SEO Best Practices For Built Environment Companies

Want exponential website visitor growth and increase sales? Blog three times a week- five times a week.

Want exponential website visitor growth and increase sales? Blog three times a week- five times a week.

When marketing built environment services, architecture, interior design, design-build services or landscape design, using content marketing techniques, there are several items to consider that will increase awareness of your company with prospective clients. One of the most important is ways to get your website noticed by your target audience lies in learning a few key aspects of SEO, or Search Engine Optimization.  At its most basic, SEO is the process of using words within your website that potential customers will enter into a search engine to find your company.  Done correctly, a number of different keywords or phrases that describe the aspects of your business and its offerings should be included within titles, as image descriptions and embedded on the pages of your website. Keywords should be constantly refined so that search engines continue to make a strong connection between these terms and your specific web presence and grant your site a higher page rank.  

Pay per click (PPC) ads on search engines, and other websites can offer a bit of a boost when it comes to search engine optimization but it's minimal at best unless you're a big brand spending hundred's of thousands of dollars. The algorithms of most search engines place a premium on non-paid, or "organic", site traffic and marketing techniques such as blogs and well-written content.  Some of the most productive and easiest to implement methods of search engine optimization include the following:

Keyword Phrase Strategy

Choose approximately twenty keywords and phrases that are relevant to your site and its offerings.  For best results, a company with a burgeoning web presence will generally do well by choosing very common and popularly-searched industry words and phrases for about a third of their keywords, with less-popular but still relevant industry buzzwords comprising another third. The final third of your keywords and phrases should consist of unique words and phrases that describe your specific company, such as the name and location of your enterprise.  Once you have chosen your keywords accordingly, make sure that these words and phrases are inserted into your web copy wherever possible and practical for best results.

Keyword Placement

In order to prompt the search engine indexing robots that crawl the web in order to classify different sites into relevant sectors, there are a few other things that you can do in order to maximize the link between your site and the keywords you have chosen.  This includes using some of the best keywords in the title of your site pages and its description and ensuring that you use HTML headers or H1 Tags to promote other keywords throughout the site.  For example, if you are an architect and have written a section of web copy pertaining to your experience with post-modern design, you should create an HTML header for this section that uses the relevant keywords in a catchy way that the casual reader will appreciate.  The heading "Post-Modern Architecture Designed by [Your Company]" is an example in this particular instance.

SEO, Keywords and Social Media

Participating in popular social media outlets like Houzz, Facebook Twitter, and LinkedIn is also a great way to boost your online visibility and garner the attention of potential customers alike.  However, there are a few things to bear in mind when it comes to incorporating social media into your search engine optimization tactics.  First of all, make sure that you do not associate with any spammers, and never give the appearance of spammy practices yourself.  If you post to your social media accounts fairly regularly with interesting and informative points regarding your company, industry, and any promotions or deals you may be having, this should garner the attention of a strong customer base fairly quickly.  Make online connections via your social media accounts to other relevant companies or local business-oriented venues in your area, and you should be well on your way to a healthy cadre of social media followers who really pay attention to what you have to say.

In addition to the above points, make sure that your search engine optimization tactics include simply submitting your site to as many legitimate search engine listings as possible.  There are some sites that offer to submit your site to popular search engines for you en masse for free or for a fairly minimal fee. MOZ Local provides this service at a very reasonable rate. This alerts the search engines in question to the presence of your site and prompts them to have their indexing robots search your site for relevant keywords, et cetera.

Blogging for Search Engines

Start a blog about the important goings-on of your business on a fairly regular basis, and make sure that the content is designed to be not only keyword-rich but interesting to read as well.  As you blog, make sure that you link back to other blogs and websites that can illustrate or prove any point you are trying to make.  The more you link back to other sites, the more likely they will link back to yours - and it should be noted that organic, high-quality links to your site across the web like these are one of the determining factors when calculating search engine rankings overall!  

Aside from the search engine optimization/internet marketing aspects discussed above, any site that you display for public consumption ought to be visually attractive, informative, and innovative as well in order to stand out from the competition.  Moreover, your website needs to strike a balance between an aesthetically pleasing interface and effective search engine optimization techniques.  While images are a vital part of the web and have their useful search engine optimization aspects, you do need to focus on writing content for maximum results. There are a few key points that can effectively be combined to attract and retain the attention of different site visitors and search engine indexing robots, with the major aspects being as follows:

Creating a website that is elegant in appearance and intuitive to use

Navigation should be plainly displayed on the homepage of your site, and your site should also feature a visually pleasing color and design scheme that reflects the style and brand of your company. 

Beyond the look and feel of the website, in general, there are some useful ways to use your website imagery to boost your search engine optimization goals.  First of all, make sure that whenever possible, the text you use on your site -- particularly in the header tags and product/service descriptions -- is not presented as image files.  As cool as a unique font or design may be, nobody will realize your sense of style if they cannot find your site in the first place; search engine indexing robots cannot effectively scan images for textual cues.  Use web safe fonts and be sure that any image tags that you use for pictures include relevant keywords to boost search engine visibility on this front.  Searching for images by keyword is quite popular nowadays, so this can prove to be a great boost to your site.  However, concentrate your seo efforts on written content and text-based information for best results.

YouTube Videos Drive Website Traffic

If your business could benefit from an instructional, illustrative, or introductory video or two to give the customer an idea of what to expect in a real-world context, YouTube videos are a perfect medium.  YouTube is also an excellent place to boost your search engine optimization goals as well since its overwhelming popularity leads to the site and its text entries being regularly crawled  by search engine indexing robots.  Add a useful and keyword-rich description of the video and its relevance to your site once it has been posted to YouTube, and this can get your site noticed on a whole different level!

Your site should also be designed to be compatible with most popular web browsers of the day

This is especially important, as a site that displays beautifully in one browser may be nearly unusable in another popular portal.  Always make an effort to avoid losing customers due to a simple design error! We recommend the easy to use website builder Squarespace for a variety of design and marketing reasons. Contact us if you have a question.

Website copy should not only reflect the keywords and phrases you have in mind for search engine optimization

Wherever possible, feature clear, informative, and intelligent prose that leaves the potential customer feeling confident in your abilities and command of the relevant aspects of your industry.  Remember, most built environment industry professionals provide big-ticket products or services costing hundreds of thousands of dollars and the time from initial contact to sale can be in excess of 18 months.  With that kind of money at stake most consumers are going to do their homework before looking at specific vendors, so they are likely to have at least a basic working knowledge of your industry upon visiting your site. For best results, make sure that your website content meets them on this level.