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.

Website DesignAre you considering the idea of getting a website or blog for your business?

Then this basic guide to planning your website is for you.

Note: This section continues from the previous article where we provide important information on planning your new business website.

Planning Your Website – A Basic Guide – Part 2

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

  • Step 1 – Goals
  • Step 2 – Name Your Site
  • Step 3 – Manage Your Web Technology
  • Step 4 – Define Your Audience

Website Planning Process

(Website Planning Process)

As you can see, in Part 1 we have established the foundations for planning your business 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 defined your target audience.

At this point, you could start building your website. We suggest, however, that you go through the rest of the planning process presented in this article, as we will now discuss content planning and looking at effective strategies for publishing and managing content. Doing all of the planning work before you start building your website or blog could save you a significant amount of time and money.

Step 5 – Keyword Phrases

(Identify your principal search keywords)

(Identify your principal keyword phrases)

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

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

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

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

The screenshot below shows that more people are searching every month for a keyword phrase like “overseas adventure travel” (over 18,000 searches per month) than a key phrase like “singles adventure travel“, which gets less than 1,000 searches a month …

Keyword Research Tool - Google Keyword Planner Tool

(Keyword Research Tool – Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool)

According to the Google Keyword Planner, however, the number of sites competing in the search space for “singles adventure travel“, is higher than sites trying to rank for a keyword phrase like “overseas adventure travel“. This may be because one keyword phrase relates to a more 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 profit value of certain keywords. Typically, smart advertisers will invest more time and money promoting keyword phrases aimed towards a “buying” public, rather than key phrases targeted more towards attracting people who are just browsing or researching information online.

For example, people searching for the term “colour printers” are generally not as ready yet to invest in a colour printer as people who search for a more specific keyword phrase like “konica minolta bizhub C3850 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 search volume and low to medium competition.

It will help your website, therefore, if you have a few 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 when you are just starting out.

Start simple. Make a list of the “top” five keywords you would like your web site to rank highly for in the search engines, make sure that the keywords you pick have a decent monthly search volume and then use these keywords naturally in your posts (i.e. aim to create content for human visitors, not search engine robots).

Once your site starts to bring in visitors, you can then review actual data like keyword searches used by visitors to find your website from analytic tools and apply this data to improve your keyword research and get better results online.

Tip

Useful Tips For Business Owners

Tip #1: Avoid using 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 a keyword that no one is looking for. Also, if you type keyword phrases into Google and no one is advertising products or services for it (i.e. no Google ads show up), then that keyword most likely has no commercial interest or is unprofitable.

Key phrases that have no competing advertisers may be unprofitable

(Keywords that have no competing advertisers are generally unprofitable)

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

Free Keyword Research Tools

Google Keyword Planner Tool

Keyword Research Tool - Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool

(Keyword Research Tool – Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool)

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

For more details about this tool, visit this site: Google AdWords Keyword Planner

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

Ubersuggest.org – Keyword Tool

Ubersuggest keyword suggestion tool

(Ubersuggest)

UberSuggest is a free tool that essentially lets you perform the same function as typing a 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 suggestions related to your subject:

Explore new content ideas with the Ubersuggest keyword tool

(Discover new content ideas with the Ubersuggest)

To use this keyword tool, visit this site: 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 you time analyzing your competitors’ keywords and formulating a content SEO strategy for your site:

Market Samurai

Market Samurai

(Market Samurai Keyword Research Tool)

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

To learn more about this tool, visit the site here: Market Samurai Keyword Tool

SEMRush

SEMRUSH

(SEMRUSH)

With SEMRush, you can add your competitor’s URL and it 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 use to grow your own site.

For more details, visit this website: SEMRush

Keyword Spy

Keyword Spy

(Keyword Spy)

Keyword Spy is an SEO tool that is primarily used for researching keywords. Use Keyword Spy to identify the keywords that your competition is using and to research keywords for your own website and content marketing strategy.

For more information, go here: Keyword Spy Keyword Tool

Step 6 – Define Site Categories

Define your site categories

(Define website categories)

After doing some keyword research, the next step is to decide on specific areas in your niche market that your visitors may 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 include topics like: “business travel”, “adventure travel”, “exotic destinations”, “holiday packages”, “hotel accommodation”, “travel accessories”, “cruises”, “airfare discounts”, “Travel Europe,” or any category of travel-related services you offer.

Plan to create an initial list of about 3 – 10 categories. You can always add more categories to your site later on.

Practical Tip

Site Category Tips:

Tip #1: WordPress Makes Managing Categories Easy

WordPress provides two commonly used 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 match your posts to different categories to help keep all of your content organized.

Use WordPress for easy management of your website's categories

(Use WordPress for easy management of your categories)

Tip #2: Use Categories To Improve Your SEO Rankings

Selecting 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 remember this when deciding on category topics …

WordPress categories help to increase your SEO

(WordPress categories help to improve your SEO rankings)

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

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

With WordPress, every category you create gets a new searchable webpage.

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

Use categories to improve your site's navigation

(Using WordPress categories improves ease of navigation for visitors)

To learn more about using WordPress post categories, refer to this tutorial: How To Set Up WP Post Categories

Step 7 – Creating Your Content Strategy

Plan your content strategy

(Create your content strategy)

Now that you have created a list of keywords and categories, the next step is to define 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 Website Owners:

Tip #1: Your “Fixed” Website Content

Make sure that you have content for all of your “fixed” website pages already written before you begin building your web 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 prior to building a website:

  • Your business name and a brief business description.
  • “Main Page” content.
  • Content for your “About Us” page.
  • “Products/Services” page content.
  • Your main service/product categories.
  • Contact Details (e.g. business address, email, telephone numbers)
  • Images (e.g. personnel photos, etc.). Image formats = .jpg, .png or .gif.
  • 1 – 10 initial articles 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. ”Suppliers”, etc.
  • Media and downloadable documents (e.g. videos, PDF reports, price lists, etc.)
  • Also, check that all links that 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 Ideas

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

Write down 10 keywords, and for each keyword, list one idea for an article you can add to your site.

You can also easily write articles 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 networking event you plan to attend
  • Client tutorials
  • Reseller training
  • What aspect of your solution could you educate prospects about to help eliminate objections?
  • What problem do you or your services help your customers solve?
  • What reviews can you provide to help more prospects buy from you?
  • What are some of the more common FAQs you get from enquirers and prospective customers?
  • etc …

Once you have created a list of content topics, 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 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.

Content Creation Email Training Series

(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:

  • How To Create A Sustainable Digital Content Strategy
  • Content Writing Tips
  • Effective Copywriting
  • WordPress Content Posting Guidelines
  • What To Write About
  • Outsourcing Your Content Writing
  • Time-Saving Content Creation Strategies

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

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The Web Site Planning Process Explained: A Comprehensive Blueprint For Business Owners

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This is the end of Section Two

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

The Web Site Planning Process: A Practical Blueprint For Business Owners – Part 3

Images: Planning, Social Media, Blogging.

Landing Pages for WordPress

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"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)

Disclaimer: We have no direct association with WordPress, Automattic, or any of the WordPress-related products mentioned on this website. We may derive financial benefits or affiliate commissions from purchases of any third-party products and services mentioned on this site. All images remain the copyright of their respective owners and comply with all license terms and agreements of use.

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and has authored hundreds of FREE WordPress tutorials for beginners. WPCompendium.org provides detailed step-by-step tutorials that will teach you how to use WordPress with no coding skills required and at minimal cost!

Originally published as Website Planning Process – Part 2.