Web site DevelopmentAre you considering the idea of getting a web site built for your business?

Then this article on website planning is for you.

Note: This section continues from the previous article where we provide important information on planning your new web presence.

Planning Your Website – What You Need To Know First – Part 2

In Part 1 of this article, we looked at the following areas of the website planning process:

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

How To Plan Your Business Web Site - A Basic Primer For Business Owners

As you can see, so far we have established the foundations for planning your business website. If you have followed this process, you should 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 planning process presented in this guide, as we will now cover content planning and reviewing effective web content publishing and management strategies. Doing all of the planning work before you start building your website could save you a tremendous amount of time and money.

Step 5 – Your Keyword Phrases

Identify Your Main Key Phrases

Your Key Phrases

Now that you have a good idea of who you will be targeting with your site, it’s time to identify the main keywords that you want visitors 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 key phrases that have low competition and a reasonable monthly search volume. Depending on your specific goals, you may also want to focus on keywords in your target niche that have some level of commercial profitability.

There are many tools you can use to find great key phrases, including free tools.

If you set up 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 “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

Keyword Planner Tool – Google AdWords

According to the Google Keyword Planner, however, the number of web sites competing against one another for visitors searching for “singles adventure travel“, is much higher than sites trying to rank for a keyword 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..

Doing keyword research can also help you understand the profit value of certain key phrases. Typically, savvy advertisers will invest more time and money promoting keyword phrases that are targeted towards a buying public, rather than keywords that are more suitable for users who are just browsing or researching products or services online.

For example, people searching online for the term “color printer minolta” are generally not as ready to invest in a color printer as people who search for a more targeted keyword phrase like “konica minolta magicolor 7450 II grafx review”, so if you plan to sell or review color 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 amount of monthly searches 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 piece 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 5 keywords you would like your site to rank well for in the search engines, make sure that the keywords you pick have a decent search volume and then use these key phrases organically in your posts (i.e. aim to create web content for people, not search engine robots).

Once your site begins to bring in visitors, you can then study actual data like keyword searches used by visitors to find your website from your server logs and use the information to refine your keyword research and get better results online.

Useful Tip

Keyword Research Tips For Business Blog Owners

Tip #1: Avoid using keyword phrases that return extremely low to no monthly searches, or that have no commercial value. There’s not much point ranking #1 in Google for keyword phrases that no one is searching for. Also, if you type the keyword phrases 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 interest or is unprofitable.

Keyword Research Tool - Keyword Planner Tool

Keywords that have no competition for advertisers may be unprofitable

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

Free Keyword Research Tools

Keyword Planner Tool

Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool

Keyword Research Tool – Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool

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

For more information about the AdWords keyword tool visit this site: Google Keyword Planner Tool

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

Ubersuggest.org – Keyword Tool

Ubersuggest.org - Keyword Tool

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 topics or ideas are selected.

This useful tool saves you time going go through the alphabet from a-z to explore keyword suggestions related to your subject:

Ubersuggest

Explore new content ideas with the Ubersuggest keyword suggestion tool

To use this tool, go here: Ubersuggest.org – Keyword Tool

Paid Keyword Research Tools

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 save you time analyzing your competitors’ keywords and formulating a content SEO strategy for your site:

Market Samurai

Market Samurai

Market Samurai is inexpensive and provides not only keyword research, but also some great additional content and SEO research tools, plus excellent training tutorials on how to perform keyword research for SEO purposes.

For more details about this tool visit this site: Market Samurai

SEMRush

SEMRUSH Keyword Tool

With SEMRush, you can enter your competitor’s URL and it will then show you all the keywords that your competitors’ sites are ranking for, allowing you to easily find short-tail and long-tail keywords that you can target.

To learn more about this software tool visit this site: SEMRush Keyword Research Tool

Keyword Spy

Keyword Spy Keyword Tool

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

To learn more about this software tool go here: Keyword Spy

Step 6 – Define Site Categories

Define Website Categories

Define Site Categories

The next step after keyword research, is to decide on specific topics within your niche market that your visitors may be interested in learning 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”, “luxury travel”, “exotic destinations”, “family packages”, “hotel accommodation”, “travel accessories”, “cruises”, “air travel”, “Caribbean Travel,” or any category of travel-related services you offer.

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

Useful Tip

Useful Tips For New Website Owners:

Tip #1: WordPress Makes Managing Categories Easy

WordPress provides two commonly used ways of grouping and organizing content (WordPress calls these taxonomies): “categories” and “tags”.

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

Planning A Web Site For Your Business - A Comprehensive Guide For Non-Technical Business Owners

Use WordPress To Easily Manage Your Categories

Tip #2: Categories Can Increase Your SEO Rankings

Using the right keywords in your category names can increase your site’s SEO rankings.

WordPress lets you easily create search engine-friendly URLs that include your categories as keywords that’s great for search engine optimization, so keep this in mind when thinking about category topics …

Planning Your Business Web Site: A Basic Primer For Business Owners

WordPress Categories Can Increase Your SEO Rankings

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

Categories help users easily navigate through your website’s content.

WordPress turns every category you create into a searchable webpage.

This lets your users search for all blog posts published under that category in one place …

How To Save Money Building A New Website For Your Business With Better Web Site Planning

WordPress Categories Help To Improve Ease Of Navigation For Your Users

Step 7 – Defining Your Content Strategy

Defining Your Content Strategy

Create Your Content Strategy

Now that you have researched your keywords and created a list of 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 or services description pages, and you will also need content to publish regularly on your site.

Useful Tip

Content Strategy Tips:

Tip #1: Your “Fixed” Web Content

Make sure that you have content for all of your static 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 you avoid additional costs caused by delays or unpreparedness.

Here is a simple checklist of the content you will want to have already prepared prior to building your new website:

  • Business name and brief description of your business.
  • Content for your “Home Page”.
  • “About Us” page content.
  • “Products/Services” page content.
  • Site Categories.
  • Business Contact Details (e.g. business address, email, telephone numbers)
  • Images (e.g. product images, etc.). Image formats = .jpg, .png or .gif.
  • 1 – 5 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 in your site (e.g. Vendors, etc.)
  • Additional media or downloadable content (e.g. promo videos, PDF reports, white papers, etc.)
  • Also, make sure that all web addresses 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 Ideas

Here is a quick method you can use to help you create a list of content topics for your site.

Write down 15 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 any of the topics listed below:

  • The products or services you sell
  • Your company and the people in it
  • The latest industry news – what’s big news in your industry right now?
  • A business event you have attended
  • Tips and how-tos
  • Affiliate information
  • What area of your products or solution could you educate prospects about to help overcome objections?
  • What problems do you or your services help your customers solve?
  • What information can you provide to help more prospects buy from you?
  • What are common FAQs you get all the time from visitors and prospective customers?
  • etc …

Once you have a list of web content topics, continue adding to your list.

Tip #3: Learn How To Never Run Out Of Web Content Ideas

Clients and subscribers receive detailed training emails 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.

The  email training series is designed for WordPress users and covers the following aspects of the content creation process:

  • How To Create A Sustainable Digital Content Strategy
  • Content Writing Tips
  • Copywriting Principles
  • Content Posting Guidelines For WordPress
  • How To Never Run Out Ideas For Web Content
  • How To Outsource Your Content Creation
  • Time-Saving Content Methods

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The Web Site Planning Process Explained - A Cost-Saving Primer For Non-Technical Business Owners

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This is the end of Part 2

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