What’s in this Blog?
- Tell Your Story…
- …On Every Page
- Get Business Leads, Automatically
- Use Content to Nurture Prospects
- Have an SEO Strategy
- Focus on Functionality
- Get Inspired: Websites We Love
- On a Parting Note
The Secret for Architects to Win More Clients Using Their Website
Imagine…a building with a stunning façade but a poor structure. While it can attract people from a distance, when they come closer, they realize that the building is liable to collapse and break under stress. The building, then becomes unusable.
Similarly, as an architect, your website is the façade of your brand. You can beautify it all you want using your creativity and showcasing your best projects, but it will only be as strong as the best website strategies that you apply to it. The way you go about it can either attract more clients, letting them enjoy a delightful experience or turn them away.
Scroll down to get lesser-known insights on website-led business growth that you can easily put into practice!
“Websites promote you 24/7: No employee will do that”
– Paul Cookson
01 TELL YOUR STORY…
Treat your website as an extension of your design philosophy.
Your website is your ticket to reach out to prospective clients, not just in your city or country but also globally, so ensure you make an impactful first impression.
It’s best to simplify your thoughts. Start by identifying your firm’s vision, why you started it and visualize how you can make it into a compelling story. It should help you stand out in a unique way from your competitors. A homepage with stunning visual storytelling via images and videos that portray the crux of your brand (e.g. minimalistic architecture, sustainable architecture, Zen-inspired architecture) can play an important role.
“Telling a different story or the same old story, differently can capture your visitor’s interest to make them navigate further on your website.”
02 ...ON EVERY PAGE
About Us Page
A lot of architects miss the power of the About Us page – it is your very identity and can let visitors know whether they can relate to you and trust you. Highlight what makes your architecture firm interesting to associate with along with showcasing your services and the team. If you have been in the business for decades, adding a timeline is a great idea too.
“Just like you have different rooms in your plan, your website has multiple pages. Each page plays a specific role in attracting and maintaining clients.”
Awards & Press Page
As an architect, you know how beneficial awards are for your professional journey. Make sure you highlight all the awards (even if it is not a Pritzker!) and media coverage, as they can bring you a bigger audience and sometimes make all the difference between winning or losing a prospective client.
Testimonials & Case Study Page
Nobody tells your firm’s success story better than happy clients. Testimonials can also be from industry bodies and co-architects. Usually, very few architects add testimonials and case studies to their pages. But, there’s nothing more credible for a prospective client than a review from a satisfied client. And, current clients would also love to see their office or residential space featured online. So, it’s a win-win for all.
DDS.plus architects present in-depth client case studies: https://www.dds.plus/case-studies
03 GET LEADS, AUTOMATICALLY
Because you cannot man your website 24 x 7
Think of a chatbot like a sales or customer support team member of your firm, who is always on your website homepage and says hello to any visitor who visits it, tells the visitor about your best work and persuades them to explore more of your website/services. Only thing is that this is actually automated software that is programmed to interact like a human. And, it learns to respond better with every new question asked to it.
The best part about having a website enabled with an AI powered chatbot is that it can get you business 24 x 7, even while you are supervising your construction site. And, it can give you live updates of visitors who are asking about your quote or more details about your projects, so that you can act on it.
“With a projected worldwide market size of more than $1.3 billion by 2024, chatbots will be a driving force for business communications.”
Source: Intellectyx, 2019
Contact Us/WhatsApp Chat
Nowadays, clients find it easy to connect via WhatsApp and it is great to have both, a Contact Us form as well as a WhatsApp chat option on your website, which can let interested visitors connect with you, if they like what they see on the website.
SKV interior design solutions’ have a WhatsApp Chat function as well as a Contact Us form on their website.
Call to Action Buttons
Most architecture firm websites don’t have enough CTA buttons to compel a visitor to take action. It helps to add a button multiple times in a user’s journey of your website to help generate leads.
