Adam Pritchard

Pride Road’s Web & SEO Expert

Adam Pritchard looks after Pride Road’s main website. He joined right at the beginning, and explained the importance of SEO. Adam is an eCommerce Consultant and runs a company called Shopit, and has 15 years in digital marketing, which is what he has been helping us with.

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When a franchisee comes on board, how does he get involved?

When a franchisee first comes on board, Adam trains them to write content for the website through a process of working through example articles such as blog posts, case studies, or opinion pieces. We work through them in a very structured manner, explaining what the title and the content should look like, and the questions that they should be answering, based on Adam’s research. So far this has been successful as all the franchisees have taken to it well, and it has brought brilliant results.

We then review and tune the content towards the phrases and the experiences that people want.

For example, yesterday, Adam worked on three case studies that Lisa put forward by improving the readability and linking them to other relevant content around Lisa’s website and around the

internet. This is important as Google wants to see that the user can come in, read a piece of content, and be encouraged to read about other related topics.

Why is it important for our website to have lots of content?

Having lots of content is a great way to raise brand awareness and to help Google promote Pride Road more. This is because a potential client may Google questions that we have the blogs about, such as ‘how to get more light into my home?’ and there will be links in those blogs to similar blogs that also answer the user’s questions. Our ‘mini-internet’ of posts that are related to each other means that the user spends lots of time on our website and begins to trust our brand. Google will begin to see that we are answering client’s questions, so it will promote us more.

The biggest fear from architects who want to set up their own practice is that they don’t have any images of their own to put on their website. How do we get around that?

There are stock images available, but the Pride Road team have an extensive library of images available that can be used for the website. When the franchisee first joins, the biggest thing that they struggle with is case-studies, so we put them on a plan of writing content about how they feel about domestic architecture, a bit about their own background, and other industry topics such as kitchen types and increasing light in properties- there’s so much to talk about with domestic architecture, and these topics are a comfortable place to start.

From Architecture Jobs to Running Your Own Architecture Practice

How are websites and Facebook pages used differently?

Facebook is a wonderful place to engage and attract people by answering their questions or inspiring them with new ideas. It is where many of our clients start thinking about improving their homes, so it’s a great place to inspire them into becoming our clients. Google, however, is less about your engagement and how many people click your website already, and more about how intrinsically good quality your website is, from a technical and a content point of view. It is still heavily used for finding service providers or answers to questions like ‘how to increase light in my home?’ or ‘how do I extend into my garden?’. These more structured/ formulaic questions are great traffic for the website.

For those that are setting up their own practice, what is SEO?

SEO – in its simplest form – is making sure that you rank as high as possible on Google for terms that relate to your business. Google is very particular about making sure that their results are as relevant as possible, so we need to ensure that our website answers as many of the user’s questions as possible.

How would we go about targeting the search term ‘Architect, Manchester?’

We would make the website as relevant to that search term as possible, to make it clear to Google that we are an architecture practice that operates in the Manchester region. We have done that successfully for that term, and for places like Blackburn and Bournemouth for our franchisees. But then you have to look for the variations of that search, such as residential architect Manchester’, or ‘local architect Manchester.’

Is it possible to cheat with google by using google AdWords?

When you launch a website it can take a long time, from 3 months to 2 years, for Google to trust you and for the website to build up the necessary amount of content to compete with websites that Google already trusts. Google AdWords is a brilliant way to circumvent this time delay as it buys you that traffic instantly; you can set up a campaign today and be live in front of your target audience this afternoon, but it will cost you- Lisa has been offered targeting the term ‘Architect Manchester’ for £10,000. The high costs exist because the agencies know how important search terms like those are for businesses like Pride Road. When we launch into new territories, we might start off using AdWords to try and get the brand out there. However, Google and other agencies have stated that there’s no direct relationship between the amount you spend and the amount you come up organically.

When Lisa first set up Raynes Architecture she used a website builder called Weebly, which was very simple and easy to use, so she just put loads of content out there, so she was on the first page of Google for ‘Manchester Architects’, really quickly. Other architects in Manchester realised they had missed a trick. Adam has worked for a variety of business, and producing content is the hardest thing as people simply don’t have time to write it. Lisa got the business off to a great start with the amount of content she wrote initially. Adam loves working with Pride Road because it comes forward with a lot of content, which grows further as the franchisees come on-board. So, Pride Road becomes Google’s go-to website, as they can see that we have the answers. In the last 12 months, the organic traffic alone, (ignoring Facebook and AdWords), has gone up 80%, because of our content: the articles, opinion pieces and case studies that we write.

What advice, around websites and Google rankings, would you give to an architect that is going to set up their own practice?

You’ve got to start off well from a technical point of view; website builders like Wix, Weebly and Squarespace are great for producing lots of good looking content, but they don’t do anything else- they don’t help bring people to the website. You need to ensure the website is fast and accessible. It is also important to, like Lisa did, write lots of content that answers people’s questions in order to build trust from Google and from potential clients. You can also share this content on Facebook and Twitter to bring even more leads.

How much money should people be spending on websites, Google and SEO?

With COVID, a website is crucial for advertising to people and for running online workshops, so you should be spending 10%-20% of your business on this. But, when you can do in-person networking events, that percentage will decrease, but you shouldn’t be spending any less that 5% of your business. If you are just starting out, you need to be investing £2k-£4k in your website, and at-least £1k-£2k on your initial SEO, and you need to be spending more as your content develops. The great thing about being in a franchise is that, although an individual architect would struggle to afford the SEO costs, the costs in a franchise are split, making it far more affordable. We also have Adam and David on-hand to help you write content to bring in leads to enhance your business.

Pride Road architects team technical support with Alan Varley