Whitten Architects

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Company Background

Since 1986, Whitten Architects has been designing thoughtfully considered homes in New England. With a focus exclusively on residential design, the firm’s projects include everything from camps to cottages, new homes to historic renovations. Located in Portland’s historic Old Port, Whitten has won a number of awards over the years and has been extensively published in a variety of residential home design books and magazines.

Whitten Architects first hired us to reimagine their website so the firm could better showcase its portfolio of stunning projects in a way that focused not only on the finished product, but the process of designing and building a custom house as well. The site needed to be responsive, modern, and match the clean, thoughtful design Whitten Architects creates, while also giving potential clients a glimpse into what it is like to build a house from the ground up.

Taking advantage of the eye-catching professional photography the firm has invested in over the years, we designed an image-forward site that tells a deeper story about who Whitten Architects is and what differentiates them from other local architectural firms — namely their emphasis on site-specific design, focus on exclusively residential projects, and hand-drawing.

Our site architecture strategy enables prospective clients to seamlessly jump in and out of content categories while learning about the Whitten Architects brand and projects. After analyzing the firm’s portfolio of completed projects, we determined what made them unique and broke them into categories based on geographic region, site type, house style, and project type. For example, a farmhouse renovation on a coastal site in downeast Maine versus a new camp on a wooded site in the Lakes Region. We drafted case studies into cohesive narratives and helped finetune other site content, focusing on search engine optimization for their target audience. Whit​te​nAr​chi​tects​.com now ranks #1 for more than 25 targeted keywords, including /​“best architect in Maine,” ​“Maine Architect,” ​“Portland Maine Architect,” and ​“Maine Residential Design.”

In addition, we overcame the technical challenge of an extensive image catalog to ensure that large and detailed images didn’t impact the user experience on the website. Using advanced image caching and content delivery networks, we were able to ensure that images are readily available quickly, at a very high resolution. We also used optimized imagery to make sure the site is easily shareable via social media. Through social media and digital marketing efforts, we were able to capture a number of additional newsletter subscribers.

In 2018, Whitten Architects expanded its leadership team, the first time in the firm’s history that founder Rob Whitten would be joined at the helm by two rising principals. We delivered a comprehensive strategic public relations campaign that successfully communicated this leadership expansion in highly targeted shelter magazines, local press, and online. It was important that the message convey a sense of growth and expertise within Whitten’s 30-plus-year history as a leading residential design firm in Maine and New England, and for Rob Whitten to still be seen as active and essential to the firm’s success. Following the successful launch of this announcement, our PR work has focused on pitching the firm’s finished projects to local and national publications.

As the firm continues to grow and evolve, they have partnered with us to generate content, including project narratives for their site, monthly blog posts, quarterly email newsletter campaigns, and social media content. Our media planning and execution strategy has included target audience profiles, internal and client surveys, and demographic research.

We’ve had the pleasure of working with Helm for the last six years. With the initial redesign of our website they met our goal of creating an immersive experience for prospective clients that features our design work in the best possible way. The website has since garnered numerous kudos from both clients and colleagues in our local community. They are both professional and kind human beings that genuinely care about us and what we do. We couldn’t recommend them more highly.


The Takeaway

We took a strong professional services business and seamlessly built a successful digital marketing plan that communicates their expertise through a blend of local marketing, media buying, content creation, earned media, SEO, social media, and email marketing.

Whitten Architects