SEO for Architects: Upscale Your Business with These 12 Steps

by Outranking
Updated On: August 17, 2023
SEO for Architects: Upscale Your Business with These 12 Steps

Statistically speaking, approximately 2.7 million people in the world are architects. That’s A LOT of competition! Realistically speaking, how can you stand out from your competitors and attract more customers? 

The answer lies in your website’s SEO. If you start implementing SEO best practices and focus on your SEO content strategy, your website’s Google rankings will slowly but steadily rise above your competitors, resulting in increased visibility, clients, and sales.

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of steps that make your website’s top SEO position worthy.

What Are The Benefits of SEO for Architects or Builders?

In the highly competitive and saturated construction industry, architects and builders face numerous challenges in attracting and retaining clients. With the evolution of digital marketing, architecture firm SEO has emerged as a crucial strategy for improving online visibility and increasing organic traffic to your website. 

SEO involves optimizing your website and online content to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) when relevant keywords are searched. When architects and builders optimize their websites for SEO, they improve their visibility and increase organic traffic to their websites. This means they attract and retain clients better, which ultimately improves their bottom line. 

How to Implement SEO for an Architect or Building Firm Website

Step 1: Create A Website Architecture Based On Your Core Service Areas

The first step to implementing better SEO for an architecture or builder’s firm is understanding your business’s core areas. This involves identifying the specific products or services that your firm offers and the areas that connect most with your core offerings. By doing this, you can focus your keyword research on the most relevant areas and develop a content plan overview that aligns with their business goals.

To break down your firm’s website architecture into core offerings and its extended list of sub-areas, first, identify the main categories of your products or services. For example, an architecture firm may have core offerings such as residential architecture, commercial architecture, and interior design. A builder’s firm may have core offerings such as custom home building, remodeling, and commercial construction.

Here are some painstakingly detailed examples of an architecture and builder’s firm in the form of a table that lists the core service areas and its extended list of sub-areas:

Example 1: Architecture Firm

Core Offering AreasExtended List of Sub-Areas
Residential ArchitectureModern architecture, traditional architecture, sustainable design, historic preservation
Commercial ArchitectureOffice buildings, retail spaces, hospitality, healthcare facilities
Interior DesignResidential interiors, commercial interiors, hospitality interiors, healthcare interiors

Example 2: Builder’s Firm

Core Offering AreasExtended List of Sub-Areas
Custom Home BuildingLuxury homes, green building, energy-efficient homes, smart homes
RemodelingKitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, basement finishing, home additions
Commercial ConstructionOffice buildings, retail spaces, restaurants, warehouses

By breaking down your firm’s website architecture into core offerings and sub-areas, you can create a clear structure for your website and focus your keyword research on the most relevant areas. This will help you develop a content plan that aligns with your business goals and improves your SEO exposure.

Infographic of an Architecture Firm's Website structure.
What services and sub-services do you offer?

Step 2: Conduct Comprehensive Keyword Research

Three key things to keep in mind when performing keyword research for your architecture website are:

  1. Gather a list of keywords in each of the core areas of your website
  2. Repeat the keyword research step for each of your core areas or sub-areas
  3. Use keyword research tools to gather and analyze keywords efficiently.

To help with this process, you can use tools like Semrush or Outranking. 

Method 1: Use Semrush for Keyword Research

  1. Enter a relevant keyword into Semrush’s Keyword Research Tool, like “home design”, “house plans”, or “interior design”
Screenshot of the Semrush Keyword Research Tool with keywords for "home design".
All those keywords in the black box can come in handy.

2. Exclude outdated keywords or irrelevant ones

Image of three keywords in a black box.
Work, jobs, and com aren’t very relevant for your purposes here, so remove them!

3. Download the CSV file with all your keywords

4. Repeat the process for your different offerings and sub-areas, and combine all CSV files together for easier management

At the end, you’ll get something like this:

Table containing different keywords for different core areas like "home designs", "house plans", and "interior design".
Get all these into a single file so you don’t get lost.

Method 2: Use Outranking for Keyword Research

  1. Enter your defined core service area into Outranking’s available keyword generator
  1. Refine the list with Outranking’s streamlined cluster analysis
  1. Download and combine all the keyword lists for each core area
  1. Repeat this process for each sub-group in each core area, like “remodeling” or “green building”

Once this is all done, you can move on to the next step. 

