Architect Marketing Course 2014 – Outline
Level 1 Part B (2014) – On-page optimization

On-page optimization – content development, site navigation, visual appeal

Copyright 2014 – 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...

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...

LESSON OUTLINE

 

INTRODUCTION – AGENDA FOR THE LESSON

Starting the process of optimizing your website

  • Developing Content focused on keywords and the visitor
  • Navigation and accessibility

 

CONTENT DEVELOPMENT

SEO vs. Visitor Experience – is this a conflict?

Is your website a Design Project or a Marketing Project?

Ultimately, it is possible to achieve all of these aims

Think of it like you do a building – many potentially conflicting program, building code and budget requirements or targets – synthesizing these and creating a solution that optimizes for multiple metrics

 

DEVELOPING CONTENT FOR SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION

Make sure that Google (and other search engines) understand what you’re about

Text on the page should include your target keywords to make this clear

Each page can have somewhat different keywords / targets / focus

200 or more words, 300 to 500 ideal -> “information-rich, authoritative”

The Home page has the biggest job, describing the entire site and your firm

Include all or most of your keywords, use them to link to other pages on your site

Each of the other pages should be more focused: a particular project or type of project, or a topic (e.g. “green architecture”) / function (e.g. Contact, Testimonials)

In general, most pages should have 200 or more words of text (as many as it takes to describe the topic or fulfill the function of the page – there is no upper limit re SEO)

Make sure the Project / Portfolio pages include references to the geographic areas as well as keywords describing the project type – e.g. “This home remodel in Cambridge updated the bathroom…”

You can build this up gradually, it doesn’t have to be done all at once

Actually, this is a good idea – Google will see the site having fresh content as the weeks and months go by while you develop your site

 

DEVELOPING CONTENT FOR VISITOR EXPERIENCE

Think about what a visitor will see, and what they might be looking for

Yes, they might be looking for nice pictures of your work to see what styles and types of projects you do, but they likely will want more info

What questions, problems, issues, goals etc. do they have?

“What’s in it for me?” – tell them how you’ll help them, don’t just tell them about yourself

Make a list of Frequently Asked Questions, and find a way to answer them on your site – pages, blog posts, videos

Make a list of “Should Ask Questions” – the things that people SHOULD be thinking about but often don’t – particularly those that may cause problems or will determine the overall success of the project

What is your Unique Value Proposition – a short, concise statement of why your firm and your services are special – why should someone choose you? What benefits will they get when they work with you and your firm?

Ideas for additional content beyond who you are and samples of your projects:

  1. Your philosophy or approach – how you work with clients
  2. Interesting topics – latest trends in bathrooms/kitchens/landscaping/building materials/etc., sustainable design, new code requirements, new design tools (e.g. 3D modeling) – anything that your clients will find useful as they contemplate and research before starting a project
  3. Ten things to avoid / common mistakes
  4. Why choose / use an architect – with specific examples of the benefits (e.g. smarter design that saves money because…) as well as problems/disasters avoided. You can use stories from your own work, as well as from others.

We’ll go into more ideas for content later in the course as we look at the idea of creating a blog and posting new content on a regular basis.

 

SITE NAVIGATION AND ACCESSIBILITY

Make it easy to find information – plan out your “circulation paths”

At first, your site may have only a few pages, but as it gets more complex, use a diagram to plan the relationship between pages

— SHOW LUCIDCHART DIAGRAM —

The Home page should make it easy to understand your firm and take people to the places they are interested in – don’t bury things

Drop-down menus are good – they allow a few items to reveal the contents of the website – better than some sites which only show important pages when you are on an intermediate page (although this is not a hard and fast rule)

These menus are built-into WordPress, and can be set up in any web authoring tool

Contact info should be discretely placed but easy to find – ideally on every page in header or footer – and use text rather than graphics so that it is SEO-friendly with phone number clickable in a mobile device

Make sites mobile-friendly – this will be increasingly important over time

Social media icons / links are easy to place and perform an increasingly important function

Use Sidebars for navigation (optional) and other supporting content (testimonials, contact forms, opt-in/sign-up / offers / announcements)

Set up width of site with modern standards – it is no longer necessary to squeeze into a teeny size – common sizes are 960 or 1000 pixels

Use columns to break up content and make it more easily readable

Avoid Flash technology – it is on its way out – look for and use Javascript and HTML5 to replace Flash – check whether plugins or tools are mobile-friendly

 

SUMMARY

Develop your site in a way that works for search engines and human visitors

Think about and offer information that helps visitors with their questions, educates them, and makes them see you as a trusted guide

Make it easy to find things on the site, to get in touch

Leave A Reply (No comments so far)

You must be logged in to post a comment.

No comments yet