I have a piece of land in New York. You wish to build a house on that particular land. The first thing I do is search for an architect. Where do you search for an architect in a place as big as New York? I have a plethora of options before me.
- Search the Yellow pages and obtain some phone numbers to get a lead
- Ask my friends and acquaintances in New York
- Browse the internet
As a modern day individual, it is a no brainer if I choose the last option as my most preferred one.
If I take this simple route to search for an architect, so too would the millions of people in a similar situation. Hence, it becomes imperative for architects to be active on the internet.
Remember, Bill Gates had made this statement, “If you are not on the internet, you may well be out of business.” When Bill Gates says something, the world does sit up and takes notice.
Now, coming back to my predicament, how will I search for my architect? We trust it would be somewhat in this manner.
I wish to build a house in New York, so I will not type “best architects in Chicago”. A schoolboy can tell you that you will type New York and not Chicago. Therefore, architects, did you get the cue from the search? It is very simple. You have to be active on the local New York market and not the worldwide market. This is local SEO strategy.
We shall now see how you build up your website and make it rank on the top of the SEO rankings.
Let us begin with some simple statistics.
- 97% of people search local businesses online.
- 50% of people searching online follow it up with a personal visit.
What do the figures tell? It is right to be online than to be left out.
How do you go online? We shall share 10 very simple tips that can help get your business online.
The Google My Business Page is vital
Somehow, I relish the thought of being able to build a house on my own land in New York. Come back to the same example. I have typed, “Best architects in New York”. This is the response I get.
What is that you see? It is a map with some directions in it. This is nothing but the Google my Business page result. How do you set up this page? Let us go through the simple process. Invest some time from your busy schedule and set up this page as soon as possible. It will not take much time to do so.
Set up Google My Business (GMB) page
- Visit Google.com/business and click “Get on Google”.
- Sign in with your Google account. (I presume you have one)
- Search for your line of activity in the prompted area using your name and address.
- After completing this procedure, click on it.
- Google will create your page along with the address you have mentioned. Check the authorization box and proceed further.
- Google has to verify your business. Hence, you will get a mail.
- You are now ready with your GMB page.
- Add your photo and complete the profile.
Your potential clients will be able to locate you thereby increasing your visibility. Remember to include your correct address with Zip code and phone number. Update the details whenever you change them.
How about getting some reviews on your GMB page?
Coming back to the same example, I search for the best architects in New York. You see this option on the search results page.
Clicking on “More places” will help me to widen your search. I find out that some architects have 5 stars whereas some do not have any. You have the number of reviews listed on the page as well. Who do you think I will approach first? The architect with a combination of more reviews and a higher star rating should be my ideal choice. This explains the soliciting of reviews on the GMB page.
Seek Client reviews
As an architect, what do you do? Ask your clients to drop in a good and positive review about their experiences with you. Should that be a difficult task? Your clients will be happy to oblige you, especially if you have given them good services. How will you contact each client? Drop an email to each of them. Now, some client might not give you a 5-star rating. Should you worry? On the contrary, it is a blessing in disguise for you. If everyone gives a 5-star rating, the reviews might sound fishy. Google is very smart. It can smell such tactics and hence, penalize you as well. A couple of lower ratings bring a sense of genuineness to the entire scene.
Give your website visitors an unforgettable experience
As an architect, you job is to design buildings and not websites. Entrust the job of building a website to a professional. However, you should know how to give your visitors an unforgettable experience. The following tips should hold good.
- Your website should be user friendly
- Navigating through the website should be easy
- There should be no bugs on the website
- Your website should be a responsive one. It should be compatible on all kinds of devices. A mobile friendly website is the need of the hour.
- It should be an attractive website
- It should have a separate Home page, About Us page, Services page, Contact Us, and finally FAQ page.
Do Keyword Research
Keywords are the heart and soul of SEO. This aspect requires you to so some serious research. List out the keywords depending on the services you offer. You have Keyword planner tools that can be of great help to you. Some of the tools are SEMRush, Google Adwords Keyword Planner, and Google Trends etc. The list is an exhaustive one.
Make a list of your primary and secondary keywords. The primary keywords should concentrate on the main services you offer such as ‘residential architects’, ‘interior designers’, high end architectural firm’, etc. The secondary keywords can be the results arising out of utilizing the real estate services. Certain examples of secondary keywords are ‘interior design save money’, and so on. Understand the concept of long-tailed keywords as well. Use these combinations to weave your content for the Home Page, Services Page, and so on.
Build effective backlinks
In simple words, backlinks are web links that link to your website from other websites. In the past, people used to buy backlinks. However, Google has changed the goalpost in 2016 with the introduction of the Penguin updates and concept of Black hat SEO. Hence, it is important to seek backlinks from quality websites such as .gov and .edu domains.
You can advertise your services in local directories and seek backlinks from there as well. However, it boils down to one thing, Quality of the website from where you acquire the backlink.
