning, Social Media, Blogging.

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"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the owner of WPCompendium.org and the author of The WordPress User Manual. WPCompendium.org provides hundreds of FREE tutorials that show you how to use WordPress to grow your business online with no coding skills required! Get our FREE "101+ WordPress Tips, Tricks & Hacks For Non-Techies" e-course with loads of useful WordPress tips!

Originally published as Website Planning Process – Part 2.