From Journey to Destination
Article Date: September 8, 2021
Straightforward Tips for Website Optimization
An architect’s due diligence on the perfect product for their next project quite often begins with the search bar at the top of their web browser.
According to the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the average architect visits approximately 47 different manufacturer websites every year. In “The Architect’s Journey to Specification,” AIA’s survey also revealed that when it comes to those websites, ease of finding relevant information and completeness of information were most important to those architects.
Now more than ever, a building product manufacturer’s website is more than just the digital “front door” to the company. It is a critical tool for your prospects and customers when they are searching for, verifying, and ultimately selecting products. If your visitors cannot find what they are looking for (or find it too difficult to locate something), chances are they will go somewhere else.
How does your website stack up? Is it smartly designed, easy to navigate, and well organized?
Simplifying the Digital Journey
Creating an optimized, high-functioning website for a building materials manufacturer begins by knowing and understanding your audiences – architects, designers, specifiers, contractors, installers.
Following some basic but impactful guidelines will get you started:
- Design with your visitor in mind: Your sales staff would likely be thrilled if you listed your products by SKU number on your website. Unfortunately, that does nothing but confuse your prospects. Your site should be designed so they can find what they need quickly and easily. Think like they think, and apply that to your product array. Perhaps you start by organizing your inventory into “exterior” and “interior” first, and then you narrow the funnel based on what your prospects seek. The key is to make the journey intuitive for your website visitors so that it anticipates what they are searching for and how they are searching for it.
- Write like you mean it: Jam-packing keywords into your web copy to improve search engine optimization (SEO) is no longer the way to get your site recognized by Google and to drive more visitors to it. Google has changed the SEO rules and has created a more sophisticated algorithm for ranking a site. In today’s digital world, your website must feature content that is engineered to speak to your target audience. Only then can you expect your site’s ranking to rise and to get recognized.
- Simple is better: Topline navigation that has too many choices creates confusion for a website visitor. The best practice is to simplify their journey. Keep your navigation tight and built for the user experience. Make it easy for your them to interact with your home page so they can find what they want. For instance, perhaps you prompt them to identify themselves as soon as they arrive, enabling them to customize their journey and more readily find the information that pertains to them. Maybe it is a matter of allowing them to click a button that identifies them as an architect or a specifier.
- Mobile matters: More and more of your target audience members are interacting with websites on their mobile devices. Your website design must be responsive to this shift. In this environment, scrolling is more desirable than clicking. Consider also that when you prompt someone to click on a link in a mobile environment, the link itself needs to be prominent enough so that they can effectively tap it with their finger. They will not be using a mouse.
- From Engagement to Conviction: Your website should serve as a powerful lead capture mechanism once it is optimized, organized, and easy to navigate. Make sure your site has calls to action that will help move visitors from prospects to customers. Provide opportunities for them to fill out a “Contact Us” form so they can engage directly within someone at the company. If you have an eNewsletter, ensure visitors can sign up to receive it on a regular basis. Additionally, give your prospects the opportunity to sign up for your mailing list so that they can receive regular updates from you via eMarketing. Once they are in your marketing funnel, you can track their level of engagement and tailor your outreach to them.
Designing a compelling, optimized website for construction professionals is the first step in developing a digital marketing ecosystem for your brand. It is a complex undertaking, and when it is up and running at full speed, that ecosystem will raise your brand’s visibility and help transform your prospects into customers.
Get started by partnering with BLD Marketing to create a better website journey for your prospects.
BLD Marketing is a results-based, digitally-focused, full-service strategic marketing firm exclusively serving the commercial and residential building materials category.