Ask an MSP Expert

Q: We’re a newer MSP, and we’re looking for ways to optimize our website. For the best SEO, what text should we include on our website?

Finding the right recipe for search engine optimization (SEO) can vary from one business to the next; however, it can be an essential part of introducing new clients to your managed service offering. Google receives more than 63,000 searches per second, so adding the right keywords to your website can make a big difference. In fact, 50 percent of search queries are four words or longer—making it imperative to be as specific on your website as possible.

To help guide you in the right direction when it comes to website SEO, we sat down with Raj Khera, a founding partner of Raj focuses on helping businesses get the information and resources they need to successfully grow and develop their company, and he shared some marketing SEO advice to help you start off on the right foot.

Increasing your rankings

IT companies often want to be ranked for data backup, but when you look who ranks for that term, you’ll realize you won’t be able to displace the companies in the top ten because they’re major data backup vendors. A better search term for MSP businesses would be “business continuity service providers,” “backing up my business data,” or “disaster recovery for business.”

Identify some terms that you think are appropriate, and then develop what’s known as a long-tail strategy. Here’s how it works. When you have a term like data backup, that’s something that gets a lot of traffic, but it isn’t focused traffic. If you add to the term data backup, such as business data backup, for example, and then add the city name, this is a long-tail SEO strategy that’s easier to rank on. There are many more such search terms which are easier to get ranked for and collectively result in more searches than the shorter search term with a higher ranking difficulty. Prospects who are searching for this term are more qualified and can ultimately be profitable leads for your business. You want to make sure you optimize your page for that phrase.

If you connect your site to Google Search Console, you can log in, and it will tell you which search terms you’re currently being found for and what your most popular pages are. Then you can use those keywords and go to Google as see what pages currently rank higher. Say you’re ranked number 12 for a specific keyword. It could be something like IT Support Dallas, for example. You can go to an Incognito browser page and see the sites that come before yours for that search term. Then you can analyze the pages and see what factors might be helping them get those positions. 

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One thing you can do to get ranked for a certain keyword is look at how many inbound links you have for related terms. It could be from the chamber of commerce website or your college alumni association. Think of it like a research paper; the more links or resources pointing to your site, the more reputable it is to the search engines. Google interprets the inbound links to your site like this: ”If all of these other well-ranked sites link to this site for ‘data backup hybrid cloud,’ then this site must be important for that term so we should increase its rankings for this term.” It could be the similar content to a different page, but the page with the links pointing to it is going to get the higher ranking. Once people figured this out, they created link farms—pages with hundreds of links that all pointed to their website pages. Google has figured this out, so the link farm method doesn’t work anymore. That’s why it’s important to have reputable sites link to your site.

To get more links to your page, you want to do research to see what the companies that rank higher than you are doing. You can go to Google and type in a query to see who is linking to them. Once you know who’s linking to your competitor’s sites, you can email these companies and tell them about a good piece of content on your site—educational content works best.

Creating better content

There’s a myth that content alone will help improve a site’s ranking. It’s not just having content on your site, though. If you have more inbound links from high-quality sites, you’ll get ranked higher for the content you have. There is also a myth that duplicate content will penalize you, and maybe this was true 10 or 12 years ago, but it has not for a long time. The more content you have and the more you frequently publish it, the more frequently Google will come back and index your site. If you are publishing regularly—like every week—Google will take note. The more frequently you publish your own rich content, the more likely you’ll be ranked on Google. If all your content pieces are about yourself, you’ll get some ranking, but you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.

If you’re looking to drive more business to your website, keep in mind all the questions people are thinking about in their business. Put yourself in your prospects’ shoes, and think about the content they would be looking for before they arrive at the decision to buy your services. For example, what can data backup do for me, what can I do to prevent an employee from wiping out computers, and so on. Those are the types of questions they’re thinking of. If you can get content that talks about these issues and then promote it regularly, you can start to build mindshare with prospective customers. Content shouldn’t always be a sales piece. There is a time and a place for both promotional and educational content.

Also, when you get someone to your website, you shouldn’t just have all your content available. You should have a reason for them to fill out a contact form—for example, a template or an e-book. In the middle of your content, have a CTA that brings them to a form fill to download another valuable resource. This will give them a reason to contact you, and that will help generate more leads.

One of the biggest challenges people run into is writing their own content. That’s why at we sell SEO-friendly content that MSPs can then manipulate and modify for their own business.

Bringing more traffic to your website won’t happen overnight, but following Raj’s tips and adjusting your approach can greatly increase your search rankings. To learn more about how to increase your website SEO, please visit this link to signup for Raj’s upcoming MSP marketing webinars.

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Photo:  one photo / Shutterstock.

Lauren Beliveau

Posted by Lauren Beliveau

Lauren is a Senior Content Marketing Specialist at Barracuda MSP. In this position, she creates and develops content that helps managed service providers grow their business. She also regularly writes The MSP’s Bookshelf and our Ask an MSP Expert column.

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