Check the video below to learn about our Company's Full MSP SEO process (full screen is better).
This is not what we'll do in the first 30 days, but it's an overview of what we do after.
MSP SEO is part of most MSP Marketing campaigns and it can be as complex as we want to make it. If we make it complex, we can keep you in the dark and try to make you think "we know what we're doing".
Because if you don't understand it, you won't know what we're doing. It's like the black box effect: You don't know what's inside but hope it'll work.
What is MSP SEO?
MSP SEO is the process of optimizing your MSP website to drive traffic from Google and other Search Engines. The goal is to increase your rankings, your traffic, and the number of leads your MSP company receives.
The purpose of any SEO campaign is to get your business in front of your ideal customers or potential customers.
The following are the top 5 search engine optimization pillars for your MSP:
GBP (former GMB) marketing.
Let's explain each of these SEO efforts in a way you can understand, even if you don't know how this MSP SEO mumbo-jumbo works.
Imagine you're doing an active fault management assessment and are performing ping or TCP/UDP port checks. You're plugging your tools and software and doing an analysis to find out if everything is working correctly.
Technical SEO is the same. Using tools like Ahrefs, Screaming Frog, and Google Search Console, we perform an analysis of your website to make sure things aren't broken or preventing your website to rank better.
This is everything that has to do with elements that use backend coding and performance.
Some examples are:
Site speed: If your website is too slow, your visitors will have a bad experience and bounce back to find a competitor that has a website that loads fast.
Broken Links: If someone clicks anywhere on your website and they land on a page that doesn't exist or is broken, they'll have a bad user experience and be confused. Google will do the same, which can make your website receive less traffic.
robots.txt, sitemap.xml, and other files: These are important files on your website that Google uses to crawl and determine what's important to visit and therefore rank.
Duplication: If you have duplicate elements on your website (content, titles, descriptions, etc) that could lead to low rankings. If you have multiple titles that are the same, Google won't know what to rank. --> This seems to be on the content side but it's usually looked at on the technical side.
Bad pages: If you have low-value pages with little content or pagination (example: yourwebite.com/category/page21), that will affect your website negatively
Onsite SEO has to do with what you can see. We can call it "content for Search Engines" instead of "content for humans".
The reality is that Google cannot read English. It can associate terms with each other (lemon and fruit), but it cannot distinguish between "this is a good lemon" and "t is a good lemon". The user will notice but Google won't.
That means, in addition, to optimize for humans, you also need to optimize them for Google. Some of the most common elements of on-site optimization are:
Silos or Clusters: In order to rank for specific search terms, you need to write more than one piece of content. That creates a "cluster" of content for the same topic. When Google crawls your website, it recognizes the cluster and understands there's a section for it, therefore, it gives you positive ranking factors.
Content Optimization: This is the optimization for Google bots and crawlers. If your website is not optimized by mentioning "Managed IT + your city" on your Title, headers, content, image tags, etc, in a specific way, Google won't find the content optimized.
Internal Linking: This helps crawlers understand the connection between your pages and blogs and improves your silos or clusters. It also improves the user experience.
UX (User Experience)
While User experience can be an independent element of your website, it's integrated with the overall SEO strategy. If you send a lot of traffic to your website but then the visitor has a bad experience, then it will leave your site and SEO won't be very useful.
User experience can be summarized by the strategies to make sure the visitor can find what they're looking for fast and easy. It's tied to design. Some elements are:
Make sure it's easy to contact you (phone number and contact forms).
Fast loading website (this also pertains to technical SEO).
Small amount of pop-ups and chat messages and no shiny or moving parts to remove distractions.
Offsite SEO is also called Link Building or Backlink creation. Is the process of building mentions of your business on another website with a clickable element that when clicked, points to your website. For example "contact us" is a link that points to our contact page, but if it was on another website, it'll be a backlink.
Why are Backlinks important?
Google measures the popularity of a website based on how many of these mentions a website has. Generally speaking, the more links from sites, the better, but not all backlinks are created equal.
Here are some common backlink types:
Citations or directory listings: These are added to well-known directories like Yelp, Foursquare, Yellow Pages, etc. They help with your business localization and building a "digital" presence.
Media: These will be added to online newspapers and publications. They usually have authority in the eyes of Google because they've been around for a while.
Guest Posts: These are links to articles written by your company or us, on other websites that have relevant content and traffic to your website.
Link Insertions: These are links placed in existing articles that have content relevant to your website.
Common Metrics you want to look into when looking at backlinks:
Website Authority: This is how powerful and strong a website is. It's usually a combination of how many backlinks the website already has. They have a grade from 0 to 100, with being 100 the highest. Common metrics used to evaluate Authority are:
DA = Domain Authority by Moz
DR = Domain Rating by Ahrefs
AS = Authority Score by SEMRush
Website Traffic: How much traffic does the website have? A study by Ahrefs determined that 90.63% of content doesn't receive traffic. That means if a website receives traffic, it's in the top 9.37% of websites that does. You want websites with at least 1,000 visitors per month.
Website Traffic Location: The majority of the traffic coming to the websites that have a backlink to your website should be from the same country where your business is located.
Website Traffic trend: The traffic of the websites that have links to your website should be either flat or growing. Declining traffic could mean the website has been penalized and you don't want backlinks from penalized websites.
Like every other SEO element, we could write a book about content marketing, but we want to keep it simple for you. When it comes to content marketing for MSPs, there are 2 types of content
Copywriting: This has to do with how you write the content on your website. The message your show to your visitors is important and the way you explain the value your company offers is important. This is usually directed to your home page and service pages.
"We offer great customer service" doesn't cut it anymore because everyone says the same.
Cornerstone content: Those are usually your service page or your customer problems type of content. It's content that is close to the final steps or the purchasing stages. "Managed IT services" or " How to fix my network issues" are two examples.
Supportive content: This is content that supports your cornerstone content and are the blog posts of your website. It's usually focused on finding information and not on "buying". An example could be: "When should I move my business to the cloud?".
The purpose of this content is to be "top of mind" for people searching for relevant terms to your solutions but at the same time, it helps build silos or clusters (as mentioned before on this page) which help you rank easier.
GBP (former GMB) marketing.
Your Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business), it's a key element of your SEO strategy. It's one of the strongest elements you can build to attract local businesses around your location that need your services.
In order to optimize GBP you need to:
Optimize your GBP: categories, sections, pictures, sections, and updates.
Add a Landing page: for each GBP you have. That includes but doesn't limit to including an embedded GBP map, adding schema markup, and doing on-site optimization on these landing pages.
Citations: This are most common web directories like apple maps, yelp, yellow pages and any MSP industry specific ones. The important part is to get your Company name, address, and phone number being the same.
GBP updates: This is updating and posting updates on your GBP with content that helps you rank for your most valuable searches (managed IT services, managed IT company, etc).
I hope I was able to help understand what it takes to optimize your MSP website for SEO.
There's a lot more that goes into it, but these are the fundamental elements you need to be aware of.