Architects. You are the dream makers. You turn pipe dream buildings into reality, all with sterling patience and composure. But despite your flair and keen eye for detail (We were told flattery gets you everywhere btw), We often see some of you missing a trick when it comes to SEO. So we’re here to save the day, and give you some of our top tips to gain sky scraping rankings and increase your leads.

Quick Links πŸ‘‰

Image optimisation for speed
How to check if images are affecting your site speed
How to optimise your images to improve site speed
Image optimisation for keywords
How to optimise your images for keywords
Case study backlinks
How to gain case study backlinks
How we can help your architecture firm with SEO

Image optimisation for speed

The architecture industry is very visual, so naturally you’re going to have a lot of images of your designs on your site. But if your images aren’t optimised correctly, they can cause a myriad of problems. The main being site speed.

Site speed has always been important for converting leads. Statistics from Google revealed that 87% of users will abandon your site if it takes longer than 2 seconds to load…Yikes! But it’s also part of Google’s algorithm which determines your page ranking, and images that aren’t optimised can really slow down your site. Google always keep their cards close to their chest when it comes to their algorithm, so for them to publicly announce that site speed is a ranking factor means that it is clearly of massive importance to them.

How to check if images are affecting your site speed

Our team uses a wide range of software to provide the most comprehensive site speed analysis, but there are free tools online that can also give you some information on this. Our recommendation would be to use a combination of GT Metrix and Google’s Page Speed Insights. Just enter your sites URL into page speed insights (link below), and once the analysis is complete scroll to the bottom of the page. If you see anything listed under “opportunities” such as “Properly size images” or “Serve images in next-gen format” then you’ll need to optimise your imagery.

Page Speed Insights πŸ‘‰
GT Metrix πŸ‘‰

The Squoosh tool is a great free tool you can use to reduce your image size

How to optimise your images to improve site speed

This is usually the part where we sell our services, but you lucky architects are in for a treat because today, we’re feeling generous.
Ultimately it is the file size of an image that slows down your page. The bigger the file size, the slower the image loads, so you need to try and reduce the file size of the image as much as possible, as a ballpark figure we’d say 100 kb is a good number to aim for. Below you can see a free tool we use called Squoosh (link below) so you can give it a go yourself.

Squoosh πŸ‘‰

Clicking on the resize button will allow you to change your images dimensions and reduce its file size.

Reduce dimensions – This is usually a quick win. Professionally photographed buildings usually have excess dimensions which causes a slow loading time on your website. While the image you’ve uploaded to your displays just fine on your site, it’s taking longer to deliver because the dimensions of the image you uploaded are so big. So the whole image is being delivered to the user, but then formatted correctly by your site. To fix this, you just need to reduce the dimensions of the image and re-upload it to your page. You can do this easily in squoosh by uploading your image and clicking on the Resize section on the bottom right corner (above).

Reduce quality – The quality of many professionally photographed images means that they are often high in file size. The quality of these images is so high that it’s near impossible for users to tell the difference between the original image and one that’s had it’s quality reduced, especially when viewed through a phone or laptop. Again, you can do this easily with squoosh by playing around with the quality drag bar in the bottom right corner labelled “Quality” You can also click on the reduce palette section which will also reduce the quality through restricting the amount of colours.

Smush is a WordPress Plugin you can install to activate lazy loading but also compress any imagery.

Lazy Loading – This works for all elements of your site but is especially handy for pages with lots of images. With lazy loading, your site will only initially load content above the fold. So any images or content at the bottom of your page will only load when the user scrolls down to it. You’ll need to ask your developer to do this for you, install a plugin or contact us.

Image optimisation for keywords

Gone are the days that you could rank for a keyword by simply spamming your page with the said keyword. Google is much smarter than that these days. But despite how clever Google’s become, it still has trouble understanding the context behind images. When Google’s bot crawls your page to understand the context behind it, all it will see is the text on the page and code without context for your images. Which gives us an opportunity to further optimise the page.

How to optimise your images for keywords

Appropriate file name – In our experience, changing the file name of any images on the page to file names that include your target keywords will contribute to the pages overall ranking, and the images ranking on Google image search.

Appropriate alt tags – Alt tags give your image context, but they also help those who are visually impaired understand the context behind them too. Including alt tags on your images with keywords will also help towards the pages overall ranking and increase your images exposure on Google image searches.

Backlinks Bricks
Case study backlinks are a great way of securing links for an architect firm

Backlinks are incredibly important for SEO. When it comes to moving the needle, links do it the most. You can have the quickest website, with the best content. But in reality if you haven’t got links you’re always going to be outranked by those with a thorough backlink profile.
That’s where case studies come in. For architects this is one of the best ways to pick up easy backlinks. Think about your whole supply chain from the building contractors to the suppliers. If you’ve completed a project with these types of businesses there is a strong likelihood that they’ll want to showcase this latest project on their website. This is the perfect opportunity to request a backlink on that page towards your website.

There’s more than one way to skin a cat as the old saying goes, and the same goes for acquiring case study backlinks. But these types of backlinks should be your bread and butter as an architect, and we’re going to guide you step by step in acquiring these types of backlinks.

Find contacts

A lot of companies want to show off their products and where they’ve been used. Perhaps you’ve used a particular brand for facades or cladding, or maybe you’ve used a particular building contractor. They’ll all want to showcase your design on their websites, and this is where you have the opportunity to gain a link.

So firstly you’ll need to collate a list of people who’ve mentioned this new build on their websites (or may do in the future). Use your own contacts and even try googloing the new development to find journalists who’ve reported on this. You can use (link below) to assist you in finding email addresses that you don’t already have. πŸ‘‰

Request a link

Now you could simply contact whoever it is and ask for a link back to your site. This may work, but you’ll improve your chances of securing a link if you have something to offer them. Perhaps if it’s a supplier, you can offer a comment on the quality of the products they supplied in the project, if it’s a building contractor you can offer a comment on how professional they were in the process, or you can even offer them free imagery that you’ve taken yourself in return for a link back. The same goes for journalists, although you will need to be really quick as journalists will want a comment or imagery before they’ve published the story or just after.

We can help your architecture firms SEO

A lot of these things are easier said than done. SEO takes time, and we usually find that architects like most businesses are particularly time short. If you’d like to organise a free no obligation chat with us, we’d be happy to set up a call to discuss your needs and provide you with a personalised and free website analysis. Contact us for more information πŸ‘‰

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