Are you an architect? If so, your customers increasingly inform themselves via the Internet before you place an order or get in touch. This applies not only to customers but also to potential new employees.
This development may or may not be welcomed. But one thing is clear. This trend is not going away. If you do not want to leave the considerable potential for success to your competitors without a fight, you should be active on the web.
This article is not about beautiful pixel-perfect design on all devices. Because this is of little use to you if your website has no or does not have the right visitors. That is the time you should check out SEO: 검색 엔진 최적화란? (SEO: What is Search Engine Optimization?)
The architect’s website is a central medium for his own work on the web
In times of social media, perception is only generated in the context of networking. This in itself is nothing new. In the past, you called a journalist friend and ended up in a more or less relevant medium.
Since Twitter and Instagram, things are a little different today. The situation where a social media influencer picks up the phone and asks you when you have time for a personal conversation about your new project will not occur. However, the large number of relevant online publishers and influencers still needs the information.
Let’s take an Instagramer for architectural photography who may reach several 100,000 people with his account. He needs information on where to hold his next spectacular architecture shoot. This is where their website comes into play. It is the crucial hub and should become the most common visualization of your brand and work.
As I said. This development may or may not please you. A successful company website opens up opportunities for you. They are no longer dependent on editorial offices. You yourself can become an editor. On the basis of a strong website, you can now build your network on social media and the search engines themselves. More responsibility, more freedom, and, above all, infinite potential.
5 measures for successful SEO
1. Technical basis
Note that your pages meet the SEO base criteria. All too often, these things are forgotten when new content is published – independently – on the web. The most important are:
Meta Title Tag
Make sure that the <title> is correctly placed in the <head> on each of your pages and filled with the correct content. Observe the length specifications. Google usually displays the first 50 to 60 characters of their title.
Meta Description Tags
Even if the description has no keyword value, i.e. no machine value for your SEO ranking, you are important to your visitors. They are displayed under the title of your website on the Google results list and influence the so-called CTR (Click Through Rate). This is about the likelihood that someone will not only find you through search but will actually click on the link to your page.
The more your description appeals to the searchers, the higher the likelihood that they will become new site visitors.
In principle, you can freely choose the length of the meta description, but the so-called snippets are usually cut off by Google at about 300 characters. This limit was increased in December 2017 so that the meta descriptions can be long enough to fulfill their purpose of being descriptive. Since 2018, a meta description with a length between 50 and 300 characters is recommended.
Each of your pages should have correctly set headings in the HTML. For example, your project title should be displayed as h1 on a project page. Correct structuring of headings and subheadings is advantageous.
A good first introduction to this topic area can be found directly at Google. Google has been publishing the guidelines for Webmaster for many years.
2. Content strategy – A lot brings a lot!
Google loves websites with a lot of up-to-date content and on which new content is published accordingly frequently. Of course, you shouldn’t publish any content just to meet this Google criterion.
The quality is of course also appreciated by Google and especially by your website visitors. Nevertheless, it is usually true that a constantly recurring publication brings more than refreshing everything once a year.
Keep the projects up to date or develop a strategy in which the new projects are regularly put on the web by a responsible person. Stick to the deadlines and goals you set for the content. For example, one blog post a month or better every 14 days.
Google loves text. This a potential that is too often not used on architecture pages, as these are often very image-heavy. However, Google cannot classify images nearly as well as texts. Of course, architecture is best conveyed through images that are not disturbed by long or boring passages of text. But with modern web design, you can display texts if the user needs specific information. Without having to leave the page and without destroying the effect of the images. Google can now understand this very well and uses the texts for the regulation of your page in the search results.
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3. Add keywords
The so-called keywords have always played one of the most important roles in the search engine optimization of your website. This is still the case in 2020. Google uses keywords to determine whether and to what extent your content is important for the respective search input. An architect who specializes in housing, for example, should therefore use words such as “home,” “home,” or “apartment building” in the project descriptions.
Furthermore, one should not ignore the regional keywords. The location of the projects as well as the own offices plays a major role with regard to the playout in the search engine. This no longer applies only to geographical search queries.
4. Measure your success
Some things work well, others don’t. It is important to start measuring at an early stage which measures work in your specific case and which does not. As always in management, there is no success without success monitoring and performance measurement. E.g. through regular on-page analysis and corresponding website optimization.
But don’t worry, especially at the beginning it does not have to be one of the expensive SEO tools, because google provides the basics itself. And it’s free. However, a google account is required. These include Google Analytics. By integrating the tools on your website, you can track how many visitors your website receives, where they come from, which pages are visited, and much more. But pay attention to a legally compliant integration.
Especially with new websites, the google webmaster tools are even more important in my opinion. Here you can see for which keywords your website is played and how often by the search engine. And also on which positions your page lands. It is important that you do not set the standards of success too high, especially at the beginning. Nobody starts directly in the first place. One speaks of so-called SEO waiting times. Some statistics have shown that the first-place pages (URLs) for relevant search criteria are often many months – often even years – old.
5. Building backlinks for your architect’s website
The relevance of backlinks goes back to the foundations of the functioning of the search engine (so-called random surfers). Maybe briefly: What are backlinks? A backlink is a referral from another website to yours. To a large extent, the ranking of your website is determined by how many other pages link to your page. Link building is ultimately certainly the high school of search engine optimization. Above all, you can do a lot wrong. The purchase of backlinks is often recognized and punished by google.
But there are also a number of simple non-critical and usually free measures that can be carried out by yourself and are promising.
- Correct linking from your social profiles (Facebook, Twitter, Xing, LinkedIn…)
- Industry-specific register pages (Is the link from the Chamber of Architects correct, including protocol (https)? What about houzz andBaunetz?
- Contests: Make sure the link is correct if you have won a contest.
- Ask your cooperation partners.
- Comments with reference to one’s own website in architecture blogs also make a difference.
- Not to forget regional and national business registers (Klicktel, business directory, etc.)
6. Web design and experience
The more beautiful the visitor experience, the longer and more often your website will be visited, information read and your architectural office perceived as convincing. Search engines such as Google are also noticing this. They can’t rate the design or empathize with the visitor experience. But as much as possible, figures are also used for this. For example, the duration of a website visit, or the Core Web Vitals, which evaluate the performance of a website, for example.