As customers begin to do their research on managed service providers (MSPs) they want to work with, the search often starts at the MSP’s website. For that reason, an MSP must put its best foot forward when offering an informative website that stands out from the pack and clearly describes why they are the best provider to choose.
Having a good website is more important than ever in our digital-first world. The average person visits more than 130 websites daily, meaning that a good website truly needs to stand out in order to be memorable. What’s more, nine out of ten B2B buyers said online content has a moderate to major effect on their purchasing decisions.
The result is that many buying decisions are made before the customer even speaks to the MSP’s sales team. According to a study, B2B buyers are typically more than halfway or even three-quarters through their buying research before engaging with an MSP’s sales or leadership teams, and 67 percent of that buyer’s journey is now being done digitally, often starting with a web search to find relevant websites.
With all these factors in mind, it is crucial for an MSP to carefully consider how it is presenting itself online. This could mean launching its very first website to get off the ground or refining one it already owns to have a more modern design or align better with its company’s current differentiators. There are several considerations for an MSP when making decisions on these issues.
Further reading Creating MSP Website That Works
Choosing between the DIY route or a professional
There are several ways an MSP can go about getting its first website set up, or improving one it may already have. There are many website development firms that can help the MSP build a new site, as well as maintain it on an ongoing basis. There are also a growing number of platforms that make it relatively easy for an MSP to build a website itself, if it prefers the DIY route. Both options have benefits and drawbacks, so the MSP should consider the best path.
Hiring a professional firm will help ensure that a website’s design is beautiful and professional. This is important, given that 48 percent of people say that web design is the number one way that they determine the credibility of a business. Dedicated designers can help an MSP ensure that its design aligns with modern trends, as well as presents the information in a way that takes into account how readers search the web. What’s more, many professional firms can also help MSPs with search engine optimization (SEO), as well as content creation, photography, video, and other areas. These are all important elements that need to be carefully considered and also take significant skill to do well.
However, a professional firm is undoubtedly the pricier option. While the cost will vary from firm to firm and depend on the project, a professional website can easily cost an MSP thousands of dollars. The DIY option will be significantly cheaper, but also require a lot more manual work and time on the part of the MSP or someone on the team to create. The good news is that many sites, such as Squarespace or Wix, are designed to make it easy for DIY website builders to create beautiful sites without knowledge of coding or web design. However, it will still be a time-consuming endeavor for the MSP to create all the content and other elements involved. Additionally, while it’s possible to create a successful design on your own, it certainly helps to have the eye and experience of a professional to smooth the process.
Check out these marketing templates that we created to help MSPs sell backup services, including a promo email, customer presentation and a leaflet:
What to put on a great website
Just as every MSP’s business is unique, so too will each website need to set out what makes it different and special. That said, there are some common pages or categories of content that an MSP would want to consider. A services page, for instance, would outline what services the MSP offers that its customer would need. The website should also specifically outline what types of customers the MSP serves, perhaps also offering up some customer testimonials, awards, or success stories. The MSP should make sure to be as specific as possible here — they should not assume a potential customer knows who they are or how their services work.
Further reading 3 Practices to Communicate Effectively with MSP Clients
Additionally, the website should also include some information about the team and the company. This could include the history of its founding, the company’s values, the team or other aspects that humanize the individuals behind the technology. This information can help a customer connect with the team more personally and make the MSP stand out from its peers. Finally, the website should include a clear way for potential customers to contact the team.
In addition to great content that speaks to the buyer, it is also important to have great graphics and video content. This should include high-quality team pictures, such as professional headshots or good team photos. Additionally, the MSP can consider capturing video of the team talking about the business, or even customer testimonials, to provide a human face behind the team and its success stories. For these areas, it’s likely worth hiring a local professional who has the equipment and software to create high-quality graphics and video.
There are optional areas that an MSP can also consider as part of their overall website. A blog can help provide a platform for the MSP to share its expertise, for example. Additionally, it can also consider other features like live chat, white papers, an appointment finder, or other items.
Finally, after building an amazing site, the MSP should consider what extra steps they can take to ensure that the site makes it in front of potential customers. This could include implementing search engine optimization (SEO) best practices by either doing it themselves or hiring an outside consultancy to help. The MSP can also consider investing in targeted advertising methods, such as social media or on search engines, to help find organizations potentially looking for their services.
An investment in an MSP’s future
While overhauling a website may not immediately result in new customers, over the long term it will help ensure that an MSP is putting its best foot forward. Whether built DIY or by a professional, carefully thought-out content, SEO, graphics, and other elements can help the MSP ensure that its brochure of services is put in front of potential new customers and intrigues them enough to prompt them to reach out and consider its services.
An MSP should also keep in mind that a website is not a static document. This ever-evolving platform best reflects who the MSP is, what it offers, and its success stories. The MSP should ensure that it revisits the website every few months to see if it still tells its story in the best way possible. If the MSP does so successfully, this could set up a successful future with many new leaders for years to come.
In this package, you will get five guides helping to create marketing strategies and tips on:
- Dealing with on-site SEO
- Creating web advertising properly
- Email chains for MSPs
- Content marketing for an MSP blog
- Social media marketing
About the author
Kurt Abrahams is the Vice President of Marketing at MSP360 with expertise in technology marketing, cybersecurity and AI based technology.