Then this essential guide to planning your website is for you.
Note: This section continues from the previous article where we take you through the process of planning a new website.
- For Part 1, go here: The Website Planning Process – 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 – Goals
- Step 2 – Naming Your Website
- Step 3 – Managing Your Site’s Technology
- Step 4 – Your Target Audience
(Website Planning Process)
As you can see, in Part 1 we have established the foundations for planning your website. If you have been following our recommended 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 recommend, however, that you go through the rest of the planning process presented in this guide, as we will now address planning your website content and reviewing effective content management and publishing strategies. Having all the initial planning completed before you start building your site will help you save a significant amount of time and money.
Step 5 – Identifying Your Key Phrases
(Identify the principal search phrases)
Once you have a good idea of who you will be targeting with your site, it’s time to identify the main keywords that you would like 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 keywords that have “low competition” and a reasonable number of users searching for these every month. Depending on your specific needs, you may also want to focus on key phrases within your market that have some level of commercial profitability.
There are many tools you can use to look for good key phrases, including free keyword tools.
If you have a Google Adwords account, for example, you can use the Google Keyword Planner.
The screenshot below shows that more people search each month for “overseas adventure travel” (> 18,000 searches per month) than the keyword phrase “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 websites competing in the search space for “singles adventure travel“, is higher than sites trying to rank for a key phrase like “overseas adventure travel“. This could 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 profit potential of certain keywords. Typically, savvy advertisers will promote key phrases targeted towards attracting ”buyers”, rather than key phrases that are more suited for users who are simply browsing or researching information online.
For example, people who search online for the keywords “color printers minolta” are generally not as ready yet to invest in a colour printer as people who search for “konica minolta magicolor 8650DN 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 phrases (called “long tail keywords”), hopefully with a high search volume and low to medium competition.
It will help your website, therefore, to have a few highly searched keywords in your content. 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 would like your website to rank well for in the search engines, make sure that the keywords you choose have a decent search volume and then use these keyword phrases organically in your posts (i.e. plan to write for human visitors, not search engines).
Once your site begins to bring in visitors, you can then review actual data like keyword searches online users are typing into search engines to find your website from analytic tools and use this data to improve your keyword research and get better results online.
Tip #1: Avoid using keywords that show 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 for it (i.e. no Google advertisements show up), then that keyword most likely has no commercial value or is unprofitable.
(Keyphrases with no competition for advertisers are typically unprofitable)
Tip #2: Use keyword research tools to help you build lists of keywords and generate content ideas. Below are some widely-used free and paid keyword research tools you can check out:
Free Keyword Research Tools
(Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool)
The Keyword Planner lets you explore hundreds of keywords and keyword-based advertising ideas (e.g. pay-per-click advertising), get competitive keyword statistics, see how a list of keywords might perform in ad campaigns and even create a new list of keywords by multiplying several existing lists of keywords together.
For more information, check out the website here:
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 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 ideas or topics are selected.
This useful tool saves you time going go through the alphabet from a-z to discover new keyword topics related to your subject:
(Discover new content ideas with the Ubersuggest)
To use this tool, visit the site here:
Paid Keyword Research Tools
The keyword research tools below can 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 analyze your competition’s keywords and formulating a content SEO strategy for your site:
Market Samurai is inexpensive and provides not only keyword research but also some great additional content and SEO research tools, with excellent training tutorials on how to perform keyword research for SEO purposes.
To learn more, visit the site here:
SEMRush lets you enter the URLs of your competitors and it will show you all the keywords that your competitors’ sites are ranking for, which is great for researching short-tail and long-tail keywords that you can then target for your own website.
For more information, visit the site here:
Keyword Spy is an SEO tool that is also primarily used for researching keywords. You can use Keyword Spy to view competitor keywords, as well as research keywords for your own site.
For more information about this software tool, visit the site here:
Step 6 – Defining Your Site Categories
(Define your site categories)
Now that you have done your keyword research, the next step is to decide on specific areas in your niche market that people may be interested in learning about and create a list of “categories” for these topics that you plan to post content about.
For example, if your business is travel-related, your categories could be organized into topics like: “business travel”, “adventure travel”, “exotic destinations”, “family holiday destinations”, “budget 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 5 – 8 categories. You can always add more categories to your site later on.
Site Category Tips:
Tip #1: Use WordPress To Easily Manage Your Categories
WordPress offers two pre-defined 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 add new categories and assign your posts to different categories to help keep all of your content organized.
(WordPress makes managing your website’s categories easy)
Tip #2: Categories Help To Increase Your SEO Rankings
Targeting 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 search engine optimization, so keep this in mind when selecting your category topics …
(WordPress categories help to improve your SEO)
Tip #3: Use Categories To Improve Ease Of Navigation On Your Website
Categories help users navigate more easily through your website’s content.
With WordPress, each category you create gets its own searchable webpage.
This allows your visitors to find all blog posts published under that category in one place …
(Using WordPress categories improves ease of navigation for visitors)
If you need help with using post categories, refer to this tutorial:
Step 7 – Formulating Your Content Strategy
(Plan your content strategy)
Now that you have researched your keywords and created a list of 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.).
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” Website Pages
Make sure that you have content for all of your “static” 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.
Here is a simple checklist of the content you will want to have ready before you start building a website:
- Name of your business and a brief business description.
- Content for your “Front Page”.
- Content for your “About Us” page.
- Content for your “Products/Services” page(s).
- 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.
- 1 – 10 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. ”Suppliers”, etc.
- Additional files (e.g. promo videos, PDF reports, white papers, etc.)
- Also, make sure that all web addresses that you plan to add to your site are working and all other details like spelling, phone numbers, etc. are correct.
Tip #2: Create A List Of Content Topics
Here is a “quick and easy” method you can use to help you begin writing a list of content topics for your website or blog.
Write down 10 keywords, and for each keyword, list one article idea you can add to your site.
You can also write a blog post about each of the following topics:
- The products or services you sell
- Your company and the people in it
- Your industry
- A networking event you have attended
- ”How to” tips
- Affiliate tips and training
- What aspect of your services could you educate prospects about to help eliminate objections?
- What problem do you or your services help your customers solve?
- What information can you provide to help more customers buy again from you?
- What are some of the more common FAQs you get from interested visitors or prospective customers?
- etc …
Once you have your list of web content topics, continue adding to your list on a regular basis.
Tip #3: Learn How 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 new ideas for content.
(Learn ways to never run out of ideas for new content)
The “Infinite Web Content Creation” email training series is specially designed for WordPress website owners and covers the following aspects of the content creation process:
- Creating A Sustainable Digital Content Strategy
- Content Writing Tips
- Effective Copywriting
- Content Posting Guidelines For WordPress
- How To Never Run Out Ideas For Blogging About Your Business
- How To Outsource Your Content Creation
- Time-Saving Content Creation Strategies
Enter your details in the form below to subscribe now and start receiving training content immediately!
This is the end of Part 2
To continue reading this tutorial, click here:
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