MSP Marketing: Zero Clicks Doesn’t Equal No Leads For Your MSP
Are your top-performing keywords at the top of page one on Google but receiving no click-through? Did you know that this is part of Google's plan...to give searchers the information they want as quickly as possible, without needing to visit your website? Take a moment to learn why featured snippets and zero-click searches can generate qualified leads for your MSP.
Organic traffic is the lifeblood of your website and as it flows to your site, so do potential leads. Traditionally, traffic to a website was due to people searching for a solution to a problem, a link for your website turning up as an answer, and the person clicking on the link to learn more about it and hopefully giving you a call or filling out a form. The more people who clicked on your link, the higher your position on Google would be, and the more often a link to your webpage will be shown as a result. Rinse and repeat.
Throughout the evolution of search, Google has been refining the search process; at first, it was a means to combat black hat SEO. The goal was to prevent bad actors from manipulating the search results, which often resulted in searches being directed to sites that didn’t answer their questions. However, as Google continues to refine their model, they have increasingly focused on providing the user a great experience; by providing users with answers to their questions as quickly and efficiently as possible.
One method Google uses to provide information quickly is via featured snippets. Featured snippets are designed to provide the searcher with an immediate answer to their question without requiring them to go to a website, hence the name zero-click search result.
What are Zero Click Searches?
Zero-click searches refer to search results at the top of the first search engine results pages, also known as SERP. The function of zero-click searches is to provide searchers with the information they are searching for without requiring them to click further on a site. Zero-click search results usually take the form of a featured snippet.
Here is an example of a featured snippet:
Featured snippets can take the form of:
- A Paragraph (The answer is a box with text inside or a box with both text and an image inside)
- A List (numbered or bulleted)
- A Table (an answer is given in a table)
- A Video
What Should an MSP Understand About Zero Click Searches?
The primary take-away about zero-click searches is that they are designed as part of Google's desire to understand user intent and provide the searcher with the information they are looking for. Google's main concern is that users receive answers to their questions as easily and quickly as possible, from within Google search. The side-effect is that Google is essentially "siphoning" off traffic to websites in favor of providing relevant information without needing to click further.
This is good for Google, and for the searcher, but is it good for the business interested in having a potential lead click on a service page? It can be, but only if you understand how to leverage it for the benefit of your MSP.
What are the Primary Goals of Marketing Your MSP?
Before you can utilize zero-click searches, you have to have a marketing strategy in place. The first question you have to ask yourself is, "Why am I marketing"? The first answer that comes to mind, of course, would be to generate leads. The next question you need to ask yourself is how? What steps does the process take? IT Services, especially the managed end and higher end services many MSPs offer isn't exactly a business model that lends itself to impulse purchasing. It is a business built on relationships and trust. Just dropping a website for it doesn’t bring in sales.
If you're like most MSPs you measure closing deals in months, if not years. So it stands to reason you shouldn't expect your marketing endeavors to be overnight either. Marketing, whether it's SEO, content marketing, or a Pay-Per-Click campaign, must be seen and treated as a long-term investment. For example, SEO can take a long time before you see results.
Regardless of the length of time involved, how do you develop the type of trust needed to convince a potential lead to have the confidence to take a chance on you (especially during these challenging times, as in-person promotion may not be possible due to social distancing)? The same way you would do so normally, with testimonials and other forms of social proof. Let's face it; very few businesses are going to commit to a 12-month agreement without some proof that you can do the job.
What is a better testimonial than having Google put your business as the number one answer to an IT question? Imagine for a second the number of leads you can generate if the answer to the question, "Why do I need an MSP” or “should I hire an IT person” is a blog post from your site generated as a featured snippet! The next question is, how do zero-click searches actually help my business?
How Can Zero-click Searches Generate Leads for Your MSP?
Featured snippets dominate the SERPs, giving your MSP the type of exposure money can't buy, not even with Pay-Per-Click (PPC), which may not be right for your MSP. Featured snippets will keep your website top-of-mind because it will be the first result a potential lead sees, even before paid traffic. Remember that featured snippets, like all organic traffic, are free.
However, the real value featured snippets bring is that they raise your company's authority quicker than any other technique.
When thinking about leveraging zero-click searches, you have to consider which type of marketing strategy will work for your industry. For industries not prone to quick sales but instead rely on the confidence of the potential lead to make initial contact, the objective of marketing should be the following goals:
- Building brand awareness
- Establishing thought leadership
- Increasing brand engagement
Featured snippets and zero-click searches are designed to provide visibility, which develops confidence in your services. The type of trust required for businesses to give the keys to their business—their technology—to you.
For a moment, put yourself in a potential lead's shoes. You're having issues with spam or are unsure if you're HIPAA compliant. When you search for answers to your questions, this one IT company keeps turning up at the top of your search. Not only that, but Google is featuring them as THE expert to answer your questions. When it is time to decide, which business are you going to call first: the one which Google says is the authority, the one below it, or the one on the second page?
To Successfully Market Your MSP, You Need Repeated Exposure
A traditional marketing strategy is called the Rule Of Seven, the belief that it takes at least seven times before your message catches the attention of a potential lead. We usually explain that it takes 20-30 touchpoints to really get the job done. Modern marketing, particularly online marketing, is well-suited to allow your message to be seen multiple times, even on the same day. Marketing tactics such as social media, email blasts, blogs, and more will enable you to get your message across various platforms and audiences.
When you add featured snippets as part of your marketing plan, you increase your visibility exponentially as hundreds, even thousands of potential customers can see your MSP at the top of Google. Not just once or twice, but depending on the quality of your response, repeatedly for years. As noted, no business could afford to pay Google for that much exposure and visibility, and fortunately, you won't have to.
In order to get there though, you’ll need to build incredible content that answers these specific questions, and promote them and nurture them.
Are You Ready to Bring Your MSP to Top-of-Mind?
All businesses face challenging times, and the majority of them are turning to technology to help them remain in business. As an MSP, your expertise has never been in greater demand, but no one will know you can help them unless you market your business. Please don't wait until things change, because by the time they do, your competition will have left you behind. We have the know-how to get your MSP’s marketing up and running; whether it's our unique turnkey Ultimate MSP website, our lead generation service, or social media as a service.
Call 888-546-4384 today to schedule a consultation and let one of the full MSP marketing agencies take the reins. As an MSP ourselves, with us as your partner, you work with a team who knows what it takes to close an MSP agreement and can help you do the same.