How Is Your Firm Impacted – Mobile and Tablet Usage Surpassed Desktop Usage in October 2016

Did the sky just fall on your old, non-responsive website?

Making the rounds this past week was the announcement from StatCounter Global Stats that for the first time, mobile and tablet usage combined to exceed website usage on desktops/laptops. That is “kind of a big deal.” DEFINITELY. But, before you start scrambling and thinking that your website is trash and needs to be completely redesigned to only be optimal for pocket-sized viewing, here are five things to remember.

  1. This data takes into account broad website usage all across the web, all across the globe. As their data shows, usage in the USA is very different from usage in India. The most important factor in website design is knowing your user/target audience.
  2. Remember the type of information your website is traveled for. The vast majority of architecture firm websites see about 3 pages visited per user, unless they are heavy content producers with active blogs. What are your top pieces of content, and why? Are they pieces of content easily digestible on a small screen? If not, you may not only want to focus on responsive design, but also examine your content practices.
  3. Social media is a large traffic driver and makes up for a significant portion of mobile traffic.In fact, for 90% of our clients, social media is their top referral traffic source. In addition to brushing up your website, be sure your social media accounts are active and focused on driving people to your best content.
  4. View this data through the lens of our industry. It is true that mobile is increasingly important, but are people spending twenty minutes at a time viewing your architecture firm’s portfolio on their iphone? Likely not. If you are prioritizing your mobile and tablet layout, take into account the likely reason that someone would visit your site on their phone. Need some reinforcement for your assumptions? Check your Google Analytics for top pages with an added filter to see which ones are the top mobile performers.
  5. Give a high priority to a well-organized homepage. There is a lot to be said for a beautiful first impression, but remember that your homepage needs to be more than a pretty splash page for a number of reasons – SEO and user experience being two of them. Bring at least a little bit of content on to your homepage that may be useful to a mobile user like contact info or the latest blog posts so they won’t have to sift through expandable menus so much.

 

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.