Your website is the single most important marketing tool your company has. An effective website will increase your search engine hits, capture leads, and establish you as a leading managed services provider. But the key element to building great websites is one that many technology-based companies overlook—relevant, well written content.
The goal of your company’s website should be to attract and retain customers. If you’re like most people, the first place you turn to when researching a product or service is a search engine—most often Google. Your customers do the same thing.
A fully realized website with layers of up-to-date content and internal links is the best way to ensure that your website appears in the search engine results of your potential customers. It’s important to utilize SEO tactics like using keywords, but work those keywords into your content naturally.
Do not stuff web pages with unrelated keywords or lists. This method is counterproductive in two ways: 1) Google recognizes this black hat tactic and does not highly rank such pages, and 2) visitors get frustrated with your site if they can’t find the information they want—not the experience you want to elicit.
Once a potential customer finds your company’s site, they need to be able to determine two things about your company very quickly: who you are and exactly what you do. If either of these things is not obvious from your company name or logo, consider adding a short tagline or description in a prominent location on your homepage.
Transforming Visitors Into Customers
Let’s say a potential customer has found your site and is has discovered that you’re an MSP. Mission accomplished, right?
Wrong—and it is precisely at this stage of the customer’s knowledge-gathering process where quality content becomes the most crucial.
Well-crafted, pertinent content will not only encourage potential customers to linger on your site, it will give them a reason to come back to it. For example, if your website contains simple yet thorough descriptions of your services, a potential customer is empowered to make a buying decision.
If you go one step further and provide general information about managed services—an explanation of how online backup works, for example—your website then becomes a resource for SMBs, not just a selling platform.
Providing this information does two things for your business. First of all, it increases the trust your customers have for your company. Secondly, you’ll be able to more quickly shuffle a potential customer down the path from product awareness to paying customer by accelerating the frequency of “touch points” your customer has with you.
As a busy MSP, spending time (or money) on these “soft sell” tactics may appear to be a waste of time. But just because their effect is difficult to measure, does not mean they are not worthwhile. In an industry based on word of mouth, it is exactly these trust-building strategies that will make your business stand out from the pack.
Eric Webster is VP of sales and marketing for Intronis. Find Intronis partner program information here. Guest blog entries such as this one are contributed on a monthly basis as part of MSPmentor’s 2010 Platinum sponsorship. Read all of Eric’s guest blog entries here.