Monthly Archives: September 2016

MacBook Pro showing SEO analytics to a building designer.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Building Designers

You can learn everything in this post, and more, in our FREE email course. Sign up below:

Free SEO for Building Designers Email Course

You'll also receive our latest content by email.

Powered by ConvertKit

Generate more revenue by ranking higher in search engines with SEO.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. That’s easy enough to remember, so we’re going to continue calling it SEO. It’s shorter, and it’s industry standard practice.

When you search for something in Google, Bing, or whatever search engine you use, do you ever wonder how they decide what comes up first, second, third, etc.? How did they pick the websites and the order they appear in?

Very few people know the actual algorithm that sorts all of the websites on the internet, but we do know some of it.

We know enough that we can use that little bit of knowledge to optimize our websites for the search engines to rank higher, thus bring in more traffic for specific keywords.


Why SEO is Important to Your Business

When Generation X, Millennials, and the younger generations need something they just search for it online. A lot of millennials are reaching the age where they are getting married, buying houses, having kids, and fulfilling what was once called “The American Dream”. When millennials need a home designed, they search for building designers online. They don’t pick up phone books and turn pages; they pick up their phones and ask Siri to find it for them.

You need to be in the search engines where people are looking for your services. (Tweet that)

Of course, you have to have a website first. I’ve seen a few designers who only use Houzz pages. Houzz is a great place to have a page and an excellent tool for marketing your designs (which we’ll talk about in a future post), but it is not the best place to host your only website page on the internet.

You need to have a dedicated website. That’s something else we can talk more about in the future.

Having a website that is dedicated to just you will give the search engines something to index with your name on it. You can also optimize it for certain keywords, such as “home designer” and “building designer”. When using Houzz, you won’t be able to customize enough to optimize your page. Having control of your platform is extremely important in this case.

Once you have your dedicated website and optimize it properly for the search engines, you’ll have the opportunity to promote it offline as well. Set up a personal email that looks professional (no more, put it on your business card, and sell your designs to the world.


White/Grey/Black Hats

When you first start searching the internet to learn about SEO, you’ll probably see information about people talking about white hat, grey hat, and black hat SEO.

You won’t be required to purchase or wear any sort of hats to do internet marketing, I promise.

White, grey, and black hats are terms used to describe the ethical techniques a particular Search Engine Optimizer (also referred to as “an SEO” for short) may take to reach higher rankings search engines.

You will never hear me teach you a black hat technique. Those are the “bad” or unethical techniques, and they run a high risk/high reward sort of thing.

Frequently, they will skyrocket a website to the top of google for a short period of time. Then the site either tanks because it’s been busted doing something unethical, or it drops because black hat techniques aren’t sustainable.

Then, they try another black hat technique that gets them boosted back up for another short period of time. This is a lot of work and too risky.

Many search engines will blacklist your website entirely if they catch you. This is called “sandboxing”.

There’s almost no recovery from that. You have to make an appeal directly to the search engine and hope that they take pity on you. Many websites and businesses have gone out of businesses because of this.

White hat takes a lot slower to get high rankings, but they’ll last a lot longer (theoretically forever). You also will run zero risk of getting black listed by search engines. In fact, most white hat techniques come straight from the search engines themselves. This is the way to go.

Grey hat is sort of in between, and hard to classify. We’ll leave it at that for now.

Architectural drawing on paper.

Does Everyone Need SEO?

Everyone who is running a business online needs SEO. Many people who are running a business offline need SEO.

Everyone needs SEO.

Whether you’re running your business entirely online, or running an offline business with just a website, you need SEO. Many people are searching for exactly what you do. They want to hire someone that does exactly what you do, exactly where you are.

Instead of you, they’re finding the designer who worked on their website, optimized it, and put themselves in a position to generate more revenue through the internet.

Your competition is already doing SEO. You will lose to them if you aren’t.

Is SEO a lot of Work?

SEO can be a lot of work for a short period of time if you’ve already built out a lot of pages and need to fix them. Maintaining SEO is easy and takes very little work.

If you’re launching a new website, maintaining SEO from a completely clean website will be easy. It’s not a lot of work and doesn’t take a lot of your time. The ROI will be well worth it.

We’ll talk more about how to SEOptimize your website next week. If you’d like to be notified when the post is ready, join our newsletter at It’s free and it will keep you up to date on our marketing tips as well as other AIBD news.

Main Takeaways

  • SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization
  • You need to have your own website
  • Ranking higher in search engines means more revenue for you
  • You need to be doing SEO

Garrett Mickley is the Communications Director for AIBD and has over eight years experience working in digital marketing.