Are you thinking about getting a web site 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 your business website.
- For Part 1, go here: A Basic Guide To Website Planning – Part 1
A Basic Guide To Website Planning – Part 2
Up to this point, we have covered the following areas of the website planning process:
- Step 1 – Define Your Site Goals
- Step 2 – Your Site Name
- Step 3 – Manage Your Site’s Technology
- Step 4 – Define Your Audience
(The Website Planning Process)
As you can see, in so far we have established the foundations for planning your site. If you have been following 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, you could start building your site. We suggest, however, that you go through the planning process presented in this article, as we will now address content planning and looking at effective web content management and publishing strategies. Having all your planning completed before you start building your website or blog will help you save a tremendous amount of time and money.
Step 5 – Identifying Your Keyword Phrases
(List the most important search keywords)
Now that you have a clearer idea of who you will be targeting with your site, it’s time to identify the main keywords that you want people and search engines to associate with your site. This will help search engines connect your website with your target readers.
Ideally, you should try to find keywords that have “low competition” and a reasonable number of searches every month. Depending on your objectives, you may also want to focus on keyword phrases in your target industry that have some level of commercial viability.
There are many tools you can use to identify good keyword phrases, including free tools.
If you have a Google Adwords account, for example, you can use the Google Keyword Planner.
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 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 much 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..
Keyword research can also help you understand the commercial potential of certain keywords. Typically, savvy advertisers will promote keywords aimed towards attracting ”buyers”, instead of key phrases targeted more towards users who are just browsing or researching information online.
For example, users searching for the keywords “colour printers” are typically not as ready to purchase a colour printer as people who search for “konica minolta bizhub C25 review”, so if you plan to sell or review color printers on your website, you would want to aim for longer, more descriptive and more targeted keyword search terms (called “long tail keywords”), hopefully with a higher search volume and low to medium competition.
It helps, therefore, if you have some highly searched keywords in your posts. However, don’t go “crazy” doing keyword research for every item of content you plan to add to your site, especially if you are just starting out.
Make a simple start. Make a list of the “top” five keywords you would like your web site to rank well for in the search engines, make sure that the keywords you choose get a decent number of searches per month and then use these keywords organically in your posts (i.e. plan to create content for human readers, not search engines).
Once your site begins to draw in visitors, you can then analyze actual data like keyword searches used by visitors to find your website from analytic tools and use the information to improve your keyword research.
Useful Tips For Business Owners
Tip #1: Avoid basing key phrases that return extremely low to no monthly searches, or that have no demand. There’s not much point ranking #1 in Google for a key phrase that no one is interested in searching. Also, if you type the key phrases 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 value or is unprofitable.
(Keywords that have no competing advertisers may be unprofitable)
Tip #2: Use keyword research tools to help you build lists of keywords and generate content ideas. Below are a number of widely-used free and paid keyword research tools you can check out:
Free Keyword Research Tools
(Google’s Keyword Planner Tool)
The Google AdWords Keyword Planner lets you explore hundreds of keywords, keyword groups and keyword-based advertising ideas (e.g. pay-per-click advertising), review competitive keyword history, see how a list of keywords could perform in ad campaigns and even create a new keyword list by multiplying several existing lists of keywords together.
For more details, visit this site:
If you don’t have access to a Google AdWords account, use the FREE tool below to help you with your initial keyword research:
(Ubersuggest keyword suggestion 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 ideas or topics 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)
To use this free tool, check out the website here:
Paid Keyword Research Tools
The keyword research tools below will help you not only uncover many profitable key 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 Research Tool)
Market Samurai is an inexpensive tool that provides not just keyword research but also additional content research tools, with excellent training tutorials on how to perform SEO keyword research.
For more information about this software tool, visit this site:
(SEMRUSH Keyword 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 use to grow your own site.
To learn more about this software tool, visit the site here:
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, as well as do research on keywords for your own website.
To learn more, go here:
Step 6 – Defining Website Categories
(Define web site categories)
After doing initial keyword research, the next step is to decide on specific topics within your niche or industry that people will be interested in learning about and create a list of “categories” for these topics that you plan to write content about.
For example, if you run a travel agency, your categories could include topics like: “business travel”, “luxury travel”, “exotic destinations”, “family holiday destinations”, “hotel accommodation”, “travel accessories”, “train travel”, “air travel”, “Latin America,” or any other travel-related categories that match your services.
Plan to create an initial list of about 5 – 8 categories. You can always add more categories to your site later on.
Website Category Tips:
Tip #1: WordPress Makes Managing Categories Easy
WordPress provides two commonly used ways of grouping and organizing content (WordPress refers to these as taxonomies): “categories” and “tags”.
WordPress makes managing categories easy. It also lets you easily create new categories and assign your posts to different categories to help keep your content organized.
(Use WordPress for easy management of your site’s categories)
Tip #2: Use Categories To Increase Your SEO Rankings
Selecting the right keywords when naming your categories can increase 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 selecting category names …
(Using WordPress categories to increase your search engine optimization)
Tip #3: Categories Help To Improve Ease Of Navigation For Users
Categories allow visitors to easily navigate through your website’s content.
With WordPress, each category you create has a searchable web page.
This allows your visitors to search for all posts published under that category in one place …
(WordPress categories can your site’s navigation)
To learn more about using post categories, refer to this tutorial:
Step 7 – Plan Your Content Strategy
(Create a content strategy)
Now that you have researched your keywords and added a list of categories, the next step is to begin planning 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.).
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” Web Pages
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.
Here is a simple checklist of the content you will want to have ready before you start building your website:
- Business name and brief description of the business.
- Content for your “Front 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. company images, etc.). Image formats = .jpg, .png or .gif.
- 1 – 5 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 on your site (e.g. “Resources”, etc.
- Downloadable content (e.g. videos, PDF reports, white papers, etc.)
- Also, ensure that all web addresses 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 Web Content Ideas
Here is a “quick and easy” method you can use to create a list of content topics for your website or blog.
Write down 15 keywords, and for each keyword, list one content idea you can add to your site.
You can also easily write articles about each 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 industry event you have attended
- ”How to” tips for customers
- Reseller tips and information
- What area of your products or solution could you educate prospective customers about to help overcome objections?
- What problem do you or your services help your customers solve?
- What information can you provide to help more prospects buy from you?
- What are common FAQs you get all the time from enquirers or prospective customers?
- etc …
Once you have this list of content ideas, keep adding to this list on a regular basis.
Tip #3: Learn How 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 how to never run out of new web content ideas.
(Never run out of content ideas)
The “Infinite Web Content Creation” training series covers the following aspects of the content creation process:
- How To Create A Sustainable 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!
This is the end of Section 2
To continue reading this tutorial, click on the link below:
"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