Architect Marketing Course 2012 – Course Outline
Level 1 Part A – Introduction and Overview

Overview of Visibility, Traffic, Conversion and Client Acquisition; Introduction to Search Keyword Analysis and Website Analytics

Copyright 2012 – Eric Bobrow
All rights reserved – do not reproduce or distribute

Want to download this video, pause or resume playback, jump to a specific point or watch this video in a larger window? Click here for Video Playback and Download Notes...

While you watch this ArchiCAD training video, the player controls will disappear. To make them reappear, move your mouse over the playing area. Pause and resume the video by clicking anywhere inside the playing area.

This recording was made at a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels but is displayed in a smaller viewing area. While playing the video you may switch to full screen by clicking the little button at the far right of the controls. To return to the smaller size, hit the Escape key on your keyboard.

You may download the video as an MP4 file from the Course Downloads page.

After downloading, you may open file in QuickTime Player or any compatible media player to watch at full native resolution.

Your Downloads

You may need to right-click the following links and select Save Link As to download the file to your computer

LESSON TRANSCRIPT

Click here to view the lesson transcript...

INTERNET MARKETING FOR ARCHITECTS TRAINING COURSE 2014
LEVEL 1, PART A

Overview of Visibility, Traffic, Conversion and Client Acquisition; Introduction to Search Keyword Analysis

© Copyright 2012 by Eric Bobrow, all rights reserved
For more information about the Internet Marketing for Architects Course, visit: http://internetmarketingforarchitects.com

LEVEL 1 – PART A

Welcome everyone to the Internet Marketing for Architects Training Course 2014.  This is Eric Bobrow speaking to you from San Rafael, California where it’s a beautiful sunny winter day, but rather mild.  It’s surprisingly mild for this time of year.  And with me is my colleague Enoch Sears of Business of Architecture and my partner in the Internet Marketing Group.  Hey, Enoch.  [0:00:28]

ENOCH:                                Hey, Eric, good to see you on here.  I’m here from Visalia, CA, about four hours south of where Eric’s at and I don’t know what temperature it is outside because I haven’t been outside yet but it’s sunny and blue.  Let’s put it that way. 

ERIC:                      Alright.  Well glad to have you on board.  We’re going to be getting started now and wanted to make sure that you all can hear us.  Can you just type into the questions box?  If you’ve been on any of these webinars before you know that there’s a panel for GoToWebinar that has a little orange button with a white arrow.  You can expand it and collapse it and then you can type in and tell us where you’re calling from as well.  [0:01:07] 

I see Ed Ozols and Larry Folk are checking in and that you can hear us, obviously, and Angela Scott from Hervey Bay.  Where is that?  Hervey Bay, Australia!  Okay, excellent.  And Spencer from Houston.  Okay, got another Australian, Cathi Colla.  Hey, Cathi.  Alright, and Michael Wangen from Bainbridge Island.  I guess that’s Washington.   Virginia Roberts from Toronto and Alan Ritchie from Belfast.  And Patricio Becar from Santiago, Chile.  So we do span Australia, North America, Europe and South America.  We’re four continents here, cool!  [0:01:54]

The way this has been run is that I’m going to be presenting for the next hour or so and then we’ll have a little bit of time for Q&A and we’ll have a little bit more after that.  We’ll run for probably about 90 minutes.  Enoch is going to be monitoring some of the questions, although I will also try to pay attention to that.  For this particular presentation it will be 95% me but Enoch will definitely have some things to share with you. 

Over the course of the next few months I’ll be presenting the bulk of the lessons but Enoch will be contributing some things on social media and some of the components of the course as we work out a few details there.  Enoch and I are working very closely, as I’m sure many of you know and it’s really exciting to do this run of the Internet Marketing for Architects Course with Enoch as my partner.  Thanks, Enoch, for joining us.  [0:02:57]

ENOCH:                                Thank you Eric for having me on.  And like I said, I will be watching the chat window so please—because this webinar is a little bit smaller than some of the other webinars that we have, a little bit more intimate, there will definitely be time to answer all the questions since it is a course.  So if you’re thinking it, someone else is probably thinking it too and Eric and I will do our best to make this interactive so you can ask questions as we go.  [0:03:23]

ERIC:                      Let’s just start with giving you an orientation.  This is the Internet Marketing for Architects Course.  I’m sure you’ve all made the decision to be here so you know how you got here, but just a little orientation—this is the website on the outside.  In other words, this is the main homepage for the website and you would have come through a variety of pages where you would purchase a course.  This is the member home area on the inside.  You should have gotten an email with login instructions.  If you did not, then let us know.  Just email.  You can reply to any of the emails that I’ve sent you or sent it to eric@internetmarketingforarchitects.com will work.  [0:04:12] 

When you follow the instructions for the login it will take you to a login page.  Right now if I go to that login page, we’re going to see that I’m already logged in.  But normally there would be something there asking you for your email address and the password that you were supplied.  Now I’m going to go back to the homepage here.  If you decide you want to change your password you can go to the ‘Member Profile’ page.  That’s available here and you can see that you can put in information.  [0:04:45]    

Now this system allows you to put in addresses and things like that, but I don’t generally check this.  It’s not where I keep track of addresses for billing purposes or if we were to ship you anything.  You would really only use this for putting in a password.  If you were changing it, you would put it in here and you would put the password again here. Then down at the bottom you would update.  That would allow you to get a convenient password.  And you could change the email address here.  That would be what you’d use to log in but it would not be what—it wouldn’t change the emails that we’re sending out to for notices about the course.  So if you do want to change that then just drop me an email and I’ll update that there.  [0:05:30]

Now we started with the member homepage here and that gives you a little orientation.  I have not had a chance to update the website for the 2014 version, so there are things that refer to the recorded sessions.  We’re going to be running through a similar series, although, as I’ve been looking at it I realize that I want to structure it a little differently.  It will generally follow much of the same content but, for example, in the original course run I didn’t really go into how to set up your own first website.  I showed some things but there were some things that were missing.  So I wanted to be sure that we cover that.  I also want to be sure that we cover some of the basics of setting up a Google Analytics account for tracking visitors to your website.  [0:06:21]    

So there are some things that I’m going to be integrating in and what I think I’m probably going to do is change it from having all the course lessons from the 2012 one here.  We’ll probably have a 2012 menu so you can view and skip ahead, so to speak, to the ones from 2012.  And then I’ll have a parallel menu for the new 2014 version and that will sort of gradually build up the content over time.  So you will have access to both the old and the new.  For the most part, we’re going to say that the new one is going to be complete course but, of course, the 2012 will provide some material for you in the intro since it’s going to take a few months to roll this out.  [0:07:07]

The lesson that we’re working on right now is the introduction and overview.  So you can see what is going to be typical in the course.  If you’ve visited and browsed around then this is certainly familiar.  If this is the first time and you’ve been too busy to look, each lesson plan has a page and a description.  And then after the lesson is presented there’ll be a video.  If I click this you can see that it will whir around and in few seconds it’ll start a video from the earlier training of the course.  We’ll see this start in a minute. 

There is a download button here so if you are involved as a course member…  So you’ll be able to download that.  You’d typically would right-click and say “save link as” or “save target file as”—this particular command would be different depending upon your browser.  You can download it if you want to have a permanent copy of all of these.  [0:08:07]    

There’s also a page here for the 2012 course where you can just go to “course downloads” and if you do want to get all of that course for permanent reference you just right-click here and do the same thing, “save link as” or “save target file”—whatever the command is.  Now the only reason to do this, well, aside from just feeling like you’ll have it forever, is if you wanted to watch this on a mobile device.  So what I’ve done is when I do training, I put it onto my iPhone so then when I’m out walking or driving, I can often do training.  [0:08:47]        

 

Now, sometimes it’s not convenient to be looking at the iPhone, but a lot of this stuff is going to be really informative just listening to it.  So that’s what I do for a lot of my training things is I just listen to it. Even if I’m driving, it’s playing with an earpiece.  So you may find that useful and you can actually play it faster. That’s something that I found was a great timesaver is if I used one of the tools that allow you to listen to a video 50% faster.  You can consume more or even review it faster because the second time you go through it, of course, you may want to go faster through it.  [0:09:25]

Getting back to the page that we’re on, you’ll also see that there’s an audio version that you can download and a transcript which were done for the 2012 lessons.  So if you want to scan through the transcripts, of course, that may be a quick way to see if a certain topic was covered.  The transcripts typically have a timestamp, so if I click on this and it opens up, you’ll see that at different points.  So at 10:02 this particular paragraph finished, and this is where it started the next one.  So if you scanned through this and you found a particular topic you wanted to listen to you could just say, “I’m just going to skip to 23 minutes into that lesson.”  So that’s the transcript.  And of course you could print it out as well.  [0:10:16]

Now the video playback tools – if this is running here – are available when you hover over with the mouse.  When I move away, you can see how they disappear to avoid getting in the way.  As I move back it returns.  Now this button here will make it full screen. You can see this particular video is now in full screen, and here we can go back to a partial one.  So these are the ways that you’re going to look at both 2012 lessons as well as the current ones after they get going.  [0:10:50]

Now here’s a lesson outline. I’m going to be following through this.  I went through this yesterday and I realized that the bulk of the lesson was actually really sound.  There wasn’t a whole lot that I needed to change, but I’m still going to go through it, just in case. I’m sure that there’ll be some subtle things that it’s always nice to update and make fresh. Later on, towards the bottom, there are some things about keyword analysis and website analytics that I’m going to approach a little differently.  So that will be a little different.  We do have some changes in terms of where to go from here, because we have some new resources that I want to show you.  So I’ll start going through this now with the actual contents.  Enoch, any questions there or any comments before I move into the real content?  [0:11:42]

ENOCH:                                No.  No questions at the moment.  So I’m going to go ahead and turn off my webcam here so you can have full screen.

ERIC:                      Okay.

ENOCH:                                But I’ll still be here on the line. 

ERIC:                      Okay.  Thanks Enoch. 

ENOCH:                                Yep.

