Some creative people are a bit intimidated when it comes to technology, especially if we’re talking about the internet. While building a website for your interior design company might not be quite the obstacle you’re anticipating, there’s still a lot that needs to go into it if you want your business to succeed.
One of the most important elements for your website is a search engine’s ability to not only find your site, but push it as close to the front page as possible. That’s where search engine optimization, SEO, comes in.
SEO is a lot like interior design – pieces can be placed within a space, but if placed optimally, they work together better and make the space both functional and simultaneously more attractive. Likewise, if a company’s online presence isn’t optimal, it’s less attractive to visitors.
To help you along, we’ve created nine tips to help you gain the better traction using SEO.
1. Understand the Importance of Specific Keywords
While there’s a pretty solid chance you place your company under the “Interior Designers” category, there are some people who might still use the term “Interior Decorator” when they do a search. “Interior Design” has a higher search volume on Google, but that doesn’t mean you want to alienate those who search for an interior decorator.
It’s probably not a bad idea to include the words “Interior Decorator” on your website so that you will appear in those searches as well.
Also, include pages on your site, mentioning your specializations or types of building interiors or businesses that you focus on so that others looking for your expertise can easily locate you.
2. Include Company Information on your Home and Contact Pages
Include your company name, address, and phone number in plain text on your site’s home page and contact pages. Doing this makes it easier for search engines to crawl your site and verify that it should be associated with your business listing in their databases.
There’s a tendency among design firms to make home pages image heavy, containing little HTML text. If your text is embedded inside an image or animation, it’s not text that search engines can easily read, and thus it may be missed.
It’s possible to incorporate search-engine-friendly text while also having an attractive design with prominent images.
3. Add your Company Listing in Online Directories
If your business is new, listing in online directories is critical because your information won’t magically get distributed by itself. Without being present in those directories you have little hope of ranking for local searches.
If your business has been established for a while, you still should double check to see if a listing represents you in major directories, and check to see that your info is as up-to-date and as correct as possible. Claim and update your listing in Google and Bing, as well.
There are also a number of online directories just for the design industry. Getting listed in those will further help your cause. To find which are most beneficial, search for “interior designers” for your city and then see which directory sites show up in the first few pages of search results.
4. Share Photos on Social Media
Using social media can actually help build your SEO. Specific social media sites, such as Pinterest, Flickr, Imgur, and Instagram, are filled with people who browse looking for ideas on decorating. Many look to find vendors of furnishings or even to find designers to hire.
While much of this falls under the category of research for do-it-yourself decorating, even that activity can benefit you if you get increasing numbers of social media interactions. You can often add your links to your social profiles or to media that you upload, so when people share it, search engines can take that into account as a signal for relative popularity.
For any image-sharing platform, include a link to your site with each image you upload so that consumers can easily locate you. Being influential in social sites translates into added visits to your site and increased ranking advantage in search engine results.
5. Allow Search Engines to See Your Images
Designers sometimes get too uptight about allowing others to access their images, which can result in shooting themselves in the feet — as far as marketing — if taken too far.
Insisting that your designer make it so search engines cannot crawl the subdirectories on your website server in order to access and index the images means that people cannot find your images in search results. This limits your online visibility when people are researching.
You can still include a copyright notice on your web pages – or even watermark your images – but, allow the images to appear in search results so that you will get more visits from potential customers.
6. Blog Early, Blog Often
This is fairly simple – the more frequently you blog about topics related to your site, the better your site will rank and the more keyword phrases you will rank upon over time. Set up your blog for SEO, and find a way to post to it once or twice a week. You can write a number of blog posts and schedule them to publish on different days of the month, so if you only have half a day per month to spend on such activity, you can still get a lot out of it.
7. Join Professional Organizations
Some professional organizations provide online local guides of their members, and these member listings can provide citations and links for your business. For instance, American Society of Interior Designers has an online member directory, and the member profiles can include links to design firm websites. Don’t forget to also list your accreditations and memberships on your website and on your LinkedIn profile.
8. Encourage Positive Online Reviews
When consumers are unfamiliar with contractors, they will look to online reviews on sites such as Yelp for ratings and recommendations. It’s important, however, that you don’t ask for positive reviews and never offer to pay or incentivize for positive reviews. When you do have clients who are pleased, ask them to post a review of your company in Yelp, Google, etc. While rating values and review content generally are not a ranking element, positive ratings may affect click rates, which indirectly affect rankings over time. The total numbers of reviews and frequency of being posted on your business listings likely does influence rankings as well.
9. Post Videos of your Designs on YouTube
Videos can rank well in search results by themselves, and they also can include links back to your business website. Interior design is such a visually-oriented profession that any way in which you can display your designs through visual mediums can improve your overall profile and visibility. Videos are an effective means of conveying three-dimensional information. Use videos to provide panoramas or walk-throughs of spaces along with voiceover descriptions. Since relatively few designers post videos, doing so will give you an advantage and help you move ahead of the local pack.
We’re Here to Help
You may have paid, or are still paying, for SEO services that have failed to generate the results you imagined. False expectations or irrelevant rankings leave you in a lurch when it comes to your next steps. Is it even worth doing SEO? Meanwhile, it seems like your competitors are enjoying first page rankings and gaining new customers every day.
At New North, we generally don’t stick our neck out before we meet a client, but in this case we can. We are so confident that we can move the needle for your business, we’ll back our services with a full refund. If you want search engine optimization for your interior design business, we’re here to help you.
Contact us today for a free, no-hassle consultation on how we can get you the clients you need.