How to Rank for the Keywords You Want
When you search for your MSP on Google, are you finding your business? Are your competitors ranking for keywords you feel you need to attract more clients? Take a moment to learn why you’re not ranking for your keywords and what you can do to change it.
Why Isn’t My MSP Ranking for (Insert Keyword Here)?
Google’s core goal is to provide the best experience possible for users using their search engine. The results they display for any particular search are based on a huge variety of factors that Google tends to keep close to the chest. There are over 200 infamously secret factors Google uses, but the big ones are content, user experience, and social proof.
Content is pretty self-explanatory. You need to clearly describe your services and products, what you offer, what makes you stand out, and what a potential customer can expect. If you don’t talk about what you do, you aren’t getting ranked for it. You also need to explain your services in a way that makes sense to your audience. They are doing the searching to find you, after all. Steer clear of jargon—if you are an MSP, your ideal client doesn’t usually care about the tools you use to virtualize a server, they just want their technology to work.
User Experience is a little more complex. Your site needs to be mobile responsive, easy to navigate, and provide an overall good experience. Google loves seeing users spend time on your site. If you aren’t providing a good experience, people aren’t clicking around on your website. Of course, poor content could detract from your user experience, too.
Social Proof is more of a general term here. Google is looking for others to vouch for you, either through legitimate reviews, social media, or links from reputable websites. Collecting reviews and building solid press releases can help with this, as well as making sure you are active with local peer groups and your Chamber of Commerce, provided they have a good online presence.
When SEO “specialists” promise your website will be on page one of Google, they use a variant of this process to get you to rank for a keyword as a page one result. They choose a keyword that your competitors aren’t using and promote it using Grey or even Black Hat SEO techniques. Besides risking the wrath of Google, the problem with this tactic is if your competitors aren’t interested in using the keyword, then they are of questionable value. If your keywords can’t generate leads, they are of limited value, even if they place your MSP on page one of Google.
SEO is a ranked competition. Your competitors that rank above you are likely doing one of these three things better, or have some other quality that’s keeping them in Google’s favor.
It’s also worth noting that there is no magic keyword for MSPs to rank for that will bring in dollars. You can’t predict what your prospects will search for, and unless you’ve been asking every prospect over the years “How did you find us” and they give you a very specific answer, you really don’t know.
Review Your MSP Content
Pre-built MSP websites such as our Ultimate MSP website can be a great way to get your MSP online and in front of potential customers quickly. Unlike most MSP templates, ours comes with a full complement of well-developed MSP service pages, landing pages, and deliverables. The Ultimate MSP website allows you to pick and choose from a variety of services you wish to offer. Unfortunately, many MSPs don't review or edit their content and turn the entire site on, including services they aren't interested in or offer at all.
For instance, we include several different service pages around VoIP, because many MSPs (including our own) offer it. Not all do, and if that’s the case for you, you’ll want to make sure that content is turned off.
The problem is Google doesn't know what services you do or do not offer, they just see your website. Trimming down your content, reviewing it, and even tweaking it to match your services and differentiators is something you need to put aside time for.
How does Google know what's on your website? They crawl it and then index it, allowing your website's contents to be displayed as a search result. Google and all search engines use three steps for this process:
- Crawling: Reviewing the URLs (pages) on your website
- Indexing: Organizing the pages and content of your website found after crawling it
- Ranking: Deciding which content is most relevant to show in the searcher's query
Unless you remove unwanted pages or set them to no-index, Google will find and display them as a search result. In the case of your VoIP service page (which you don't offer), the process goes something like this:
- Google crawls your MSP website and finds your service page about VoIP.
- Google indexes this page, making it available as a search result.
- Someone searches for VoIP in your area, (remember all search is local).
- Based on your content, Google feels that your service is the best fit, and provides a link to your website.
- You receive traffic to a page for a service you don't offer.
The misalignment of content and intent can have adverse effects on your SEO and content marketing planning. For example, if your SEO consultant views your data and discovers a huge amount of traffic is being generated to your VoIP page, the logical step would be to create campaigns to support the service. The problem is, you don't want to offer the service that is driving the most traffic to your website. The question is what to do about it.
Page Rank Pitfalls to Avoid
While it may seem intuitive to delete the page, it’s helpful to understand that SEO doesn’t respond well to the blunt approach. Removing a page generating good traffic can have a dramatic and negative effect on your overall position. Keep in mind that your position in search results relies on several factors, one of which is authority. Authority is gained in part by how popular a page is. By deleting a popular page Google believes is valuable for user experience, you have weakened your overall SEO’s lead generation abilities.
So what are your options? Well, you have two:
- Forge a business relationship with a provider who delivers the service that you do not.
- Change the page content to reflect your business accurately.
Finally, don’t lose your momentum. If you see interest in a specific service and already are gaining traction, don’t waste it. Create more content to support the service; even if it feels off-brand, you can still generate leads from off-brand content.
Why Aren’t I Ranking for Managed IT?
If you’ve been following our MSP marketing blogs for any period, the answer shouldn’t be a surprise: content, content, and more content. However, there is one caveat: what content you think potential leads are interested in may not be what they are searching for. We touched on this a bit when we discussed why it’s important to have buyer personas when understanding user intent.
Although you want to be searched for managed services, the reality is most potential customers aren’t looking for managed services; they are looking for solutions. They are looking for someone to solve their spam problem, help them with HIPAA compliance, or other technology problems they can’t solve independently. Your content aims to show how managed services, and by association, your business, can help theirs.
Call The MSP Marketing Experts
You don’t have to go it alone. JoomConnect can help your MSP develop your content, so it drives traffic to your website and transforms your website into a lead generation tool. Contact us today to learn more about our MSP marketing solutions.