Ask Intronis: How to optimize the website for my MSP business

Posted by Courtney Steinkrauss on Feb 8, 2016 8:30:00 AM

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Ask_intronis_2_Ask_intronis.pngQ: I run an MSP business, and I want to make sure our website is in the best shape possible. Right now, I think our website is helping us get recognized, but I want to take it to the next level and use it to capture leads for our sales team to go after. I don’t have a marketing background, though. What steps can I take to optimize my website?

It sounds like you have a solid foundation for your website and that you’ve been able to use it to build buzz for your MSP business. That’s good to hear—you’re on the right track! There’s so much you can do to optimize your website and get more out of it, though. Whether it’s focusing on Search Engine Optimization or developing the right content strategy, there’s no shortage of ways to continually improve your MSP website.

Traffic.jpgTo help you get started, we sat down with our resident web optimization expert, Intronis’ Digital Marketing Manager Sarah Duffy, to find out what tips she has to offer. Sarah suggests focusing on these three areas when optimizing your website and making it into a lead generation engine:

1. Strengthen Messaging

When you’re thinking about what information to include on your website, keep in mind that effective communication is key. Your website should clearly state what your MSP business does and what types of services you offer. When you’re writing this web copy, make sure the message is compelling and will incentivize your website visitors to learn more. Special website offers are always helpful to include.

It’s imperative that your website speaks your customers’ language. For example, if your MSP business focuses on a specific vertical like dental practices, the messaging on your website should be written differently than if you were servicing “Mom and Pop” small businesses. Think about what your customers are looking for, what terminology they would understand, and what keywords would grab their attention. Having the right keywords distributed across your website pages isn’t just important for SEO purposes; it also helps readers determine whether or not your business can serve their IT needs.

Additionally, remember to keep the web copy straightforward and concise to avoid confusing your visitors. Be sure not to repeat yourself, though, and make each web page unique from the others.

I also recommend breaking up some of the text on your website with graphics or videos to engage your visitors. Plus, you should avoid having too much white space across your site. You want it to look complete but not crammed.

2. Add Calls-to-Action

If you want your website to capture leads for your sales team, you need to have Calls-to-Action (CTAs) throughout your website. This is usually a graphic or a line of text that asks visitors to take an action, like filling out a contact form or downloading a piece of content. When deciding what Calls-to-Actions to include, think about what you want people to do when they come to your website.

For example, if you want visitors to share their contact information and elect to take a sales call, you’ll probably want to include forms. These can simply ask for the visitor’s first and last name, company name, phone number, email, and perhaps an extra field for them to include any comments about their business.

I’d recommend starting with “Request a free consultation” or “Request a free on-site visit and IT needs assessment” or simply “Request a quote.” Better yet, you can include a combination all three of these types of CTAs spread throughout the pages of your website. As a best practice, have one CTA displayed on every webpage, even if it is the same call-to-action that appears on other pages.

3. Improve SEO

Search Engine Optimization is a powerful tool to use to drive traffic to your website. To get started, focus on local searches. I believe this is how businesses are going to win nowadays. Take a look at your ranking in local search results near your city and zip code. If your website isn’t appearing in these results, you’ll want to focus your efforts on getting listed.

To get your website listed in local search results, make sure your city and geography are included on your website pages so that small businesses in your area can find them. Another helpful method is to get your business listed on third-party sites. I recommend starting off with Google Business and Bing Places for Businesses pages. It can also help to set up a Yelp page and a listing in the Yellow Pages, local chamber of commerce websites, or other online directories. Setting up these listings will give you a better ranking in local search results because Google will be able to recognize that you’re a legitimate business.

In addition to optimizing local search, you should also focus on your on-page SEO to make sure it’s helping and not hurting your website. You can do this by avoiding using vague terms on your website and instead using specific terms for the packages or services you’re offering.

For example, most small businesses won’t understand the acronyms you use to describe your business, so write out the terms instead. Think of a small business owner searching for outsourced IT help. They aren’t going to search on the term “MSP” but rather “IT services” or “managed services provider.” When in doubt, be as specific as possible with the keywords you include on your site.

To start improving your MSP website, focus on optimizing your website’s messaging, Calls-to-Action, and Search Engine Optimization. Following Sarah’s tips will help you to improve your ranking on search engines and convert your web visitors into leads for your sales team.

Once you’ve worked on improving these three areas, you can track your website traffic to see if it’s working. When you see more organic traffic coming to your website, meaning more free website traffic from search engines, you’ll know that your optimization efforts are paying off.

Watch our webinar:  How to make your MSP website sizzle! 

Photo Credit: joiseyshowaa via Flickr.  Used under Creative Commons 2.0

Ask Intronis is a weekly advice column answering common questions from MSPs and IT service providers. It covers topics ranging from pricing and selling to marketing and communications—and everything in between. Submit your questions by emailing AskIntronis@intronis.com.

 

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