Today I will teach you about SEO Optimization for companies and others who are not in that direct niche and how to increase organic search traffic on your company’s website.
In this article, you will learn what SEO is, why it brings you more clients, and how to apply best SEO practices in your Industry.
Let’s go ….
What is SEO Optimization and why is it needed?
Search engine optimization is the practice of optimizing a website to increase the quality and quantity of traffic generated by organic search. It is probably the best digital marketing channel that brings potential buyers to architects and on average brings two thirds of the total traffic to a website.
This includes traffic from search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. Traffic quality refers to how relevant a user’s search request is to the content of a website.
The amount is the actual volume of traffic that a website generates from search engines.
We basically use SEO to drive more (and better) traffic to our websites.
In the following sections, you will learn about several different SEO ranking factors and how to optimize them to generate more high quality traffic.
SEO Optimization Strategy and Planning:
The first step in search engine optimization is determining which keywords we want our website to rank for.
For example, let’s say you own an architecture company that specializes in restaurant design and only work in the greater New York area.
Your preferred main keyword can be “New York City Restaurant Architects” or “NYC Restaurant Designers,” because they specifically match your business offering.
Choosing keywords seems pretty straightforward, but you still need to know which keywords are valuable and provide high traffic, right?
To find these high-value keywords, you can use a keyword research tool, such as Google’s Keyword Planning Tool or Neil Patel’s Keyword Tool.
These tools help you find the amount of traffic each keyword receives each month, as well as some great suggestions for similar keywords.
Keyword Research Tip
Find keywords that match your specific services and markets on offer. In general, more accurate keywords have the best conversion rates, but are not searched as broad keywords.
I recommend getting a list of broad and large volume keywords, as well as narrow, specific keywords – you’ll use both.
After entering the targeted keyword in the Keyword Tool, notice the “competition” number that each keyword has.
This number estimates how difficult it will be to rank that keyword on a scale between 0 – 1.
The more competitive the keyword, the higher the score.
If your preferred keyword has high competition, this often means it’s a higher term ROI, which comes with a higher cost-per-click (CPC) when using paid ads.
Content creation strategy
Once you get a list of keywords that sound promising, it’s time to list all the keywords you’d like to rank for and assign them to current pages or scheduled pages yet to be created.
Most pages are optimized to have a single primary keyword (unless it’s a large core article – more on that below), so you’ll usually need multiple pages to rank for multiple keywords.
Every keyword you find can be the subject of a new page or blog post.
For example, you may want your homepage to target the keyword “New York Restaurant Architect,” but you’d also want to rank for “Buffalo Restaurant Architect” as well.
Here, you could create another landing page specifically to target “Buffalo Restaurant Architects” and provide readers with information on Buffalo Restaurant Architecture efforts.
Information architecture and connectivity strategy
Once you get a list of pages / posts for each keyword you target, you can organize those pages in a logical way on your site to further improve SEO. To do this, we help search engines define the most important pages on your site using an internal “link structure”.
See the image below to get an idea of how this internal connection works.
When page B links to page A, it transfers the “PageRank” to page A, which amplifies the value of A to search engines.
You can see that subpages (B) link to parent pages (A) above them.
The strategy here is to use many smaller blog posts to forward the PageRank to your main pages or posts.
The more relevant a subpage is to the parent page, and the more traffic the subpages receive, the more PageRank goes to the parent page.
These parent pages or posts in this type of structure are known as …
Core Articles or Pillar Pages are aptly named because they form the “foundation” of the content marketing strategy on your site.
These basic pages are the “A” pages (in the example above) to which your smaller “B” posts link.
Side pages or posts are usually 3x longer than subpages and target higher traffic and wider keywords.
To solidify the example, you can have three pages of “restaurant architect Buffalo,” “architect of New York City Restaurant,” and “architect of Albany Restaurant,” all of which link up to a larger foundation page called “New York Restaurant Architect”.
All three of these subpages would pass the PageRank to the base page, increasing their search engine ranking.
A well-structured website should contain 4 or more core articles that are highly relevant to the business service offering and / or target market. Basic articles should target broader and broader keywords and have at least 4 relevant sub-links linking them.
For more great information on content and linking strategy, see the Wiki Strategy.
For more information on foundation stone articles, see Yoast’s position on foundation articles.
On-Page SEO Optimization
What is SEO Optimization on a site?
Now that we’ve selected the keywords, put out a content strategy, and a linking strategy, the next step is to actually build the pages we’re trying to rank.
The SEO points on a page in this section refer to the optimizations that happen “on a page” when writing and publishing your page / post.
These page optimizations include factors that tell Google and other search engines about the topic of our page.
Located in a URL, a “slug” is a web address that directs someone to a specific page on your site.
Ideally, your snail should contain the target keyword and be shorter than 80 characters. For example, the snail of this page reads: “/ seo-for-architects /”.
The title of your page is the text of the title that your user sees in the search results, and is also displayed on the tab of your web browser.
For example, the title of this page is “SEO for Architects”
Ideally, your title should contain the target keyword and be between 50 and 60 characters long. Most search engines display only 60 characters that give or take.
