Data breaches are on the rise, malware is running rampant, and phishing scams are popping up in customers’ inboxes, so it’s easy to see why search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t at the top of your to-do list as an MSP. But, getting perspective customers to your website is essential to moving your business forward.
A great way to maximize your time investment is to ramp up your SEO strategy. Recently we read Content Inc., by Joe Pulizzi and picked up some great insights on best practices MSPs can use to get more traffic for their website and content marketing.
Joe Pulizzi is the founder of the Content Marketing Institute, and he built his content strategy from scratch starting with his unique content approach (or tilt as he calls it). After building his empire from a few blog posts, he now hosts a yearly conference called Content Marketing World, which is happening this week, and earlier this year it was announced that UBM will be purchasing the Content Marketing Institute for a reported $17.6 million.
To enhance your success as an MSP, follow these tips from Content Inc. to help SMB prospects easily find your MSP.
Best practices to increase SEO
Optimizing your SEO takes time, and simply taking a shot in the dark is not the best approach. It’s important to make sure your website content is up to par, but it’s even more important that the content linking to your website is high-quality as well. These tips focus on using both approaches to help you maximize your traffic:
1. Research the SEO keywords you’re thinking about before you commit.
There are plenty of free resources you can use to determine which SEO keywords or phrases will work best for your MSP. Pulizzi’s book suggests the Google
Keyword Suggest tool, Google AdWords (You can create a free account that will give you access to the keyword planner even if you don’t advertise on Google.), and Google Trends, which shows how many times a certain phrase is searched for in comparison to another. For example, we looked at two similar phrases on Google Trends — cloud security and network security. In the above graph, we can see that network security is a more popular search term. Test out possible combinations to increase your potential traffic.
There are also paid tools such as Keyword Discovery, Wordtracker, and SEMrush. According to the book, SEMrush is one of the Content Marketing Institute’s favorite tools because the tool recommends new keywords based on what competitors and Fortune 500 companies are using. Although you may not want to use the most competitive keyword, this will help you gauge what words might be most beneficial to your MSP.
2. Publish content to promote your services. Create blog posts that will educate and promote your services to your SMB audience. Create CTAs (Calls to Action) to entice customers to visit a landing page to learn more, to point them to an upcoming webinar, or to push them toward another piece of valuable content. To increase your SEO, use original content! If you change the link but point them to a duplicate page, your SEO drops significantly.
However, Joe says you shouldn’t be afraid to stretch your content and repurpose it in different ways. Reaching your SMB customers is tough, and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. For example, you could educate them in a webinar about phishing, write a blog post about the top three ways to spot a phishing attack, and even send an email campaign about why phishing can be detrimental to their organization. These are all ways to get your message out there, create another piece of content, and maintain your SEO. And, each approach will reach different types of potential customers.
3. Pick keywords that you will continually use. Your keywords should be conversational and easy to use more than once. The book explains that this will allow your page to be ranked higher and be found more easily by search engines. Try to be specific with your keywords to help customers find particular aspects of your business. For example, verticals you serve like data protection for healthcare providers, technology services for financial clients, or even managed services for law firms. Keyword phrases could also include your town, state, or even specific services.
Pulizzi also recommends regularly adding to and updating your content. Set a goal and stick to it. It might not be feasible to write a new piece of content each day, but you should aim to produce one new piece of content each week. Whether it’s a webinar, blog post, infographic, slide share, or quiz, find a way to draw customers to your website or blog with fresh new content.
Maximizing your SEO takes practice. However, staying on top of your content strategy will not only help bring new prospects to your website, but educate them about industry trends, new products and services, and showcase your IT expertise.
How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses
By Joe Pulizzi
McGraw Hill Education. 16.83.
Have suggestions about what we should read next? Leave a comment and let us know what we should add to our MSP's bookshelf.