Are you thinking about taking your small business online?
Then this detailed guide to planning your website is for you.
Note: This section continues from the previous article where we provide essential information about planning your website.
- For Part One, go here: A Basic Guide To Website Planning – Part 1
- A Basic Guide To Website Planning – Part 2
- Step 5 – Your Keywords
- Step 6 – Define Web Site Categories
- Step 7 – Planning Your Content Strategy
A Basic Guide To Website Planning – Part 2
So far, we have covered the following areas of the website planning process:
- Step 1 – Goals
- Step 2 – Site Name
- Step 3 – Managing Your Site’s Technology
- Step 4 – Your Site’s Audience
(The Website Planning Process)
As you can see, in the previous section of this article we have established the foundations for planning your new site. 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 use and defined your target audience.
At this point, you could feasibly start getting your website built. We suggest, however, that you complete the rest of the planning process presented in this guide, as we will now cover web content planning and looking at effective content management and publishing strategies. Having all this planning completely done before you start building your web site could save you a significant amount of time and money.
Step 5 – Your Keywords
(List your principal keyword phrases)
Now that you have a good idea of who you will be targeting with your website, the next step is to identify the main keyword phrases that you want online users and search engines to associate with your website. This will help search engines to connect your site 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 business, you may also want to focus on keyword phrases in your industry that have some level of commercial viability.
There are many tools you can use to find great keyword phrases, including free keyword tools.
If you have a Google Adwords account, for example, you can use a keyword tool like the Google Keyword Planner Tool.
In the screenshot below, you can see that more people are searching each month for a key phrase like “overseas adventure travel” (> 18,000 searches per month) than a keyword phrase like “singles adventure travel“, which gets less than 1,000 searches a month …
(Keyword Planner Tool – Google AdWords)
According to this keyword research tool, however, the number of web sites competing against one another in the search space for “singles adventure travel“, is significantly higher than sites trying to rank for a keyword 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 packages to singles, etc..
Keyword research can also help you understand the commercial value of certain key phrases. Typically, savvy advertisers will advertise more frequently keywords that are aimed towards a “buying” public, rather than keyword phrases aimed more towards people who are simply browsing or researching products or services online.
For example, people searching for the keywords “color printers” are typically not as ready to buy a color printer as people who search for a more specific key phrase like “konica minolta magicolor 3730DN 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 search terms (called “long tail keywords”), hopefully with a higher search volume and low to medium competition.
It will help your site, therefore, if you have a few highly searched keywords in your content. However, don’t invest too much of your valuable time doing keyword research for every post you plan to add to your site, especially when you are just starting out.
Start simple. Make a list of the “top” 5 keywords you want your site to rank highly for in the search engines, make sure that the keywords you choose have a decent monthly search volume and then use these keywords naturally in your posts (i.e. aim to create web content for people, not search engine robots).
Once your site starts to draw in visitors, you can then review actual data like keyword searches online users are typing into search engines to find your site from analytic tools and apply this data to improve your keyword research and get better results online.
Practical Tips For Business Owners
Tip #1: Avoid basing keyword phrases that return extremely low to no monthly searches, or that have no demand. There’s not much point ranking #1 in Google for keywords that no one is interested in searching. 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.
(Key phrases that have no competition for advertisers may be unprofitable)
Tip #2: Use tools to help you research keywords and generate commercial content ideas. Below are some widely-used free and paid keyword research tools you can check out:
Free Keyword Research Tools
(Keyword Research Tool – Keyword Planner Tool)
The Keyword Planner Tool lets you search for keywords 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 list of keywords by multiplying several existing lists of keywords together.
For more information about the AdWords keyword planning 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 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 discover keyword suggestions related to your subject:
(Explore new content ideas with the Ubersuggest keyword tool)
To use this keyword tool, visit the site here:
Paid Keyword Research Tools
The keyword research tools below will 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 you time analyzing your competition’s keywords and formulating a content SEO strategy for your site:
(Market Samurai Keyword 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 how to perform keyword research for SEO purposes.
For more details, visit the site here:
With SEMRush, you can enter the URLs of your competitors and the tool will then show you all the keywords that 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 about this software tool, visit this site:
Keyword Spy is an SEO tool that is also primarily used for performing keyword research. You can use Keyword Spy to view competitor keywords and to research keywords for your own website.
To learn more about this software tool, visit this site:
Step 6 – Define Web Site Categories
(Define your site categories)
Decide on specific topics within your niche market that your visitors might be interested in learning 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 such as: “business travel”, “adventure travel”, “romantic destinations”, “family packages”, “overnight accommodation”, “travel discounts”, “cruises”, “airfare discounts”, “Africa,” 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.
Tips For New Website Owners:
Tip #1: WordPress Makes Managing Categories Easy
WordPress offers two pre-defined 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 create 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: Categories Help To Increase Your SEO
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 your category topics …
(Use WordPress categories to improve your SEO)
Tip #3: Categories Can Improve Ease Of Navigation On Your Website
Categories help users easily navigate through your site’s content.
With WordPress, each category you create has its own category-specific searchable web page.
This allows your users to search for all blog posts published under that category in one place …
(Use WordPress categories to improve your site’s navigation)
If you need help with using WordPress post categories, go here:
Step 7 – Planning Your Content Strategy
(Formulate your content strategy)
Now that you have researched your keywords and created 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:
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 website or blog”, 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 prior to building your new website:
- Your business name and a brief business description.
- “Home Page” content.
- Content for your “About Us” page.
- Content for your “Products/Services” page(s).
- Site Categories.
- Contact Details (e.g. business address, email, telephone numbers)
- Images (e.g. stock images, etc.). Image formats = .jpg, .png or .gif.
- 1 – 10 initial posts to be used as “seed content” for your site (saved as Word document or plain text file).
- List of all external links and additional contact details to be included in your site (e.g. ”Suppliers”, etc.
- Downloadable content (e.g. promo videos, PDF documents, white papers, etc.)
- Also, check that all URLs you want to add to your website 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 begin writing a list of content topics for your website or blog.
Write down 12 keywords, and for each keyword, list one idea for an article you can add to your site.
You can also write an article about each of the following topics:
- Your products or services
- A company award your business has received
- Educate visitors about your industry – the challenges it faces and how your business is addressing these
- A industry event you plan to attend
- Tips and how-tos
- Reseller tips and information
- What area of your business 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 again 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 content ideas, continue adding to the list on a regular basis.
Tip #3: Learn How To Run Out Of Ideas For New 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 content ideas.
(Never run out of content ideas)
The “Infinite Web Content Creation” training series covers the following areas of the content creation process:
- How To Create An Effective Web Content Strategy
- Content Writing Tips
- Effective Copywriting
- Content Posting Guidelines For WordPress
- How To Never Run Out Of Content Ideas
- 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 Section 2
To keep reading this tutorial, click here:
- The Website Planning Process Explained - A Cost-Saving Blueprint For Non-Technical Business Owners – Part 3
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