The Architecture Firm Website Quiz – What Kind of Site is Right for Our Firm?

The Architecture Firm Website Quiz – What Kind of Site is Right for Our Firm?

Looking to redesign or significantly update your architecture or engineering firm’s website can be a dream or a nightmare! The fact of the matter is that regardless of how simple the job seems to be at kickoff, competing priorities, content gathering, technology changes and other factors require a strategic approach to get the job done right and have your firm end up with a website that you can be proud of. Understanding the options and your main goals is the first place to start. Take our brief quiz to help get some direction on which type of website might work best for your AEC firm!

Ten Words You Should Replace on Your Architecture Website

Ok, so let’s just go ahead and get it out of the way…SEO is not the only thing that matters when it comes to your website. We definitely understand that. There are a great number of important goals and functions of your site, and you want it to captivate and engage your clients – period. However, many architecture websites miss the mark when it comes to content; that could mean SEO and engaging potential clients! So, we’ve combed oodles of sites and would love to share with you this list of ten words that you and your architecture firm should consider replacing with something else on your website.

  1. Dwelling. Well, guess what, I don’t know a single client that has ever searched for a “dwelling architect” – so there goes SEO. Perhaps more importantly, how many clients have you met that used the word “dwelling” to refer to their own house? Even though it sounds great in a case study, consider replacing the word “dwelling” with something more casual in your web copy.
  2. Design. Hear me out! Design is an important word to have, no question about it. In this instance though, we might recommend that you replace the word design in half the places that you have it on your site if you want better SEO. The issue is that design is a very versatile word, which hurts your SEO. Not as many people look for commercial designers as they do for commercial architects.
  3. Multi-disciplinary or Multidisciplinary. Out of the ridiculous bazillions of searches that Google handles, guess how many people search for “multidisciplinary design” per month…210 (as of today). Add to that, the value that the word “multidisciplinary” holds for your clients and it’s time to remove that word from your vocabulary.
  4. Award-winning. This one isn’t a total scrapper, but let’s be realistic about what this means. No one searches for an “award winning architecture firm” online. To be exact, 10 people per month on average via Google. So, if you want this to be relevant, give it some point of reference.
  5. On the Boards. (even though it’s a phrase instead of a word) This is a popular section of the website for architecture and engineering firms, but unfortunately, it’s not terminology that people outside of the industry use. It does have a higher search volume than a few other terms on this list, but consider switching this out for something more simple and familiar to your clients.
  6. We. Take a look at your site and see often you say “we” throughout your copy. You might be surprised at the final count. Write about your clients and their needs more and minimize the “we”.
  7. Program. Until your client is actually your client, they likely have never heard the word “program” associated with their project. It is an amazingly important part of the process, but could be substituted with better language for SEO and for their comfort level. Save that language for case studies or architizer.
  8. Nationwide. Clients have projects in certain locations. They may have them in multiple locations, but they are still specific. “Nationwide” doesn’t add much value to your copy; if you work in multiple states across the country, show your work in your portfolio and share the location specifically.
  9. Significant. If it wasn’t significant, it shouldn’t be on your website.
  10. Full-service. Try explaining to your clients what you mean when you say that you are a full-service architecture firm. Then, try explaining what an architecture firm would be like that wasn’t full-service, and give an example. Not an easy task. The term is pretty much fluff and does very little to differentiate your architecture firm’s website from any of your competitors’.

There’s our ten words (or nine words and a phrase)! Have any other good ones you think we should add to the list? Feel free to share some in the comments.

Thinking About Trimming Your Marketing Budget? Five Areas You Shouldn’t Cut

We’ve all heard the news, and it isn’t pretty. Sequestration, furloughs, billions of dollars of budget cuts—across the board, everyone’s trying to scale back and pinch pennies.

In times like these, one of the first places many companies look to cut back is the marketing budget. This logic is flawed. (Yes, I know—we’re a marketing firm, so our perspective is a little biased. But hang on, and hear me out.) No matter how tough going things seems now, eventually things will improve, and the economy will recover. When that happens, clients will spend more freely—and you’ll want to make sure you’ve remained visible to prospective customers.

Also, because belt-tightening times inevitably mean that many businesses do scale back, you have an opportunity to capitalize on your competitors’ absence, putting you at a significant competitive advantage.

So, now that I’ve said my piece on why you shouldn’t cut, here are the ‘whats’: five areas within your marketing budget where you should absolutely not scale back.

1. Your Website: This one’s easy. Your website is your face to the world, and the first stop on any potential client’s list. First impressions are critical. Don’t skimp here.

2. Social Media: Currently, 84% of business-to-business marketers use some form of social media. It’s big, and it’s only going to get bigger. At the risk of sounding dramatic, social media is the future of marketing. Your business needs to be there, and you need to be active. (For more insights on the future of marketing, check out this great article written by Hubspot.)

3. Email Marketing: According to a study conducted by iContact, small and midsized businesses are allocating the largest chunk of their marketing budgets to email. Why? Well, for one, 59% of marketers perceive email to be the most effective channel in generating revenue. This area is a critical component, especially in relation to your company’s social media presence and its mobile marketing efforts. Growing your lists and accurately, effectively segmenting subscribers goes a long way in helping your company deliver targeted messages to the right audience.

4. Mobile: As you’ve likely noticed, everyone has a smart phone these days. Last year, mobile ad spending rose by 62% , reaching $6.4 billion. This area is growing faster than almost any other digital effort. If you want to make sure you’re reaching customers in today’s constantly connected culture, mobile marketing is key.

5. Analytics: It’s all about the numbers. Research shows that spending on marketing analytics is expected to increase 60% by 2015. If you’re not collecting and analyzing the data, you’re not getting the most out of your marketing dollars. And you’re likely missing out on a ton of opportunities.

So, there you have it. Those are our thoughts on how to get the most bang for your buck, even in tough times. What do you think? What areas are on your own not-to-cut list? Let us know in the comments.

By: Bethany Nguyen