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 site DevelopmentAre you considering the idea of getting a web site built for your business?

Then this basic guide to website planning is for you.

Note: This is Part 2 of the article where we provide essential information on planning your new website or blog.

The Website Planning Process – Part 2

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

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

The Website Planning Process

(Website Planning Process)

As you can see, in so far we have established the foundations for planning your new website. 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 be using and defined your target audience.

At this point, many people begin building their website. We suggest, however, that you go through the rest of the planning process presented below, as we will now discuss planning your website content and reviewing effective web content publishing and management strategies. Getting all of your planning completely done before you start building your website will help you save a tremendous amount of time and money.

Step 5 – Identify Your Keyword Phrases

(List the principal keywords)

(Identify your most important keywords)

Now that you have a good idea of who you will be targeting with your website, it’s time to identify the main keyword phrases that you would like people and search engines to associate with your site. This will help search engines to connect your site with your target readers.

Ideally, you should aim for keyword phrases that have “low competition” and a reasonable monthly search volume. Depending on your needs, you may also want to focus on key phrases in your target industry that have some level of commercial viability.

There are many tools you can use to look for suitable keyword phrases, including free tools.

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

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

Keyword Research Tool - Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool

(Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool)

According to this keyword research tool, however, the number of websites competing against one another in the search space for “singles adventure travel“, is significantly 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 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 packages to singles, etc..

Doing keyword research can also help you understand the profit value of certain keyword phrases. Typically, savvy advertisers will advertise more frequently key phrases that are aimed towards attracting ”buyers”, rather than key phrases aimed more towards people who are just browsing or researching products or services online.

For example, people searching for the keyword phrase “colour printer minolta” are typically not as ready to buy a colour printer as people who search for “konica minolta bizhub 4700P 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 keyword phrases (called “long tail keywords”), hopefully with a higher search volume and low to medium competition.

It helps, therefore, to have some highly searched keywords in your posts. However, don’t go “crazy” doing keyword research for every post you plan to add to your site, especially if you are just starting out.

Start simple. Begin by making a list of the “top” five keywords you want your site to rank highly for in the search engines, make sure that the keywords you choose have a decent monthly search volume and then use these keywords organically in your posts (i.e. aim to create web content for people, not search engine robots).

Once your site starts to bring in visitors, you can then analyze actual data like keyword searches used by visitors to find your website from analytic tools and use this information to improve your keyword research.

Practical Tip

Practical Tips For Business Site Owners

Tip #1: Avoid basing keywords that return extremely low to no monthly searches, or that have no commercial intent. There’s no point ranking #1 in Google for keywords that no one is interested in searching. Also, if you type the 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 value or is unprofitable.

Search words that have no competition for advertisers are typically unprofitable

(Key phrases that have no competing advertisers may be unprofitable)

Tip #2: Use tools to help you research keywords and generate commercial content ideas. Here are some widely-used free and paid keyword research tools you can use:

Free Keyword Research Tools

Google Keyword Planner

Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool

(Google’s Keyword Planner Tool)

The Keyword Planner Tool lets you search for keywords, keyword groups 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 keyword lists together.

For more information, visit this website:

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 done:

Ubersuggest.org – Keyword Suggestion Tool

Ubersuggest keyword suggestion tool

(Ubersuggest)

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 topics or ideas come up.

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

Explore new content ideas with the Ubersuggest keyword tool

(Discover new content ideas with the Ubersuggest keyword tool)

To use this tool, go here:

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

Market Samurai

Market Samurai Keyword Research Tool

(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 performing keyword research for SEO purposes.

To learn more about this software tool, go here:

SEMRush

SEMRUSH

(SEMRUSH)

With SEMRush, you can enter your competitor’s URL and the tool will show you all the keywords that the site is ranking for, which is great for researching short-tail and long-tail keywords that you can target.

To learn more, visit this website:

Keyword Spy

Keyword Spy Keyword Research Tool

(Keyword Spy Keyword Tool)

Keyword Spy is an SEO tool that is primarily used for researching keywords. Use Keyword Spy to view competitor keywords and to research keywords for your own site.

To learn more about this software tool, visit this website:

Step 6 – Define Website Categories

Define web site categories

(Define website categories)

Decide on specific topics in your niche or industry that your visitors will want to know more about and create a list of “categories” for these topics that you plan to post content about.

For example, if you run a travel agency, your categories could be organized into topics such as: “corporate travel”, “luxury travel”, “exotic destinations”, “holiday packages”, “travel accommodation”, “travel accessories”, “train travel”, “airfare discounts”, “Travel Asia,” or any other travel-related categories that match your services.

Aim to create an initial list of about 5 – 8 categories. You can always add more categories to your site later on.

Practical Tip

Web Site Category Tips:

Tip #1: Use WordPress To Easily Manage Your Site’s Categories

WordPress has two commonly used ways of grouping and organizing content on your website (WordPress calls these taxonomies): “categories” and “tags”.

WordPress makes managing categories easy. It also lets you easily add new categories and assign your posts to different categories to help keep your content organized.

WordPress makes managing categories easy

(Use WordPress for easy management of your categories)

Tip #2: Use Categories To Improve Your SEO Rankings

Selecting the right keywords in your category names helps to 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 category topics …

WordPress categories can increase your SEO

(WordPress categories can improve your SEO)

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

Categories allow visitors to find content on your website more easily.

With WordPress, every category you create becomes a searchable web page.

This lets your users search for all content published under that category in one place …

Use WordPress categories to improve ease of navigation on your website

(Use categories to improve ease of navigation on your website)

For more information about using WordPress post categories, go here:

Step 7 – Planning Your Content Strategy

Define 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.

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.

Practical 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:

Useful Tip

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 website, 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:

  • The name of your business and a brief business description.
  • Content for your “Main Page”.
  • Content for your “About Us” page.
  • Content for your “Products/Services” page(s).
  • Your main service/product categories.
  • Contact Details (e.g. business address, email, telephone numbers)
  • Images (e.g. stock images, etc.). Image formats = .jpg, .png or .gif.
  • 1 – 3 initial blog posts 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. ”Vendors”, etc.
  • Downloadable content (e.g. videos, PDF documents, white papers, etc.)
  • Also, remember to check that all URLs you are planning 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 Ideas

Here is a “quick and easy” method you can use to help you create a list of content topics for your site.

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

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

  • The products or services you sell
  • The people in your company – who are they and what do they do
  • Your industry
  • A industry event you have attended
  • ”How to” tutorials
  • Affiliate tips and information
  • What aspect of your 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 prospective customers buy again from you?
  • What are common FAQs you get from visitors and prospective customers?
  • etc …

Once you have created a list of web content ideas, keep adding to the list on a regular basis.

Tip #3: Learn Ways To Run Out Of Ideas For New 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 web content ideas.

Infinite Web Content Creation Email Training Series

(Never run out of ideas for new content)

The “Infinite Web Content Creation” training series covers the following aspects of the content creation process:

  • How To Create A Sustainable Web Content Strategy
  • Content Writing Tips
  • Writing Web Copy
  • WordPress Content Posting Guidelines
  • How To Never Run Out Ideas For Blogging About Your Business
  • How To Outsource Your Content Creation
  • Time-Saving Content 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 Web Site Planning For Business Owners

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This is the end of Part 2

To continue reading this article, click here:

Images: Planning, Social Media, Blogging.

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"I was absolutely amazed at the scope and breadth of these tutorials! The most in-depth training I have ever received on any subject!" - Myke O'Neill, DailyGreenPost.com

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and the author of The Small Business Digital Manager. 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.