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 DesignAre you considering the idea of getting a web site built for your small business?

Then this essential guide to website planning is for you.

Note: This is Part Two of the article series where we provide important information on planning a web presence.

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 – Define Your Goals
  • Step 2 – Your Site Name
  • Step 3 – Manage Your Web Technology
  • Step 4 – Define YourWebsite Audience

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 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, you could feasibly start building your web site. We suggest, however, that you go through the rest of the planning process presented below, as we will now cover content planning and reviewing effective strategies for publishing and managing your content. Doing all of the planning work before you start building your website could save you time and money.

Step 5 – Keywords

(Identify the most important search phrases)

(Identify your most important search keywords)

Once you have a clearer idea of who you will be targeting with your website, the next step is to identify the main keyword phrases that you will want people and search engines to associate with your website. This will help search engines to connect your website with your target audience.

Ideally, you should try to find keywords that have “low competition” and a reasonable monthly search volume. Depending on your specific situation, you may also want to focus on keyword phrases in your target niche that have some level of commercial viability.

There are many tools you can use to find good keywords, including free keyword tools.

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

Using Google’s Keyword Planner tool, you can see that more people are searching every month for the key phrase “overseas adventure travel” (> 18,000 searches per month) than “singles adventure travel“, which gets less than 1,000 searches a month …

Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool

(Google’s Keyword Planner Tool)

According to the Google Keyword Planner, however, the number of sites competing for visitors searching for “singles adventure travel“, is much higher than sites trying to rank for a keyword phrase like “overseas adventure travel“. This could be because one key 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..

Doing keyword research can also help you understand the profit potential of certain keywords. Typically, smart advertisers will advertise more frequently keyword phrases targeted towards attracting a “buying” public, instead of key phrases aimed more towards users who are simply browsing or researching information online.

For example, users who search for the key phrase “colour printer” are generally not as ready yet to invest in a color printer as people who search for a more targeted keyword phrase like “konica minolta bizhub 3300P 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 higher monthly search volume and low to medium competition.

It will help your website, therefore, if you have some 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.

Start simple. Make a list of the “top” five keywords you would like your website to rank well for in the search engines, make sure that these keywords are getting a decent number of searches every month and then use these key phrases organically in your content (i.e. plan to create web content for human readers, not search engines).

Once your site begins to bring in visitors, you can then review actual data like keyword searches used by visitors to find your website from analytic tools and use the data to improve your keyword research and get better results online.

Practical Tip

Tips

Tip #1: Avoid basing keywords that return extremely low to no monthly searches, or that have no demand. There’s no point ranking #1 in Google for keywords that no one is searching 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 interest or is unprofitable.

Keyphrases that have no competition for advertisers may be unprofitable

(Keywords with no competing advertisers are generally not worth targeting)

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

Free Keyword Research Tools

Keyword Planner

Keyword Planner Tool

(Keyword Planner Tool – Google AdWords)

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

For more information about this tool, visit this site:

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 done:

Ubersuggest.org – Keyword Suggestion Tool

Ubersuggest keyword suggestion tool

(Ubersuggest)

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 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 keyword suggestion tool

(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 discover 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 competitors’ keywords and formulating a content SEO strategy for your site:

Market Samurai

Market Samurai Keyword Research Tool

(Market Samurai Keyword Research Tool)

Market Samurai is inexpensive and provides not just keyword research but also some great additional content and SEO research tools, with excellent training tutorials on performing keyword research for SEO purposes.

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

SEMRush

SEMRUSH Keyword Tool

(SEMRUSH)

With SEMRush, you can enter your competitor’s URL and the tool will then give you a list of all the keywords that the site is ranking for, which is great for researching short-tail and long-tail keywords that you can then target for your own website.

To learn more, visit this website:

Keyword Spy

Keyword Spy Keyword Tool

(Keyword Spy Keyword Tool)

Keyword Spy is an SEO tool that is primarily used for keyword research. Use Keyword Spy to view competitor keywords, as well as do research on keywords for your own site.

To learn more, visit this site:

Step 6 – Define Website Categories

Define web site categories

(Define website categories)

The next step after doing keyword research is to decide on specific areas within your niche market that people might want to know more 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 be organized into topics such as: “business travel”, “luxury travel”, “romantic destinations”, “family packages”, “travel accommodation”, “travel accessories”, “train travel”, “air travel”, “Caribbean Travel,” or any category of travel-related services your business offers.

Aim to create an initial list of about 5 – 8 categories. You can always add more categories to your site later on.

Practical Tip

Site Category Tips:

Tip #1: WordPress Makes Managing Categories Easy

WordPress provides two commonly used ways of grouping and organizing content on your website (WordPress refers to these as taxonomies): “categories” and “tags”.

WordPress makes managing your website’s categories easy. It also lets you easily add new categories and assign your posts to different categories to help keep all of your content organized.

Use WordPress for easy management of your categories

(WordPress makes managing your site’s categories easy)

Tip #2: Use Categories To Improve Your SEO Rankings

Using the right keywords in your category names helps to increase your site’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 thinking about category names …

WordPress categories help to increase your search engine optimization

(Using WordPress categories to increase your search engine optimization)

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

Categories help users navigate more easily through your website’s content.

With WordPress, each category you create gets a new searchable web page.

This allows your users to find all content published under that category in one place …

Use WordPress categories to improve your site's navigation

(Use categories to improve your site’s navigation)

For more information about using WordPress post categories, go here:

Step 7 – Planning Your Content Strategy

Create your content strategy

(Create your content strategy)

Now that you have created a list of keywords and categories, the next step is to plan 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.

Useful 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:

Practical Tip

Tips For Business Website Owners:

Tip #1: Your “Fixed” Website Content

Make sure that you have content for all of your “fixed” 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 before you start building your website:

  • The name of your business and brief business description.
  • “Front Page” content.
  • “About Us” page content.
  • Content for your “Products/Services” page(s).
  • Site Categories.
  • Business Contact Details (e.g. business address, email, telephone numbers)
  • Images (e.g. personnel photos, etc.). Image formats = .jpg, .png or .gif.
  • 2 – 5 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. ”Suppliers”, etc.
  • Additional files (e.g. videos, PDF documents, price lists, etc.)
  • Also, check that all URLs you want 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 and easy” method you can use to help you create a list of content topics for your site.

Write down 15 keywords, and for each keyword, list one content idea you can add to your website.

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

  • Featured product
  • A company award your business has received
  • The industry you’re in
  • A networking event you have attended
  • Product training information
  • Staff training
  • What area of your services could you educate prospects about to help overcome objections?
  • What problems do you or your services help your customers solve?
  • What reviews can you provide to help more prospective customers buy from you?
  • What are some of the more common FAQs you get from interested visitors and prospective customers?
  • etc …

Once you have your list of web content topics, continually add to your list.

Tip #3: Learn Ways To Run Out Of Web Content Ideas

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.

Content Creation Email Training Series

(Never run out of content ideas)

The “Infinite Web Content Creation” training series covers the following aspects of the content creation process:

  • How To Create A Sustainable Web Content Strategy
  • Content Writing Tips
  • Copywriting Principles
  • WordPress Content Posting Guidelines
  • How To Never Run Out Ideas For Web Content
  • Outsourcing Your Content Writing
  • Time-Saving Content Creation Strategies

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

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

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This is the end of Section 2

To continue reading this article, click here:

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 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.