As the AEC industry increasingly moves online, it’s important to make sure that your marketing efforts are up to par. Here are some key considerations for marketing in the AEC industry:
- SEO: Search engine optimization is critical for making sure that your website comes up first in search results. A good AEC marketing strategy will include keyword research and optimizing website content for those keywords.
- Web design: A well-designed website is essential for making a good impression on potential clients. Make sure that your website is easy to navigate and includes information about your company’s services and experience.
- User experience: The user experience is the way that users interact with your website. Creating a positive user experience should be a priority in your AEC marketing efforts. This includes basic factors like making sure that your website loads quickly and is easy to use, but also more complex undertakings like interactive virtual renderings and other tools to immerse potential clients in the experience.
SEO for AEC Firms
Search engine optimization for Architecture, Engineering, and Consulting firms serves a dual purpose. On the one hand, you naturally want to be present when a potential new client searches for your specialty online. Being at the top of Google at the moment they are seeking you out is kismet, provided when they click on your website, it does a good job of representing your firm’s qualifications and achievements.
The other aspect of SEO for an AEC firm should be strategic as a mechanism to help close the deal and win the bid on the project. There is the implicit belief (perhaps correctly) that if you are at the top of Google, you must be a recognized authority in the space. It’s a self-fulfilling method of vetting you and confirming to a potential client that their choice is valid.
Web Design for AEC Firms
Just as important, when a potential project partner or client arrives at your website, there should be a level of professionalism, simplicity, elegance, sophistication, and weight. The website should speak to your authority in the space without overtly stating it; there’s no need to be garish about it.
Social proof — in the form of builder and project accolades, client testimonials, awards and recognition received, and well-known projects in the portfolio — paints a picture of an AEC firm that can adeptly handle the complexities of any scale project while bringing innovation and panache to the design itself.
AEC Website User Experience
Everything on the website should be well-considered and in sync. The website should be a perfect representation of your aesthetic sensibility, engineering capability, and economy of functionality. If it all works together like a Swiss watch, you are on the right path for an exceptional user experience.
3D modeling and virtual rendering tools are helpful and exciting. Engage the visitor’s imagination by immersing them in the experience; take them on the journey of walking into or flying by one of your projects. Making the website a sensory experience will set you apart from competitors. When clients can place themselves in their own projects and believe you are the AEC firm that can deliver on that vision they have, your firm will be in a better position to win the bid.
Simplicity and Clarity in AEC Marketing
AEC firms are notorious for confusing potential clients with jargon-heavy language, long lists of qualifications and credentials, and an overall “in the weeds” approach to marketing themselves. After all, this is a highly technical industry with very specialized services. It can be difficult to find the right balance of communicating your firm’s abilities without sounding like you’re trying too hard or coming across as arrogant.
The key is to focus on what the client wants and needs to hear; not everything about your AEC firm. Take a step back and look at the big picture of how your firm can address its specific pain points. Is your firm the best in the industry at “A”? If so, say that. But don’t try to be everything to everyone; it will only serve to muddle your message. Be targeted and clear in your marketing communications and you will win more AEC clients.
AEC firms that focus on SEO, web design, and user experience will be well-positioned to attract new project partners and clients. By carefully crafting a website that is an extension of your brand identity and qualifications, you can make a strong impression that will differentiate you from the competition.