Have you ever come to a firm’s website looking for answers to your questions and concerns, or just information that caters to your interest, but digging to find it takes more time than you have to give? There appears to be a lot of great content on the site, but where’s the information that can help you, and how can you find it? There’s a well-written article on Trends in Higher Education Learning Experiences, but you’re not looking for that, you’re looking for insight related to Corporate Environments. You don’t have all day to search….
At this time next year, some leading-edge A/E firms will remedy this by eliminating the one-size fits all web experience. They will provide a much more personalized experience, catering much better to the needs and interests of their visitors. Rather than showing a prospect, and everyone else that visits, the same content over and over again, prospects will see information that applies to them; their interests, their needs, their concerns, and their stage in the buying journey. Personalization is just one way A/E firms are transitioning their websites to the future, to learn more, read our eBook, The A/E Firm Website of 2015.
The Current State of A/E Firm Websites
The vast majority of A/E firm websites are stuck providing a one-size fits all web experience to a highly diverse audience. They showcase their work, all of their work, leaving visitors to filter through and find an article or case study that applies to them, maybe. They don’t offer their visitors much in terms of sharing their perspective, their insights, or the problems they’ve solved. If the user isn’t visiting their site based off of a referral or landing on a page from an external link they’re left with little to help them find what they’re looking for, and little guidance leading them through the buying process.
But, a facility manager at a hospital has different interests than the president of a university. And, someone who’s just starting to explore their options related to a facility investment is looking for very different sets of information than someone in the evaluative stage of short-listing a group of architecture firms. Yet, firms’ websites serve all these audiences with the same, blunt shovel of content all day, every day.
The Personalized A/E Firm Website of 2015
Fortunately, things are changing. There’s a shift toward creating a more personal web experience, which should hopefully replace that big, blunt shovel with a collection of hand diggers used appropriately for the diverse set of audiences the website serves. Here’s an idea of what the personalized A/E firm website of 2015 will be like:
- All thought leadership will be authored. No more mystery authors. All partner and employee profiles will connect not only the thought leadership they’ve contributed to, but also the projects and programs they’ve been a part of in the past and are currently a part of now.
- Visitors will never see the same content offer or featured article twice. Once, I’ve consumed something, the site will offer me another piece of useful content. It will do this through the use of smart calls-to-action. By offering content sequentially and guiding prospects towards a conversation with the firm when the time is right, the site will act more like an active partner in the business development process. (For more on the web conversion process, read this post: Automate Lead Qualification with a Proper Web Conversion Process).
- Leading edge firms will utilize dynamic content to literally change the content a prospect sees on a homepage or landing page based on who they are, what content they’ve been interested in most in the past, and where they appear to be in their buying journey.
No more mystery, no more frustrated searches, no more useless content, no more catering to the masses. The website of the future will be a much more personalized experience for each and every visitor. If it sounds a lot like the experience you have now with Amazon, that’s because it is. Except it’s becoming increasingly affordable and accessible to even mid-sized firms.
Personalization is one of the seven trends driving A/E firm website experiences. To access all seven, download our eBook, The A/E Firm Website of 2015.