3 Factors that Impact Your MSP’s Search Engine Ranking
I’m sure you’ve heard the acronym ‘SEO’ thrown around a lot. As important as SEO is, it’s something that isn’t fully understood by most small to medium-sized businesses due to the complex nature of it all. Continue reading our blog to better understand how to use SEO tactics to improve your MSP’s search engine ranking.
What is SEO, and How Does it Work?
SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization, and - like the name sounds - is defined as the process of optimizing your website in a way that makes it more attractive to search engines so that you get organic, unpaid, and quality traffic directed to your website from the search engine results page. These search engines, not unlike your MSP, are trying to provide a quality service to their users by providing them exactly what they are looking for. To do this, they scan websites throughout the Internet through a process known as ‘crawling’ in an attempt to deliver the most relevant (and, user-friendly… more on this later) results to the searcher based on what they want to find.
Obviously, when a local business owner or decision maker searches for something related to your MSP and its service offerings, you want to show up on the first page of results (meaning, you want a high Search Engine Ranking for whatever these individuals are searching). Ideally, you want to be the top result!
By working to improve your SEO, you can reach your target audience by expanding your visibility on search engines, ultimately driving qualified, organic traffic to your website.
Factors that Impact Your MSP’s Search Engine Ranking
There are a LOT of different factors that can affect your ranking, but it more or less boils down to three main topics: content marketing, on-page SEO, and off-page SEO.
Having the right content on your website directly affects your SEO. Engaging content keeps visitors on your website longer, allowing you to receive lower bounce rates and actively engage your target audience. Search engines take notice of this, and will rank your pages higher when this happens. It’s important to always be updating and adding content to your website because search engines consider how ‘fresh’ your content is when ranking you.
Here are some types of content that your website should have:
- Detailed information about your company and service offerings
- Educational content, including regularly posted blog articles
- Visual content such as videos and images
- Deliverables such as brochures, case studies, newsletters, whitepapers, and how-to guides
Not only do you need these content types, but you need to provide this content in a way that appeals to both your website visitors and search engines. This content should be user-friendly and directly related to topics that your target audience would be interested in reading or watching more about. Similarly, this content needs to include the right keywords and phrases your audience is searching for. When you create content that includes these keywords and phrases in a natural way, you improve your MSP’s chances of ranking higher on the search engines when individuals in your service area search for that type of content.
On-page SEO, also known as on-site SEO, involves a lot of the ‘technical’ aspects of your website related to your site’s HTML. Consider the following best practices regarding these aspects:
- Title Tags - These tell search engines the topic of your page. Keep them under 70 characters and include information such as keyword(s) your content focuses on and your business’ name.
- Sub-Headings - Sub-headings, also known as H1 / H2 / H3 tags, help organize your content and give visitors and search engines a better understanding of what it is about.
- Meta Descriptions - These are descriptions of your page topics. They don’t affect your ranking as much as they used to, but that doesn’t mean that they should be ignored!
- Image Names and ALT Tags - In addition to your text-based content, the images on your website are indexed by the search engines after they crawl your website. Include proper keywords or phrases that describe the image in your image name and alt text.
- Internal Links - Internal links are hyperlinks to other content on your website. These help with the navigational experience of your website, keeping visitors on your website for a longer period of time. Use them when it makes sense to.
Other related concerns of on-page SEO include:
- Ease of Navigation - It should be easy for your website visitors to get from one location on your website to the next (and the next, and the next…) in a logical way that they wish to follow. Design your website with this in mind by building internal links to related content and creating a sitemap of your website’s organizational structure.
- Mobile-Friendliness - Mobile browsing is more prevalent than ever, and search engines prioritize mobile-responsive websites over those that aren’t.
Off-page SEO, also known as off-site SEO, includes things that happen outside of your website that tell the search engines what other people think about your website. This means that not all of it you can control. However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore this like so many MSP marketers do!
Here are some things that you can work on to manage your off-page SEO:
- Backlinks - Backlinks, also known as “inbound links” or “incoming links” are created when another website links to yours. They signal to search engines that other people and entities vouch for your content. They are time consuming to earn but are quite valuable. Consider getting involved in your local community, taking part in guest blogging, and sharing press releases with local news organizations when you have something exciting going on.
- Social - Social signals like shares and likes to content that links to your website indicate that people are interested in it. Make sure you publish quality, shareable content and promote it on social media.
Working on developing quality backlinks and expanding your social media marketing efforts will help you build your off-page trust; these votes of confidence from places outside of your website really drive your off-page SEO forward.
Let the MSP Marketing Experts Handle Your SEO
We stay on top of trends in the world of SEO so you don’t have to! With our Simple SEO Plan, we make sure your site is always visible and easily found on the web through the optimizations that we conduct on your website and the submissions we make on your behalf to databases, search engines, and local listings in your area. Every month, we provide you with an easily digestible report so that you can see how it is performing.
To learn more about our Simple SEO Plan or to inquire about our other packages, give us a call at 888-546-4384.