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 or blog for your business?

Then this article on website planning is for you.

Note: This is Part Two of the article series where we provide essential information related to planning your website or blog.

How To Plan Your Website – Understanding The Process – Part 2

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

  • Step 1 – Your Website Goals
  • Step 2 – Name Your Website
  • Step 3 – Managing Your Website’s Technology
  • Step 4 – Defining YourWebsite’s Audience

Website Planning Process

(The Website Planning Process)

As you can see, in the previous section of this article we have established the foundations for planning a new website. 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 be using and defined your target audience.

At this point, you could feasibly start building your web site. We suggest, however, that you complete the planning process presented below, as we will now discuss planning your website content and looking at effective content publishing and management strategies. Having all your planning completely done before you start building your site will help you save time and money.

Step 5 – Your Key Phrases

(Identify your main search phrases)

(List the most important search keywords)

Now that you have a clearer idea of who you will be targeting with your site, the next step is to identify the main keywords that you will want visitors and search engines to associate with your website. This will help search engines connect your website with your target readers.

Ideally, you should aim for keyword phrases that have “low competition” and a reasonable monthly search volume. Depending on your specific needs, 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 help you look for 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.

The screenshot below shows that more people are searching each month for a keyword phrase like “overseas adventure travel” (> 18,000 searches per month) than “singles adventure travel“, which gets less than 1,000 searches a month …

Keyword Research Tool - Google Keyword Planner Tool

(Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool)

According to this keyword research tool, however, the number of web sites competing against one another for visitors searching for “singles adventure travel“, is higher than sites trying to rank for a key phrase like “overseas adventure travel“. This may 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..

Keyword research can also help you understand the commercial value of certain keywords. Typically, smart advertisers will pay more for keyword phrases targeted towards ”buyers”, instead of keywords targeted more towards people who are simply browsing or researching products or services online.

For example, users searching for the keyword phrase “colour printer” are generally not as ready to invest in a colour printer as people who search for “konica minolta bizhub 4700P 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 search terms (called “long tail keywords”), hopefully with a high amount of monthly searches and low to medium competition.

It will help your site, therefore, to have a few highly searched keywords in your content. However, don’t spend too much of your valuable time doing keyword research for every post you plan to add to your site, especially if you are just starting out.

Start simple. Make a list of the “top” 5 keywords you want your website to rank highly for in the search engines, make sure that these keywords are getting a decent number of searches per month and then use these keyword phrases organically in your content (i.e. aim to write content for people, not search engines).

Once your site starts 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 information to improve your keyword research and get better results online.

Practical Tip

Useful Tips

Tip #1: Avoid building your marketing campaigns on key phrases that return extremely low to no monthly searches, or that have no commercial value. There’s no point ranking #1 in Google for keyword phrases that no one is looking for. Also, if you type the key phrases 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.

Search phrases that have no competing advertisers are generally not worth targeting

(Search words that have no competing advertisers may be unprofitable)

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

Free Keyword Research Tools

Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool

Google's Keyword Planner Tool

(Google’s Keyword Planner Tool)

The Google Keyword Planner Tool lets you search for keywords, keyword groups and keyword-based advertising ideas (e.g. pay-per-click advertising), get 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 existing keyword lists together.

To learn more, go here:

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

Ubersuggest Keyword Tool

Ubersuggest

(Ubersuggest keyword suggestion tool)

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

Discover new content ideas with the Ubersuggest

(Explore new content ideas with the Ubersuggest)

To use this tool, visit this site:

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

Market Samurai Keyword Tool

(Market Samurai)

Market Samurai is inexpensive and provides not just keyword research but also additional content and SEO research tools, plus excellent training tutorials on performing SEO keyword research.

To learn more, check out the website here:

SEMRush

SEMRUSH Keyword Research Tool

(SEMRUSH)

SEMRush lets you add the URLs of your competitors and it will show you 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.

For more details, visit this site:

Keyword Spy

Keyword Spy

(Keyword Spy Keyword Tool)

Keyword Spy is an SEO tool that’s primarily used for doing keyword research. Use Keyword Spy to identify the keywords that your competition is using and to do research on keywords for your own website.

For more information about this tool, visit this website:

Step 6 – Define Site Categories

Define your site categories

(Define your site categories)

The next step after keyword research is to decide on specific topics within your niche or industry 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 include topics like: “corporate travel”, “adventure travel”, “exotic destinations”, “family holiday destinations”, “long-term accommodation”, “travel discounts”, “train travel”, “air travel”, “America,” or any category of travel-related services you offer.

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

Useful Tip

Website Category Tips:

Tip #1: WordPress Makes Managing Categories Easy

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

WordPress makes managing categories easy. It also lets you easily add new categories and match your posts to different categories to help keep your content organized.

Use WordPress for easy management of your site's categories

(WordPress makes managing your site’s categories easy)

Tip #2: Categories Help To Improve Your SEO Rankings

Selecting 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 SEO, so keep this in mind when thinking about your category names …

WordPress categories can increase your search engine optimization

(Use WordPress categories to increase your SEO)

Tip #3: Categories Can Improve Your Site’s Navigation

Categories help users find content on your site more easily.

With WordPress, each category you create has a searchable webpage.

This lets your users find all posts published under that category in one place …

Categories help to ease of navigation on your site

(Use WordPress categories to improve ease of navigation on your website)

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

Step 7 – Define Your Content Strategy

Create your content strategy

(Formulate your 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.

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

Useful Tips For Business Website Owners:

Tip #1: Your “Static” Website Content

Make sure that you have content for all of your “fixed” website pages already written before you begin building your website, 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 simple checklist of the content you will want to have already prepared before you start building your new website:

  • The name of your business and a brief business description.
  • Content for your “Front Page”.
  • Content for your “About Us” page.
  • 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.
  • 1 – 10 initial articles 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 on your site (e.g. “Resources”, etc.
  • Media files (e.g. promo videos, PDF reports, white papers, etc.)
  • Also, check that all web addresses that you plan to add to your website and all other details like spelling, phone numbers, etc. are correct.

Tip #2: Create A List Of Content Topics

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

Write down 10 keywords, and for each keyword, write down one idea for an article you can add to your website.

You can also easily write a post about any 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 have attended
  • ”How to” tutorials for clients
  • Staff tips and training
  • What aspect of your services 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 customers buy again from you?
  • What are common FAQs you get all the time from interested visitors and prospective customers?
  • etc …

Once you have this list of content ideas, continue adding to this list.

Tip #3: Learn How To Run Out Of 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 content ideas)

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

  • Creating A Sustainable Digital Content Strategy
  • Content Writing Tips
  • Writing Web Copy
  • Content Posting Guidelines For WordPress
  • What To Write About
  • How To Outsource Your Content Creation
  • 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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The Web Site Planning Process Explained - A Basic Blueprint For Business Owners

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This is the end of Part 2

To keep reading this tutorial, click here:

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 detailed step-by-step tutorials that will teach you how to use WordPress to grow your business online at minimal cost with no coding skills required!

Originally published as Website Planning Process – Part 2.