Step 3: Perform Keyword Clustering

Keyword clustering is the process of grouping similar keywords into clusters based on their semantic meaning and intent. As an architect or builder, your website can benefit from keyword clustering because it can help you identify the most relevant keywords for your specific content strategy. 
For example, let’s say you have a list of keywords related to architecture and building, such as “green building,” “sustainable design,” “LEED certification,” and “energy-efficient homes.” By using a tool like Outranking’s keyword clustering tool, you can group these keywords into clusters based on their semantic meaning and intent, such as “sustainable building practices” or “energy-efficient home design.”

Image of different keywords clustered into 4 groups.
Everything that’s related can go in one group.

To pick a primary keyword for each group of clusters, you should consider several factors, such as:

  • Your ability to create better content than your competitors
  • The number of backlinks your competitors have
  • The knowledge gap or underserved area in the intent
  • Your topical authority and common SERP competitors

You can also use Outranking’s analysis of competitor coverage and backlink analysis to gauge the competition and identify opportunities to build topical authority.

If you don’t have an in-house SEO/marketing team, hire someone who knows what they are doing to help you with your SEO keyword strategy.

Step 4: Create a Content Calendar For Your Architect or Builder Firm’s Website

To prioritize keywords for creating and optimizing content for an architect or builder’s website, you can follow these steps:

  1. Make a list of primary keywords and groups related to your business. This can include keywords related to your services, products, and industry
  2. Open up each group and pick the primary keyword. This will help you identify the topics you should be focusing on in your content
  3. Use your keywords to map out a plan and schedule for your content. This will help you stay organized and ensure that you are covering all the important topics related to your business
  4. Prioritize your keywords based on their importance and relevance to your business. This will help you focus your efforts on the most important topics and ensure that your content is optimized for search engines

Outranking can help with prioritization because it enables you to set your keywords as High, Medium, or Low priority. This can help you identify the most important topics and optimize your content for search engines. Here’s an example to show you how: 

PriorityKeywords ContainingWhy
HighCustom Home Design, Sustainable Architecture, Commercial Building DesignCan define you as a thought leader and support your important pages for the flow of information. These keywords are directly related to your services and can help you establish your expertise in the industry.
MediumResidential Architecture, Interior Design, Building RenovationCan define you as a thought leader and support your important pages for the flow of information. These keywords are more general and may not be directly related to your services, but can still provide value to your audience and establish your firm as a trusted source of information.
LowHow-to Guides for DIY Home Improvement, Landscaping Tips, Home Decor IdeasHow-to Guides for DIY Home Improvement, Landscaping Tips, and Home Decor Ideas

Step 5: Create A Thorough Content Production Process

For an architectural or building firm, implementing SEO can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t have a process in place. It’s important to have a well-defined content creation and optimization process to ensure the success of your SEO strategy. 

Here are two expert tips to ensure you note down a thorough content creation and optimization process:

Screenshot of Outranking's SEO brief widget.
So what will your content look like?

1. Create Solid Content Briefs

A content brief is a document that outlines the purpose, target audience, and key messages of a piece of content. It helps ensure that everyone involved in the content creation process is on the same page. When creating an SEO content brief, make sure to include the keyword you want to target and the type of content you want to create (e.g., blog post, infographic, video).

2. Set up a Workflow for the Tasks

A workflow is a series of steps that need to be completed to achieve a specific goal. When setting up the optimal workflow for your SEO strategy, make sure to define the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved in the process. This will help ensure that everyone knows what they need to do and when they need to do it. You can use a tool like Outranking to set up a customized workflow status that fits your needs.

Using Outranking’s content planner can help ensure the success of your SEO plan. It allows you to keep track of every document with a customized workflow and see what stage your documents are in at a glance. 

You can also use Outranking’s Kanban view to create content and easily access any of your documents in no time at all. Additionally, Outranking’s integrated tool allows you to either build content briefs or create content directly in your SEO content strategy.

Screenshot of Outranking's Kanban board.
See where everything is, at a glance!

If you don’t have an in-house team to handle your SEO strategy, it may be worth considering hiring an expert agency or using Outranking’s services to help you make your plan come to fruition.

Step 6: Focus On SEO-Optimized Content Creation

Creating SEO-optimized content for each service page and blog is crucial for ensuring your architectural or building firm is investing in content that will yield results. By optimizing your content, you can improve your website’s organic reach, attract more organic traffic, and improve your search engine rankings. This can lead to increased visibility, more leads, and ultimately more business.

Screenshot of Outranking's on-page SEO optimizer.
So here, we might need a few more links.

