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 for your business?

Then this guide to planning your website is for you.

Note: This section continues from the previous article where we provide important information about planning a new website.

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 – Your Web Site Name
  • Step 3 – Managing Your Web Technology
  • Step 4 – Defining YourWebsite’s Audience

The Website Planning Process

(The Website Planning Process)

As you can see, in Part 1 we have established the foundations for planning your business 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 start building their website. We recommend, however, that you complete the rest of the planning process presented below, as we will now cover web content planning and looking at effective strategies for managing and publishing content. Getting all of your initial planning completely done before you start building your website could save you time and money.

Step 5 – Keywords

(List the main search keywords)

(List your principal keyword phrases)

Once you have a clearer idea of who you will be targeting with your website, the next step is to identify the main keywords 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 will want to focus on keywords that have “low competition” and a reasonable monthly search volume. Depending on your situation, 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 identify great keywords, including free keyword tools.

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

Using Google’s Keyword Planner tool, you can see that more people are searching 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 - Google AdWords

(Google’s Keyword Planner Tool)

According to the Google Keyword Planner, however, the number of sites competing against one another for visitors searching for “singles adventure travel“, is significantly higher than sites trying to rank for a key 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 products to singles, etc..

Keyword research can also help you understand the profit potential of certain key phrases. Typically, smart advertisers will invest more time and money promoting keyword phrases that are targeted towards attracting a “buying” public, instead of keywords that are more suited for users who are just browsing or researching information online.

For example, people searching for the keyword phrase “color printer” are generally not as ready to purchase a colour printer as people who search for a more specific keyword phrase like “konica minolta magicolor 3730DN review”, so if you plan to sell or review color 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 posts. However, don’t spend too much time doing keyword research for every post you plan to add to your site, especially when you are just starting out.

Make a simple start. 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 these keywords have a decent monthly search volume and then use these keyword phrases naturally in your posts (i.e. plan to create web content for humans, not search engine robots).

Once your site starts to bring in visitors, you can then study actual data like keyword searches online users are typing into search engines to find your site from analytic tools and apply the information to refine your keyword research and get better results online.

Tip

Keyword Research Tips

Tip #1: Avoid basing key phrases 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 looking for. Also, if you type a key phrase into Google and nobody is advertising products or services for it (i.e. no Google advertisements show up), then that keyword most likely has no commercial value or is unprofitable.

Search keywords that have no competing advertisers are often unprofitable

(Search keywords with no competing advertisers may not be worth targeting)

Tip #2: Use tools to help you build keyword lists and generate great content ideas. Here are some useful free and paid keyword research tools you can check out:

Free Keyword Research Tools

Keyword Planner Tool

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), review competitive keyword history, see how a list of keywords could perform in ad campaigns and even create a new keyword list by multiplying several existing keyword lists together.

For more information 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 with your initial keyword research:

Ubersuggest.org – Keyword Suggestion Tool

Ubersuggest

(Ubersuggest keyword suggestion tool)

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

Discover new content ideas with the Ubersuggest

(Discover new content ideas with the Ubersuggest keyword tool)

To use this tool, visit this website:

The keyword research tools below will help you not only uncover many profitable keywords 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

Market Samurai

(Market Samurai)

Market Samurai is an inexpensive tool that provides not just 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 tool, visit the site here:

SEMRush

SEMRUSH

(SEMRUSH Keyword Tool)

With SEMRush, you can add the URLs of your competitors and the tool 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 target.

For more details about this software tool, visit this site:

Keyword Spy

Keyword Spy Keyword Research Tool

(Keyword Spy)

Keyword Spy is an SEO tool that is primarily used for keyword research. You can use Keyword Spy to identify the keywords that your competition is using and to do research on keywords for your own site.

For more details, visit this site:

Step 6 – Defining Site Categories

Define web site categories

(Define website categories)

The next step after doing keyword research is to decide on specific areas in your niche or industry that people might want to know more about and create a list of “categories” for these topics that you plan to write content about.

For example, if you run a travel agency, your categories could be organized into topics such as: “business travel”, “luxury travel”, “romantic destinations”, “family packages”, “overnight accommodation”, “travel accessories”, “train travel”, “airfare discounts”, “Australia & New Zealand,” or any category of travel-related services you offer.

Aim to create an initial list of about 5 – 10 categories. You can always add more categories to your site later on.

Tip

Site Category Tips:

Tip #1: Use WordPress For Easy Management Of Your Categories

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

WordPress gives you great control over the management of your categories. It also lets you easily create new categories and assign your posts to different categories to help keep your content organized.

Use WordPress for easy management of your categories

(WordPress makes managing your website’s categories easy)

Tip #2: Use Categories To Increase Your SEO Rankings

Targeting the right keywords in your category names 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 search engine optimization, so keep this in mind when choosing your category topics …

Using WordPress categories to improve your search rankings

(Using WordPress categories to improve your search rankings)

Tip #3: Categories Can Improve Ease Of Navigation On Your Site

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

WordPress turns every category you create into a searchable webpage.

This allows your visitors to search for all content published under that category in one place …

Categories help to site navigation

(WordPress categories can your site’s navigation)

We have written a detailed tutorial on using WordPress post categories here:

Step 7 – Create Your Content Strategy

Plan your content strategy

(Create a 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

Practical Tips For New Business Website Owners:

Tip #1: Your “Static” Web Content

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 to avoid additional costs caused by delays or unpreparedness.

Here is a simple checklist of the content you will want to have already prepared prior to building your new website:

  • The name of your business and a brief description of your business.
  • “Main Page” content.
  • 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. product images, etc.). Image formats = .jpg, .png or .gif.
  • 1 – 3 initial posts to be used as “seed content” for your site (saved as Word document or plain text file).
  • List of all URLs 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, ensure that all URLs you would like to add to your site and all other details like spelling, phone numbers, etc. are correct.

Tip #2: Create A List Of Web Content Ideas

Here is a “quick” method you can use to create a list of content topics for your website.

Write down 25 keywords, and for each keyword, create a list with one content idea you can add to your website.

You can also easily write an article about each of the topics listed below:

  • Your products or services
  • Your company and the people in it
  • The latest industry news – what’s big news in your industry right now?
  • A business event you have attended
  • Client tips
  • Affiliate tips and information
  • What aspect of your services could you educate prospective customers about to help overcome objections?
  • What problems do you or your services help your customers solve?
  • What reviews can you provide to help more clients buy from you?
  • What are some of the more common FAQs you get all the time from enquirers or prospective customers?
  • etc …

Once you have created your list of content ideas, 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.

Infinite Web Content Creation Email Training Series

(Never run out of ideas for new content)

The “Infinite Web Content Creation” training series is aimed at helping WordPress users and covers the following aspects of the content creation process:

  • Creating An Effective Digital Content Strategy
  • Content Writing Tips
  • Copywriting Principles
  • Content Posting Guidelines For WordPress
  • How To Never Run Out Ideas For Blogging About Your Business
  • Outsourcing Your Content Writing
  • Time-Saving Content Methods

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

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Planning Your Business Website: A Money-Saving Guide For Non-Technical Business Owners

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This is the end of Section Two

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

Images: Planning, Social Media, Blogging.

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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.