Are you trying to establish your expertise as an IT managed service provider?
An MSP’s reputation and authority can benefit from establishing a website and blog to showcase experience and knowledge in a field, as well as to educate current and future clients on the latest industry developments and trends.
However useful and engaging the content, and despite an amazing layout and graphics, a website and blog will be useless if no one visits it. An MSP can create a simple marketing strategy including basic SEO, keyword research, and social media outreach to boost web traffic and increase the likelihood of gaining new customers and increasing sales.
What You Need to Know About SEO
SEO is the acronym for Search Engine Optimization, a term that refers to maximizing the chances a search engine will return a website in the results when an online user searches for a specific term. The term is called the keyword, and this may refer to either a single word or a phrase.
To increase the likelihood of your blog or website being included in search results, researching common keywords in your field may give you an idea of what people are keying into their browsers when searching for services.
Incorporating these phrases into your web page copy, blog posts, titles, and content can help boost your traffic, but including too many instances of a keyword can actually decrease the probability of attaining a good search engine ranking by Google or another search engine.
Google has developed a series of sophisticated algorithms to identify “keyword stuffing” or unusual patterns of keyword use within web content, and may penalize websites that follow these practices by leaving them out of search results all together.
Keyword Research Key to Creating Content Customers Want
When creating the content for your website landing pages, services, or product pages, think about what phrases your customers will likely look for when searching online.
Google has a variety of useful (and free) online tools to help website and blog owners research keywords and traffic patterns. Visit the Google Adwords Keyword Tool and type in a keyword or phrase to find related keyword terms and competition and traffic related statistics for the words. If you choose to set up a free account, you will also be able to access advanced search functions.
Tip: Be sure to change the Match Type (on the left side of the page) from Broad to Exact to generate more accurate results. The keyword tool will show you the monthly global and local search results for that phrase, which gives you an idea of how many people are looking for it online. It will also show you similar searches that can provide ideas for future blog posts.
Social Media Outreach and Online Marketing for MSPs
In addition to posting useful content on your website and adding blog posts consistently (try to aim for at least twice a week) you can drive traffic to your site by letting others know about it. Market your MSP business online by taking part in forums and discussions as well as by making use of the various social media networking platforms.
While its always nice to network with your peers, don’t make the mistake of spending all your social media time chatting with your colleagues. Instead, think about which social media sites your prospective clients would visit, and join and participate in those. LinkedIn (especially the groups), Facebook, and Twitter all allow you to set up free accounts and start posting quickly.
Tip: Instead of simply posting all of your latest blog posts to social media, get in the habit of posting information that would interest and engage your typical customer, whether or not you wrote it.