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Block 81 is a design studio producing beautifully crafted websites and brands for independent businesses and startups.
May 17, 2016
Your architectural firm knows how to construct complex buildings and structures, but what about websites?
For many architects, their sites don’t reflect the level of professionalism and may even leave visitors heading to the competition. It doesn’t have to be this way, though.
Take a look at your current site and make sure it’s giving visitors the right first impression. Think of your architectural firm’s website as potential clients’ first impression of your skills. Your site should be as incredible as the work you do.
The problem is, the majority of architect websites focus too much on showcasing past work versus generating leads.
It’s important to have details about your firm and a portfolio of your work. Clients do want to have some background to see who they’re working with. The problem is, the majority of architect websites focus too much on showcasing past work versus generating leads.
The entire purpose of your website is to help your firm generate new leads. This is why you need a more client-centric site. Add in testimonials, clear calls-to-action and social proof. Add relevant content to keep visitors coming back and to help boost your rank in search engines.
You don’t have to have the world’s best website, but if your site is difficult to use, visitors might think your work is of the same caliber. For instance, Websites That Suck listed Zaha Hadid’s site with the description: “If her architecture is as bad as her website, you’ll never be able to get into - or out of - her buildings.” It’s a harsh review, but an eye opening statement.
Think about website usability in the same way you think about usability in structures. It should make sense and be easy to understand. If your site isn’t easy to use, it could reflect badly on your firm.
Would you trust a firm with a site that looked like it was last updated in 1999? No and your visitors won’t either.
Your firm has architects, not used car salesmen, but your site should be the digital version of the world’s greatest used car salesman. Why? Think of how persuasive car salesmen are. They quickly figure out your needs and guide you to the right car and even encourage you to buy when you were just looking. Your site should encourage action in a friendly, personable way.
If your firm’s site is just a bunch of boring text with a small contact button on the side, visitors might lose interest or think you’re not interested in their business. Your site needs to persuade visitors to fill out the contact form, comment on blog posts, share content on social media and any other types of conversions your site may have. The more personable and interactive your site is, the more visitors see your firm as a trusted friend versus just another architectural firm.
No matter what styles your firm specializes in, your site still needs to be current. Would you trust a firm with a site that looked like it was last updated in 1999? No and your visitors won’t either. They’ll look at an outdated design and think that if you can’t keep your site updated, how much attention to detail will you pay to their project?
It’s not just design either. Throwing up an About Us, Contact Us and Portfolio pages is great, but it’s not enough. Your site needs to be updated with content on a regular basis. Even if the blog is just filled with descriptions of your projects, it’s better than nothing. Updating your design at least a little every year or two and keeping your blog populated with new content, keeps your site fresh and shows visitors that your firm isn’t outdated.
Now for the big question - what does your website say about your architectural firm? Is it the message you want to get across to visitors? If your site isn’t generating the leads you want, it may be time for a redesign. Your site should be working for you, not against you. Make sure your site is helping your firm, not hindering it.