04 Use Content to Nurture Prospects
Because, not every visitor can become an immediate lead
Hiring an architect is a big decision and you can’t expect every prospective client who visits your website to be interested in your services immediately. But, you don’t want to lose them either. A blog gives you an opportunity to showcase your design thinking, your inspirations, your people, your technology and behind-the-scenes’ narratives to improve brand perception, so that you make a positive impression if they have to consider you sometime in the future.
By creating newsletters, you can showcase your latest projects, share updates on ongoing ones, establish thought leadership and keep your existing and potential customers engaged. A monthly newsletter is a good way to maintain good relations with your current clients and enjoy top-of-the-mind recall with prospective consumers.
It is important to be a wordsmith to create more value for your projects. Be descriptive and write a narrative around every project, as sometimes clients cannot grasp the depth of your work only by seeing the space images.
“Highlight your active social media accounts on your website, so that even if the visitor does not want to engage with your firm anytime soon, if they decide to follow you, they can still look at what you are up to. You never know where that might take you in the future.”
05 Have an SEO Strategy
While architects understand how to present their website aesthetically, all the effort in making a fantastic looking site would be in vain if nobody visits the site. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a specialised online marketing field that helps your website get higher visibility on search engines like Google or Bing. For instance, when a prospective client searches for, say, ‘Best architect in Ohio’ on Google and your website shows up in the first few results, it shows you are doing something right.
Using keyword-rich content, designing the information of your site in a certain way that appeals to search engines, getting metadata right and ensuring incoming links to your website from credible sites are some of the areas in which an SEO expert can help an architect. Architects would benefit greatly by hiring the services of an SEO expert to create a strategic SEO roadmap for their website.
“Leads from search engines have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (ex. cold-calling, direct mail, etc.) have a 1.7% close rate.”
“Text will always be the foundation of search so making sure the text around your website’s assets is descriptive will help them rank well in search.”
Source: HubSpot, 2020
06 Don't Forget the Functionality
Think practical, not just pretty
Site Loading Speed
Architects love telling a visual story and sometimes in a bid to add impressive videos and larger-than-life imagery to their website, the site can take an extremely long time to load. A visitor will not wait and will instantly move on to other sites. Free tools like GTMetrix and Pingdom Tools help you quickly check how your website fares on this aspect. Ideal website load time for mobile sites is under 3 seconds.
For instance, flash-based websites take a really long time to load and are not recommended.
“The first five seconds of page-load time have the highest impact on conversion rates. Website conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42% with each additional second of load time.”
Source: Portent, 2019
Designed for Mobile View
With the increasing usage of mobile screens to browse and transact, it has become a necessity for your website to be designed for mobile viewing. If your website is not optimised for the mobile, it can rank lower in search results.
“To improve site performance, the top technical SEO tactic used by marketers is optimizing mobile performance.”
Source: HubSpot, 2020
07 Get Inspired: Websites We Love
One of the most interesting architecture websites that manages to keep things professional yet quirky. They even have content like Bunkertoons – a cartoon series to showcase the fun they have while working on new projects.
A classy new-age website with compelling storytelling on every page. From approach to timelines and from news, events and blogs to descriptive project pages, this site offers a lot to discover.
Listed as ‘100 Best Small Companies to Work For’, Make is a unique, people-driven architect firm. Its website content focuses on stories around design, innovation, technology and charity. It has created a lot of sections on its website, highlighting different aspects of the business and work culture. Under the ‘Thinking’ section which is a blog, it showcases how small architecture firms can think big.
With a stunning homepage followed by clear demarcation of project types and clear project descriptions, Pattersons’ website is a visual and experiential treat. They also showcase their published book on a separate landing page.
On a Parting Note
As architects, you know how important it is to focus on the form as well as the functionality. Similarly, the aesthetics of your website are important, but it is equally important to understand how your website can work as a platform to generate more leads for your business.
We would love to know if these actionable tips work for your architecture firm’s website-led growth. Do write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you see success after applying these strategies or have any suggestions to improve this content.
The contents of this blog were originally published as an e-book by Snaptrude as a little gift to architects on World Architecture Day (5th October, 2020). For the benefit of the larger architecture community, we have republished this information in a blog format.
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