Managed and other IT services providers who want to differentiate themselves from an increasingly crowded field need to find new ways to engage and entice prospective buyers. For MSPs looking to up their marketing game, website content and strategy are key. Whether you’re an MSP just getting started, or a seasoned pro looking to optimize current marketing efforts, here are some website best practices from search engine optimization to analytics you can implement at your MSP.
Yes, Your MSP Needs a Website
Websites are a requirement for any MSP today, from those just starting out to established providers looking to expand to new areas or industries. Your website is essentially your online storefront and it’s important you have a presence there to showcase not only your company but what you offer for solutions and then to some degree your size, or the perception of your size as a company. In a lot of ways, you can appear to make yourself larger than you are if you build your website up correctly and have the right content and the right look and feel. It’s how prospects will initially validate you as a company and, if optimized correctly, websites can be incredible lead-generating machines.
Best Practices for Building Your Website
In terms of what you want on your website, first you have to make sure that the content you’re presenting is a clear picture of what your MSP does and how to contact you. And this also drives search engine optimization (SEO) organically because you’re going to be providing information people will be searching for, and Google or other search engines will be able to read your site and rank you appropriately, especially if you include some location targeting. Your content should focus on addressing your customers’ needs versus being more product- and feature-driven. A lot of times what people are looking for on your website is help, and what tends to drive more SEO is thought leadership that helps answer those questions that people are asking online. Thought leadership can be things like use cases, a blog, podcasts, or something as simple as a testimonial or review posted to your website. You need to have some sort of validation on your site that customer can see to know that you’re a legit business, you can solve their problem, and you have the experience they’re looking for.
The Importance of Regular Website Audits
At a minimum you should be checking your website monthly, not only for errors, but to add new information, testimonials and to make other needed updates. Go back and review your data to see if there’s any changes you can make to improve performance or speed of your site. In terms of content, a lot of people ask ‘how old is too old’ but there’s no one answer because it will depend on how that content is performing. If there’s been significant traffic to a page in the past, even if it’s old you’re going to want to keep that page up because it’s contributing to your domain authority and search engine rankings. So what you usually want to do is look at older posts and see if you can redirect to another, more current page, so visitors can see updated information but you’re still getting the traffic benefits from having the older page indexed.
Website Tools and Performance Tracking
A content management system (CMS) is key when managing your web content. CMS refers to platforms, like WordPress, that allow you to manage pages, links and other information on your website. A lot of CMS platforms now are user-intuitive and don’t take a lot of effort to manage, so they’re perfect for making quick edits without needing coding experience.
Typically, you want to analyze traffic and site performance using Google Analytics and Google Search Console because they’re the industry standard and provide a wealth of helpful information. Ideally you want to track your visitors on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, the number of views on each page and the bounce rate (which are users who come to your site an immediately leave after one page view). Analytics will also tell you if you have any broken links on the site you need to fix, crawl errors. These are quick fixes to help improve the performance of your site.
Tips to Optimize Your Website
Always include your social buttons. It builds credibility with customers and gives them another avenue to find you online. Also, the more opportunities you have to include where your company is located physically will help your search results if you are targeting locally. In fact, make your contact information as easy to find as possible. You don’t want your customers to have to work to find your phone number or email address, and you should definitely include contact forms if your site has that functionality.
And don’t forget about the look and feel of your site. Make sure it resonates with the prospects you intend to target, so, for example, if you want to reach the healthcare industry you might use that type of imagery and colors on your site to make visitors feel like they’re in the right place. It’s always good to have a refresh of your look and feel periodically to review font and layout and make sure they reflect modern website design. And don’t forget about your mobile design! Make sure everything is mobile-optimized because that’s how everyone is doing most of their research these days, especially with the move to remote and hybrid workplaces.
So, what happens when your website marketing efforts start paying off and leads start coming in? Learn how Liongard can help you market your MSP from pre-assessment through post-sale—visit liongard.com.