Website design tips for MSPs from a specialist

    Written by Paul Green on 2019-09-30 Last updated 2020-07-20 - 4 minute read

Can you imagine how difficult and expensive it was marketing a business in the dark ages… the 1990s!

You were reliant on archaic tools like the Yellow Pages. And advertising in newspapers and magazines. Makes me shiver just to think of it.

We are smack bang in the middle of a communication and information revolution. It’s happening right now. It’s changing how people think, research, and make buying decisions.

So, in a world where everything is Googled before it is purchased, your website deserves more of your resources.

You see, even if your website was last refreshed a couple of years ago, there are probably a number of strategic or tactical changes you could make that would help you generate more new clients, and upsell existing clients more recurring revenue services.

I look at a lot of MSP websites, below are the 9 most common mistakes I see.

Website mistake #1: Your site is not sufficiently different to your competitors’ websites

A number of MSPs use similar stock images (pictures of servers and network cables), the same text and similar website themes.

There is nothing to suggest that their business is unique or any different from other MSPs in their area.

For the uneducated client who doesn’t know how to tell one MSP from another (that’s most of them), they are not given any clear reason why you are a better choice than the other businesses.

The answer is to make your website as personal to you as possible. You have pretty much the same services as all other MSPs, so you use the one marketing advantage you have that no other MSP has… you, and your staff.

That means lots of photos and lots of storytelling. Everyone loves a back story, and potential clients are more likely to connect with you and your team if they can read emotional accounts of why you all decided to dedicate your life to their technology.

Website mistake #2: You don’t have a plan to get website traffic

It’s not 1999 anymore. Just because you have built a website doesn’t mean that anyone will either care or visit it. There are well over a billion websites online today. Yours is just part of the noise.

So you need a traffic plan. One way to get traffic to your website is through Google. If you already have a good position, then certainly protect that.

But personally, I think a more cost effective way to get the right traffic is to drive it from other sources. Facebook and LinkedIn are critical tools for traffic, as they allow you to get the right message in front of the right audience, at the right time. This is the beauty of content you can drip drip drip to them.

Cold emails to GDPR-compliant purchased data can work well. Postcards and letters stand out because people get so little post now.

The more relevant a message appears to an audience; the more likely they are to respond to it. It’s why I always recommend MSPs pick niches. You can market to several different niches at the same time. For website traffic, ask yourself where your audience is. And how you can reach them.

Website mistake #3: You don’t use compelling headlines

The headlines on your website should highlight just how unique you are. Communicate the benefits that clients can expect to receive from you. Does your website grab the attention of your clients and persuade them to take action?

Think about the AIDA rule of marketing content:

  • A: Attention
  • I: Interest
  • D: Desire
  • A: Action

The Attention part is the headline on your home page. If you don’t grab their attention right at the start of a web page, they won’t read it and therefore won’t do what you want them to do.

Website mistake #4: You don’t have a way to capture people’s data

Booking a meeting with you is a perceived high commitment. Most people who visit your site won’t make contact. So you need some low commitment way of finding out who’s on your website.

Once you know who someone is, and you have their contact details and permission to contact them, it puts you in control of the marketing.

There are a number of great ways to capture data. Ethical bribes work well – something you give to people in return for their contact details and permission. A book is the best example of this.

Make sure you get their name, email address and phone number if possible. And ensure there is a follow–up sequence that goes back to them and keeps you fresh in their minds.

People only buy when they’re ready to buy, and the MSP that’s in front of them at that point gets the business.

Website mistake #5: You don’t tell people what you want them to do

Tell prospects how they should get in touch or book their meeting. Should they send you an email? Live chat? Book an appointment over the phone? Or can they do it in a booking widget on the website?

Website mistake #6: You don’t interact with your website visitors

Social media is an easy way for you to interact with prospects who visit your website. Widgets allow visitors to see your Facebook and LinkedIn feeds, so ensure that they are visible on your website.

Website mistake #7: You don’t analyse how people use your website

Google analytics will help you to track how people use your website. You’ll be able to see the number of unique visitors to your website, where they come from, the page they land on, the pages they leave from and where they go after they visit your site.

It’s also worth looking at tools like Hotjar, a heat mapping and visitor recording tool. It’ll show you what people actually do on your site. Which can be quite eye opening.

Website mistake #8: Your site doesn’t quite look right on a mobile

Personally, you might mostly access it from your desktop. But more people are looking at your site from their mobile. Get staff and friends to check what your site looks like in a variety of different devices.

Website mistake #9: You don’t use video

Video is everything on websites right now. Short videos on relevant subjects have a dramatic positive effect on visitor engagement levels.

You should also strongly consider filming some of your own videos. Remember the content should be highly relevant to ordinary people, and not in any way “techy”.

Get a free copy of Paul's book “Updating Servers Doesn’t Grow your Business” on his website.

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About the Author: Paul Green is an MSP marketing expert, and the creator of the MSP Marketing Edge. You can get a free paperback copy of his book “Updating Servers Doesn’t Grow your Business” on his website. Follow Paul Green on , LinkedIn or Website

Tags: marketing strategy, Managed Services Providers


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