What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about establishing a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to increase traffic to your MSP website?
Is it keywords? Link building? Google's search ranking methods? I'm guessing the answer is “yes” to all three, and that’s one of the challenges with determining what your SEO strategy should be.
As defined by Wikipedia, SEO is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or webpage in a search engine's unpaid results. Therefore, you should start by determining what your company's products or services are and what problems or business issues those services resolve.
Your company's website should clearly articulate what your business's solutions are and the problems they can fix. No amount of keyword stuffing will drive eyeballs to your website, especially if your site doesn't answer the questions potential customers are asking online and are searching for.
People primarily use search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! when looking for information online, so think about what people are searching for that relates to your business's services. Then, look to see how the language on your webpages correspond to those searches.
What makes your company unique
All of your competitors are jockeying for the same search engine, so you need to find a way to differentiate your company.
For example, how many managed service providers (MSPs) state upfront that they offer "fully managed IT services"? Do a Google search for that term, and you'll see page after page of MSPs that do just that.
There's nothing wrong with it if that's what your business does, but it begs the question: what's unique about your company? What do you do differently or better than all the rest? Figure out the answer to that question, and make sure that message is expressed clearly on your site.
Getting your customers to help spread your message online will also drive more traffic to your site and improve SEO. But they might be hesitant to do so, or if they're not active on social media channels like Twitter and Facebook, you might be left in hanging even if you please the punch out of them.
That's where influencers like technology journalists, bloggers, and social media-savvy customers and partners, come into play. What they write and share online will help boost your SEO returns.
The power of good content
Regularly creating relevant, valuable content doesn't require an SEO expert. It requires strong, interesting content that attracts human beings, not search engine algorithms. Think of SEO as you would a financial portfolio: diversity is the key to success.
Let's suppose you're regularly producing genuinely compelling and helpful content, and your company's website is a shining example of great messaging. You're getting the web traffic you've longed for, but is that the endgame? No way.
You need to convert visitors to customers. But is your sales funnel primed to do that? If you have great content and plenty of e-newsletter sign-ups but no one's buying, then you've got a conversation-rate optimization dilemma. That's a different matter altogether, but remember, it's extremely important to ensure your website design is as compelling and easy to absorb as your content.
A balanced approach
Don't disregard the classic SEO tips and tricks that serve to help major search engines crawl your site and increase your rank. But be wary of what you're doing and how you're doing so you don’t end up hurting your search engine rank instead of helping it.
Your site's content has to be easily digestible for both humans and search engine robots to grasp. So think about the words you use and what's likely to resonate with your customers and with search engines. Above all, be patient, committed, and review your efforts regularly to see if there's something you could be doing differently if you're not seeing a gradual improvement.
Stuart Crawford serves as Chairman and CEO of Williamsville, NY and Burlington, ON-based Ulistic, a specialty firm focused on information technology marketing and business development. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience pertaining to how technology business owners and IT firms can use marketing as a vehicle to obtain success.
If you would like to speak with Stuart in regard to your online marketing, social media or how to blog effectively, give him a call at 716.799.1999 ext 101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.