ERIC:                      Alright, so I’ve given you a little tour of the member site part of it, but we also have recorded lessons for the Architect Marketing Coaching program.  The people who took the course in 2012 have the opportunity to stay involved and be in a coaching program. Once or twice a month, we had a session, and these are also recorded. You may want to check out some of them.  They had particular topics such as “Traffic and Conversion Tips” or “Funnel Building.”  Some of them were by guest presenters like String Nikolic from Australia presented this particular one.  [0:12:39]      

We also had a number of interviews and, in fact, quite a few of them are interviews with, in this case, Dylan Chappell Architect.  He’s someone who went through the course and has done great work on his website.  And it was very interesting to see how he’s succeeded in taking those concepts and putting them into practice.  And, in some ways doing things that I haven’t even thought of or mentioned like having students help him with some of his videos—so, creating videos that are quite professional looking and having university students who study media and communications put those together.  So there’s a lot of material.  Here you’ll see an interview I did with Enoch Sears back in June, as well.  So there’s a lot of material that you can go through.  If you do have that time and you want to, you’re most welcome to take full advantage of that.  [0:13:34]

Now if you start to work on your own website with WordPress – which is certainly a tool that I recommend highly, both Enoch and I use it for our web development process with clients – you may find that you want to build your website from scratch using the training that you’re going to get in this course as well as the training that’s in this area.  If I click on “WordPress Training” you’ll see a whole series of lessons.  In fact, there are 60 of them.  They’re very short pieces—they’re like three minutes, four minutes, five minutes each—but basically these lessons are available.  Each one has a little video.  [0:14:13]      

So if you have a question about how to create a new post or how to create a new page you’ll find these to be helpful.  They’re a little bit out-of-date.  They date back from maybe WordPress from a year and a half, or two years ago but most of the fundamentals still apply.  So that’ll be a resource that if you either start your website from scratch or you have a website done for you and it’s in WordPress and you want to add content to it, this will be a good resource for understanding how to do that.  [0:14:50]

We also have marketing samples.  These are samples of what we’ve done for some of the clients that I’ve been working with over the last couple years.  So press releases—I’ve talked about that in the public webinar—the training that I offered.  Press releases are a great way to get the word out about your firm.  And not only get the word out so that people would find the press release and maybe come to your site, but it also helps in Google’s eyes in terms of improving the likelihood that you’re going to rank in the search engines.  So we have samples here and this would be a typical one.  This particular firm, Sarco Architects, completed a project.  So that’s certainly—all of us can relate to that.  And any time that you complete a project, that’s worth having a press release about.  [0:15:44]

We’ll be going, in one of the lessons in the course, through some of the tips for how you structure a press release.  These are some samples so that you can see how they look.  This is right here on our site but the actual press release was submitted through—and I think we’ll see the whole series of them that are on PRWeb.  So we’ll be talking about how you submit a press release and how you get it distributed.  In general, these things can be distributed quite widely.  [0:16:18]

“Promotional Videos” is another area you may want to take a little time to look at.  These are videos that we did for some of our clients.  They are, in general, sort of simple slide shows but with a little bit of fancy touch using a tool called Animoto which I have a monthly membership in.  It’s pretty inexpensive, about $40 a month. 

[MUSIC PLAYS]

So it actually— because we’re on the broadcast, it didn’t play one of the images here.  It basically said—the question is, “When you see this drawing, do you picture this 3D design?”  And so in this case, it’s making a statement very visually about the benefit of having a 3D design tool for an architect and how working with a firm like theirs that uses ArchiCAD. In this case, it’s going to make it easier for that client to understand the project and get a better project, because they can participate in the design process better than just looking at drawings.  [0:17:37]      

So the basic idea of any video is communicating a message.  It should establish either your expertise, provide useful information that just makes people go, “Oh!  I needed to know that!”  Hopefully it does both.  It actually helps people to understand a concept or an idea, as well as see how you, as a design firm, can help solve their problems or do their work.  Those are some sample videos.  You can see that there are other ways that you can do videos to work on the website and we’ll be exploring those in one of the other lessons in the course.  [0:18:16]

Now if you do work with us and want to have videos done with Animoto, or if you get your own Animoto account, then you can use some of their music that they’ve got set up for royalty-free use.  Royalty-free means that by paying a fee, in this case a monthly membership for Animoto, they have the license and transfer the license to use certain music clips.  So they bought the rights to use certain music. 

I went through about—they had about 600 pieces of music at the time that I did this a couple of years ago and I picked out 75 that were pretty nice; that were either classical or light modern stuff but pleasant—and I picked out the stuff that seemed the most generally useful for background on an architect’s video for promotion.  You can play these—if I click “play”…  [0:19:12]   

[MUSIC PLAYS]

…So that’s actually a little bit more loud than some of them.  “Beautiful Day” I think is probably a little bit more gentle.

[MUSIC PLAYS]

There are ones that are even gentler; and other ones that are more active.  [0:19:43]     

So you can pick and choose, and these may just give you some ideas.  And when you look at some of the samples of the videos, you’ll hear some music on some of them there.  So these are resources that will help you as you start to create content beyond just a portfolio page; beyond just the standard things that we find on architect websites.  As you start to add more visual appeal with videos, you can consider these as examples.  And then the press releases certainly will be something that you can read through and get a sense of how to work with.  [0:20:18]

Now under “Resources” there’s an overview video that talks about the process of marketing through the internet tools.  This one talks about the concepts here. Then there’s a 23 or 24 minute video of me talking.  I’m going to give you a short version of this today so that you understand these concepts, but I definitely would recommend that you look at this video when you get the chance.  [0:20:51]

Recently, Enoch and I have been working on the “Architects Marketing Lead Generator System”. This is a set of reports.  Right now we’ve got five reports that are available and we’re going to be adding more over the coming months.  These reports are typically going to be placed on a website, like your website—you have permission to do that—as something that can be downloaded that you can offer to your visitors to make them go, “Hmm that looks interesting.  I’d like to know ‘How to Hire and Architect’ or I’d like to learn ‘7 Mistakes to Avoid When Renovating’.  So we’ve got a version in Word and we’ve got a version in PDF.  [0:21:37]   

And I’m going to be showing you later on how you can take a PDF and use a tool where you basically cover up the placeholder contact information that’s on there and put in your own.  So then it’s basically the report as is, just with your name on it—and you have permission to do that—or you can take the Word version and you can actually rewrite it a little bit or a lot, or you can add your own pictures.  In other words, when it’s talking about renovation things, maybe you want to put in your own examples of kitchens, or baths, or home renovations that you’ve done—things like that.  [0:22:19]     

So these—

ENOCH:                                Eric.

ERIC:                      Yeah?

ENOCH:                                Oh I just saw and interesting use on the Lead Generator System.   So for those out there who may not be ready to put it on their website, something that I’ve also been doing which has been pretty effective is just to send it out to your leads.  So when you get an inquiry on the phone or say you get an email from a client, you have that initial phone call.  What are you looking for?  Where’s your project at?  What’s your timeline?  And then, of course, you’re following-up though email, usually.  That’s a great opportunity to say, “By the way, it was great talking to you on the phone.  I just wanted to send you this free report that I give to my clients.” And it’s a really great way to differentiate yourself from the other people that they may be talking to.  [0:23:01]

ERIC:                      Right, definitely.  I think what you needn’t be afraid of is to be in touch with useful information, or to have useful information on your site.  I think there’s a natural hesitancy to say, “Well, I don’t want to bug people if they’re—I don’t want to send them too many emails,” or things like that.  Think about it in terms of your emails, in terms of the things that you see out in the world on a website.  If the information is relevant, if it informs you about things that you need to know or that you have questions about, you have problems that you want to solve; then you’re grateful for whatever you find when you’re doing research that helps you in the process.  [0:23:52]   

So, you can offer this as an opt-in; where it’s on your website and people have to fill in their email address. This gives you a chance to take someone who wouldn’t have been in touch to possibly being in touch with them.  But if you do just get an inquiry, whether it’s a phone or an email, or you meet someone at an event or something like that and you get their card, you can just send them some information.  You’re not saying, “Hey, are you ready to hire an architect today?”  You’re saying, “I just thought you might be interested in this.”  So there we go.  Good point Enoch.  [0:24:32]

So in terms of resources there are some other tools here.  I don’t want to go through all of them in detail.  But, if you do want to work with us to create videos, we have a form here where you essentially can put in some text, just like you saw in those video examples there. You can put in your own images, and we can create a video for you.  If you want to work with us for press release submission, we can help you with that.  We have a form that will help you to structure a press release so you will know all of the pieces that you need to put in.  [0:25:10] 

This is actually an older form for asking for SEO critique, for basically having us look at your website.  I guess I’ll have to talk with Enoch about revising this.  I believe that all or most of you are eligible for a website audit, which is sort of a slightly different approach that we’re taking this year to help people like you see what you need to do on your website.  But the basic idea here is that there’ll be a form that you can fill in that both says, “Here’s my website; please look at it.” It also says a little bit about your market.  [0:25:55] 

In other words, “We work on renovations for homes and we’re focused on this area and the following communities.” These are the sort of things that if we know that you’re focused on Boston, Cambridge, Arlington, and Massachusetts, then we can look and see, to some extent, are those referenced on your website?  If they’re not mentioned on your website, that’s not a good thing.  You want to have references to geographic areas or similar concepts there.  So there’s some information as well.  [0:26:26]

We have a tool for doing slideshows on a website that we got a license to share with you.  We’ve got some more updated ones that we may pass along as well.  So these are all resources that you can check out on your own time, and I’ll be exploring them in a little more detail over the coming months.  So back to the agenda for today. I’ve gone through the little tour of the member’s site.  The outline and schedule, I mentioned that there are the lessons that were done.  You can see all of these links on the left-hand side.  They’re also from the top menu.  There is an outline for the course, the original outline here, that you can go look at.  This will change a little bit as we go through the 2014 version.  So just look for some changes.  I’ll be announcing that as we go along.  [0:27:24]

Now, all of this has basically come out of all the work I’ve done over many years.  And I’m combining my resources and my knowledge with Enoch’s; and I think we’re, together, going to have just a very, very focused, relevant experience and journey for you as architects and designers to help you with your marketing.  We’ve taken an overview here and we’ve gone through the member area.  Let’s talk about marketing.  So, I’m going to switch gears and just focus on the concept of marketing and sort of go back over some of the key things that we need to remember as we move forward.  [0:28:13] 

Marketing, as a concept, I think is important to realize what it’s about.  It’s about communicating who you are and what you have to offer to people, companies or organizations like school or hospital boards, or whatever—those who could benefit from it.  It’s really about communication.  You can’t succeed without people knowing about you.  So while some people might consider marketing as maybe not what you want to focus on, because you want to focus on design, you just can’t survive in business without it.  Unless you’re one of the very, very rare ones who just gets one inquiry after another through word-of-mouth.  There are some people and companies that seem to succeed that way, but that’s not something you can count on.  [0:29:08]

Now, there are various ways that you can communicate. Word-of-mouth, of course we’re all familiar with networking.  Now the traditional advertising methods really have been supplanted in many ways by digital media and tools.  Although there’s still the option of doing direct mail, in some cases, can be a very effective thing when you have the right target, the right list of people to give a message to.  And even calling based on certain criteria can be good.  But I think the digital media allows several advantages.  It allows you to target more easily so you can actually find the right type of people or be found when they’re looking, such as when they type in a search for “architect”.  Can you be found?  [0:29:58] 

