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.

Website DesignAre you considering the idea of getting a website 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 on planning a web presence.

A Basic Guide To Website Planning – Part 2

So far, we have covered the following areas of the website planning process:

  • Step 1 – Your Goals
  • Step 2 – Naming Your Website
  • Step 3 – Manage Your Technology
  • Step 4 – Define 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 been following 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 use and defined your target audience.

At this point, you could start getting your web site built. We suggest, however, that you go through the rest of the planning process presented below, as we will now address content planning and looking at effective web content publishing and management strategies. Having all your initial planning completed before you start building your web site could save you a significant amount of time and money.

Step 5 – Your Keywords

(Identify your most important search phrases)

(Identify your principal search keywords)

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

Ideally, you will want to focus on keyword phrases that have “low competition” and a reasonable number of people searching for these every month. Depending on your objectives, you may also want to focus on keyword phrases within your market that have some level of commercial profitability.

There are many tools you can use to identify suitable keywords, including free tools.

If you have an account with Google Adwords, for example, you can use the Google Keyword Planner.

In the screenshot below, you can see that more people are searching every month for a keyword phrase like “overseas adventure travel” (> 18,000 searches per month) than a key phrase like “singles adventure travel“, which gets less than 1,000 searches a month …

Keyword Research Tool - Keyword Planner Tool

(Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool)

According to the Google Keyword Planner, however, the number of sites competing in the search space 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 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 experiences to singles, etc..

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

For example, people who search for the term “colour printer” are typically not as ready to invest in a colour printer as people who search for “konica minolta magicolor 4750EN 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 amount of monthly searches and low to medium competition.

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

Make a simple start. Make a list of the “top” five keywords you want 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 organically in your content (i.e. plan to create web content for humans, not search engines).

Once your site starts to draw in visitors, you can then analyze actual data like keyword searches online users are typing into search engines to find your website from your server logs and use the information to refine your keyword research.

Practical Tip

Tips For Business Site Owners

Tip #1: Avoid using keywords that show extremely low to no monthly searches, or that have no demand. There’s no point ranking #1 in Google for keyword phrases that no one is interested in. Also, if you type a keyword phrase 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.

Search words with no competing advertisers may be unprofitable

(Search phrases with no competition for advertisers may be unprofitable)

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

Free Keyword Research Tools

Keyword Planner

Keyword Research Tool - Keyword Planner Tool

(Keyword Research Tool – Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool)

The Keyword Planner Tool lets you explore hundreds of keywords and keyword-based advertising ideas (e.g. pay-per-click advertising), analyse competitive keyword history, see how a list of keywords might perform in ad campaigns and even create a new list of keywords by multiplying several keyword lists together.

To learn more, visit this website:

If you don’t have access to a Google AdWords account, use the FREE tool below to help you get your initial keyword research started:

Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest

(Ubersuggest)

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 tool saves you time going go through the alphabet from a-z to explore new keyword topics related to your subject:

Explore new content ideas with the Ubersuggest keyword tool

(Explore new content ideas with the Ubersuggest)

To use this keyword tool, check out the website here:

The keyword research tools below can 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 competitors’ keywords and formulating a content SEO strategy for your site:

Market Samurai

Market Samurai

(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 performing SEO keyword research.

For more details about this tool, visit this website:

SEMRush

SEMRUSH Keyword Research Tool

(SEMRUSH)

SEMRush lets you add the URLs of your competitors and the tool will give you a list of all the keywords that site is ranking for, which is great for researching short-tail and long-tail keywords that you can use to grow your own site.

To learn more, visit the site here:

Keyword Spy

Keyword Spy

(Keyword Spy Keyword Tool)

Keyword Spy is an SEO tool that’s primarily used for performing keyword research. You can use Keyword Spy to view competitor keywords, as well as do research on keywords for your own website and content marketing strategy.

To learn more, visit the site here:

Step 6 – Defining Your Site Categories

Define your site categories

(Define site categories)

Now that you have done your keyword research, the next step is to decide on specific topics within your niche that people may be interested in learning about and create a list of “categories” for these topics that you plan to write content about.

For example, if your business is travel, your categories could include topics such as: “business travel”, “luxury travel”, “romantic destinations”, “holiday packages”, “long-term accommodation”, “travel accessories”, “train travel”, “air travel”, “Australia & New Zealand,” or any category of travel-related services your business offers.

Plan to create an initial list of about 5 – 12 categories. You can always add more categories to your site later on.

Practical Tip

Site Category Tips:

Tip #1: Use WordPress To Easily Manage Your Categories

WordPress has two pre-defined ways of grouping and organizing content (WordPress refers to these as 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 site's categories easy

(WordPress makes managing your website’s categories easy)

Tip #2: Use Categories To Improve Your SEO

Choosing the right keywords in your category names can 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 remember this when choosing your category names …

WordPress categories can increase your SEO

(Use WordPress categories to increase your SEO)

Tip #3: Categories Help To Improve Site Navigation

Categories help users find content on your website more easily.

WordPress turns every category you create into a searchable web page.

This lets your visitors search for all posts published under that category in one place …

WordPress categories help to ease of navigation for users

(Categories can ease of navigation for your visitors)

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

Step 7 – Plan Your Content Strategy

Formulate your content strategy

(Create your content strategy)

Now that you have created a list of keywords and 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.).

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.

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:

Tip

Tips For Business Website Owners:

Tip #1: Your “Static” Website Content

Make sure that you have content for all of your “static” website pages already written before you begin building your web 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.

Below is a basic checklist of the content you will want to have already prepared before you start building a website:

  • The name of your business and brief description of the business.
  • Content for your “Front Page”.
  • “About Us” page content.
  • “Products/Services” page content.
  • Your main service/product categories.
  • Contact Details (e.g. business address, email, telephone numbers)
  • Images (e.g. business logos, etc.). Image formats = .jpg, .png or .gif.
  • 2 – 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 on your site (e.g. ”Vendors”, etc.
  • Media files (e.g. videos, PDF documents, price lists, etc.)
  • Also, remember to check that all web addresses that 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 Web Content Topics

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

Take each of the keywords you have listed in Step 5 and turn these keywords into topics for content that you will create.

You can also easily write blog posts about each of the following topics:

  • Your products or services
  • The people in your company – who are they and what do they do
  • The industry you’re in
  • A networking event you plan to attend
  • ”How to” training for customers
  • Affiliate tips and information
  • What aspect of your products or solution could you educate prospects about to help eliminate sales objections?
  • What problems do you or your services help your customers solve?
  • What reviews can you provide to help more clients buy again from you?
  • What are common FAQs you get all the time from interested visitors or prospective customers?
  • etc …

Once you have created your list of web content topics, continue adding to this list.

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 how to never run out of new web content ideas.

Content Creation Email Training Series

(Learn ways to never run out of web content ideas)

The “Infinite Web Content Creation” training series is designed for WordPress users and covers the following areas of the content creation process:

  • How To Create A Sustainable Web Content Strategy
  • Content Writing Tips
  • Effective Copywriting
  • Content Posting Guidelines For WordPress
  • What To Write About
  • How To Outsource Your Content Writing
  • Time-Saving Content Methods

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

***

A Practical Guide To Web Site Planning For Non-Technical Business Owners

***

This is the end of Part Two

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

Images: Planning, Social Media, Blogging.

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"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the owner of WPCompendium.org and the author of The WordPress User Manual. 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.