Ask any architect to show you their architecture firm’s website and they would likely redirect you to a site featuring some glossy images, a black-and-white headshot of their principal and an out of date blog article from last year.
While it’s evident that many architecture firms have websites, how many of those websites are serving the purpose they should?
A study of more than 400 architecture firm websites in the United States revealed that 75 percent of those firms failed to meet four basic criteria recommended by Google. The study, led by Archmark | Architect Branding & Marketing, was based on key factors like website performance, mobile responsiveness, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and SSL security.
Many architects struggle with creating a powerful website because they often look at their websites as an “online brochure” for their work, said Bryon McCartney, who leads Archmark alongside his partner Kellie. “Instead of thinking about the ideal future client they want to attract, they end up creating a showcase of all their awards or the projects,” he said.
They also often copy their competitors’ sites when creating their own, which leads to a lack of differentiation. That’s about the “worst” thing an architect can do, argues Bryon.
“There are tons of searches going on for architects and if you are not able to get found online –if your website is letting you down – you are just giving up opportunities,” he adds. “A lot of times when someone comes to your website and they are looking for an architect, what they are really looking for is ideas and inspiration. If you can have a way of connecting with them, establishing that relationship, then you can continue that conversation as they are going through that decision-making process. And when they are ready to hire an architect, you are going to be top of mind.”
For starters, people who are not in the industry should be able to read it and have a clear understanding of what it is about.
There are also free online tools that can test your website to see how it is measuring up against recommended best practices.
Architects should also have their contact info readily available on their website. With nearly 60 percent of search traffic coming from mobile search, it’s imperative that architects list a phone number on their websites so that a contractor or potential client out on a site can reach them easily.
Lastly, consider adding some video. Video is a powerful tool to communicate project case studies and testimonials, while also showing some of the process that goes into projects.
“Architects think it’s all about the portfolio, but when clients are looking at a bunch of different firms, they get portfolio (or photo) fatigue,” Bryon said. “Video that can tell a story, and take you through the process and communicate what you do and how that serves the needs of the clients, that is extremely powerful.”
Archmark is a Florida-based branding and marketing firm that helps architecture, engineering and construction firms to build awareness in the marketplace, build their influence by communicating their expertise and value, grow their firm by attracting, finding and connecting with their ideal future clients, strategic partners, and industry influencers.
If you’re looking for more tips, strategies and advice to improve your marketing, download our beloved “Architect’s Guide to Marketing” here. Alternatively, you can contact us directly by filling out this form, and we’ll find a time to chat about your needs and how Archibiz can help.