There are ways that you can measure response and you can see how much traffic you are getting. How many people are actually taking at least some step to get to know you; whereas previously, someone might see your ad in the phone book and they didn’t call you and you wouldn’t know anything.  Now, if they see your listing in Google, at least you know where you are in the search rankings, you can monitor that. You can also see if they maybe took a quick look at your website, so you can see how many people are dropping by.  So there are measurement things that are new.  [0:30:35]

Now a lot of these have replaced old media.  I never use the Yellow Pages any more.  I imagine that most of you are similar.  So we now need to focus on this online marketing as, let’s say, the primary way that I think you can drive lead generation.  There are certainly a variety of marketing approaches.  We’re going to focus on the online side.  [0:31:01]

Now, as a blind spot, I’ve talked about this in previous webinars because you don’t have training in marketing, at least in general you don’t get any at architecture school.  It’s typical that you would learn from your peers and you’ll be used to showing what you do to other architects or other designers.  So that causes a bind spot because you’re not actually engaged in market research.  You’re not talking to potential clients in the way of what would motivate you.  So, in other words, you haven’t done one of the basic things that a sophisticated business would do—at least, this is a stereotype but certainly a large majority of you have not really spent the time to research your market: to research what they need, what they want, and what they would find appealing.  [0:31:50] 

So when you develop a website, certainly the typical thing is that it’s all about you and showing your work.  Architects, in general, create websites with lots of images because architecture is a visual medium.  It’s a physical construction and you live in it, or you work in it and you move through the space, but it’s easily communicated, or at least part of it is communicated with pictures and words may or may not come easily to you.  I know some of you—I remember one person saying, “I went into architecture because I didn’t want to have to write.”  So maybe part of you is like that, where you just don’t like having to come up with lots of words; you’d rather create something beautiful visually.  But that tends to be a limitation for a variety of reasons.  [0:32:36]

Now it’s important, of course, that you have a professional presentation.  And I’m sure you’ve all made that effort to be professional in your dress, in your speech, and not to be overly pushy in terms of sales and meeting people.  That carries over into a website sometimes—or frequently it makes the website so understated that it’s ineffectual.  So we’re going to be looking at how you can amp it up a little bit—be a little more direct without losing your professional demeanor.  [0:33:12]  

Now we talked about a design project.  You’re probably used to approaching many things in your life as design projects.  You think, “How can I make this really elegant, beautiful, and functional?”  And you go through the various steps to plan that out.  But it’s important to consider, just like clients have program requirements, how many rooms do you need?  What area of square footage in the layout?  You want to think about your website in terms of the program requirements for marketing—so as a marketing project.  [0:33:44]

One of the things that I’ve gone over in a previous webinar is that when people are looking online they’re at various stages of the process of finding an architect or a designer and building their project.  So some may be saying, “God, we need to break ground in 3 months.  We need to find somebody right away because our office is just exploding and we have land and we just need to get something permitted and built.”  I know 3 months is extreme but they’re under pressure.  So, right now they’re looking for what architect can do this, or maybe their current architect is unavailable or something happened and they don’t want to work with them so they’re just like, “We’ve got to find somebody!”  But that’s pretty rare.  [0:34:31]

More often they’re looking for information about who’s out there and how much things cost.  And, maybe trying to figure out what sort of budget they would need and what sort of code requirements they have.  They’re thinking about something, so they’re researching.  So a very important thing is to recognize that people are looking at all different points in that cycle or process. If your website can answer questions or be a resource earlier, you have a better chance of reaching them, rather than just saying, “Here’s our great work call us if you’re ready.”   And you have all of that information.  [0:35:12]

You want to have more useful information rather than just information about the firm.  So in terms of the website being a brochure, that’s fine.  It should be a brochure and more.  If you do approach it from the right perspective, all of this will allow it to be found. Now, most architect websites are not found because they’re not ranking.  Of course there are some, if you type in “architect” some sites are showing there.  Maybe it’s the luck of the draw.  Maybe they were there early.  But generally we’ve found that it’s pretty easy, if you’re smart, to get listed highly because most of the other architects aren’t as, let’s say, knowledgeable or dedicated to marketing.  [0:36:05]  

So you, here in this course, have the opportunity to get out in front.  There are about sixty people who are involved in this training right now between the people who joined us for Internet Marketing for Architects course and the members of the Architect Marketing Academy.  So you’re only sixty of you around the world.  So you’re way out in front. 

So, let’s move onto the next section here, ‘Acquiring Clients’.  When you’re looking at how you can bring in these people, you need to solve a problem or fill a need.  Now ultimately they need, let’s just say, if they’re going to hire someone like you, they need someone to do design and drawing, and probably manage the construction.  Now how do you present yourself in a way that builds credibility or authority and, at the same time, makes them go, “Yeah, I like that person” or “I like that firm”?  [0:37:11]  

Well, part of it is if you are just saying, “Here’s who I am. I’ve been around for 25 years and I’ve done these things and if you want a project like these ones I’ve already done, I know it backwards and forwards and I’m going to do a great job for you.”  That tells them that you’re an expert, but it doesn’t tell them, really, that you care about them.  And so they wouldn’t necessarily like you.  They just say, “This looks like a professional firm.”  How do you get them to go, “You know, I really like these people”?  [0:37:45]

The answer, in part, is give value before you get value from them.  In other words, give them useful information before you ask them to hire you.  So in that buying cycle, if you look at that a little bit more deeply, there’s an awareness that people come to if they’re going to go through this process of doing a renovation or building a new building.  They start to have an awareness of a need.  You know, “God, we’re outgrowing this house, and I’ve always wanted to have my own custom home that fits my family.”  And so there’s a feeling of outgrowing something, or needing more space, or something being old and needing to be updated.  So there’s some awareness of a desire or need.  [0:38:36]   

Now, the question is, will they need an architect?  In some cases it’s totally obvious, and in other cases maybe not.  So they’re going to do some research about what options are available.  Let’s say if it was a kitchen remodel, they might just call a contractor and the contractor might come and say, “Yeah we can rip out the cabinets and put some new things in.” And, maybe that’s all they really do need.  But, of course, maybe their needs are more substantial and they want to knock out a wall and they want to do some things and it will require permits and maybe it’s really a tricky space and so it requires substantial design study and things like that.  [0:39:13] 

So they’re trying to figure that out and their alternatives may include everything from, “Well this is too much effort let’s not do it.  Maybe we should move instead.”  So, that’s an alternative.  They might do it themselves; obviously sometimes people are able to do that.  They might hire a contractor.  So those are alternatives.  [0:39:34]  

Now when they do select a solution they’ll select, perhaps, a medium.  In other words, “We’re going to hire an architect,” or “We’re going to hire a contractor,” or “We’re going to do it ourselves.”  And then, when they decide that they’re going to hire an architect or a building designer, then they have to pick which one.  So, if they go through this whole cycle, how can you offer value or information at multiple stages?  How can you offer information that makes them go, “You know I’ve learned a lot.  This company or this firm really is just—they’re good people.”?  [0:40:12]

Now, if you can establish a relationship early on, in terms of them finding something on your website and going, “Wow that was pretty interesting!” but have them opt-in, then you can have repeated touches.  Touches not like ‘I’ll touch you’, but ‘I’ll send you an email or phone calls,’, so they are reminded.  And the more contact points you have, the more likely that they will consider you or just decide on hiring you because they’ll get to know you.  Ultimately they’ll feel that they like you, if you do it right, and that they can trust you.  [0:40:46]

Let’s take a look beyond this general marketing overview, which applies to any type of market and any type of media, not just online, and let’s look at internet marketing and the way that this works.  I’m going to switch over to a tool where I’ve done a “mind map”.  So this is a tool that has a free version and a premium version and it’s called XMind.  It’s one of many tools out there online, or digitally, that allow you to sketch out ideas and the links between them.  [0:41:27] 

So if we look at, generally, how can we use internet marketing to grow your architecture firm?  We can divide it into four categories.  These are my buckets—ways that I think about it.  How can you improve your visibility so you’re seen, found, or discovered?  How can you measure and increase the amount of traffic, or people actually coming to see who you are and learn a little bit about you?  Once you have them visiting and connecting, how can you improve the conversion where they’re going from just an anonymous visitor to a lead, to a prospect; someone who is seriously considering you, to eventually in negotiations?  And how can you win the new project?  How can you actually have the best chance of doing that?  [0:42:20]

Now as I click on the plus sign here, we’ll see that this expands a little bit and I can talk about some of the things that help you be more visible online.  So, the primary one would be being seen in the search engine results.  If someone types in “architect” or a related term, are you listed on page one or page two?  Very few people will go below page two.  I’d say page one obviously is the best.  Page two—certainly I’ve looked through all of the things that page one offers for certain things, and flipped to page two to find more.  So, are you on the first page or the second page there?  [0:42:59]

Part of the way that you can improve the likelihood of that type of position, prominent position, is using keyword analysis.  Basically this has to do with the words people use to search for someone like you.  What would be their ideal terms that they would type in if they were looking for you, but they didn’t know who you were?  They just know that they wanted someone just like what your expertise is.  So this is a question of analyzing and targeting specific keywords.  And Search Engine Optimization is just sort of a large area of study for how you generally improve the chances that you’re going to be seen by the search engines like Google, or Bing, or Yahoo. [0:43:49] 

Now the keyword analysis—a key part of this is what’s relevant to your business.  If you do schools then you don’t want to be found by someone typing in “residential remodel.”  I mean, you probably won’t be.  But you want to think of what would you want to be found for.  Is it schools, hospitals, remodels, new homes, basement additions?  What sort of things?  It has to be relevant.  [0:44:15]

And to some extent, when you do that, you may want to see what words have more volume—more people searching.  Although in recent months, in the last couple of years, Google’s gotten smarter and smarter so that synonyms and related terms will come up with similar answers.  And in fact, being totally specific about the exact words is a little less important than just essentially having more information on a topic.  So if someone is searching for “basement remodels” they might talk about basement renovation or addition, or adding a new recreation room downstairs or something like that.  If you have some articles or information about that, regardless of the words you use, as long as they’re somewhat synonyms for that, it will be helpful.  [0:45:12]

SEO, we talk about on-page and off-page.  On-page is what you do on your website, on the pages of your website, to increase the likelihood that the search engines will find you.  And off-page is what you do, or other people do for you, off your website so that you get referred to by other websites.  So, on your website you have control over the website structure and each page.  So what does it mean—the website structure?  Well first of all, what tool are you building your website on?  WordPress is the one we recommend.  Certainly there are other valid options but the tools that you use here can allow your website, in terms of Google’s eyes, to be very clear as opposed to opaque.  [0:46:02]

If you have a website that is just a single piece of Flash—so you’ve seen some websites, or perhaps you have one yourself, that was created in Adobe Flash and the website address doesn’t change at the top and you can click and you can look around but it still stays the same, the search engine can’t really track it.  It doesn’t know what’s inside that sort of interactive video that flashes—essentially is.  So these are things about the structure and we’ll be going over this, of course, in detail in the course.  [0:46:32]

Page optimization: there are some technical things.  If you think about the main headline on the page that says “Remodel in Arlington” or something like that.  There may be a portfolio piece about a particular project that you did in a town.  That title is information that Google will use if someone were searching for “remodels in Arlington” then they’re going to—Google will say, “Oh hey, we have a page that’s just exactly about that topic.”  And there are headline tags, basically when you have larger texts on a webpage that designates it as more prominent to the visitor as well as to the search engines.  [0:47:13]

There is the possibility of summarizing your page.  That’s sort of internal to your website where, in addition to the actual text that’s on there, there’s maybe a handcrafted summary.  This can help.  And the page content itself.  Whatever you put on there, can make a difference in terms of the search engine results page.  Obviously the search engines are trying to point people to locations where they can get useful information and the more you have content that relates to the search, the better it is. 

