By Katie Sanner
Redesigning a website is a big undertaking. And as your brand’s window to the world, you want to make sure it is visually compelling, user-friendly, and built with the capability to capture leads online. Our research found that 80% of high growth AEC firms redesigned their website within the past year, compared to just 40% of average growth firms. If your firm’s goal is to be on the fast-track for growth, it might be time to think about redesigning your website.
Many firms in the AEC industry will say that the design and look of a website is the most important thing to consider when looking to redesign. Wrong. You need to take a look at the big picture and think about making your website work to meet your business objectives. The most successful AEC firms are redesigning their website into lead generating websites. Nearly 80% of high growth AEC firms claim online contact forms to be the #1 way leads contact them. Taking advantage of online lead generation with offers to prospects and fresh content is absolutely vital to not only your strategy behind redesigning your website, but also your firm’s growth strategy.
Content Marketing Drives Inbound Leads
Redesigning your website goes beyond just the look and feel – incorporating a content marketing strategy is also an important element. Content marketing is a central part of every lead generating website as, many times, it is content that brings people to your site. Think about those in the early stages of the buying process. These folks search online to find the answers to their questions, and your content will be there to educate.
Nearly 60% of high growth AEC firms update their website on a weekly basis to keep people coming back. For many, this means producing a blog that will keep your website and content fresh, continually offering more to visitors. Once on your website, you have the opportunity to offer users a good experience and more educational content. A longer, more substantial piece of content means that a visitor might be willing to exchange their email address in order to download. This will enable you to build up a list of emails to market to.
As your firm focuses on producing consistent and educational content marketed to your email list, your prospects will return back to your website allowing them to get familiar with your brand, until they are ready to work with you.
You Can’t Forget Social
You’ve now got a new lead generating website and a content strategy on your plate, but in order to do those successfully, you need to have a social media strategy in place as well. Social media can help you reach out to your target audience and showcase projects that your firm is working on. Social channels also give you the perfect platform to promote your content to new viewers, who will then be enticed to visit your website. And once on your website, they enter that lead generating funnel.
The last element – we promise – to redesigning your firm’s website is search engine optimization (SEO). In order for people to find your website, you need to appear in search engine results. This means optimizing website pages and your content for specific keywords that your audience will be searching for. Nearly all research online begins with a search engine – so this is not a piece to forget.
If you complete all of these steps, congratulations! You now have a powerful online marketing strategy. You may have thought that all you needed was a new look and feel to your website, but in today’s changing market for AEC firms, it is critical to have a solid digital brand presence.
There are lots of great resources out there to help you along this process, I would recommend reading Hinge’s Lead Generating Website Guide to start. Now stop thinking about it and start making your website work for you by bringing in leads online.
About the Author:
Katie Sanner, Associate Account Director at Hinge. Combining Katie’s design, advertising and marketing experience, she is able to consistently assist her clients in brand building, improve their brand strength, and increase marketability. Prior to working at Hinge, Katie was a marketer for a Washington DC Top 25 Engineering Firm, Gordon and the Creative Manager for a nationally renowned advertising agency, Arnold Worldwide. Katie is an active member of the Society of Marketing Professional Services where she currently sits on the DC Chapter’s Board of Directors.