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 DesignAre you considering the idea of getting a website built for your business?

Then this article on planning your website is for you.

Note: This section continues from the previous article where we provide essential information on planning a new business website.

The Website Planning 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 Website Name
  • Step 3 – Managing Your Web Technology
  • Step 4 – Defining YourWebsite’s Target Audience

The 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 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 have a good understanding of your target audience.

At this point, many people begin building their website. We recommend, however, that you go through the planning process presented in this guide, as we will now begin to move into web content planning and looking at effective content management and publishing strategies. Doing all of the planning work before you start building your website could save you a significant amount of time and money.

Step 5 – Keywords

(List your principal key phrases)

(Identify the most important search phrases)

Now that you have a good idea of who you will be targeting with your website, it’s time to identify the main keywords that you would like visitors and search engines to associate with your website. This will help search engines to connect your site with your target readers.

Ideally, you should aim for key phrases that have “low competition” and a reasonable number of searches each month. Depending on your goals, you may also want to focus on keywords in your target market that have some level of commercial viability.

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

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

In the screenshot below, you can see that more people are searching every 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 Planner Tool

(Keyword Planner Tool)

According to this keyword research tool, however, the number of websites competing against one another in the search space for “singles adventure travel“, is significantly higher than sites trying to rank for a key phrase like “overseas adventure travel“. This could be because one keyword phrase relates to a specifically 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 experiences to singles, etc..

Keyword research can also help you understand the commercial value of certain keyword phrases. Typically, savvy advertisers will pay more for keyword phrases aimed towards attracting ”buyers”, rather than key phrases aimed more towards attracting users who are simply browsing or researching products or services online.

For example, users who search for the keyword phrase “colour printers” are generally not as ready yet to purchase a colour printer as people who search for “konica minolta bizhub 4000P 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 posts. However, don’t invest too much of your valuable time doing keyword research for every piece of content you plan to add to your site, especially if you are just starting out.

Make a simple start. Make a list of the “top” five keywords you want your site to rank well for in the search engines, make sure that these keywords are getting a decent number of searches per month and then use these keywords naturally in your content (i.e. plan to create content for human visitors, not search engine robots).

Once your site starts to attract visitors, you can then study actual data like keyword searches used by visitors to find your site from your server logs and apply this information to improve your keyword research and get better results online.

Practical Tip

Keyword Research Tips

Tip #1: Avoid using keywords that return extremely low to no monthly searches, or that have no commercial value. There’s not much point ranking #1 in Google for a keyword that no one is looking for. Also, if you type a key phrase into Google and no one is advertising products for it (i.e. no Google advertisements show up), then that keyword most likely has no commercial value or is unprofitable.

Key phrases that have no competing advertisers may be unprofitable

(Keyphrases with no competing advertisers may not be worth targeting)

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

Free Keyword Research Tools

Keyword Planner Tool

Keyword Planner Tool - Google AdWords

(Keyword Research Tool – Google Keyword Planner Tool)

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

To learn more, visit this website:

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 Keyword Suggestion Tool

Ubersuggest keyword suggestion tool

(Ubersuggest keyword suggestion tool)

UberSuggest is a free tool that essentially lets you perform the same function as typing your subject into the Google search box and seeing what topics or ideas are selected.

This tool saves you time going go through the alphabet from A-Z to discover new keyword suggestions related to your subject:

Explore new content ideas with the Ubersuggest

(Discover new content ideas with the Ubersuggest keyword tool)

To use this free tool, visit this site:

Paid Keyword Research Tools

The keyword research tools below will help you not only discover many profitable keywords and long-tail keywords to use when planning content or a pay-per-click advertising campaign, but also analyze your competition’s 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, with excellent training tutorials on performing SEO keyword research.

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

SEMRush

SEMRUSH Keyword Research Tool

(SEMRUSH Keyword Research Tool)

With SEMRush, you can enter the URLs of your competitors and it will then show you all the keywords that site is ranking for, allowing you to easily find short-tail and long-tail keywords that you can then target.

For more details about this tool, visit this site:

Keyword Spy

Keyword Spy Keyword Research Tool

(Keyword Spy Keyword Research Tool)

Keyword Spy is an SEO tool that is primarily used for doing 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.

For more information, visit this site:

Step 6 – Define Website Categories

Define website categories

(Define your site categories)

Decide on specific topics within your niche market that your visitors will be interested in learning about and create a list of “categories” for these topics that you plan to post content about.

For example, if you run a travel agency, your categories could include topics such as: “business travel”, “adventure travel”, “exotic destinations”, “family holiday destinations”, “travel accommodation”, “travel discounts”, “cruises”, “airfare discounts”, “America,” or any other travel-related categories that match your services.

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

Tip

Tips For New Website Owners:

Tip #1: WordPress Makes Managing Categories Easy

WordPress offers two pre-defined ways of grouping and organizing content on your website (WordPress calls these taxonomies): “categories” and “tags”.

WordPress gives you great control over managing your categories. It also lets you easily add new categories and match your posts to different categories to help keep all of your content organized.

Use WordPress to easily manage your categories

(Use WordPress to easily manage your site’s categories)

Tip #2: Use Categories To Increase Your SEO

Using 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 search engine optimization, so remember this when thinking about category names …

WordPress categories help to improve your SEO

(WordPress categories help to increase your search rankings)

Tip #3: Use Categories To Improve Site Navigation

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

WordPress turns every category you create into a searchable web page.

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

WordPress categories can your site's navigation

(Use categories to improve your site’s navigation)

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

Step 7 – Planning Your Content Strategy

Plan your content strategy

(Create your content strategy)

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

Practical 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

Content Strategy Tips:

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 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.

Below is a basic checklist of the content you will want to have ready before you start building a website:

  • Name of your business and brief business description.
  • Content for your “Main 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. product images, etc.). Image formats = .jpg, .png or .gif.
  • 2 – 3 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 on your site (e.g. “Resources”, etc.
  • Additional files (e.g. videos, PDF documents, white papers, etc.)
  • Also, check that all web addresses you are planning to add to your site and all other details like spelling, phone numbers, etc. are correct.

Tip #2: Create A List Of Content Ideas

Here is a “quick and easy” method you can use to create a list of content topics for your site.

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

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

  • Featured product
  • Your company and the people in it
  • The industry you’re in
  • A networking event you have attended
  • ”How to” tutorials
  • Affiliate information
  • What aspect of your solution could you educate prospective customers about to help overcome sales objections?
  • What problems do you or your services help your customers solve?
  • What reviews can you provide to help more clients buy from you?
  • What are common FAQs you get from enquirers or prospective customers?
  • etc …

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

Tip #3: Learn Ways To Run Out Of 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 content ideas.

Content Creation Email Training Series

(Never run out of content ideas)

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

  • Creating An Effective Digital Content Strategy
  • Content Writing Tips
  • Copywriting Principles
  • WordPress Content Posting Guidelines
  • What To Write About
  • 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 tutorial, click here:

Images: Planning, Social Media, Blogging.

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"I was absolutely amazed at the scope and breadth of these tutorials! The most in-depth training I have ever received on any subject!" - Myke O'Neill, DailyGreenPost.com

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Originally published as Website Planning Process – Part 2.