Now off-page, backlinks is the primary reference or measurement.  And these are the appearance of your website on other locations; including ones that you can do yourself like press releases or videos where you can place them up on YouTube and various other things that can be done, including placing just a listing of your business in various online directories.  [0:48:11]

All of these play a role in getting better search engine results.  In fact, the local directories I have here, and I have it here as a separate topic because there are various strategies that you can use to optimize the listings for them.  And all of these can lead directly, in addition to search engines seeing you, you can also just get traffic.  Maybe people are looking on Yelp for an architect; it actually does happen.  Or Houzz, things like that; there are listings there.  And social media, in fact, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google + and we should really add Houzz and Pinterest as additional ones that are related.  [0:48:52] 

All of these have to do with visibility.  This generally means: how easy is it for people to find you?  And once they’ve found you, how can you track this?  How can you see how you’re ranking in terms of the search engines and what sort of results are you getting?  The traffic can be boosted based on having more useful information.  You can bring in more traffic by paying for it.  In other words, you can advertise.  You can do other postings and manual links and also do events that will bring in traffic.  All of these things can play a role in bringing in or boosting more traffic.  [0:49:36]

Now when someone visits your website, we want to take them through a process where you capture their information, if possible, so that they are not an anonymous visitor.  You have a way to stay in touch with them and they then become a lead.  And you want to track and follow-up with them.  So if we go through this, we’ve talked about this in previous webinars, having them opt-in for a free report or video, or a consultation.  Possibly, sometimes things like social—I “like” this—can be good.  And occasionally you might have a coupon maybe for a consultation or something like that.  [0:50:12]  

Now once you’ve got them into your world where you can keep in touch with them, how can you see where they came from and optimize that?  Sometimes there can be coding so you can see, where did they come from?  Or you can even have a phone tracking number to see that they called a number that was specific to a certain advertising resource.  Follow-up does a whole lot of things that we’ll be going over in the course; ways that you can stay in touch and build your relationship, both automated as well as manual processes.  [0:50:53]

Ultimately, all of this plays a role when you have followed-up sufficiently with people, then they’re definitely going to want to have you on the shortlist when they decide that they’re ready to have a meeting, a presentation, and go through the process of ultimately figuring out who to award their contract to.  [0:51:11] 

Now one of the things that we’re going to be looking at is this as a separate module, a separate course.  We actually have Richard Petrie—I think some of you attended some of his presentations in October—he’s got a special system which he calls the ‘Prospect Conversion System’.  We’ll take a look at that in a little bit, and we’ll actually have Richard make a presentation, at some point, about optimizing this process.  What you want to do is get in a position where someone starts to get interested and you direct that process so you have the highest likelihood of winning their business, rather than having the runaround where you spend time meeting with them but you’re waiting to see if they decide anything and they’re in control.  You want to be, as much as possible, in the driver’s seat for that.  [0:52:07] 

So this is an overview here of this whole process… that I think you can print out.  There’s a page in the member area for the resources—this overview.  There’s a mind map and you can print that out and that will just help you to understand how all of these pieces fit together. 

Let’s go back to where we are here.  We are just a little under the one hour mark and we have the following things that we’re going to be covering after a brief break for questions.  We’re going to be looking a little bit deeper at keywords.  A little bit at analytics.  Keywords are what people type in to search for you and try and figure out what they would type in if they were looking for you.  Analytics is that whole process of analyzing how many people are visiting and how long they’re staying and what they’re doing while they’re on your website.  And we’ll also be looking at where to go from here, including—I’ll be talking about and showing you the new Mastermind Coaching area that I’ve set up for you.  So we have a few things that we’ll be going through after a little break for questions.  [0:53:34]

So let’s see what questions we have right now.  I see that there aren’t any more questions that were typed in.  I guess that you’ve all been paying close attention and maybe I’ve been very clear, but if you have any questions please type them into the chat box and I’m going to take a sip of my tea. 

[WAITING] 

Q:  “Hi Enoch.  I’ve done exactly that and it’s been successful!” 

A:  So I’m not quite sure—that was from half an hour ago.  Amy, if you want to elaborate on that.  What’s been successful?   You had an exclamation mark and a little smiley face so I guess you’ve been happy about what that did.  [0:54:27] 

Let’s see.  Other questions…  I’d like to make sure that before we go on I’ve made it as clear as possible. 

 

Q:  “Where did you say the mind map is located?” 

A:  Good question.  So if you are in the member area and you’ve logged into the website and you’re looking at this type of a menu here, under “resources” you’ll see “Overview: Internet Marketing for Architects.”  On that page you‘ll see a little bit of a description.  Then there’s a video that’s about 24 minutes long that’s similar to what I just did.  And here is the cheat sheet.  So this is a PDF and you can just open that up.  I’ll just click on it and you’ll see here is the expanded version and you can just print that out.  [0:55:28]

 

Q:  “Using the lead generation system to email out to prospective clients.” 

A:  Okay, excellent.  So you’ve done exactly that and it’s been successful.  I’m glad that you’ve found it useful.  I’d be interested in how successful.  Have you actually felt like people have just warmed up to you and said “Wow I really like that!” or have you actually gotten some work?  It’s only been a little while since that’s been available.  But, of course, I love hearing success stories. 

In fact, we’ve got a wonderful success story from Larry Folk, I think is his name.  Let’s just see his name—yeah, Larry Folk, who said that he’d followed some of the ideas from the webinar and got up a listing on Houzz and put some more stuff on his website including the reports.  He just landed, last week, a new custom home—3,800 square feet.  And since he does design/build it looks like it may even go through construction where he does design and construction.  So he’s definitely had success.  We’re very happy for you Larry.  [0:56:46]

 

Q:   “Hi Eric, how do other sites Flash get on top of the search engine rankings?” 

A:  So, are you saying that there are some sites that you believe are done in Flash that are showing up as primary?  If you type in “architect” in your area, it shows up?  If you can clarify that it would be good. 

 

Q:   “I get a lot of offers from companies to do backend SEO, or search engine optimization, for me.  Is this worth paying for or are the best ways to improve search results are things I need to do with my site?” 

A:  Now this is an interesting question.  Let’s see if Enoch wants to join me on discussing this.  Enoch, are you around?  [0:57:34]

ENOCH:                                I’m here still, yep. 

ERIC:                      So do you think it’s worth paying companies that do this type of offer?  And, of course, you and I are starting to do that for people.  So we do believe, in general, that it can be helpful to have an expert.  What’s your take on that?

ENOCH:                                Okay, when we’re talking “doing this” what exactly is being referred to?

ERIC:                      Well, Michael writes, “I get a lot of offers from companies to do backend SEO for me…” so the classic thing will put you on the first page of Google, pay us “X” dollars once or pay us “X” dollars a month to do that.  So is it worth doing that?  [0:58:11]

ENOCH:                                Well yeah, I think that definitely it could be worth it.  I think that it’s totally going to depend upon what the company is doing and, unfortunately, a lot of times with the SEO there’s a lot of obfuscation going on in terms of clients not really understanding or knowing what is being done for the money.  So I would definitely approach any sort of cold call from a company like that with my eyes wide open.  I know that there are some companies that are offering to do paid advertising.  Eric and I recently talked about—Yodel, I think, is one that’s been calling architects and that’s a little different.  That’s paid campaigns.  In other words, they’ll place you in Google AdWords.  [0:58:59]

In terms of SEO, what I would say to analyze an offer like that, it really comes down to how many keywords they’re going to rank you for.  And then, also, I would take into account the understanding of the company in working with architects or other designers or design professionals.  Because I’ve seen, in the bit of work that Eric and I have done with architects, a lot of the sites that we’ve been working on have actually had SEO stuff done to them by non-industry people and we can see that the SEO work has not been effective.  [0:59:36] 

So, it’s really a case-by-case basis.  There are people out there that can deliver the goods, but there are a whole lot more of them that are used to working with people like maybe dentists or repair garages that have a different business structure and a shorter sales cycle. 

ERIC:                      I think, ultimately, it is possible to get assistance with this.  We’ve been working on strategies ourselves that we’re starting to apply more actively to more of our clients and, definitely, as we’ve seen in previous webinars.  And we’ll be looking at case studies for some of our clients.  It is possible to get help with this whole process.  [1:00:23]         

Now what you don’t want is the wrong type of help.  Part of that may be the non-industry specific.  In other words, things that work for other industries may not work as well for architects.  And in fact websites—if you just get a website done by a company that says “We’ll do a WordPress website for 400 bucks” you may get something that looks okay, but it doesn’t really bring you work.  In the same way you may do SEO that is just not targeted or focused properly.  [1:00:55] 

The other thing to be aware of is that some of these companies that do search engine optimization are still using strategies that maybe were effective a couple of years ago, or even last year, but are being frowned upon by Google.  So you can end up possibly hurting your reputation when you do that because there were things that you could do that were quick and dirty that would get you ranked.  In the old days, two years ago let’s say, you might stay up there forever or for a while.  But Google has gotten smarter and smarter about these sort of black hat methods of search engine optimization.  And so sometimes these things do actually backfire.  You can end up being, essentially, relegated to a back page of Google forever if you do some of this stuff that was common, even as recently as two years ago.  [1:01:50]                        

Alright, so moving on, I see a bunch of other questions. 

Q:  “I created my website in iWeb.  What is your impression of it in terms of being able to utilize those elements you’re discussing?”

A:  I believe iWeb—that’s the Apple tool.  My recollection is that’s an Apple tool and it’s no longer being actively developed.  And although you can create some decent looking websites, it’s just not the course to get on and try to ride forward.  I would suggest that you probably want to take the website and at some point sooner or later migrate it to a platform like WordPress that is going to continue to be developed and get better and better over time.  But in general the principles apply regardless of the tool.  [1:02:40] 

In other words, having good content focused on solving the problems of the people who you want to visit your website, doing some of the backend stuff that will allow Google or other search engines to understand what your website is about, tagging and meta tags and things like that.  All of these can be done by a variety of tools.  We like WordPress because A) it’s free and B) it’s easy to learn the basics of adding content—in other words, you can add pages or blog posts or news articles anytime you want, and C) it’s just widely supported.  So, you want something done on a website in WordPress, there’s usually a plugin or some tool that will make that easy.  [1:03:27]

 

Q:  “Flash sites and ranking?”