A meta description is the text of a paragraph that your user sees in search results.
Ideally, your description should contain the target keyword and be between 150 and 170 characters long.
Page title tags are H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, and H6 that tell search engines (and readers) about the content hierarchy of your website.
For example, H1 of this page reads “SEO for Architects” because that is the main topic discussed on this page.
An example of H2 would be the subtitle “What is SEO?” And H3 would be “Title Tags”.
This is very similar to the way research work or other professional publications are structured.
We use this structure to define written points in the logical hierarchy.
H1 and at least one subtitle tag on the page should contain the target keyword.
A maximum of 30 header tags should be used on any page. Length is not a big issue for headlines, use what makes sense in the context of your content.
Text is the main paragraph that makes up most of your page / post.
This text should contain a target keyword between 1% – 2% of the total copy of the page.
For example, if a page has 300 words, the exact keyword should appear between 3 and 6 times throughout the text.
Subpages and small posts must not be shorter than 300 words, pages or articles must not be less than 900 words.
At least one of the images on the page should have an alt attribute that contains the target keyword.
These alt attributes are displayed by screen readers, and also when the image cannot be displayed.
They are also used by search engines to find out what the images on the page are about.
Here you want to make sure that the alt attribute describes the image appropriately.
For example, if you have an image showing a restaurant you designed in Manhattan called Atomix, the alt attribute could be “Atomix Restaurant Design Manhattan”.
Links on the site
Mentioned in the Linking Strategy above, the inbound link is just a hyperlink that directs the user to another page within the same site.
Each page or post should contain at least one inbound link within the body text.
See your link structure above to determine which pages may be useful for linking.
For example, this page has an inbound link to “Keywords for Architects,” a few sections above.
This link allows the reader to learn more about the topic of keywords about architecture, and also forwards PageRank to that page, boosting his SEO.
An outbound link is any link that directs a user to another page on another site.
Your page or post should contain at least one outbound link.
The reason for outbound links is to “link” your site to other sites within the relevant network.
For example, this page has an outbound link that goes to “Neil Patel’s Keyword Planner.”
This link can not only forward PageRank to his site, but it also tells Google and other search engines that my content in the topic is related to its content.
This would be a great time to email Neil saying “Hey Neile, I wrote an article on SEO for architects and linked up with your keyword planning tool to help my clients find good keywords. I would love for you to take a look at the article and feel free to share it with everyone you know in the architecture industry. “
This is a great way to build a network of links to other relevant sites and dramatically boost your SEO, leading us right to the next topic …
Off-Page SEO Optimization
What is SEO off site?
Now that we have the pages built and ready to go, the next step is to allow content to be reviewed and shared by our target readers.
Unlike on-page SEO, which tells search engines what our site is about, “Off-Page” SEO helps search engines tell you how much our site is worth.
To help search engines see our site as high value, we use the various methods described below to share and distribute our site over the Internet.
These specific factors are usually optimized separately from the site / post itself – hence the name “off-site”.
Backlinks or Backlinks are outbound links from other sites that lead back to your site; transfer PageRank to your site and greatly encourage SEO.
For example, if you own an architectural firm that specializes in restaurant design in NYC, feedback from a reputable restaurant industry blog in NYC can be great feedback.
Here are some different examples of backlinks and their impact on SEO:
Blog – Someone linked to your site from your high traffic, relevant blog post in the industry (greater impact on SEO)
Social Networks – The link to your site is shared by an industry-relevant social media group (greater impact on SEO)
Social Networking – Someone shares a link to your site on their personal low-traffic page (less SEO impact)
Business directory in the relevant industry – your site is linked to the relevant industry directory (higher SEO impact)
Business directory in an irrelevant industry – your site is linked from a directory that is not specific to your target industry (less SEO impact)
Can I buy backlinks? You shouldn’t. Google penalizes websites that use junk backlinks and often removes pages from sites suspected of engaging in suspicious linking activities.
This is pretty simple: The more traffic your site gets, the more valuable search engines perceive that page.
This is SEO “the richer the richer”; pages that already generate high traffic do better in search engines than pages that don’t.
For example, when a blog post goes “viral,” it’s because a large amount of organic traffic compared to a short time frame drives that page’s search algorithms (and social media) faster than less popular content.
Paid traffic in the form of search or social media ads is a great way to drive initial traffic to new content.
If you have a budget for ads and don’t want to wait for traffic to come organically, you can use paid ads to provide content with the short-term boost needed before organic traffic starts.
Google My Business
Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for managing your company’s online presence on Google, including Search and Maps.
By checking and editing your business information, Google My Business helps customers find you and optimize your listing across all of Google’s multiple search networks.
I am aware that the topic of SEO is more extensive than the others, so if you have any questions at all, do not hesitate to contact us – we will be happy to help you.
Also, if you have more SEO topics that you would like to cover in more detail, feel free to comment below and we will do our best to add them to the discussion.
That’s all for now! I hope this article has given you an effective perspective on how to approach your SEO efforts as an architect or architectural firm.
If you have questions about SEO or would like to talk to me about professional SEO services for your business, feel free to contact us.