We get the opportunity to help lots of architects with their web design projects. That’s fantastic on our end, as it means working with smart, creative professionals who often run growing businesses. The only downside is that we occasionally find ourselves having to explain why their websites need to be more than online portfolios.
Make no mistake, if you design buildings and spaces for a living, people are going to want to see samples of your work when they look you up online. However, there are a few other areas of your website and digital marketing plan you definitely shouldn’t ignore, such as…
Your Capabilities as an Architect
What kinds of buildings or spaces do you work on? Which projects are a great match for your specialties, and what types of jobs would you rather avoid? One of the most important things your website can do is enhance your credibility for the client to see they’re a great match for your skills, while at the same time keeping the buyers you don’t want to attract at a distance.
A Professional Bio and Picture
In theory, your portfolio and professional reputation should be the only things that matter to potential clients. In reality, though, few individuals or businesses will hire an architect without knowing where they went to school, what their inspirations and design philosophies are like, and possibly what they look like. With that in mind, you should have a short but professional biography that shows off your qualifications and a couple of personal interests. Pair that with a good photo, and you’ll have an easier time winning new business.
Effective Search Engine Optimization
There are two types of search engine optimization that matter for architects. The first is related to industry, project types, and specialties. You need to have keywords related to these items on your site so it’s easy for potential clients to find you if they’re looking for a certain type of architect. You will also want to make the most of local search engine optimization, which makes it easier for clients in your geographic area to find you. It’s almost always easier to find new business close to home, so don’t miss out on your chance to get businesses or individuals in your neighborhood looking at your bio and portfolio.
Email and Social Media Prompts
If search engine optimization is all about bringing the best potential clients to your website, then email and social media prompts are your way to capture their contact details and stay in touch as they start to evaluate options and request proposals. Remember that many (and perhaps most) potential clients are going to be visiting your website at the start of their search for an architect. They may not be willing to contact you or make a commitment right away, but might register for email updates or connect with you on LinkedIn. Either of those actions would make them more likely to do business with you down the road.
Your online portfolio is important to your website, but it’s not the only thing an architect needs. Pay attention to these other areas, as well, and you won’t just have an easier time reaching out to potential clients, but also gaining their trust and winning new business.