A:  Well, if you think about it, a few years ago there wasn’t an issue with Flash sites.  Basically, if a site was of a firm that had prominence and the firm was being referred to by many other websites because they were a well-regarded award winning firm then it wasn’t a problem.  Google would say, “Hey, there are a lot of links to this site.”  And, in fact, to some extent that’s true.  If they’re a top firm, they’ll have a strong likelihood of being in the search engines ranking highly.  So you may not be able to compete against a firm that’s won huge awards.  [1:04:14] 

But if you’re competing against other firms that are not as noteworthy then you’re really in a position where the ones that have a better website structure will easily outperform a Flash based site.  So usually it has to do with the offsite things.  In other words, that everybody is talking about that firm or that it’s just highly regarded would make a Flash based site rank or possibly rank.

 

Q:  “Eric, where’d you get that cup?  It’s huge!”

A:  From a farmers market from a ceramics artisan.  I like having a lot to drink.  Actually, I only drank that much so far but it always makes me feel like it’s a bottomless cup, so to speak.

 

Q:  “Do you know where I can find a PLR in order to create a follow-up message for my leads?  I am blocked and I don’t know what I should write in my auto responder.”  [1:05:14]

A:  Big question, but briefly to explain—it is good to have a sequence of emails that you can have set up to respond to leads so when someone downloads a report or they call in and you talk to them briefly or something and you want to just keep them warm by sending them some things, it can be good to have a sequence of emails that just automatically go out so you don’t have to remember to stay in touch but they get useful information. 

We are actually creating a PLR product.  PLR is an abbreviation for private label rights and it just is a term for saying that if you buy something with that you can use it as if it was your own; you don’t have to give credit and put something—“This email was written by so-and-so.” or “This video was made by so-and-so.” or “This picture is copyright by so-and-so.”  You can use it freely for your own work depending upon the license you buy.  [1:06:18]  

So like the Lead Generator system, Enoch and I are working on a Lead Follow-Up system that will be available—I think that we’re probably going to be doing that as a separate purchase that you could get through this course.  And also we’ll be able to set it up for you so that this type of a system is integrated into your whole marketing process.  There’s nothing out there that already exists for architects and we’re going to create it.  Any comments on that, Enoch?

ENOCH:  No.  There were a couple of things during your answer of the questions.  I did have a couple more kind of unrelated comments but I didn’t want to jump in right now if it wasn’t the appropriate time.  [1:07:07]  

ERIC:  Okay.  So moving on, we have just a few more that that I’ll go through very quickly and then we’ll get back to finishing up the remaining content.

 

Q:  Getting some help.

A:  That is something on the marketing side.  So if you are interested in going beyond learning and doing it yourself and getting help from Enoch and myself, please just drop us an email and we’ll schedule a time to talk and discuss what you need.  And definitely the Architects Marketing Group is set up specifically to provide those services, whether it’s developing your website or running a marketing campaign. 

 

Q:  This person was actually from the 2012 course and signed up again to be part of this one says, “Thanks to the classes in 2012 I got listed on many sites online and when you Google search my specialty I come up first on many choices including my skeleton website.  Thanks, Eric, for that. It’s a great first step that worked.”  [1:08:08]

Excellent!  So I know that he’s inquired about getting his website developed further.  Even though the website is ranking, now it’s a question of having more content or at least getting it as shipshape as possible.  But congratulations on what you’ve been able to achieve so far!

 

Q:  “Regarding offers from companies to place on the first page of Google, I used to have many calls.  Then the last one about a year ago said to me that they can’t help because that whole first page is filled.  Since then I’ve had no more calls.  The search that they most target is “architect” and then the city name.

A:  Interesting that you have not been getting calls.  I think it’s probably harder to get rankings.  I think you have to do more real work, and it isn’t as profitable a business as just, “Pay us five hundred bucks and we’ll do a bunch of junk links and get you on page one.”  It takes much more sophisticated work to do that.  [1:09:05]   

Now in terms of the whole first page being filled, whenever you type in a search result there is a first page of stuff, but it’s relatively easy to get into that first page in many cases because the other firms that are there have done some work. But if you’re smart, you can do better or more extensive work and be one of the ones that Google says, “This is a really good site we want to show.”

 

Q:  “Is it worth working with Google directly for SEO?”

A:  I think Google does not do SEO but there are companies that say, “We’re a Google authorized provider” or “We’re a Google agency” or something like that.  They use the word “Google” and it’s probably some sort of certification they got that essentially says that they know some part of advertising or search engine stuff.  Google doesn’t do that.  Their companies may have a piece of paper from Google.  Anyway, the same thing as what Enoch said before.  Just use caution.  Make sure that the offer seems legitimate.  Ask to see other related work that they’ve done.  See if they’ve done any work with architects because if they haven’t done work with architects then you may want to be a little bit more cautious or just not work with them.  [1:10:32] 

ENOCH:                                Or just go with someone you already know like Eric and I who can—we’re definitely competitive on what we charge and the value we provide; more than those other companies.  So if you’re really thinking about doing it give us a call first.

ERIC:                      Alight, great.  …Asked a question earlier about iWeb, “Yes it’s an Apple product.”  Okay.

 

Q:  “I’m signing up with WordPress right now.  Is the free level adequate to begin with?”

A:  Good question!  WordPress refers to two quite closely related things.  One is there’s a site called wordpress.com and it’s free. I guess there are some levels where you can pay some money.  You would have a website that would be—if you were Greg Daskin, maybe GregDaskin.wordpress.com.  It would have your name or your company or something dot WordPress dot com.  You don’t want that as a professional.  As an individual, fine, you could have a blog that can actually look pretty good on their site but it’s a subdomain.  It’s not your main one.  [1:11:38] 

So what you want to do is have your own domain with your own GregDaskinDesigner or architect or whatever dot com.  And you want to then use WordPress— is what we recommend—as a tool for setting up the site.  And we’ll be going into the how that’s done in the upcoming course lesson.  So WordPress dot com, while it’s something interesting, what you’re talking about is probably not what we would recommend.  When you say “signing up” for WordPress you’re probably talking about the one that would be more for individual bloggers, let’s say.  [1:12:18]

 

Here’s a final thing and then we’re going to need to move on.

Q:  “I created our website at Squarespace.  What do you think of that service for SEO, etc?”

A:  I think Squarespace has some good options there.  I’m not sure where the limits are.  It certainly can make some nice looking sites that are well optimized for search engines.  So there may be some issues with that they only let you do certain things and you can’t do some other things that you may want in terms of how you lay out your portfolio, or the way that you structure your navigation around the site.  These may be not important or, in general, I know that with WordPress you can make it do anything.  [1:13:03]    

Enoch, do you have any comments on Squarespace?

ENOCH:                Yeah.  I just want to say with Squarespace, I’ve looked at it extensively when I was helping out Rachael and I know she’s on the call today.  Squarespace is—what these kind of companies do to be able to offer a website that has great design at a very low price point is, of course, they have you choose from a very limited number—or maybe a broad number—but they have stock templates.  So that’s the same as WordPress but the difference here is that with Squarespace, one thing I’ve found to be a slight disadvantage is that if you use one of their stock templates you’re not free to customize it—get in there and basically rewrite some of the code.  So that is one slight disadvantage because if you want to do anything that’s not standard then you’re going to look at starting from scratch again with custom coding.  Now, a lot of these sites, they’re really put to together by designers first and marketers second.  And so the problem with that is that they’re not put together in terms of trying to make a website that sells and trying to make a website that gets visible which, of course, is what we’re focusing on here in the course.  [1:14:21]                               

If it’s my website I would stay away from Squarespace.  I would try to work with WordPress.  There are a lot of things that look just the same and as far as usability WordPress is getting there.  It’s just as usable in terms of functionality and ease of use as Squarespace.  But, that said, you can definitely get 90% there using the existing Squarespace templates.  The one thing to be aware of is to make sure that everything is properly SEO optimized. 

I know that we’ll be going over that more in the course and Eric will be talking more about exactly what that means in terms of where the keywords are located.  But I did notice that Squarespace had a few things that, right out of the box, didn’t look like they were going to be working very well in terms of the SEO category of things.  So, that’s my two cents on Squarespace.  [1:15:18]

ERIC:                      Okay, thank you.  Thank you, Enoch.  I think the bottom line is that there are a variety of tools.  The strategies that we’ll be learning and going through can apply to multiple ones like Squarespace.  How much do you want to do it yourself?  How much flexibility do you want in terms of the look and feel?  I guess some of the subtleties can eventually become important. 

One thing to know about is if you have set up a website in Squarespace and let’s say you’ve done 10 or 15 pages of stuff—or it could be any number, it can be migrated over, generally fairly easily, from that environment to another one, like WordPress.  You can essentially set up your new website structure and copy and paste the content.  So it can be relatively quick to migrate that.  In other words, the work you’ve done which is largely compiling content and planning out how the website should fit together, that can be reused a lot.  [1:16:29]   

So let’s—I think we’ve gone through a lot of questions.  Let’s do sort of a brief talk about keywords and website analytics.  I think probably because it’s already and hour and 20 that I’ll just do a very short, quick onceover on these and then we’ll look at our homework and next steps.

ENOCH:                Before you go on I did want to mention one other thing here.  As going forward regarding your website and your SEO that you have as an architect one thing to remember is that if you’re logged into Google—so if you have a Google account, whether it’s Gmail or you use Google apps or something—if you’re logged into that Gmail account and you go Google and you do a web search your results are going to be skewed because it’s going to give priority to pages that you’ve already visited.  We’ve had experiences before where architects think they’re ranking highly, maybe the top one or two spots, but they’re not getting any traffic, they’re not getting any results and they’re wondering what’s going wrong.  Well, when they refresh their browser cache or when they use a different browser that they haven’t used before, or they use a different computer, then they see oh, I’m on page 56.  I’m not even on the first 10 pages of Google.  [1:17:50]     

So that’s one thing to be aware of.  Go with a fresh browser, fresh computer, see where you’re at on Google and also—Eric, I don’t know if you’re going to get into this later—how to do a competitive analysis.  How to see how strong the websites are that are ranking on the first page for the kind of terms that you would want to be recognized for.  And there’s a great plugin for Chrome.  It’s called the PageRank plugin extension.  And there’s also one for Firefox as well that will actually show you what’s called the page rank which is a numerical value that Google assigns to webpages to determine priority listing.  [1:18:29]     

So that will give you an idea of how competitive your particular niche is.  So those are the two things that I wanted to mention, Eric, before we moved onto the keywords, was to make sure not to be logged in so you can see where you’re at right now.  At the end of the day, the results are:  am I getting calls, are people seeing me, are they calling me for my website?  If they’re not calling you because they saw your website then you’re not out there enough, you’re not on the web, you’re not being exposed to where people are looking. 

