We love what you do and we love your creativity, but why do you have such bad websites?
Some are really hard to navigate or take forever to load. Some of them have no content or say coming soon for years. Some have images only and some have no images at all. I won’t point any fingers but some architect sites still use Flash.
From the architects I’ve spoken to, a website is low priority and not worth much time. Whether you are a famous superstar with an established folio and fans or whether you’ve just graduated from your design degree, there is no reason why you wouldn’t build an online platform to use as a marketing tool to show your work and develop leads. Even if you have a profile and folio on other sites such as Architizer or Houzz etc… people will still google your name and check up on your website.
Here’s a few things that you must think about for your website as architects or architecture firms:
1. Focus on showing your best work. Nothing else.
Your portfolio is no.1 and you need to present your work in best way as possible to your prospective clients. Not in a distracting animation, not in a crazy experimental way, but clean and straight forward, let your work do the talking.
Hire a web designer / developer who can build a stable website as well as balance your creative vision. Remember your work is not for other architects or students, but for someone who wants to build their dream home or commercial space, and for agents and developers who will refer you to their extended network. Your folio must cater to this audience by allowing them to easily find what they want.
2. Make it more accessible and searchable.
Think about how people could find you? Do they know you are capable of working internationally? Have they found you from their phone or iPad? Optimising your website is such a powerful tool because it allows you to target a specific audience based on where they are and what they search. We recently helped a client of ours who wanted to continue working on council projects by providing her with content that was specific to that audience, and by placing strategic keywords as well as emphasising her previous credits. This meant that she could engage more meaningfully with her own select audience.
3. Have a clear call to action.
Be clear and describe your principles. Tell your potential clients what makes you awesome and what sort of clients you want to work with. Then you need a clear Call To Action that leads them to take that next step; whether it is to call or email you, or to connect with you on LinkedIn, Pinterest and other social media.
4. Start blogging.
Give people reason to come back to your website and see what you’ve been working on: the process, behind the scenes and details that you can’t include on the press shots. People want to know the talent behind the company. Not only will blogging help develop your online presence, but it also helps you with backlinks to be more searchable.
Here are some example sites that we think are well designed and built:
If you absolutely can’t afford to do any of those, then at least create a Tumblr blog or Pinterest page and link your URL to those sites. Seriously. We’ve turned a few websites into beautifully crafted simple sites that are clean and easy to use on all mobile platforms, and we’ve witnessed their traffic increase significantly, leading to many more project inquiries.
“If people see a professional and good looking website, they realise that the company behind is serious, has a certain value and cost, and is not just ‘any company’. A good looking website will scare off bad clients. It’s worth it. “