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 web site for your business?

Then this basic guide to planning your website is for you.

Note: This is Part 2 of the article where we take you step-by-step through the process of planning your new website.

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

In Part 1 of this article, we’ve covered the following areas of the website planning process:

  • Step 1 – Your Goals
  • Step 2 – Your Site Name
  • Step 3 – Managing Your Website’s Technology
  • Step 4 – Your Website’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 your new site. 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 be using and defined your target audience.

At this point, many people start building their website. 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 managing and publishing this content. Getting all of the initial planning completed before you start building your website or blog will help you save time and money.

Step 5 – Key Phrases

(Identify your most important keywords)

(Identify the main search phrases)

Once you have a good idea of who you will be targeting with your website, the next step is to identify the main key phrases that you will want online users and search engines to associate with your site. This will help search engines connect your site with your target readers.

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

There are many tools you can use help you identify good key phrases, including free tools.

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

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

Google's Keyword Planner Tool

(Keyword Research Tool – Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool)

According to this keyword research tool, however, the number of sites competing for visitors searching for “singles adventure travel“, is higher than sites trying to rank for a keyword 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..

Doing keyword research can also help you understand the profit value of certain key phrases. Typically, savvy advertisers will promote keywords targeted towards a “buying” public, instead of key phrases targeted more towards attracting people who are simply browsing or researching products or services online.

For example, people who search online for the keyword phrase “colour printers” are typically not as ready to purchase a color printer as people who search for “konica minolta bizhub C3100P review”, so if you plan to sell or review colour 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 helps, therefore, to 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 when you are just starting out.

Start simple. Begin by making a list of the “top” five keywords you want your website 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 posts (i.e. aim to create content for people, not search engines).

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 your server logs and apply the information to refine your keyword research.

Tip

Practical Tips For Business Site Owners

Tip #1: Avoid building your advertising or content marketing campaigns on keyword phrases 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 the key phrases into Google and nobody is advertising products for it (i.e. no Google ads show up), then that keyword most likely has no commercial value or is unprofitable.

Search keywords that have no competition for advertisers are generally unprofitable

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

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

Free Keyword Research Tools

Keyword Planner Tool

Keyword Research Tool - Google Keyword Planner Tool

(Keyword Research Tool – Keyword Planner Tool)

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

To learn more about this keyword research tool, go here:

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.org – Keyword Tool

Ubersuggest keyword tool

(Ubersuggest)

UberSuggest is a free 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 explore keyword suggestions related to your subject:

Explore new content ideas with the Ubersuggest keyword tool

(Discover new content ideas with the Ubersuggest keyword suggestion tool)

To use this free tool, visit the site here:

The keyword research tools below will help you not only uncover many profitable key phrases 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 Keyword Research Tool

(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 keyword research for SEO purposes.

To learn more about this tool, visit this site:

SEMRush

SEMRUSH Keyword Research Tool

(SEMRUSH)

With SEMRush, you can enter the URLs of your competitors and it 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 target.

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

Keyword Spy

Keyword Spy

(Keyword Spy)

Keyword Spy is an SEO tool that’s primarily used for performing keyword research. Use Keyword Spy to identify the keywords that your competition is using, as well as do research on keywords for your own site.

To learn more, visit this site:

Step 6 – Defining Site Categories

Define website categories

(Define web site categories)

Now that you have done your keyword research, the next step is to decide on specific areas within your niche market 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 your business is travel-related, your categories could be organized into topics like: “corporate travel”, “adventure travel”, “romantic destinations”, “family holiday destinations”, “travel accommodation”, “travel accessories”, “train travel”, “air travel”, “North America,” or any other travel-related categories that match your services.

Aim to create an initial list of about 3 – 8 categories. You can always add more categories to your site later on.

Useful Tip

Site Category Tips:

Tip #1: Use WordPress To Easily Manage Your Site’s Categories

WordPress has two fundamental ways of grouping and organizing content on your website or blog (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 categories easy

(WordPress makes managing your website’s categories easy)

Tip #2: Categories Help To Improve Your SEO

Using the right keywords when naming your categories helps to increase your website’s SEO rankings.

WordPress allows you to 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 improve your SEO

(WordPress categories can improve your SEO)

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

Categories allow visitors to find content on your website more easily.

WordPress turns each category you create into a searchable webpage.

This lets your visitors browse all blog posts published under that category in one place …

Using WordPress categories improves ease of navigation for users

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

For a detailed step-by-step tutorial on using post categories, go here:

Step 7 – Create Your Content Strategy

Plan your content strategy

(Define your content strategy)

Now that you have researched your keywords and created a list of 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.

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

Content Strategy Tips:

Tip #1: Your “Static” Website Pages

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.

Here 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 description of your business.
  • “Front Page” content.
  • “About Us” page content.
  • “Products/Services” page content.
  • Site Categories.
  • Business Contact Details (e.g. business address, email, telephone numbers)
  • Images (e.g. business logos, etc.). Image formats = .jpg, .png or .gif.
  • 2 – 10 initial blog posts to be used as “seed content” for your site (saved in Word document or plain text file).
  • List of all external links and additional contact details to be included on your site (e.g. ”Vendors”, etc.
  • Downloadable content (e.g. promo videos, PDF documents, price lists, etc.)
  • Also, check that all web addresses you are planning to add to your website and all other details like spelling, phone numbers, etc. are correct.

Tip #2: Create A List Of Website Content Ideas

Here is a “fast” method you can use to create a list of content topics for your website.

Go through the list of keywords you created in Step 5 and turn these into topics for content that you will create.

You can also write an article about each of the topics listed below:

  • The products or services you sell
  • The people in your company – who are they and what do they do
  • Your industry
  • A industry event you have attended
  • Client tips
  • Affiliate tips and training
  • What aspect of your products or solution could you educate prospective customers about to help eliminate 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 common FAQs you get all the time from enquirers or prospective customers?
  • etc …

Once you have this list of web content topics, keep adding to the list.

Tip #3: Learn Ways To Run Out Of Ideas For New Web 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 new web content ideas.

Content Creation Email Training Series

(Learn how to never run out of ideas for new web content)

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

  • Creating An Effective Digital Content Strategy
  • Content Writing Tips
  • Writing Web Copy
  • Content Posting Guidelines For WordPress
  • How To Never Run Out Of Content Ideas
  • How To Outsource 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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The Web Site Planning Process Explained: A Money-Saving Primer For Non-Technical Business Owners

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This is the end of Section Two

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

Images: Planning, Social Media, Blogging.

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"These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know." - Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)

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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.