 

ERIC:                      Okay.  Those are good points and I think that probably some of you are very familiar with this.  For some of you, maybe this was enough to understand but I’m sure that there’ll be some of you who will say that I didn’t quite get what he meant by being logged into Google or a fresh emptying the cache or whatever.  So we’ll go through some of those mechanics, definitely, to help you.  Basically what you want to do is get a good measure of where you stand rather than a skewed one that maybe is not reflective of your true position.  [1:19:29] 

There are some tools that will help you to see how easy it’s going to be to rank or get a search engine position in your market and we’ll be going over some of those in the future.  Ultimately, for some of you it’s going to be a piece of cake and for others it will take more work.  I don’t think in any case that it’s going to be impossible or impractical, but obviously in some more competitive markets it will be harder. 

Alright, so keyword analysis, again, I’m just going to do a very quick once over here.  The main to think about is: what would people type into a search engine if they wanted to find a firm just like you, or just like your firm, but they didn’t type in your name?  If they type in “John Smith Architect” to Google, they’ll find ‘John Smith Architect’.  But if they wanted to find ‘John Smith Architect’ because that firm does custom luxury homes on the beach, and they typed in, instead, “custom home luxury architect beach front property” or something like that, how would they find ‘John Smith Architect’ who’s the premiere one for that?  [1:20:37]     

Well, first of all, if ‘John Smith Architect’ is the authority on that, then when they type it in, maybe there are other websites that refer to, “Oh, John Smith, he’s the one to go to!”  So there are links there.  But generally in order for that search to reach John Smith, or to reach you, you have to do some things to makes sure that Google say—when someone types in “custom luxury home beachfront architect” that you’re the one that they say, “God this would be the perfect answer to their question.”  So you can try to do some simple experiments—try this yourself and see if your firm comes up; just type in “architect.”  [1:21:20]

But here we do—what Enoch’s point is if you’ve already visited your website, and I’m sure you have, then just by typing it in in your own web browser it may not tell you much.  But what you can see is, at least, is who else is out there.  And if you try variations like:  residential architect, or home architect, or architect for custom homes, or school architect, or architect for school boards, or—I don’t know, whatever—try different things and see who comes up and you’re likely to find what firms that you know about as competitors.  You’re likely to see others.  And if you keep playing around with it you’ll eventually see this is a page that this search really reaches other firms like mine and I wish my website was being listed.  So who is getting the business that could be yours?  Well, ultimately the ones that are on that first page are getting calls.  And if you’re not there then you’re not getting a chance for that business.  [1:22:13]

Now I’m not actually going to be going into that Google Keyword Tool.  They changed this last year so now it’s called ‘Keyword Planner’ and it’s a little more complicated to work with.  We will look at that a little later.  Basically what you want to do is think about who you would like to serve, of course, which is your target market.  You probably already know that, but you may want to think a little more deeply about specializing in what sort of things that you really enjoy, what sort of things that you have a lot of experience in, and testimonials or clients who can say, “Wow!  You just did the best historic renovation of my kitchen!  I just wanted to have all this stuff accurate to the period.”  If that’s your specialty then make sure that you’re found when people are looking for that.  [1:23:16]     

So you want to research keyword phrases.  Decide on some targets.  You don’t have to decide this week but decide what you would like to focus on because you can’t be the be-all and end-all for everything unless it’s maybe your town.  But, you want to be “the” architect to go to in your town and if it’s a relatively small town then maybe you can win that way.  If it’s a larger city then it’s going to be harder to be “the” architect for Chicago, for example.  Then you want to build website content around these keywords and concepts and provide a good solution when someone’s looking for those particular topics.  So that’s a general, quick onceover.  We’ll be spending some time looking at how you can do more research on this and see where you stand, as well as where other people stand, in an upcoming lesson.  [1:24:03]

Website analytics—I’m just going to give you a couple little snippets here about terms that you should know about and think about.  In order to know where you stand you need to have a measuring tool.  In fact, there’s a saying that if you can’t measure, you can’t improve it.  Certainly you have someone who’s an athlete and you have a stopwatch—did you run faster today than you did other days?  Things like that.  What’s your split time?  Those things are measurements that athletes do.  Now it’s sort of like a GPS system.  If you know where you are and where you want to go and you can sort of see whether you’re getting closer or not, it will help you to manage that.  [1:24:46]     

So some of the things that you want to do are:  how many people are visiting?  And you can say in a day, or in typically a month is a common measure.  And how many people are unique, because some people come back more than once.  Obviously, in general, you want to have more of those.  But what’s realistic for an architecture firm?  Maybe in different cities or towns, but if you can get a few hundred real visitors to your site every month, that’s actually not bad.  You don’t have to have tens of thousands of people, you could have 300 visitors in a month—10 people per day and if 5% of them actually became leads and actually opted in for information and you could be in touch with them, that’s 15 that you could be in touch with and over time those could become real projects.  So you don’t need thousands.  [1:25:36]

How long did they stay on the website?  Did they just come, look around for 10 seconds and leave?  Did they take two minutes to look through several pages?  In fact, how many pages they visited is another measure.  If they just go to the homepage and leave—not good.  If they go the homepage and your about page and maybe two portfolio pages, they’ve found it interesting enough to explore.  And, to some extent, if you can get it up to four or five pages on average, you’re doing pretty well.  Some people may spend 20 minutes and look through all of your pages, but on average if you can get it up to more than two or three that’s really good.  [1:26:14] 

Now measuring where people came from, obviously if you meet someone and say, “Hey, here’s my website; here’s my card,” that’s a direct search—they type in your address.  If they’re doing a search, you can tell with the analytics, did they type in “architect for San Rafael” or something like that? 

So let’s take a look at what Analytics is about.  Very, very briefly: Analytics is a free service from Google.  You can sign up and I’ll have some training on that.  I manage, along with Enoch, a number of client websites.  And if I just open up, say, my own group of websites—so we have the Internet Marketing for Architects website here, and my Bobrow dot com and things like that.  So the Internet Marketing for Architects website, if I click on this, you’ll see that in the last month we had as many as 288 people visiting on this particular day to this site and as few down here, right after New Year’s, of 11 visits of this site and overall in the course of the month, 2,200 visits, 1,300 people actually looked around on the site.  [1:27:27]

Now that’s not a typical architect website, so let’s go back to an architect website. We’ll take a look at JHD.  So JHD is one that I’ve profiled in some of the webinars.  They’re based in the UK and they had 967 visits in the last month.  If we go look at this in a little bit more detail, you can see they had as many as 53 or about fifty-something visits in a particular day, 1,000 visits and 770 visitors.  Now they are averaging between 5 and 10 inquiries a month for work.  So they are just slammed with work.  In fact, they have to decide how many people they want to talk to or how much time they want to spend on it because people are finding them and they’re getting work from it.  [1:28:18]

This is one of the things that we’ll be doing more extensive training on in analytics—this is this past month.  Let’s compare this, or let’s look where they were a year ago.  So if I were to change this to 2012 to 2013 and I say “apply”—last year there were 618 and now they’re at 772.  So it’s gone up a little since last year, but they’ve been doing great since then.  What about two years ago?  Let’s go back to 2011 and the beginning of 2012 and we apply that.  Alright, they had 157 visitors.  So, in other words, two years ago they had an average of about five visitors a day.  Now they’re getting an average of 20-25 visitors a day.  So you can see what a difference we have.  Now we can look at this and say when did this change happen?  I know because we started working with them in April, 2012.  [1:29:21] 

So if we do a search for, say, April 1st through April 30th here and we apply this, we’ll see again that it’s still 188 visitors. So less than 200, about six a day.  And we can actually go and say compare it to—I guess if we go forward to June and we compare it to April here and apply this, we’ll see that by June they were up to 327 visits compared to 226.  They were up almost 44% here.  And if we go on through the year it just went on and on.  So here we went up from 188 to 257, and eventually up to 600 by the end of the year.  So that was over a couple of months and as we move forward it just kept growing.  [1:30:23] 

Google Analytics can give you this type of information.  To get that you’ll simply—I’ll just say “simply” in quotes—you get a little piece of code, a little text snippet that you can copy and paste, and it gets put into your website.  Then every time someone drops into your website, Google is able to see when they came, when they leave, and also see when they change from one page to another.  It doesn’t keep track of who they are individually.  You can’t tell that John Smith visited, but you can tell that one person visited from a certain country or even, usually, a location.  [1:31:02]

So that’s a little bit about analytics.  Once you have that set up you can see where you start.  You saw two years ago that they had five visitors a day and now they’re up to 25 visitors a day.  But even better than that is the quality of the visitors and the number of inquiries.  Because what you want is more visitors and more serious interaction, and they’ve done both with that.  So let’s see, so if I go back to here this is a little overview of what the things to think about and we’ll be giving you tools to just set up analytics on your website.  [1:31:41] 

So, let’s talk a little bit about what we’re going to do from here on.  In other words, I’m going to give you just five minutes here on where we’re going next.  So I want you to think about keywords.  Think about what someone would search for to find you.  We’re not going to be playing with the Google Keyword tool because that’s been replaced.  So, just think about that.  Think about, essentially, what your ideal market is—what you want people to find you for.  Experiment with web searches and see who’s listed. 

You may want to just follow the quick, simple thing that Enoch suggested—using a different browser.  For example, I’m in Firefox.  If I go to Safari—I have a different browser here.  I can start up Safari or Chrome.  If I’m in Firefox I can use Chrome or Safari.  You can install a different browser if you don’t have it because then it won’t know, necessarily, who you are or where you’ve visited.  You can actually look in sort of an unbiased way.  So, we’ll be showing some more sophisticated ways to do that, but that’s just a quick way to do it.  [1:32:43]

Think about what you offer that’s special.  We’re going to spend some time on this.  What is your unique position in the market?  The thing you can say I do that better, or we do that better than others, or, if you want such-and-such we’re your guy, we’re your person, we’re the firm. 