Outranking’s SEO content optimization and writing platform can help busy architects and builders with limited time and SEO knowledge. Outranking real-time optimization benchmarks against 20 competing pages from SERPs. It then helps you with real-time on-page SEO optimization based on many elements — titles, descriptions, outlines, heading, meta title tags, word count, common NLP terms, unique entities, lists, tables, statistics, media, links, etc.

Step 7: Optimize Internal Links

Optimizing your website’s existing pages with better internal linking can give it an increased ranking. By analyzing the pages on your website that rank in the top 4-14 positions for keywords, you can identify pages with some authority that can be used to improve the ranking of other pages.

For an architectural or building firm website, pages related to services, projects, and testimonials should be optimized for better internal linking. These pages should have relevant keywords in the top 4-14 positions to attract more traffic.

Outranking can connect to Google Search Console and identify pages with opportunities for internal linking. By analyzing the positions of existing pages, it can then suggest internal linking opportunities to enhance website performance. From there, you can improve your internal linking on your architecture firm’s website.

Step 8: Build Your Authority With Backlinks And Citations

Acquiring local citations and backlinks is crucial for the local SEO of your architectural or building of a firm website. Local citations are mentions of your business’s name, email address, and phone number (NAP) on other websites. Backlinks are the organic traffic to your website without searching your domain.

Because local citations are the fifth most important ranking signal (according to Moz), it’s critical for architecture and building firms to get them. Business directories often dominate search results for local queries, so it’d be great to get listed on these sites to help people discover your architecture business. 

Screenshot of a Yelp page for Ancone Design Build.
Anyone can get more customers because it’s on Yelp.

Citations also have two types: structured and unstructured. Structured citations list your business’s NAP, whereas unstructured citations are the contextual mentions of your business. Both types of citations are important for local SEO, but it’s essential to focus on quality over quantity when building citations.

To build citations, follow these four steps:

1. Get Listed with the ‘Big Three’ Data Aggregators

These aggregators are Acxiom, Data Axle, and Localeze. These aggregators distribute business information to a network of directories and search engines. By getting listed with them, you can ensure your information is consistent and up-to-date across multiple platforms.

2. Submit to Other Core Sites

You should also submit your information to other core sites like Google My Business, Bing Places, and Yelp. These sites are popular with consumers and are likely to appear in search results for local queries.

3. Submit to Popular Industry and Local Sites

You should submit your information to popular industry and local sites that are relevant to your niche. For example, an architectural firm might want to get listed on Houzz or ArchDaily.

4. Pursue Unstructured Citations

Reach out to bloggers, journalists, and other influencers in your industry. By getting mentioned in blog posts, articles, and social media posts, and using PR tactics, you can increase your architect or building firm’s visibility and credibility. 

Screenshot of a Yellow Pages directory for Dm Fine Architcure.
Spread your firm’s name across many sites!

List of Data Aggregators and Websites for Local Citations

Data AggregatorWebsites to Get Citations
AcxiomYelp, Yellow Pages, SuperPages
Data AxleGoogle My Business, Bing Places, Yahoo Local
LocalezeFacebook, Apple Maps, Instagram, Pinterest

Step 9: Optimize Page Speed and Website Experience

It’s crucial to optimize page speed and website experience for better rankings in 2023. Your architectural or building firm’s website should be faster to improve visibility and user experience. A faster website can lead to higher engagement, lower bounce rates, and ultimately, more conversions.

To quickly optimize page speed and website experience for an architectural or building firm website, use better and lighter themes from Codecanyon and Nitropack-like WordPress plugins. These themes and plugins can help reduce the website’s load time and improve its overall performance.

Step 10: Track Rankings Using Google Search Console

For architects and builders, connecting to Google Search Console and tracking website ranking is crucial to increase organic traffic and improving their online presence. This ranking data can help optimize your existing content and will show you opportunities for fresh content. You can also identify underperforming pages that need improvement or redirection.

To interpret the website ranking data, architects and builders can use the following table:

GoalRanking DataAction
Optimize internal linkingYour website’s pages with keywords in the top 4-14 positionsImprove internal linking structure to boost Pagerank
Find new opportunities to build topical authorityCreate fresh content that aligns with the user’s search intent and can easily rankYour website’s pages with no ranking keywords in the top 20 positions that don’t align with the user’s search intent
Find underperforming pagesYour website’s pages with no ranking keywords in the top 20 positions that don’t align with user’s search intentImprove or redirect the underperforming pages

Step 11: Leverage Google Business Profile

A Google Business Account is a free service that allows architects to provide more information about their business when it appears in search results, including photos, videos, business hours, a delivery area, and links to reservation services.

