In my discussions with MSP business leaders, I often hear that SEO is just too difficult of a lead generation tactic to make it worth the investment. MSP owners and sales leaders insist that there are too many competitors going after all of the same keywords, and that trying to crack into the first page of Google for a keyword like “managed services provider near me” would be a futile effort.

Despite all of that, recent internal research done at Tech Pro Marketing to investigate the best dollar-for-value lead generation tactics used by MSPs across North America, shows that search engine optimization STILL provides one of the best returns on marketing spend available to MSPs.

Leads that come from search engine optimization STILL have the highest conversion percentages overall.

And most importantly, that in 2020 it is STILL possible to get your MSP website ranked on the first page of Google.

Yes, it’s absolutely true that Google has cracked down on some of the older SEO techniques, making it harder to “pay your way” to the top. But that’s a good thing. Because these days, you don’t have to spend time worrying about stuffing keywords or buying backlinks or any type of questionably ethical SEO sorcery. Google has caught up, and you can’t trick them anymore. These days, getting ranked in Google is really only about one thing: Good marketing.

If you follow the principles of good marketing, Google will take care of you. End of story. If you want to get to THAT point, you’ll need to keep a few core things in mind.

On-site SEO: Making your site easy to use

One of the most important things that Google looks at when determining site rankings actually comes down to HOW people are using your site. Google doesn’t just look at a click – they look at nearly everything that happens after that to determine just how valuable the information you’re offering really is.

Making your site as easy to use as possible is one of the best ways to outperform your MSP competitors, as it gives you a chance to create a digital presence that is as enjoyable to interact with, as it is informative. A lot of your competitors likely focus more on the latter than the former, which you can take advantage of moving forward. This means focusing on elements such as:

  • Making sure that your site loads incredibly fast.
  • Explaining who you are, what you do and where you’re located. Your contact information should be on EVERY page so that people in your very precise MSP target market can easily confirm they’re in the right place and find what they’re looking for.
  • Making sure that you have a clear menu structure, meta titles and description, an easy to use contact form, and that all other user experience best practices are followed. Google wants to provide the highest quality and easiest to understand content to its users; if your website provides just that, then Google will take notice.

All of this is relatively easy to do – but it’s a step that a lot of your MSP competitors probably aren’t going to take. But steps like these are a big part of the reason why even our Tech Pro Marketing clients with a relatively low volume of leads, still have greater than 50 percent of them turn into paying customers.

In other words: MSP’s highest quality lead source, thy name is SEO.

Off-site SEO or the power of Public Relations

The other major component is off-site SEO, which comes down to the quality and quantity of links to your website and references to your MSP throughout the web. If you really want to get a handle on the off-site SEO part of your MSP lead generation strategy, it doesn’t mean going out and trying to buy your way to top through paid sponsorships. It really comes down to a simple concept: the power of good public relations.

Did you get interviewed for a piece in the local newspaper thanks to your position as an MSP industry leader and thought influencer? Terrific. That reputable news organization will give you a link to your website and it’ll be far more powerful than ANYTHING you can get through purchasing links from a link farm.

Have you been asked to submit an article to your local trade organization? That’s fantastic. Do as many guest publications as you can. This can make a big, big difference as far as SEO is concerned.

Not only will this help you rise to the top of Google for your desired keywords – it will also help create the positive first impression your MSP leads will need to decide to work with you in the first place. Plus, you’ll be dramatically expanding the total number of places beyond your website that people could potentially come into contact with your MSP.

Consistency: Why it pays to be a thought leader

Last but not least, we arrive at consistency – something that is of paramount importance to your long-term SEO success.

If you want to do search engine optimization properly, you have to commit to it – meaning that you need to be hitting these techniques over and over again. If you give up after a few months, you may see some modest short-term gains, but those are going to taper off pretty quickly.

Like any marketing tactic, SEO success for your MSP takes equal parts time and commitment. If you want to become a thought leader in your space (and you should), you should be publishing new articles that are relevant to your customers on a monthly, or even weekly basis. If you do that, it WILL lead to good SEO results for your MSP and at that point, your lead generation strategy will begin to generate its own momentum in the best way possible.

In the end

Overall, remember that SEO is just another tool in your MSP marketing toolbox. What that tool can do in a literal sense matters far less than how you’re prepared to use it.

Therefore, if you want to make sure that you have all the best tools that you need to guarantee success for your MSP moving forward, that’s exactly what we want for you, too. At this point, I’d recommend scheduling a call with either myself or one of my associates at Tech Pro Marketing so that we can help make sure that you have everything you need to thrive.

Photo: perfectlab / Shutterstock

Nate Freedman

Posted by Nate Freedman

You don't want marketing help from just anyone — you want it from someone that doesn't just know MSPs, but someone that is focused exclusively on using MSP Marketing to help MSPs generate leads. Nate Freedman is the CEO of Tech Pro Marketing, where they deliver predictable, quality leads to Managed Service Providers with their proven MSP Lead Generation Engine™.

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