Searching for AEC Services

by Karen Davis Burton

When a client searches online for the services you offer, what do they find? And, I’m not asking what do they find when they search for your name or your business name – hopefully, you pop up then.

But what happens when they google “retail architects in Detroit” or “interior designer for hotels near Santa Monica?” Will your prospect find you on page one of Google?

More and more, people are going online to find the building products and AEC services they want and need to purchase. When my water heater was on the fritz late one night – while all my friends that I would call for a referral were asleep – I googled “plumber, water heater” and the search engine gave me a list of service providers in my area.

Traditionally, consumers and businesses have found AEC professional services firms through word-of-mouth referrals, live networking, RFPs, and even through the phone book advertising.

Well, we know most of those phone books get tossed out and recycled as soon as they are dropped off on the porch. Referrals and networking are still the best ways to build business because people want to do business with firms and professionals they know and trust.

Why not let those prospects – and your existing clients – get to know you when they search for your AEC market niche and professional services online. Even if a potential client gets a referral from a reliable source, they probably want to do their own research on the names they’ve received. And when you’re out in the community developing business – at conferences, happy hours, trade organization meetings – shouldn’t your prospects have a way to find out more about you and your business?

By developing relevant content – writing blog posts, articles, and press releases, sharing valuable information on social media sites, posting photos of your work, providing your prospects with testimonials from satisfied clients, and making sure your website is updating regularly – you can work toward getting at the top of the search engine listings so your AEC company will be the first one a prospects sees when they search for your types of services.