As an architect, you’ve mastered the art of balancing design and functionality. So now we need to ensure that this is reflected on your website. Here are our 3 non-negotiables to make sure your website showcases your work and gets you more leads.
Being an incredible architect will only take you so far if no one knows you exist. Having an amazing website, but not having the imagery to showcase your brilliance is also a bit of a problem.
As an architect, you are selling a future, a dream home and the lifestyle that this will offer. People who visit your website expect to see photos and videos of the work you have done to help them determine whether your style matches their aspirations and to obtain social proof.
Professionally taken high-quality photos and videos will be what keeps people on your site, scrolling through your work longer.
As well as a showcase of photos and videos, include them in case studies to show the before and after as well as explain the remit, any challenges you had to overcome and the thought process behind the design.
User Experience (UX)
A great user experience is an important feature of any website. If you don’t have one, then your users will get frustrated and end up leaving your site.
As much as it’s important to focus on the design and content of your website, make sure it’s not to the detriment of the website’s functionality. Make sure it’s clear how to navigate through it, and that all the buttons and links work.
You also must make sure it’s responsive - this means it should be just as beautiful and functional on mobile as it is on a desktop PC. Having a quirky design style may be a great idea but listen to your web designer on the UX - just as you wish your clients would listen to you when they have a horrible design idea you know won’t work.
Call to Actions (CTA)
If you have heard us mention CTAs before, you already know that this can be so much more than just a ‘Contact Us’ page on your website.
It may include the offer of a free zoom consultation that they can book online or a chat option where they can ask questions using a chatbot or Whatsapp between certain times of the day you are available.
Maybe you send out a quarterly newsletter? Give visitors a way to sign up on your website to receive this. Or perhaps it is just about providing a link to connect to your social media accounts to keep up to date with what you’ve been doing.
Having multiple options for people to engage with allows them to be in control of the level of communication they feel comfortable with at that time.
The process of building or extending a house for a lot of people starts many years before an architect is even thought about, so make sure you are in front of them during that stage of the process too - you’ll be the first one they come to.
If you can nail these 3 things, you’re giving yourself the best opportunity for success!
Like many things in life, websites have a ‘best before’ date. This doesn’t mean your website will no longer work, but with advances in technology, changes in your requirements and updates to search algorithms, how your website performs and its ability to achieve the objective it was designed for could be negatively impacted.
Businesses are always changing and your website should reflect this - it is therefore useful to view your website as a work in progress - something that can should adapt to your business. Regularly reviewing your website's design and functionality will help to ensure you it is performing optimally.
To help achieve this, we are offering you a free website review. This consists of a brief video review of your website that will cover how it is performing and what changes it could benefit from.
Your website review we will look at 5 key areas:
This refers to how quickly a browser is able to load fully functional web pages from your site. If your site loads quickly, you’ve already made a good first impression. Google and other search engines also prefer speedy websites too, so if your site is slow your rankings will suffer, and therefore your overall site traffic will too.
Site security helps to create a safe environment for you and your site visitors. While it helps to protect sensitive information such as financial data, home addresses and credit card details, it also protects your website from phishing scams, data breaches and many other threats. It builds trust, and similar to site speed, it is a ranking factor in search engines, such as Google.
If your website is poorly designed and out-of-date, people may think the same about your company. Trends are constantly changing and technology improving, so it’s good to have a website revamp regularly. On top of this, it’s important that your website design is mobile friendly as about 50% of website traffic comes from these devices.
Search Engine Optimisation ensures your website shows up for the relevant searches. While your content might be great, if it’s the same as it was 3 years ago, then Google won’t agree. Having the right keywords in the right places and links to other sites are all essential to improving your SEO.
It’s important to know who is coming to your site and how they behave when they get there. This data will give you an insight into your consumers’ behaviour that will help you to enhance customer experience.
Have you ever considered what information is stored on your phone?
Your contacts’ details, your diary, personal photos, access to your bank accounts, passwords for pretty much everything in your life…
It’s pretty safe to say that you wouldn’t want your phone to fall into the wrong hands, but even if it did, hopefully you would have a passcode to protect all that information from being accessed by any nefarious individuals.
But, when it comes to the security of your customers’ data collected on your website, are you doing all you need to protect it?
Many people think that having a secure site is only important for online stores, or websites that require visitors to input over-sensitive information such as credit card details, home addresses and financial data.
Of course, it is essential for these sites to be secure, but a secure website is important for everyone. If you have a form on your site that asks visitors to fill in their details (name, email etc) then you have a legal responsibility to manage their data securely (Data Protection Act 2018- GDPR).
On top of that, website security is also a ranking factor in search engines such as Google. Browsers such as Chrome, Safari and Firefox have begun issuing warnings that certain sites are insecure.
Secure websites also convey confidence to your audience and show you are trustworthy, making visitors more likely to do business with you. Having a secure site is essential, regardless of what your company does.
The first way to know that your site is secure is to check the SSL certificate. The SSL certificate (Secure Sockets Layer) is used to secure all data that is passed from the browser to the website’s server. Without SSL, your site visitors and customers are at a higher risk of having their data stolen.
Check the URL of your website and if it says “https”, instead of “http”, then this means your site is secure. The ‘s’ stands for secure encryption.
On top of this, if you look at the address bar, depending on your browser, you should see a small padlock just before the web address.
If you click on it, a message should pop up stating that “the connection to this site is secure”. It means that the communication between the visitor to your site, and your company, cannot be intercepted or modified.
SSL also protects your website from phishing scams, data breaches and many other threats. Ultimately, it creates a secure environment for both visitors and you, the site owners.
If you want to secure your site (and let’s face it – who doesn’t?), contact our team and we can ensure your site is hosted on one of our super fast secure servers and provide your site with an SSL certificate meaning you are GDPR-compliant and your customers’ data is protected so that you can go back to sleeping easily at night.
Now’s the time to invest in a professional lead-generating website and grow your business online. You might be surprised at how affordable a new website is, and you definitely won’t be disappointed with the finished result.