Here’s what you can do to optimize your architecture firm’s Google My Business listing for local search: 

  1. Claim and verify your listings with accurate and up-to-date information including their business name, address, and phone number
  2. Choose the most relevant category for your business, such as “Architecture Firm” or “Building Contractor”
  3. Add high-quality photos and graphics of your past projects, including before-and-after shots and 360-degree virtual tours
  4. Encourage satisfied clients to leave positive reviews on your listing. If someone leaves a negative review, respond respectfully to address the issue
  5. Use Google Posts to share updates and promotions, such as new services or upcoming events
  6. Monitor your listing regularly for accuracy and respond promptly to any useful suggestions or edits
Screenshot of Google My Business Listings for residential architecture firms in Boston.
Join that list if you’re in Boston!

Yes, these steps can improve your business’s listing, but it’s also a good idea to hire a digital marketing agency. That way, you have local SEO specialists who can do everything correctly and maximize your listing’s potential. 

Step 12: Focus on the Ultimate Goal — Leads and Conversions

Organic traffic is a very cost-effective way to attract potential clients to your firm’s website. But you shouldn’t aim for any sort of organic traffic only. Instead, focus specifically on long-tail keywords. Here’s why:

One short-tailed keyword that can bring you lots of organic traffic to your page is “architecture”. But that’s not very relevant or related to your offerings. People might simply be searching for the history of architecture or some other generic info.

On the other hand, targeting a specific keyword like “sustainable architecture firm” might not generate as much traffic. But, the traffic it does generate will be very relevant. Only people who are looking for sustainable architecture services will land on your page this time. 

With this approach, you can ensure your keywords aren’t just generating traffic. Because after all, your ultimate goal is to create leads, and get higher conversion rates. Targeting generic keywords is unlikely to catch highly interested individuals who will become customers. So focus on specific keywords to bring in the most conversions from your organic searches. 

How to Evaluate an Agency to Help with SEO for Your Architect or Builder Firm

When choosing an agency to help your architecture firm’s SEO, you need a thorough screening process. Otherwise, it’s just money down the drain. Here are some of our top tips to help you choose an agency:

1. Look for a Proven Process and Customized Approach

A good SEO agency will adhere to a proven process and principles that can be applied universally when performing website audits and search engine optimization. But, they won’t be narrow-minded when tailoring the strategy for your unique competitive position. 

For example, they will perform industry analysis, competitive research, strategy design, implementation, and follow-up. This same five-step process should be applied to each client, but no two strategies should be exactly the same. Strategy design should be unique to each client.

2. Look for Real-World SEO Experience with Architecture Firms

If you want excellent results, you should work with an SEO that has a minimum of 5 to 10 years of real-world experience, preferably working with websites in the architecture industry. This means they’ll have a better understanding of the competitive landscape you’re in, which will make them more creative and innovative in their approach to strategy design. 

Ultimately, they should help you deliver superior SEO results. When evaluating experience, beware of the ‘salesman’ and ask to speak directly with the SEO manager or specialist who will be performing the work.

3. Check Previous Clients’ Reviews

Look for reviews and testimonials from previous clients to get an idea of their track record. Ask for case studies and examples of successful SEO campaigns they have run. A good agency should be able to provide you with specific examples of how they have helped businesses in your industry achieve their SEO goals.

4. Look Out for Contract Duration and Flexibility

When evaluating an agency, consider their contract durations and flexibility. Look for an agency that offers flexible contract durations that can be adjusted based on your needs. For example, if you have a specific project or campaign that requires SEO services, you may not need a long-term contract. However, if you’re looking for ongoing SEO services, a longer-term contract may be more appropriate. Make sure the agency is willing to work with you to find a contract duration that meets your needs.

Need an SEO Strategist to Set up the Plan and Answer All the Pressing Questions?

If you’re an architect looking to improve your online presence and attract more clients, it’s important to consider implementing a solid SEO plan. However, before hiring an agency, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of what SEO entails and how it can benefit your business. This is where hiring an SEO consultant can be extremely helpful.

At Outranking, our SEO consultant and strategist can work with you to develop a customized SEO plan that aligns with your business goals and objectives. We can help you understand the intricacies of SEO, including keyword research, on-page optimization, link building, and more.

By working with an SEO consultant before hiring an agency, you can ensure that you have a solid understanding of what to expect and can be confident that you’re making the right investment for your business. 

Our consultant can also help you evaluate different agencies and ensure that you choose one that is reputable and experienced in working with architects. Rest assured that your SEO plan will be well-executed and designed to deliver the results you need to grow your business. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve your goals.