Then this article on website planning is for you.
Note: This is Part Two of the article series where we take you through the process of planning your new website or blog.
- For Part One of the article series, go here: Planning Your Website – Understanding The Process – Part 1
The Website Planning Process – Part 2
In Part 1 of this article, we covered the following areas of the website planning process:
- Step 1 – Your Website Goals
- Step 2 – Website Name
- Step 3 – Manage Your Web Technology
- Step 4 – Defining Your Audience
(Website Planning Process)
As you can see, in the previous section of this guide we have established the foundations for planning a new website. If you have followed the 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, many people start building their website. We suggest, however, that you go through the rest of the planning process presented below, as we will now begin to move into web content planning and looking at effective web content management and publishing strategies. Having all your planning completed before you start building your website could save you time and money.
Step 5 – Your Keyword Phrases
(List your main keyword phrases)
Now that you have a clearer idea of who you will be targeting with your website, it’s time to identify the main keywords that you will want people and search engines to associate with your website. This will help search engines connect your website with your target audience.
Ideally, you should try to find keywords that have “low competition” and a reasonable number of searches every month. Depending on your needs, you may also want to focus on keywords within your target niche that have some level of commercial profitability.
There are many tools you can use to find good keyword phrases, including free tools.
If you have an account with Google Adwords, for example, you can use the Google Keyword Planner.
The screenshot below shows that more people are searching each month for a keyword phrase like “overseas adventure travel” (over 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)
According to this keyword research tool, 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 may 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 experiences to singles, etc..
Doing keyword research can also help you understand the commercial potential of certain keywords. Typically, savvy advertisers will advertise more frequently keywords that are targeted towards attracting ”buyers”, instead of keywords aimed more towards users who are simply browsing or researching products or services online.
For example, users searching for the keyword phrase “color printer minolta” are generally not as ready yet to invest in a color printer as people who search for a more specific keyword phrase like “konica minolta magicolor4750DN 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 phrases (called “long tail keywords”), hopefully with a high amount of monthly searches and low to medium competition.
It will help your website, therefore, if you have a few highly searched keywords in your content. However, don’t go “crazy” doing keyword research for every piece of content you plan to add to your site, especially if you are just starting out.
Make a simple start. Begin by making a list of the “top” five keywords you want your website to rank highly for in the search engines, make sure that these keywords get a decent number of searches per month and then use these key phrases organically in your content (i.e. plan to write your web content for humans, not search engine robots).
Once your site begins to attract visitors, you can then analyze actual data like keyword searches used by visitors to find your site from analytic tools and apply the information to improve your keyword research and get better results online.
Keyword Research Tips
Tip #1: Avoid building your advertising campaigns on key phrases that return extremely low to no monthly searches, or that have no commercial value. There’s not much point ranking #1 in Google for keywords that no one is interested in. Also, if you type the key 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.
(Keywords that have no competing advertisers may be unprofitable)
Tip #2: Use keyword research tools to help you build keyword lists 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
(Keyword Research Tool – Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool)
The Keyword Planner Tool lets you explore keywords, keyword groups 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 keyword list by multiplying several keyword lists together.
To learn more, visit this website:
If you don’t have access to a Google AdWords account, you can use the FREE tool below to help you with your initial keyword research:
UberSuggest is a free tool that essentially lets you perform the same function as typing a subject into the Google search box and seeing what topics or ideas are selected.
This tool saves you time going go through the alphabet from A-Z to explore keyword topics related to your subject:
(Explore new content ideas with the Ubersuggest)
To use this keyword tool, go 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 save time analyzing your competition’s keywords and formulating a content SEO strategy for your site:
(Market Samurai Keyword Tool)
Market Samurai is an inexpensive tool that provides not just keyword research but also some great additional content research tools, with excellent training tutorials on how to perform keyword research for SEO purposes.
To learn more, visit this site:
(SEMRUSH Keyword Tool)
SEMRush lets you enter your competitor’s URL and it will then show you all the keywords that your competitors’ sites are ranking for, making it easier to find short-tail and long-tail keywords that you can then target.
For more details about this tool, visit this website:
(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 do research on keywords for your own website and content marketing strategy.
For more details, visit this site:
Step 6 – Define Site Categories
(Define web site categories)
Decide on specific areas in your niche or industry that people might be interested in learning about and create a list of “categories” for all the topics that you plan to publish content about.
For example, if your business is travel-related, your categories could include topics such as: “business travel”, “adventure travel”, “exotic destinations”, “family holiday destinations”, “long-term accommodation”, “travel discounts”, “cruises”, “air travel”, “Africa,” or any category of travel-related services you offer.
Aim to create an initial list of about 3 – 8 categories. You can always add more categories to your site later on.
Site Category Tips:
Tip #1: Use WordPress For Easy Management Of Your Categories
WordPress offers two basic ways of grouping and organizing content (WordPress calls these taxonomies): “categories” and “tags”.
WordPress gives you great control over the management of your categories. It also lets you easily add new categories and match your posts to different categories to help keep all of your content organized.
(WordPress makes managing your website’s categories easy)
Tip #2: Use Categories To Improve Your SEO
Choosing the right keywords when naming your categories helps to increase your site’s SEO rankings.
WordPress lets you easily create search engine-friendly URLs that include your categories as keywords (great for SEO, so keep this in mind when choosing category topics …
(WordPress categories help to increase your search engine optimization)
Tip #3: Use Categories To Improve Ease Of Navigation On Your Site
Categories help visitors find content on your website more easily.
With WordPress, every category you create becomes a separate searchable web page.
This allows your users to browse all content published under that category in one place …
(WordPress categories help to ease of navigation for your users)
If you need help with using WordPress post categories, see this tutorial:
Step 7 – Create 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 begin formulating 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:
Tips For New Website Owners:
Tip #1: Your “Fixed” Website Pages
Make sure that you have content for all of your “static” 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 you avoid additional costs caused by delays or unpreparedness.
Here is a basic checklist of the content you will want to have already prepared before you start building your new website:
- Name of your business and brief description of your business.
- “Home Page” content.
- “About Us” page content.
- 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. company logos, 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 URLs and additional contact details to be included on your site (e.g. “Resources”, etc.
- Additional media (e.g. videos, PDF documents, white papers, etc.)
- Also, check that all web addresses that you want to add to your site and all other details like spelling, phone numbers, etc. are correct.
Tip #2: Create A List Of Web Content Topics
Here is a “quick” method you can use to begin writing 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 content that you will create.
You can also easily write articles about any of the following topics:
- Featured product
- Your company and the people in it
- Educate visitors about your industry – the challenges it faces and how your business is addressing these
- A industry event you have attended
- Tips and how-tos
- Staff training
- What area of your products or solution could you educate prospective customers about to help overcome sales objections?
- What problem do you or your services help your customers solve?
- What reviews can you provide to help more customers buy again from you?
- What are common FAQs you get from interested visitors and prospective customers?
- etc …
Once you have your list of web content ideas, continually add to your list on a regular basis.
Tip #3: Learn How To Run Out Of Ideas For New Web 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 new content ideas.
(Never run out of web content ideas)
The “Infinite Web Content Creation” training series is aimed at helping WordPress website owners and covers the following areas of the content creation process:
- Creating An Effective Web Content Strategy
- Content Writing Tips
- Writing Web Copy
- WordPress Content Posting Guidelines
- What To Write About
- 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 Two
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