4 Things To Remember When Planning A Website.

4 Things To Remember When Planning A Website.

We have compiled some website planning top tips.Perhaps you have recently started a new business (congratulations) and need a website or perhaps it is time for a refresh of your current website. In either case, it is important to carry out some basic planning before you get going. Even if you have a trusted website designer, you know your business best and we would recommend you get involved in the planning.

How do you choose the right domain name when planning a website? (if a new website).

When choosing a domain name for your website – and if appropriate, the name for your business – we would recommend you:

  1. Keep the name as short as possible and ensure it is easy to pronounce/spell.
  2. Avoid hyphens – It can be difficult for customers to remember to add hyphens to your domain name and they can be associated with spam.
  3. Check whether the .co.uk version is available? Unless you are an international business, .co.uk is going to be the easiest for people to remember. You might also want to buy any associated domains (.com, .net, .uk) to protect your brand.
  4. Use keywords in your domain name if possible.
  5. Search for the name to see what else is out there. You don’t want to end up competing against an established business.
  • Do a trademark search to make sure you won’t get into trouble with other brands.
  • Check on Companies’ House to see if the name has already been registered.
  • Check on social media channels to see if the name is available. It can confuse your audience to use a different social media username than your     domain name.

How do you know which keywords/keyword phrases to use?

We cover this whole subject in much more detail in our Introduction to Search Engine Optimisation course but here are some starting points:

  1. As you know, a keyword is a word that is entered into search engines to find your product or service. Ideally, you want your product/service to appear on page 1 of the results.
  2. We would recommend creating a list of keyword/keyword phrases and then design your website pages around the most important keyword phrases rather than designing the website first.
  3. Your keyword research should:
  • Include words your audience will use to find you – this might not be the same words your team use internally.
  • Look at what keywords your competitors are using. We use the Mozbar Chrome extension to make this easier.
  • Use tools like Uber Suggest, Google Keyword planner, or Keywords Everywhere to help you research keywords to include on your website.
  • Identify the main phrases that will form the structure of your website and make a list of phrases to use in future blog posts.
  1. Each page on your website should focus on a different keyword phrase and the phrase should be added to the places on your site search engines would expect to find them. You may find you need more pages than you first thought.
  2. Decide whether to include a location in your keyword phrase to make it easier to find the website in your local area.

What functionality should I include on my website?

  1. Be clear about what functionality you require on your website. Do you need a simple brochure site or do you need to have an e-commerce element?
  2. Are you wanting to create links to newsletter sign-up forms, landing pages with downloads, membership functionality? What can be included in a ‘phase 1’ and what can be included later?
  3. Experience has shown, it is often better to get the basic elements working and live and then add to it rather than trying to get all the functionality working immediately.
  4. The beauty of content management systems, like WordPress, is that you can bolt on additional functionality using plugins relatively simply so you don’t need to develop all aspects of the site at once. However, I would plan the full functionality required to ensure the customer journey remains correct.

What is the customer journey?

A customer journey describes each of the types of audience you want to attract (personas) and identifies all the touchpoints they have with your business. You can plot the journey and make sure the journey they are taking is achieving the overall objectives for the business.

When you are planning a website, you need to consider how people will enter the individual website pages and what you want them to do next. You only have a few seconds to tell people what the next step is so you need to make it clear.

Don’t forget about the journey on a mobile device. When looking at a website on a mobile device, most people won’t use the menu. You need to have clear buttons or a call to action to tell people what to do next.

If you want to create a website yourself, Concise would suggest our WordPress for Websites bundle. This bundle includes our SEO, images, and WordPress courses together with a free development area to create your website before you need to purchase hosting to make it live.

Alternatively, you might want to take advantage of our full website development services. We work with you to plan your site around relevant keyword phrases and your customer journey and will create a beautiful website that works.

Are you planning a website? Do let us know how you get on in the comments section below.

ContentCal undergoes a revamp but has it retained what we originally loved?

ContentCal undergoes a revamp but has it retained what we originally loved?

The popular social media planning tool, ContentCal has undergone a revamp.

We have been using ContentCal for about a year now to manage social media posts for ourselves and our clients and have found it to be one of the best social media scheduling tools on the market. In fact, we were so impressed that we wrote a blog post about it back in September 2017. 

We were surprised to discover that ContentCal had been working on a new version. We switched to the new app just over a month ago anddespite some initial teething problemswe’ve been very pleased with what we’ve seen so far. 

So what’s changed?

The first thing we noticed is this is a complete rebuild of ContentCal. The look is more sleek and modern and it’s definitely faster (ContentCal lists it as up to 70% faster). 

ContentCal has undergone a significant revamp.

All calendars which you create for each client are now collated in a dashboard making it really simple to select which calendar you wish to view. The dashboard also contains a link to the help guide and helpful videos showing you how to create posts, campaigns, connect your profiles and customise your calendar. 

When you are viewing a calendar the new layout makes it easy to apply filters, navigate to a specific date or access your calendar settings. You can filter your calendar by post state, social media channel, category tags and post creators. So if I wanted to see all Facebook posts created by Mary Thomas on the Concise Training calendar, I can with just a few clicks.

The new calendar view in the revamped version of ContentCal.

A useful feature that ContentCal have added is the ability to save hashtags. On each calendar, you can save your most popular hashtags. When it comes to adding them to a post simply add the # symbol and a list will appear of the hashtags you’ve saved. 

Creating a post is easy on ContentCal

Analytics now contains more information that can be useful for deciding the best time to post. It even provides you with a chart showing the performance of your posts at different times.

The improved analytics in the new version of ContentCal.

As well as an overall view of your analytics you can also break it down by each channel you have assigned in your calendar. You can easily see your audience breakdown and growth, engagement growth and your top performing posts.

In this ContentCal revamp, there was originally an option to select multiple dates for a post to be published. This was a great, time-saving feature which removed the need to copy and reschedule a post in order to repeat it. At the time of writing, ContentCal has temporarily withdrawn this feature due to it being abused but they hope to reinstate it soon.

One thing that has really impressed us about ContentCal over the past few months has been their customer service. Whilst you are using ContentCal, you can bring up a Chat Box so you can easily ask questions to the ContentCal team without having to navigate away from your work or having to open a new browser window. They are attentive and quick to respond– something that is always good to have when you are using a service for business purposes

Need help setting up and using ContentCal?

Have you used ContentCal before or are you a current user and recently switched over to the new version? We would love to hear your thoughts. If you would like some help setting up and using ContentCal then please get in touch – we can provide a bespoke training course for you.

Originally published at www.concisetraining.net on 5th December 2018.