When discussing the importance of SEO for architects, we hear the same question again and again, “Is SEO worth investing in?”
Here are three compelling answers:
- Web search (SEO) drives 51% of all visitors to B2B to websites (MediaPost)
- SEO earns ~20X more traffic than ads on mobile & desktop. (Sparktoro, 2019)
- The close rate for SEO leads is 14.6%, compared to only 1.7% for print ads. (Search Engine People)
SEO is really important for all websites, but in Archmark’s study of more than 550 architecture firms’ websites, they concluded that many weren’t properly optimized for SEO.
But, what does that actually mean?
Let’s start by making sure we understand what SEO is, in plain English.
SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization” and is a collection of best practices you can employ to help your website show up when prospects look for your services on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
In simple terms, when your prospects are typing in things like “best architecture firm in Ohio” or “architect near me” into a search engine, if you don’t have an SEO strategy, your website won’t appear in the search results.
Research carried out by Backlinko in 2019 shows that only 0.78% of people searching on Google clicked on a result from the second page. Another study by Backlinko showed that the top 3 results got 75% of all clicks.
This is why architects need a solid SEO strategy. Though you might get most of your leads from referrals, you could potentially double or triple that number with SEO tactics that get your website ranking on the first page of Google.
Let’s dig deeper into what an SEO strategy is, how architects can benefit from it, and focus on one of the key first steps you’ll want to take to start driving more high-quality traffic to your website. By the end of this article, we hope you’ll see why SEO is definitely worth investing in. Keep reading to learn more.
What is an SEO strategy?
Like any marketing strategy, an SEO strategy will look different for every architect because every firm will have unique goals. But there are a few fundamental building blocks to consider when crafting your SEO strategy, these are:
1. Identify your objectives
Are you looking for specific types of architecture projects? Are you working in a particular industry or niche? Do you want more recognition in architecture or industry publications? Do you want to win higher-value projects?
Without first knowing what you want to achieve, your SEO strategy will lack direction. Every decision you make should have a strategic purpose that helps you work towards your goals.
2. Research your competitors
You can use SEO tools like Semrush or Ubersuggest to discover and analyze your competitors and compare their online rankings to your own. These tools will show you what keywords your competitor’s websites are ranking for and their position in the search results, giving you ideas for your own strategy.
3. Understand your current position
Though Google has a list of best practices for SEO, they keep relatively tight-lipped about the 200+ factors their algorithms consider when ranking websites. So, one of the best ways you can evaluate your SEO performance is by using Google’s own tool Google Search Console.
By connecting Google Search Console to your website, you’ll be able to see what pages are getting the most search-related traffic, how many impressions your pages get vs. clicks, what keywords your website is ranking for, and the quality of your user experience.
4. Perform keyword research
Using a keyword research tool like Moz, you can get into the minds of your prospects and discover specific search terms you’ll want to rank for. This tool will show you how competitive those keywords are, how many people are searching for them per month and give you ideas for additional keywords you might not have thought of on your own.
5. Choose tactics to achieve your goals
Now that you’ve understood your current SEO status, how your SEO compares to your competitors, and what keywords you want your architecture firm to show up for, it’s time to plan the tactics that will help you accomplish your goals.
Google ranks your website based on the SEO pillars below. Your strategy will outline what needs to be improved and implemented within each pillar.
- Technical SEO - ensuring your website loads fast, is structured correctly, doesn’t contain broken links, and is indexed (submitted to Google) correctly.
- Content strategy - adding fresh content such as blogs and case studies to your website to expand your visibility.
- On-page SEO - adding proper descriptions and titles to your website that tell Google what each page is about and including keywords throughout your website copy.
- Link building - getting authoritative websites to provide a link back to your website boosts SEO to show Google that your website is credible and trusted by others.
- User experience - engaging, well-written content, adding images and videos to your website, and making it easy to navigate to enhance user experience and keep visitors on your website longer.
The benefits of an SEO strategy for architects
Now that you have a better understanding of what’s involved in an SEO strategy, let’s learn why it’s worth investing your time, money and energy into it.
It helps prospects find your firm online
Sparktoro concluded that unpaid organic search results drive 20 times more clicks in search results than paid Google ads. This shows that users are more likely to ignore search ads and focus on the top search results to find a service provider.
So if you can rank ahead of your competitors in the Google results, chances are your firm will get found online by ideal prospects.
It creates long-term success instead of short-term wins
With SEO, you need to be patient. It can take anywhere from 3 to 9 months to produce favorable results and takes consistent dedication to keep improving it. 1
However, if you want success that lasts, then SEO is your best friend. Unlike paid ads, which stop benefiting you as soon as you stop paying for the ads, SEO’s long-term value means that you will reap the benefits of great content, long after you first publish it.
Better return on investment
SEO is relatively inexpensive to implement. In comparison to PPC, the ROI you’ll yield from SEO will be far greater in the long run because you’re not paying for every click, and the lead quality tends to be much higher than with PPC.
Land better clients
High volume quality traffic results in more leads. By boosting your website’s rankings, you’re expanding your reach, improving visibility, and increasing your authority - all factors that land you better clients.
When done right, SEO can greatly impact your firm, helping you attract ideal clients and better projects.
How to get started with SEO
The first thing to understand about SEO is that it’s an ongoing process. There is no switch you can flip, there is no magic button that can help you rank number one in Google. It takes consistent effort over time to get real and long-lasting results.
To get started, you’ll want to know where your website currently stands. This means doing a website audit. There are several online tools to help you evaluate your website’s SEO performance and rankings in search results. Here are three tools we recommend which all offer free and premium tools for auditing your website:
Check for more than 130 website issues and get detailed reports on your site’s speed, security, and SEO optimization. SEMRUSH is a highly regarded SEO tool with a range of features to help you improve your website and help you get found online.
Starting from $119.95/mo
Created by SEO expert, Neil Patel, UberSuggest is a full-featured tool to help you better understand your website’s SEO rankings. It also has tools to help you track your keyword rankings, research new keyword opportunities, and find backlink opportunities.
Starting from $29/mo or $290/Lifetime (no monthly fees)
Another popular tool for SEO analysis and tracking is MOZ Pro. Moz provides industry-leading SEO metrics, including their Page and Domain Authority rankings. They also claim to provide the highest quality data.
Starting from $99/mo
All of these tools can help you better understand your website’s current rankings and performance, and this is an important prerequisite for making improvements and prioritizing changes to your website.
Ready to get started?
If you are ready to get started with SEO, we’re here to help. The SEO for Architects course is a step-by-step course designed to help firms create an effective SEO strategy.
What sets this course apart from others available is that it is specifically designed to help architects attract ideal clients so they can win better projects.
The course includes more than 16 hours of training, plus all the worksheets you’ll need to create your SEO strategy, and get started writing blog articles and social media posts that increase your visibility and help your firm to be seen as a valued resource for your ideal future clients.
To learn more about the course, visit seoforarchitects.com to get a full rundown of the course content, including several bonuses for early-adopters.
If you still have questions about SEO and want to learn more about the system we teach in the course, including case studies from working architects like yourself, then watch our free SEO for Architects webinar.