Are you thinking about taking your business online?
Then this essential guide to website planning is for you.
Note: This section continues from the previous article where we provide essential information on planning your new business website.
- For Part 1 of the article, go here: Planning Your Website – Understanding The Process – Part 1
A Basic Guide To Website Planning – Part 2
So far, we have looked at the following areas of the website planning process:
- Step 1 – Your Website Goals
- Step 2 – Your Website Name
- Step 3 – Managing Your Web Technology
- Step 4 – Defining YourWebsite’s Audience
As you can see, in Part 1 we have established the foundations for planning your business website. If you have been following 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 be using 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 rest of the planning process presented in this article, as we will now discuss planning your website content and looking at effective web content management and publishing strategies. Having all your planning done before you start building your website or blog could save you time and money.
Step 5 – Identifying Your Main Keywords
Once you have a clearer idea of who you will be targeting with your site, it’s time to identify the main keywords that you would like people and search engines to associate with your site. This will help search engines connect your website with your target audience.
Ideally, you will want to focus on keyword phrases that have “low competition” and a reasonable number of users searching for these each month. Depending on your specific business, you may also want to focus on key phrases in your niche that have some level of commercial profitability.
There are many tools you can use to identify good keywords, including free keyword tools.
If you have an account with Google Adwords, for example, you can use a keyword search tool like the Google Keyword Planner Tool.
Using the Keyword Planner tool, you can see that more people are searching each month for the keyword phrase “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 …
Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool
According to the Google Keyword Planner, 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 key phrase like “overseas adventure travel“. This may 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 products to singles, etc..
Doing keyword research can also help you understand the profit value of certain keywords. Typically, smart advertisers will invest more time and money promoting keywords that are targeted towards attracting a “buying” public, instead of keyword phrases that are more suitable for users who are simply browsing or researching information online.
For example, people who search online for the term “color printer” are typically not as ready yet to invest in a color printer as people who search for a more specific keyword phrase like “konica minolta magicolor 4750EN 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 amount of monthly searches and low to medium competition.
It helps, therefore, if you 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.
Make a simple start. Begin by making a list of the “top” five keywords you would like your web site to rank highly for in the search engines, make sure that these keywords have a decent monthly search volume and then use these key phrases organically in your posts (i.e. aim to write for human visitors, not search engine robots).
Once your site starts to attract visitors, you can then analyze actual data like keyword searches used by visitors to find your site from analytic tools and use the information to refine your keyword research and get better results online.
Keyword Research Tips For Business Owners
Tip #1: Avoid using 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 key phrases that no one is interested in searching. Also, if you type the keywords 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 value or is unprofitable.
Key Phrases that have no competition for advertisers are generally not worth targeting
Tip #2: Use tools to help you build keyword lists and generate commercial content ideas. Below are some great free and paid keyword research tools you can check out:
Free Keyword Research Tools
Keyword Planner Tool
The Google AdWords Keyword Planner lets you explore hundreds of keywords, keyword groups and keyword-based advertising ideas (e.g. pay-per-click advertising), get 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 check out the website here: Keyword Planner
If you don’t have access to a Google AdWords account, you can use the FREE tool below to help get your initial keyword research done:
Ubersuggest keyword 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 ideas or topics are selected.
This tool saves you time going go through the alphabet from A-Z to explore new keyword suggestions related to your subject:
Discover new content ideas with the Ubersuggest
To use this free tool, visit this website: Ubersuggest
Paid Keyword Research Tools
The keyword research tools below will help you not only discover 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 is inexpensive and provides not only keyword research, but also some great additional content and SEO research tools, with excellent training tutorials on performing keyword research for SEO purposes.
For more details about this software tool visit this site: Market Samurai Keyword Research Tool
With SEMRush, you can enter your competitor’s URL and the tool will give you a list of all the keywords that the site is ranking for, allowing you to easily find short-tail and long-tail keywords that you can then target for your own website.
To learn more visit this site: SEMRush Keyword Tool
Keyword Spy is an SEO tool that’s primarily used for researching keywords. You can 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 the site here: Keyword Spy Keyword Tool
Step 6 – Define Website Categories
Define Site Categories
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 all the topics that you plan to write content about.
For example, if you run a travel agency, your categories could be organized into topics like: “corporate travel”, “luxury travel”, “romantic destinations”, “holiday packages”, “hotel accommodation”, “travel accessories”, “train travel”, “airfare discounts”, “Travel Asia,” or any category of travel-related services you offer.
Plan to create an initial list of about 5 – 8 categories. You can always add more categories to your site later on.
Web Site Category Tips:
Tip #1: WordPress Makes Managing Categories Easy
WordPress offers two basic ways of grouping and organizing content (WordPress refers to these as 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
Tip #2: Categories Can Improve Your SEO
Using the right keywords in your category names can improve your website’s SEO rankings.
WordPress allows you to create search engine-friendly URLs that include your categories as keywords (great for search engine optimization, so keep this in mind when planning category topics …
WordPress Categories Can Increase Your SEO
Tip #3: Use Categories To Improve Site Navigation
Categories help users find content on your site more easily.
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 …
Using WordPress Categories To Improve Your Site’s Navigation
Step 7 – Defining Your Content Strategy
Plan Your Content Strategy
Now that you have created a list of keywords and categories, the next step is to begin planning your content strategy.
You need content for your “static” website pages (e.g. your “About Us” page, legal pages and your products, and you will also need content to publish regularly on your site.
Tips For Business Website Owners:
Tip #1: Your “Static” Web Content
Make sure that you have content for all of your “fixed” 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 a website:
- Business name and brief description of your business.
- “Home Page” content.
- Content for your “About Us” page.
- “Products/Services” page content.
- Site Categories.
- Business Contact Details (e.g. business address, email, telephone numbers)
- Images (e.g. company logos, etc.). Image formats = .jpg, .png or .gif.
- 1 – 5 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 in your site (e.g. “Vendors”, etc.
- Additional media or downloadable content (e.g. promo videos, PDF documents, price lists, etc.)
- Also, ensure that all links you plan to add to your website are working and all other details like spelling, phone numbers, etc. are correct.
Tip #2: Create A List Of Content Ideas
Here is a “quick” method you can use to create a list of content ideas for your site.
Write down 10 keywords, and for each keyword, create a list with one article idea you can add to your site.
You can also write a post about each of the following topics:
- Your products or services
- The people in your company – who are they and what do they do
- The latest industry news – what’s big news in your industry right now?
- A industry event you plan to attend
- Customer tips
- Affiliate tips and training
- What aspect of your solution could you educate prospects 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 customers buy from you?
- What are some of the more common FAQs you get all the time from interested visitors or prospective customers?
- etc …
Once you have a list of content topics, continue adding to the list.
Tip #3: Learn How To Never 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.
The “Infinite Web Content Creation” email training series is designed for WordPress users and covers the following areas of the content creation process:
- How To Create A Sustainable Digital Content Strategy
- Content Writing Tips
- Copywriting Principles
- Content Posting Guidelines For WordPress
- What To Write About
- How To Outsource Your Content Writing
- Time-Saving Content Creation Strategies
This is the end of Part Two
To keep reading this article, click here:
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