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10 Mistakes Interior Designers Make on Their Websites

A strong website is the most important marketing tool for an interior design business. Social media has become an important part of a digital media strategy, but ultimately everything leads back to your company website. That’s why it’s crucial that your website is built to inform visitors on your unique aesthetic, the scope of your capabilities, the nuts and bolts of your operations, and your dedication to excellent customer service. 

 

If your website is lacking in any of these areas, you may be losing potential clients and compromising your brand. Unsure if your website is upholding the highest standards? Read on! 

The Top 10 Mistakes Interior Designers Make On Their Websites:

 

    1. No Distinct Aesthetic: We made this number one for a reason. Your website needs to clearly define what separates you from other interior designers, and it should accomplish this not only with words and organized site structure but with the visual aesthetic you display and examples of your work that bring this to life. Your site should speak to your target audience, ie your ideal clients. When a person visits your website, they should understand exactly what you do, what kind of clients you work for, what your personality is, and what your work looks like. 
    2. Bad Photography: Think: quality over quantity. Too many photos of a project can be overwhelming. Pick the very best pictures with the most informative views. Only show high-quality images and the products of professional photography — just as you are a high-quality, professional designer.
    3. No Locations Listed: State clearly where you have an office, or offices. If your firm is capable of working with clients outside of your geography, make it clear on your website. If you’re worried that clients will think you’re limited to only your listed locations, think again: “Where you are is part of your brand,” Justin Page Wood of JPW Design Studio told Business of Home about why this is misguided thinking.  Omitting your location is also bad for an interior designer’s search engine optimization (SEO) because it keeps you out of highly valuable localized search results. 
    4. Slow Website: The speed with which your website loads is important. Kenneth Lewis also contributed to the above mentioned Business of Home article. Kenneth, whose company, Client Expander, specializes in web design and SEO for the design industry recommends checking your speed on Google’s PageSpeed platform. An ideal score is 90/100, but anything over 50 is acceptable. If your site scores lower, it might be worth seeking outside help to fix it.
    5. Outdated Information: If information found on your website is obviously out of date, no longer true or currently irrelevant, it gives the impression that you are lackadaisical in your work habits. Or that you haven’t completed any projects recently — or worse, that you’re out of business. A vulnerable part of your website could be your blog, if you have one. Only include a blog on your website if you update it regularly. 
    6. Difficult Navigation: Your interior design website should be easy to navigate. Having a clear site structure shows you are an organized communicator. You should have a clean homepage and a portfolio at the very least. You can also include a tab for company and team information, a tab for partnerships and resources, a tab for press clippings, and tabs for any other relevant information that warrant their own categorization. Be selective about what to include. Again, less is more.  Everything on your website should contribute to your overarching message and be inline with your brand. 
    7. Poor SEO: If done right, organic search can be a big source of traffic to your site. But only if you’re doing it right. That means building SEO into your website, and optimizing your web pages and content. It’s essential that you write strong SEO copy — page titles, meta descriptions, image titles and alt text, to name a few — that represents your company and your work and taps into commonly used search terms. Invest the time into learning about SEO and how to harness it to drive traffic to your website, or hire an SEO consultant who can. 
    8. Balanced Design: It’s simple, but the visual compositions of your website pages must be carefully balanced. Use your designer’s eye to create a visually compelling presentation that utilizes the most powerful images with just enough language to make your point.
    9. Poor Mobile Experience: Your website must have a mobile-friendly format. Jason Lockhart, CEO of Kitchen and Bath Marketing Solutions and friend of the Design Manager blog says, “One of the main things we see with client's websites is they forget that over 85% of search starts on a mobile device. We have clients look at their own website from their mobile phone and they are not as happy with what they see compared to viewing it on desktop, but we explain, the majority of your prospects will see your website from this mobile view first. That helps them understand that they need to plan for mobile first then desktop.” 
    10. No Social Integration: If you’ve been working hard implementing your social media marketing strategy, show it off! Include links to your social media platforms on your website, and links to your website on your social media sites.


Creating a high-quality website should be one of the first steps you take as you build your interior design business. For more detailed advice on how to tackle the task, check out this website-building webinar from Kitchen and Bath Marketing Solutions. If you’re in the early days of building your interior design business, read Design Manager’s e-book on How to Start an Interior Design Business to learn everything you need to know to get started on the right foot.

 

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Margot LaScala
Margot LaScala
Margot is a writer and interior designer based in the NYC area. She is passionate about keeping up with the latest architecture and design news to not only stay informed, but inspired.

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