We’re going to be going over how to set up an analytics account and install a tracking code in a future lesson.  But I would also just suggest that you look at your own website with a fresh eye.  Imagine how someone, seeing it for the first time, who doesn’t know you, who’s just sort of doing some looking around.  What would they see?  What would they be encouraged to look at if they had some thought in mind, would they find on your website?  So sometimes just trying to think from a fresh perspective will help you to think you know, I really—god, if I came here I wouldn’t necessarily want to stay.  Or you may say, “I don’t know, I think it’s got—it’s good.”  [1:33:48]

I want to tell you what’s coming up in terms of the Mastermind.  I’ve set up a LinkedIn group.  I imagine that many, if not most of you, are members of LinkedIn.  If you’re not, you should join.  LinkedIn is a social network for businesses and professionals.  So it’s perfectly appropriate as an architect or a design firm that you join as an individual and then you can also set up, to a limited extent, a business page.  It’s not nearly as much used as Facebook business pages, but generally you want to have a profile on LinkedIn and participate at least a little bit in some of the activities there.  [1:34:34]

Now one of the activities will be this Mastermind.  And right now you can see that it’s brand new; there’s nothing underneath here.  But take a look at ArchiCAD—ArchiCAD is a group that I know some of you were involved in because you’ve been longtime ArchiCAD clients—and you’ll see that there are discussions here.  So, if we look at something, like something that I’ve posted, “Can a BIM Server be set up in the Amazon cloud?”  You don’t have to understand that, but just understand that I posted something here.  And when I click on it, here’s my initial question that just sort of started it off.  And here are various people who commented, including my own responses to this.  [1:35:22] 

This is what we’re going to have.  We’re going to be able to have a question or a comment, or maybe an announcement about Marketing for Architects. And you’ll be able to do that in this group.  Now, when you do that, other members will also be able to see this.  This is the ‘Architect Mastermind’ one.  You can see this little padlock; it’s a closed group.  I’m going to be sending you an invitation to join it.  Please accept my invitation.  If you’re not a LinkedIn member, we’ll probably create a short little video on how to join LinkedIn.  And then once you’ve joined it, you can accept my invitation and you’ll be on a list of members.  Right now you can see that there’s one member, whereas look at ArchiCAD where it says 8,800 members here.  [1:36:11] 

So we’ll have about 60 members for our Mastermind, to start out with.  It may grow a little bit but it’s private.  So you can talk there freely knowing that you’re helping and getting help from other architects and building designers who are involved in this course and working with us closely.  So, you needn’t worry about your potential prospects seeing you talk about “How can I get a higher price for my jobs?”  You don’t have to worry about what you’re saying because it’s your colleagues.  And, in fact, we’re all in this to help each other.  So posting comments and questions is absolutely what I want you to do.  [1:36:53]

Now what you’ll notice, if I go back to ArchiCAD and I go to this “I” here, it says “Information and Settings.”  Now I happen to be a manager for the group, so I can get some additional stuff. But here are my personal settings for ArchiCAD, and you’ll see something similar.  You can basically choose:  Do you want to get an email when each new discussion comes out?  You’ll want to do that.  So basically when someone posts something in the Mastermind group, you’ll get an email.  Now you can set it up so that email goes into a particular folder in your mail system, so it isn’t necessarily at the top level, but you’ll want to get an email so you know when someone’s posted something.  [1:37:34] 

You want to also want to get a digest of the activity in this group, if you haven’t already been part of LinkedIn and done that.  You’ll basically get one email a day that says these three discussions had some activity, some new comments posted.  So, if it intrigues you, and I would encourage you regularly to check it, you’ll go see what those comments are and add your own comments or questions to it.  You can choose between daily or weekly.  I would suggest that with our small group that we all do daily.  So you’re basically going to get just the activity every day.  You’ll be reminded that marketing is one of the things that you’re working on.  [1:38:17]

And you’ll allow me to send you an email.  Of course I can send you emails through other ways but this will be a good thing.  And allowing other members of this group, just the 60 people that we’ve got, approximately, will be important.  So just check all these boxes here and make it daily and you should be good to go.  I’ll create a little video for that but basically this will be in operation by tonight or tomorrow morning. 

So I think that’s our main homework is just think about your marketing a little bit, and your key words, and your targeting.  And sign up as soon as I give you the invitation for the Mastermind and then we can start having discussions about this.   

So Enoch, do you have any questions or comments here?  I do see some other comments or questions that we didn’t get to earlier.  Enoch: anything more, before we finish up, from you?  [1:39:14]

ENOCH:                Yeah.  I just wanted to say, thanks everyone for being on the call today.  I know there’s a lot of housekeeping here.  We’ve laid a good foundation to get some success here.  So, that’s kind of all I wanted to say, Eric, just to wrap up.  Thanks everyone for being on the call.  And, definitely, as this course progresses, especially the stuff that Eric shared today, you will be given the tools to either do this yourself or to be able to discern any businesses that are offering services, whether it’s going to be valuable to you or not.  So that’s the kind of the information and content that we are going to be learning with the program.  [1:39:55] 

ERIC:                      And there’s also that middle level where, let’s say, you have some staff and you’re the owner—I’m just going to put that as the typical situation—and you may want to have a staff person go through course lessons.  And if you both go through it then you’ll be able to direct that staff person and say, “Yes I want you to set up that WordPress site.” or “I want this to be done.”  You’ll at least have an eye for what they do.  So it could be that you do it yourself.  It could be a staff person.  It could be an outside service, including us.  You’ll understand what you want to accomplish.  [1:40:32]

Let’s see, so I think we have a few questions I want to just go through quickly.  And if you need to go, I know we’ve gone an hour and 40 minutes so I appreciate that you’ve taken the time.  Most everyone who came on the call is still here, so that’s great.  I look forward to getting your comments and questions.  You can send that by email. 

Also when I post the recording on the website there will be an opportunity for you to add comments and questions there.  But if it’s general and not just specifically about something in this lesson or something on the website then please consider posting it in the Mastermind.  Because if it’s really a general question of “Should I go with someone who says that they can do SEO?” or “Should I use Squarespace?” or “Should I use Yodel?” or “I’m thinking of doing such-and-such.” those are questions that we can all compare notes on.  Enoch and I certainly will weigh in.  But, you know what?  I’m learning from you.  Larry Folk says, “Hey, I just did this on housing.”  It’s great to get the stories from the field about what’s working because that’s how we all learn from each other.  [1:41:52]

So let’s see here…

Q:  …Something about WordPress dot com and dot org.  He got confused or wasn’t sure about it.  He has WordPress in his URL.  “Should I transfer my content to one offered by the dot org site for next week?

A:  Tell you what, let’s contact you offline and we’ll give you some help on that.

 

Q:  “Can you recommend any particular WordPress themes?”

A:  That’s a good question.  We will be looking at that.  Certainly there are a number that both Enoch and I have worked with.  There’s not just one that stands out like head and shoulders but we’ll definitely give you some suggestions.                  

 

Q: “I didn’t pay much in the changes of the graphics…”

A:  Alright, so we’ll talk to you.  We’ll help you out.  [1:42:41] 

 

Q:  “For avoiding the Google search history issue, is it adequate to be using a different browser but still using Google?  Wouldn’t that browser…”

A:  Yes, you can do that.  Or, if you weren’t in Firefox you can go under—usually, in most of the browsers, there is something for your “preferences” and one of the things in that preferences may be “privacy” and there may be some things about—you can probably see your content.  Let’s see… Where is it?  Maybe it’s under “advanced”… and “general.”   Where is it?  I always forget for Firefox.  It’s funny, I usually don’t clear my…  Enoch, are you still on the call?  Do you remember where you clear your cache?  Or your—is it cookies, here?  [1:43:35]

ENOCH:                Sure, sure.  And there is—okay, so if you’re in Google Chrome you can always open up an incognito window…

ERIC:                      Alright, so we’ll show this.  We might as well do this right now.  Here’s Google Chrome, which is a great web browser by the way, if you’re not using it you may want to consider that.  I go back and forth between Firefox and Chrome.  Do you know, Enoch, where the thing is?

ENOCH:                Yeah.  In Mozilla Firefox it’s under “history” and you go “clear recent history” and then be careful only to do cookies.  I would just do the cookies.  I think that should take care of it. 

ERIC:                      Alright, so “history” under Firefox.  Clear this and you can say “everything.”  So basically you want to clear that.  And you want to, certainly, if we turn off—if we say that we want to clear everything “browsing and download history” this will basically remove the history that says you’ve visited a site.  So it won’t bias the search engine saying that it remembers you were there so it wants to put it up on the search page for you.  [1:44:52]

You might also do “cache” because the cache is the temporary files that are in there.  In general I wouldn’t remove the cookies unless you know what you’re doing because cookies, they remember when you get to a site, your login things and other data for a website.  So, if you clear that you may find that it’s a little harder to get to do things.  You may want to clear some of these things. 

So we should talk about this, Enoch, to give a really quick five minute explanation of what to look for.  But that would be one.  If we go into Chrome, I think there is a really simple thing with Chrome and that is that you can say “new incognito window.”  So incognito means that you’re in disguise and no one knows who you are and when it’s doing that, it’s basically—I’m now going to be—I’ve gone incognito and so when you do a search it basically acts like you’re anonymous and it doesn’t remember who you are or what sites you’ve visited.  So that’s a nice convenience on Chrome.  They have a cool little icon of someone in disguise, here.  [0:46:07] 

 

Okay, let’s see…  Rachel says she’s sent in a request to join the LinkedIn group.

 

Q:  “I’d like to begin the transition to WordPress for my website.  Can you walk me through that?”

A:  We can, definitely.  Offline we can definitely talk to you about that.

 

Q:  “When Enoch is speaking he’s labeled as “Eric.”  There are two Erics showing at the bottom of the screen.”

A:  Yeah, we have to figure that out.  Enoch sometimes logs-in with my GoToWebinar account so he gets mistaken for me all the time.  We look so similar, you know, anyway.  We’ll have to figure that out sometime. 

 

Some nice comments:

“Great start.”

“Thanks guys.”

“Really excited about the next few months.” 

 

Q:  “Can you change the WordPress theme out after you select it?”  [1:47:03]

A:  Yes, you can change it, definitely.  So the content, like the text you put on the page, the pictures will all stay there but you can have a different look, you can have a different way that the menus lay out.  Yes, you can change that. 

 

Q:  “Can I speak with others in the Mastermind group using Skype or something like that or is it like a forum?”

A:  It is like a forum but you can exchange connections.

 

Q:  “I’d like to share my experience with others developing my marketing.”

A:  So that’s an interesting thing.  Maybe we will want to, on some basis, have an open thing like this GoToWebinar.  We could have actually opened the microphone and had some of you talking.  Obviously that changes the whole tenor of it.  Instead of being a lecture with questions it becomes a discussion.  And, for certain things that would be ideal.  So maybe we’ll consider how we can do that with the Mastermind.  [1:48:03] 

That is something that—Enoch and I are part of a Mastermind that is a small group of about a dozen internet marketing focused people.  Different focuses: one guy does business marketing, one guy does pilot training—airplane pilot training, another guy works on psychology and training for psychologists and things like that.  So all different people focused but we meet every two weeks with a GoToWebinar where we actually see each other on screen and we talk about our stuff.  Now, 60 people won’t work quite the same way but we might consider some way that we can integrate that in and I’ll talk with Enoch about it.  But you can always, of course, once you’re in the Mastermind group, you can connect up and say, “I liked your comment can I talk to you offline?” and you can just arrange for a Skype call, absolutely.  [1:49:01]

 

Q:  “In Google Analytics what is a good bounce rate for an architecture firm?”

