Ever since launching Websites For Architect I get asked by a lot of architects if I can consult on their websites, social media and online strategies. I was hesitant at first because while I love sharing and writing about websites for architects, I have a full time architectural photography business and so the amount of time I can dedicate to things like consulting is limited. The last thing I wanted was to get stuck writing reports about websites and going back and forth with someone’s web designer. I did however see a real need for strategic thinking when it comes to an architect’s website. And even more important was an external voice. Someone more like a coach and someone who isn’t the actually person building the site. What was missing was an independent consultant. What I ended up doing is giving a couple consultation sessions with different architects and figuring out that it was possible to provide a whole lot of value in a short period of time by doing what I call a blind review. I’ll explain how it works below in more detail, but I now feel this sort of review is one of the best investments an architect can make with their website and one that will probably end up saving them a lot of money in the long run.
The reason this is so valuable is because the consultant experiences your site as a complete stranger and this is exactly how most clients, editors and anyone else coming to your site for the first time will be. This gives you insight into exactly how your site is performing from a human perspective. We can’t do this with own websites because we’re too familiar with it, which is why we need someone else like a consultant.
A good web developer should know how to optimise your site, but there’s a couple problems. One of the reasons why I started writing Websites for Architects is because while there is a lot of information already online about websites, it didn’t always make sense for architects. It may have been perfect for an online store that sells shoes for example, but the approach wasn’t quite right for professional services and creative industries. In fact sometimes is was just wrong. What this means is that people offering website optimisation services don’t often understand architects, and this makes it hard to create the primary marketing collateral an architect has, their website. How can someone for example optimise an architects website if they don’t understand how an editor of an architectural magazine finds projects online? What’s missing is a human understanding of who will use an architect’s site. There’s another problem underlying all of this though. A web designer’s income is rarely tied to the performance of the website, just the delivery of it. You pay them to give you a platform which you then build upon. And it’s this second part which is the hardest and often what gives actual outcomes from a site. Too often architects go through a cycle of “refreshing” their site, which means rebuilding it to make it look new. That’s great and your web developer will love you, but what’s missing is identifying real goals for your site and the implementation of often very simple things that deliver results.
I don’t want you paying for a consultation that you’re not happy with so if you’re not 100% satisfied then I’ll give you a full refund. My guess however, is that you’ll leave the session feeling excited and wanting to implement smart strategies for your website straight away.