seo for architects

SEO for architects – the best practices list for 2024

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a digital marketing activity aimed at improving a website’s visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs). Seo deals with optimizing a website’s design, content, and structure to make it more attractive to search engines.

Higher rankings on search engines mean more visibility, which can lead to increased website traffic.

SEO intersects with both marketing and blogging – if you have a website or a blog, you need to be aware of SEO, in order to get the most value of your website. 

Basically, if you have any online presence (and you should!), you will have to deal with SEO one way or the other.

We’ve published guides on marketing and blogging for architects previously, so make sure you check them out.

The main challenge with SEO is how confusing it seems at first, but the reality is that it’s pretty straightforward. 

We won’t go too deep into the woo-woo and jargon and list just the basic evergreen SEO tactics that work well for architecture websites and blogs in 2024.

Evergreen SEO basics that work

Site speed

Site speed, or the time it takes for your website to load, plays a crucial role in SEO. In a nutshell, Google does not rank slow websites and tucks them deeper down the results pages.

A faster website provides a better user experience and higher engagement too, so it’s not just a SEO thing. 

You don’t want a high-end prospective client to land on your homepage that takes 7 seconds to load a background video.

Improving site speed can be achieved in several ways – improving hosting, using CDNs, minifying scripts, using caching, and so on. Depending on how your website is built, you can find a technical solution for that.

Quality content

The phrase quality content gets tossed around a lot, but in a nutshell, it comes down to

  • Addressing the interests of your target audience
  • Targeting the right keywords that get searched a lot
  • Matching the search intent of the queries
  • Contributing innovative angles to the trivial questions.

Even if you want to stay away from “pushy” and “cheesy” articles and focus on thought leadership & innovation content on your blog, you can still maximise the effect of these blog posts by optimising (or tuning) them for the right keywords.

The general rule here is to cover the basics first (showcase your services, areas of expertise, address the most common questions and concerns of your target market), and then branch out into more detailed and nuanced content.

Keyword research

Keyword research for architects is a vital part of SEO strategy. Keyword research is aimed at identifying the most relevant and effective search terms that potential clients might use when searching for architectural services and related questions. 

The goal is to find great keywords, map them to your pages and posts, and optimize each landing page for its keywords.

Starting with brainstorming is a good approach. Consider the services you offer, the types of projects you handle, and the locations you serve. For example, keywords could range from ‘residential architect in CITY’ to ‘cheap sustainable design ideas’. 

Remember to include both broad and specific terms, and don’t try to optimize one page or post for several keywords that are not too closely related. E.g. have a separate page for each of the towns you service instead of cramming both locations into one page.

Next, use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush, or Ahrefs. These tools provide insights into the popularity of your potential keywords, their competition level, and how fast they are growing in search volume. They can also suggest related keywords you might not have considered otherwise.

Remember that keyword research isn’t a one-time task. Search trends change over time, and what works today might not work tomorrow. Moreover, the more content you publish, the more searches it picks up, so it’s often a good idea to split a large detailed page into several sub-topics.

Regularly review and update your keyword strategy to improve your online visibility.

Basic on-page

Make sure you have your main keyword in your <title> tag, use it several times throughout the text on the page, and 

Link to other related posts on your website to support them with link power. Embed videos, images, and other media into your pages and posts.

Link building and social profile optimization

Make sure to expand your online presence beyond your website. Create all major social media profiles, upload documents and reports to sharing websites, post on forums, and publish articles and posts wherever you can.

Whenever you create a profile, a listing, or a page anywhere else online, look for a chance to place a link back to your website. These are the basic essential backlinks you can’t go wrong with.

Another effective strategy is guest blogging on reputable websites within the UK architecture industry. This allows you to share your expertise while also gaining backlinks to your site. Make sure to guest post only on legitimate and authoritative websites – that requires more networking and negotiations, but the resulting links and exposure are well worth the effort.

Building relationships with other businesses and influencers in the architecture industry can also be a great way to gain high-quality backlinks. This could involve collaborating on projects, participating in interviews, or simply reaching out and asking for a link.

Quality matters more than quantity, so if you can get links from magazines, universities, and other high-rank websites, they will matter more than dozens of unrelated backlinks.

Remember that link-building should be a continuous process. It cannot be achieved overnight, but with consistent effort, it’s one of the most powerful architectural SEO techniques.

Local SEO

Local SEO is a crucial aspect of digital marketing for architects. It involves optimizing your online presence to attract more business from relevant local searches. This is especially important for you as an architect since your services are most likely location-specific.

First, list your business on Google Business Profile. This free tool allows you to manage how your architectural firm appears on Google Search and Maps. Include your firm’s name, address, and phone number, and make sure this information is consistent across all online platforms.

Secondly, optimize your website for local search. This involves including your location in your meta tags, headers, and content – and having a separate landing page for each location you service. Instead of using ‘architectural services’ as a keyword on one page, use ‘architectural services in CITY’ to target local clients and create several pages like that for all cities you work in.

Another important aspect of local SEO is gathering and managing online reviews. Encourage satisfied clients to leave positive reviews on Google and other review platforms. These reviews not only improve your firm’s online reputation but also boost your local search rankings.

Local citations, which are online mentions of your business name, address, and phone number, also play a key role in local SEO. Ensure your firm is listed in local directories and on architectural review sites. Consistency is key here – ensure your information is the same on every platform.

Advanced SEO tactics for architects

Behavioural factors

Behavioural factors play a crucial role in SEO for architects nowadays. These factors are based on user behaviour and interaction with a website, and search engines use them to determine the relevance and quality of a website. The more positive the user behaviour, the higher the website ranks in search engine results.

Click-through rate (CTR) is a significant behavioural factor. It’s the ratio of users who click on your link to the number of total users who see the search results pages. A higher CTR indicates that more users find your content appealing, moving your website higher up on Google. For architects, working on the CTR rate means creating compelling meta descriptions and titles to attract clicks.

Time on the page is another important behavioural factor. A longer dwell time suggests that users find your content useful and engaging. To increase dwell time, architects can provide valuable, in-depth content about their projects and services and add interactive elements to it – surveys, polls, adjustable infographics, and so on. Adding a chatbot is a great idea since there are many cheap, no-code AI chatbots that can help a lot.

Bounce rate is another key behavioural factor. It’s the percentage of visitors who navigate away from your site after viewing only one page. A high bounce rate can negatively impact your SEO ranking. Architects can reduce the bounce rate by ensuring their website is user-friendly, easy to navigate, and provides the information visitors are looking for.

Things to avoid in architectural SEO

Most link-building services

These are often masked as “guest posts”, but you will be getting backlinks from low-quality websites created with the sole purpose of selling links.

Instead, invest time and effort into building relationships with legitimate bloggers, magazines, and websites – a single link from a quality website weighs more than a dozen low-quality links.

Cheap AI content

While it’s OK to use some AI tools for inspiration and initial brainstorming on topics, keep in mind that no automated writer can produce truly quality content.

Make sure you edit and revise anything created with the help of AI so that your content is not just factually accurate but reflects your values and vision.

Spam

This should go without saying – yet some architects in the UK use spammy services in their SEO strategy. These services can involve mass-generated blog and forum comments or social media and messenger spam.

These mentions and backlinks can only hurt your website in the long run, and what’s worse is they compromise your brand.

If you want to structure your SEO efforts as an organic extension of all your other activities – start using PlanMan! We have an advanced document management module as well as a co-consultant section to manage all your potential SEO contractors and their deliverables.