Then this article on website planning is for you.
Note: This is Part 2 of the article series where we take you through the process of planning your new website or blog.
- For Part One, go here: The Website Planning Process – Part 1
A Basic Guide To Website Planning – 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 Site’s Technology
- Step 4 – Define Your Target Audience
(The Website Planning Process)
As you can see, in so far we have established the foundations for planning your website. If you have followed 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, many people begin building their website. We recommend, however, that you complete the planning process presented below, as we will now discuss content planning and reviewing effective strategies for publishing and managing this web content. Doing all of the planning work before you start building your web site will help you save time and money.
Step 5 – Key Phrases
(List your most important search keywords)
Now that you have a good idea of who you will be targeting with your site, 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 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 specific goals, you may also want to focus on keywords within your industry that have some level of commercial viability.
There are many tools you can use to identify great keyword phrases, including free keyword tools.
If you have an account with Google Adwords, 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” (over 18,000 searches per month) than the keyword phrase “singles adventure travel“, which gets less than 1,000 searches a month …
(Keyword Research Tool – Google 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 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 profit potential of certain keywords. Typically, savvy advertisers will advertise more frequently keyword phrases aimed towards a “buying” public, instead of keywords targeted more towards users who are simply browsing or researching information online.
For example, people searching for the keywords “colour printer minolta” are typically not as ready to purchase a color printer as people who search for “konica minolta magicolor 4690MF 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 high search volume and low to medium competition.
It will help your website, therefore, if you have some highly searched keywords in your content. However, don’t invest too much time doing keyword research for every piece 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 want your site to rank well for in the search engines, make sure that these keywords get a decent number of searches every month and then use these key phrases organically in your posts (i.e. aim to create content for human visitors, not search engines).
Once your site begins to attract 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 apply this information to improve your keyword research.
Keyword Research Tips
Tip #1: Avoid basing keyword phrases that show extremely low to no monthly searches, or that have no demand. There’s not much point ranking #1 in Google for key phrases that no one is searching for. Also, if you type keyword phrases into Google and nobody is advertising products for it (i.e. no Google advertisements show up), then that keyword most likely has no commercial value or is unprofitable.
(Search phrases with no competition for advertisers are generally unprofitable)
Tip #2: Use tools to help you build keyword lists and generate content ideas. Below are some widely-used free and paid keyword research tools you can check out:
Free Keyword Research Tools
(Keyword Planner Tool)
The Keyword Planner Tool lets you explore hundreds of keywords and keyword-based advertising ideas (e.g. pay-per-click advertising), analyze competitive keyword statistics, see how a list of keywords could perform in ad campaigns and even create a new keyword list by multiplying several lists of keywords together.
To learn more about this tool, visit the site here:
If you don’t have access to a Google AdWords account, you can use the FREE tool below to help you get your initial keyword research started:
UberSuggest is a free keyword suggestion 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 tool saves you time going go through the alphabet from a-z to explore keyword ideas related to your subject:
(Discover new content ideas with the Ubersuggest)
To use this free tool, visit this site:
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 time analyzing your competition’s keywords and formulating a content SEO strategy for your site:
(Market Samurai Keyword Research Tool)
Market Samurai is an inexpensive tool that provides not only keyword research but also additional content research tools, with excellent training tutorials on how to perform keyword research for SEO purposes.
To learn more about this software tool, go here:
SEMRush lets you enter the URLs of your competitors and it will 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 then target for your own site.
For more details, check out the website here:
Keyword Spy is an SEO tool that’s primarily used for performing keyword research. Use Keyword Spy to identify the keywords that your competition is using, as well as research keywords for your own site.
To learn more about this tool, check out the website here:
Step 6 – Define Website Categories
(Define site categories)
Decide on specific topics in your niche market that people might want to know more about and create a list of “categories” for these topics that you plan to publish content about.
For example, if you run a travel agency, your categories could be organized into topics like: “business travel”, “adventure travel”, “exotic destinations”, “family holiday destinations”, “travel accommodation”, “travel accessories”, “cruises”, “airfare discounts”, “Travel Europe,” or any other travel-related categories that match your services.
Plan to create an initial list of about 5 – 12 categories. You can always add more categories to your site later on.
Practical Tips For New Website Owners:
Tip #1: Use WordPress To Easily Manage Your Site’s Categories
WordPress has two fundamental ways of grouping and organizing content on your website (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 all of your content organized.
(WordPress makes managing categories easy)
Tip #2: Use Categories To Improve Your SEO Rankings
Using the right keywords in your category names helps to increase your website’s SEO rankings.
WordPress allows you to create search engine-friendly URLs that include your categories as keywords (great for SEO, so remember this when deciding on category names …
(Use WordPress categories to increase your SEO rankings)
Tip #3: Use Categories To Improve Site Navigation
Categories allow visitors to find content on your website more easily.
With WordPress, each category you create gets a searchable web page.
This allows your visitors to browse all content published under that category in one place …
(Using categories improves site navigation)
If you need help with using post categories, see this step-by-step tutorial:
Step 7 – Formulate Your Content Strategy
(Plan 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.).
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 “Fixed” 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 you avoid additional costs caused by delays or unpreparedness.
Here is a basic checklist of the content you will want to have ready prior to building a new website:
- Business name and a brief description of your business.
- Content for your “Main 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. business images, etc.). Image formats = .jpg, .png or .gif.
- 2 – 10 initial blog 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 in your site (e.g. ”Vendors”, etc.
- Media and downloadable documents (e.g. promo videos, PDF documents, price lists, etc.)
- Also, check that all web addresses 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 Website Content Topics
Here is a “quick” method you can use to help you create a list of content ideas for your website or blog.
Go through the list of keywords you created in Step 5 and turn these into topics for web content that you will create.
You can also easily write a post about each of the topics listed below:
- Your products or services
- The people in your company – who are they and what do they do
- The industry you’re in
- A business event you plan to attend
- Product training information
- Affiliate training
- What area of your solution could you educate prospective customers about to help overcome objections?
- What problems 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 all the time from interested visitors or prospective customers?
- etc …
Once you have created this list of web content ideas, continue adding to your 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 how to never run out of web content ideas.
(Learn how to never run out of ideas for new content)
The “Infinite Web Content Creation” training series is designed for WordPress website owners and covers the following areas of the content creation process:
- How To Create An Effective Digital Content Strategy
- Content Writing Tips
- Copywriting Principles
- Content Posting Guidelines For WordPress
- What To Write About
- Outsourcing Your Content Creation
- Time-Saving Content Strategies
Enter your details in the form below to subscribe now and start receiving training content immediately!
This is the end of Part Two
To continue reading this tutorial, click on the link below:
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