Use researched Keyword phrases in the content
Remember that ‘Content is King in SEO”. Good content will always stand out. Using keywords in the content is optimizing them. People search for their products and services on the internet by entering keywords in the search bar. Understand the pulse of the people and the market trends and formulate a plan for producing excellent content.
Where can you include these keywords?
- The Title: The title tag should say it all. Invariably, it should contain a primary keyword. That will attract a majority of customers to your website.
- The Body Copy: Having a healthy spread of primary and secondary keywords is advisable. An overdose of keywords can have a negative effect.
- URL: The URL should describe your services / profession in one or two words.
- Blog titles: Have some blogs written by guest bloggers. Ensure presence of keywords in the blog titles.
- Alt text / Title tags / Meta description: Have your keywords in all these content. They can do wonders for your local SEO strategy.
- Services page: If you have more than one service to offer, have individual pages for each service. This will help Google rank each page accordingly depending on the usage of the relevant keyword.
- FAQ Page: Bring your experience to the fore by trying to include as many pertinent questions as possible. Sticking to realistic questions that you expect clients to ask should find a mention. Use your keywords to link up to the respective services page. This internal linking is extremely beneficial to your SEO campaign.
Utilize the services of a sound website host:
Imagine you have to catch a bus to go home from office. You have a choice between two services. One route takes an hour to reach you home. The second one is slightly expensive but can take you home in 20 minutes. Which one do you choose? Naturally, a majority of people choose the second one. The position is very similar in SEO.
You have fast loading websites and slow loading websites. Hosting your website on the faster ones guarantee you higher traffic. Search engines place great emphasis on this loading speed of web pages. Everything else being equal, the website that loads faster is the one that ranks higher on the SERPs. The security of the web host is aslo very important. Go for a HTTPS site instead of HTTP.
Keep these points in mind while choosing the web host for your website.
Have an effective Home page
This is the world of online marketing. The objective of building an effective website is that you attract more clients towards your website. How are you going to do that? Having some impressive content on the Home page and Services page is great. The content should be compelling for people to browse your page. Arousing an eager want in the customer wins you half the battle. Engaging the attention of the customer is the toughest part of the job. A compelling content paves the way for a meaningful interaction with the prospective client.
Effective keyword strategy can help rank your website high on the SERP. Compelling content can help drive traffic towards your website. Excellent service can help in conversion of the lead into business. Hence, this should be the cornerstone of your local SEO strategy.
Update your content regularly. Include the latest regulations in your FAQ pages so that clients are aware of the same.
Have a Blog specifically catering to architecture
How do you convert traffic into leads? Engage the customer long enough to help him make the decision. A dedicated blog specially catering to architectural activities can interest him / her. Include a generous helping of tips and tricks relating to architecture in these blogs. Direct a lot of internal links towards your FAQs and Services pages. If you have some DIY architectural tips such as ‘How to take care of painting the house’ or ‘How to remove paint stains from furniture’ have great demand.
Encourage people to post on these blogs. Have a contact form ready where people can seek clarifications, post reviews, and submit blogs. These user friendly tactics go a long way in improving the traffic towards your website.
Seek out some guest bloggers to post their blogs on your website. Provide valuable information to your clients such as utility services and other activities related to your main business.
People searching for architecture websites tend to have doubts about activities not directly related to architecture. Solving such queries through your interactive blogs can go a long way in retaining customer attention.
Link your Blog page to your social media accounts
Never neglect the effectiveness of social media in making your SEO content rank high on the SERP. Linking your blogs to your social media accounts can help people share information freely with others.
Naturally, you cannot force people to share all content, but you can facilitate the same in case they wish to do so.
Focus on Quality not Quantity
Many people make the mistake of filling up their blog pages with lots of irrelevant material. It does not matter if you have far fewer blogs, but ensure that they are quality stuff. This can induce people to share content on social media and other channels without having to force them to do it.
Advantages of Local SEO for Architects
- It is easy to attract prospective clients when you are visible on the internet.
- A higher SEO rank translates into higher traffic thereby resulting into a higher conversion rate and ultimately a stronger bottom line.
- A good local SEO campaign can put you in an advantageous position as far as procuring business is concerned.
A strong local SEO campaign is of utmost importance in today’s online world. People search for all business online. A good SEO strategy can help your website rank higher on the SERPs. Let us have a quick summary of the ten steps you have just gone through in detail.
- Set up GMB and update it regularly
- Seek client reviews
- Provide a great visual experience
- Concentrate on keyword research
- Use keywords in content
- Speedup your loading
- Have a highly customized home page
- An intelligent FAQ page will do the trick
- Share blogs with ease
- Quality scores over Quantity
Now that you have designed a strong and effective website, it should not be difficult for you to attract clients. A good local SEO campaign should ensure you a high rank on the SERPs. Do your homework right and ensure that you stay on top of the SEO rankings. Now, it should not be difficult for me to search for an architect in New York to design and complete my dream home.