A:  Okay, interesting question about a bounce rate.  This will be our last question because we’re already approaching the two-hour mark.  So when you see something that says “bounce rate” and it says 42%, what that means in terms of this particular—in June, 42% of the people who came to their site looked at one page and then left.  In this case, that would make 58% that looked at one page and then said, “Oh, let me check out another page.”  And maybe they went further but they at least went to one other page.

So bounce is, if you think about it just generically, it’s like someone comes and says, “Ah, no.” and they bounce off.  They leave relatively quickly—five seconds or 20 seconds.  Sometimes someone will be considered a bounce even though they took five minutes on the page, if they didn’t go to any other page.  So it doesn’t necessarily mean that they hated it, it’s just means that they didn’t explore.  [1:50:04]

I don’t know relative to other architecture firms but I’ve heard that if, in general, Google will think a site is less valuable if the bounce rate is above 55%.  So that’s what I heard last year sometime.  Obviously the bounce rate here of 42%, that’s lower than that.  But in general, yeah, if you go to websites in general, it’s probably going to be in that 50% range, give or take, and one that’s not as good may have 60 or 70% of the people just bounce landing and then going away.  So I would aim for, let’s say, under 50% to go to one page and not explore further.  [1:50:52] 

How can you encourage people to visit other things?  Well, of course, make it easy to navigate, have things that are attractive and interesting that make them go, “Oh I want to check that out!”  Those are some of the things.  Sometimes there are tricks like you have an article and the article isn’t on one page.  There’s a thing saying “read more” or “continue” and it goes to the continuation.  It’s not so much a trick, it’s just one way of structuring things and it does mean that people actually are spending more time.  But that’s just a basic guideline on that.       

So I want to finish up.  Enoch, thank you for your help.  Thank you, all of you, for taking the time today.  I’m excited about where we’re going.  Please continue to give feedback and ask questions through email as well as on the new Mastermind forum on LinkedIn.  I’ll be back in touch shortly.  It’s been Eric Bobrow, thanks for watching.  [1:51:52] [END OF VIDEO]

 

LESSON OUTLINE

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the Internet Marketing for Architects Course

This session is being recorded and will be posted

My aim is to help you to deepen your understanding of marketing and master the technology tools and processes that will help you promote your design firm and bring in more clients and projects

This Course is the culmination of:

  • 6 months of planning + research (including Case Study Program & Webinar)
  • 5 years of dedicated study of Internet Marketing
  • 15 years experience in web development
  • 23 years working with architects as a technology consultant
  • My degree in computer science from 1975

My personal mission: teach people to use technology to achieve their creative and business goals

AGENDA FOR TODAY

OVERVIEW OF THE COURSE

— Show Course Outline and Schedule page —

TOUR OF THE MEMBER SITE

  • Login page
  • Member Home Page
  • The IMA Course – Outline and Schedule, 12 lessons to be posted
  • Case Study Program Training Videos
  • WordPress Mastery Training Videos
  • Marketing Samples
    • – Press Releases
    • – Promotional Videos
    • – Music Licensed for Commercial Use
  • More will be added, including 2 powerful WordPress plugins: Riva Slider Pro and SEO Blog Kahuna
  • EXTRA BONUS: a training module focused on how to set up your very first website (for those who do not have one already)

MARKETING

What it’s about – communicating who you are and what you offer

Why you need it – no business can succeed without people knowing about you

What are the various media / modalities – word of mouth, networking, traditional advertising (Yellow Pages, print ads, direct mail, directories, cold calling based on lists), new digital media and tools

What’s changed in recent years – research and information accessible online, replacing many of the old media

What are the blind spots of most architects

  • in general:
    • no training in marketing
    • learn from peers and show work to peers
  • websites:
    • all about me
    • lots of images, few words
    • “professional” = understated to the point of being ineffectual
    • design project vs. marketing project
    • no recognition that people may be in various stages of the buying cycle
    • rarely any useful information OTHER than about the firm itself
    • not much better than a brochure (although it’s good at filling that purpose)
    • not introducing firm to new prospects, “invisible” to searchers

ACQUIRING CLIENTS

*** What to do BEFORE you get the opportunity for a meeting or proposal ***

You need to solve a problem or fill a need

How can you present yourself as an authority and as someone they like

“They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”

Giving before Getting

Recognition of the Buying Cycle

  • awareness of need or desire (e.g. do they need an architect?)
  • research / education (what options are available, what are others doing)
  • consideration of alternatives (including non-action, DIY, contractor, etc.)
  • selection of solution (short list)

Develop a strategy offering value (information) at multiple stages in the cycle

Follow up, repeated touch-points

“Know, Like and Trust”

INTERNET MARKETING OVERVIEW CHEAT SHEET

Review of main concepts:

  • Visibility
  • Traffic
  • Conversion
  • Winning New Projects

How will each of these topics be covered in the course – refer to curriculum outline

KEYWORD ANALYSIS

What would people type in to a search engine if they were looking for you, but didn’t know your name?

Try this yourself, see if your firm comes up

Try variations, see how you can fine-tune the search to a precise “need”

Who is getting the business that could be yours?

Do a Google search for “Google Keyword Tool”

Enter some possible search words or phrases, see the results

Look at alternative phrases for more specialized searches

Often it’s easier and better to rank for “long-tail” terms – less competition, more direct need / action-takers, specialties

General strategy for Internet Marketing:

  • research keyword phrases and decide on a small number of primary targets
  • build the website content around these keywords and concepts
  • essentially – provide a good solution (website content) for the question

WEBSITE ANALYTICS

To take a journey, you need to know where you are now, and where you want to go

Keyword Analysis is part of “where you want to go”

Analytics is like a GPS – where are you now, how well are you doing as you progress along your journey

Measure several related statistics:

  • Number of visitors (per day or month)
  • Number of unique visitors
  • Average Length of Visit (longer = more involvement = better)
  • Number of pages per visit (another measure of involvement)
  • Sources of traffic (“organic” search, paid ads, links from other sites, etc.)
  • Search terms (what are visitors looking for?)

By tracking these numbers, you can decide what areas to focus on

— Show Google Analytics onscreen report —

How to Set Up a Google Analytics account

Copying the tracking code and placing it into your website

WHERE TO GO FROM HERE / HOMEWORK

Think about keywords, and “what would someone search for” to find you

Play with the Google Keyword Tool and see what comes up

Experiment with web searches, see who is listed, check out their websites

What is your “Unique Value Proposition”? – what makes you special

Set up a Google Analytics account and install tracking code or have it done

Look over your own website with a fresh eye, imagine how a visitor sees it

NEXT WEEK:

On-page Optimization – content development, site navigation, eye-candy

QUESTIONS?

Leave A Reply (10 comments so far)

You must be logged in to post a comment.


  1. Kenneth J. Filarski
    6 years ago

    Eric, this is a question. I went to the top of the page to download the lessons. The writing above is: “Sorry, you do not have access to this content”. Then below in blue it states: “Click here to get access”. When I clicked on the click here it took me to “Yoursite.com” which is not your site, unless I am wrong. How am I able to download the lessons?

    Thank you. I don’t know if I am the only one with this problem.

    Ken

    Eric Bobrow Reply:

    Ken –

    In order to view the videos, you need to login to the website at http://internetmarketingforarchitects.com/login/

    If you’re not logged in, you’ll get an error message like the one you saw.

    I have revised this error message to explain this more clearly, and offer the correct links for either logging in or for signing up. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

    Eric


  2. Doug
    6 years ago

    Eric,

    I was just wondering where the idea of having 300 to 500 words on a page comes from? Is it thought to be good for Google search results for some reason? Does Google count words, or just look for keywords?

    Thank you!

    Eric Bobrow Reply:

    Doug –
    This is one of the things I’ve learned in my studies of Search Engine Optimization. While there are certainly exceptions (I’ve seen some architectural websites rank highly that have few words on them), this is a general rule of thumb that I’ve seen mentioned in many places by many people who specialize in this area. It makes sense to me that Google would “appreciate” the information content on a page that is well-written and of sufficient length to communicate something beyond a caption or a few words. It is one of many factors they take into account, and it is one of the most easily managed.
    Eric


  3. Erich
    6 years ago

    Eric,
    It feels like we’re off to a good start. Perhaps you can add a resources page to the website with links to sites such as the Goggle Keyword Tool. I think this might prove useful to myself and the other participants.

    I look forward to the next session.

    Eric Bobrow Reply:

    Erich –
    The resource page is an excellent idea!
    I’ll get that set up before the second lesson on Wednesday.
    Eric


  4. Brian
    6 years ago

    Lots of interesting ideas, including the sub-titles. The session was a little long. It would be both helpful and perhaps less monotonous to be able to see more visuals like the cheat sheet which is not just a relief but also a useful resource. It was an introductory session and we look forward to getting down to specifics. This could be a very helpful course for architects and we look forward to the next session with great expectations.

    We are wondering about a client in Chicago who might be looking for an architect to do work for a new residence in the Caribbean – would the client find an architect by searching for “residential architects in Jamaica” and what sort of keywords would you recommend in this case?

    Eric Bobrow Reply:

    Brian –

    Thank you for your comments and suggestions.

    Re the client in Chicago looking for an architect for a new residence in the Caribbean, I think your first guess re a search phrase (i.e. “residential architects in Jamaica”) is a good one. I suggest that you try typing this in, and see what comes up. If it brings up firms like yours (or actually shows your firm in the results) then you’re on the right track.

    If not, or just for comparison, try variations such as “architect Jamaica” or “Jamaica architect” or “custom home design Jamaica” or “build a vacation home in Jamaica”. See which of these bring up interesting and relevant results.

    This is what your prospective clients will do – they will keep trying things in Google until they get a list of resources and websites that relate to their needs.

    You may also find it useful to try the Google Keyword Tool and enter all of these phrases, and see what other words or phrases they suggest as alternatives. Sometimes this can be surprisingly useful, in a way similar to consulting a thesaurus. You’ll see synonyms or related terms that you haven’t thought of, but that some prospective clients will try.

    Ultimately, choose a few of these phrases that give the most relevant search results, and build some of the content on your website around these topics. You will then become a good “answer” to the question implied by the search term.

    Eric


  5. MAREK STOKLOSA
    6 years ago

    Eric,
    I wanted to thank you for the fantastic and informative course. You have presented it in a narrative that was nail biting with anticipation of one item after the other. It was very engaging and kept the attention constant.

    Great job!

    Eric Bobrow Reply:

    Marek –
    Thank you for your great feedback! I’m so glad to know that my presentation was so engaging and hit the mark!
    Eric