Are you considering the idea of taking your business online?
Then this article on planning your website is for you.
Note: This is Part Two of the article series where we provide important information related to planning a website or blog.
- For Part One of the article, go here: A Basic Guide To Website Planning – Part 1
The Website Planning Process – Part 2
Up to this point, we have looked at the following areas of the website planning process:
- Step 1 – Goals
- Step 2 – Your Web Site Name
- Step 3 – Managing Your Website’s Technology
- Step 4 – Your Website Audience
(Website Planning Process)
As you can see, in Part 1 we have established the foundations for planning your site. If you have followed this 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 have a good understanding of your target audience.
At this point, you could feasibly start building your site. We suggest, however, that you go through the planning process presented in this guide, as we will now discuss content planning and looking at effective strategies for publishing and managing content. Getting all of your initial planning done before you start building your site could save you a tremendous amount of time and money.
Step 5 – Key Phrases
(List your main search phrases)
Once you have a good idea of who you will be targeting with your website, it’s time to identify the main keyword phrases that you want visitors and search engines to associate with your website. This will help search engines to connect your site with your target audience.
Ideally, you should aim for keywords that have “low competition” and a reasonable number of people searching for these key phrases each month. Depending on your objectives, you may also want to focus on keywords in your market that have some level of commercial profitability.
There are many tools you can use help you look for good keywords, including free tools.
If you have an account with Google Adwords, for example, you can use a keyword search tool like the Google Keyword Planner Tool.
The screenshot below shows that more people are searching each month for “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)
According to the Google Keyword Planner, however, the number of websites competing in the search space for “singles adventure travel“, is much higher than sites trying to rank for a key phrase like “overseas adventure travel“. This could 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 products to singles, etc..
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 targeted towards a “buying” public, instead of keyword phrases targeted more towards attracting people who are just browsing or researching information online.
For example, people who search for the key phrase “color printer minolta” are generally not as ready yet to buy a color printer as people who search for a more specific 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 key phrases (called “long tail keywords”), hopefully with a high monthly search volume and low to medium competition.
It will help your site, therefore, to have some highly searched keywords in your posts. However, don’t invest too much time doing keyword research for every piece of content you plan to add to your site, especially if you are just starting out.
Start simple. Begin by making a list of the “top” five keywords you want your site to rank well for in the search engines, make sure that the keywords you choose are getting a decent number of searches every month and then use these keywords naturally in your content (i.e. plan to create content for human readers, not search engine robots).
Once your site starts to attract visitors, you can then study actual data like keyword searches online users are typing into search engines to find your site from your server logs and apply the data to improve your keyword research and get better results online.
Keyword Research Tips
Tip #1: Avoid using keywords that show extremely low to no monthly searches, or that have no commercial value. There’s no point ranking #1 in Google for keywords that no one is searching for. Also, if you type keyword phrases into Google and nobody is advertising products or services for it (i.e. no Google ads show up), then that keyword most likely has no commercial value or is unprofitable.
(Keywords that have no competing advertisers may not be worth targeting)
Tip #2: Use tools to help you research keywords and generate content ideas. Here are some useful free and paid keyword research tools you can check out:
Free Keyword Research Tools
(Keyword Research Tool – Google Keyword Planner Tool)
The Keyword Planner Tool lets you explore keywords and keyword-based advertising ideas (e.g. pay-per-click advertising), analyse keyword search history, see how a list of keywords might perform in ad campaigns and even create a new keyword list by multiplying several existing lists of keywords together.
For more details about the AdWords keyword research tool, visit this site:
If you don’t have access to a Google AdWords account, use the FREE tool below to help you with your initial keyword research:
(Ubersuggest keyword suggestion tool)
UberSuggest is a free keyword suggestion tool that essentially lets you perform the same function as typing your topic into the Google search box and seeing what ideas or topics come up.
This tool saves you time going go through the alphabet from A-Z to explore keyword suggestions related to your subject:
(Explore new content ideas with the Ubersuggest keyword suggestion tool)
To use this keyword tool, visit this website:
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 you time analyzing your competitors’ keywords and formulating a content SEO strategy for your site:
(Market Samurai Keyword Research Tool)
Market Samurai is an inexpensive tool that provides not just keyword research but also additional content research tools, with excellent training tutorials on performing keyword research for SEO purposes.
To learn more about this tool, visit the site here:
SEMRush lets you add your competitor’s URL and it 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 site.
To learn more about this tool, visit this website:
(Keyword Spy Keyword Tool)
Keyword Spy is an SEO tool that is also primarily used for researching keywords. You can use Keyword Spy to view competitor keywords and to do research on keywords for your own site.
For more details about this software tool, visit the site here:
Step 6 – Defining Website Categories
(Define your site categories)
After doing some keyword research, the next step is to decide on specific topics in your niche or industry that your visitors may 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 you run a travel agency, your categories could be organized into topics such as: “corporate travel”, “adventure travel”, “exotic destinations”, “family holiday destinations”, “budget accommodation”, “travel accessories”, “cruises”, “air travel”, “South America,” or any category of travel-related services you offer.
Plan 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 fundamental ways of grouping and organizing content (WordPress refers to these as taxonomies): “categories” and “tags”.
WordPress gives you great control over managing your categories. It also lets you easily create new categories and assign your posts to different categories to help keep all of your content organized.
(WordPress makes managing your site’s categories easy)
Tip #2: Categories Help To Improve Your SEO Rankings
Targeting the right keywords when naming your categories can increase your website’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 deciding on category names …
(WordPress categories help to increase your search rankings)
Tip #3: Use Categories 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 becomes a searchable webpage.
This lets your visitors find all blog posts published under that category in one place …
(Use WordPress categories to improve ease of navigation on your website)
If you need help using post categories, go here:
Step 7 – Create Your Content Strategy
(Define your content strategy)
Now that you have created a list of keywords and categories, the next step is to begin planning 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:
Practical Tips For New Website Owners:
Tip #1: Your “Static” Web Pages
Make sure that you have content for all of your “fixed” 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 you avoid additional costs caused by delays or unpreparedness.
Below is a simple checklist of the content you will want to have already prepared prior to building your website:
- Name of your business and a brief business description.
- Content for your “Home Page”.
- 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. company images, etc.). Image formats = .jpg, .png or .gif.
- 1 – 10 initial blog 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. ”Suppliers”, etc.
- Additional media (e.g. videos, PDF reports, white papers, etc.)
- Also, make sure that all links you plan to add to your site and all other details like spelling, phone numbers, etc. are correct.
Tip #2: Create A List Of Website Content Topics
Here is a “fast” method you can use to help you create a list of content ideas for your website or blog.
Write down 7 keywords, and for each keyword, create a list with one content idea you can add to your website.
You can also easily write articles about each of the following topics:
- Your products or services
- The people in your company – who are they and what do they do
- Your industry
- A networking event you plan to attend
- Service training information
- Reseller tips and training
- What area of your products or solution could you educate prospective customers about to help eliminate 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 some of the more common FAQs you get from visitors and prospective customers?
- etc …
Once you have this list of web content ideas, continually add to this list on a regular basis.
Tip #3: Learn How To Run Out Of Ideas For New 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 web content ideas.
(Never run out of ideas for new web content)
The “Infinite Web Content Creation” training series is specially designed for WordPress website owners and covers the following aspects of the content creation process:
- How To Create 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 Methods
Enter your details in the form below to subscribe now and start receiving training content immediately!
This is the end of Section Two
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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