Speaking as someone who has been exclusively helping managed services providers (MSPs) market their business and generate leads since 2017, one of the things I know is on the top of a lot of MSP minds is their MSP website – and rightfully so.
MSP websites are so much more than just a virtual business card. They’re one of your most visible pieces of marketing material and they’re the foundation upon which all of your other efforts are built – regardless of whether you’re doing paid ads, SEO, LinkedIn outreach or (ideally) all of these things at the same time.
Whenever you send out a cold email, or when you lean on whatever lead generation tactics you’re using, at the end of the day what you’re really doing is attempting to drive as many people back to your website as possible. Therefore, having high converting MSP websites is the key to everything else on your plate. When someone visits your site for the first time, you don’t want their first reaction to be “… I don’t really understand this” or “what am I doing here?”
You want that first reaction to be: “wow.“
You want to immediately help people think “this MSP is on point. They really know what they’re doing and I absolutely want to work with them.”
But at the same time, simply having MSP websites isn’t nearly enough to get to this point. If you truly want to create the best possible first impression and make sure that your relationship with someone gets off on the right foot, there are a number of important things you’ll need to keep in mind.
What are MSP websites?
MSPs website are the home base for marketing your MSP. It is where your company lives on the internet, and it is your most important piece of marketing. When you think of all of the other forms of marketing that you do, what they are all really doing, is driving people to your website.
As stated, MSP websites are your best opportunity to show someone
- what you do, and;
- why that matters.
In other words, the entire experience of MSP websites should involve helping someone quickly determine whether or not a managed services provider is right for them. Yes, it goes into detail about the services you offer – but the real emphasis is on the value that you provide. You should build content around the idea that “I know what problems you face as a business owner and I have the solutions you’ve been looking for.”
Not only is this approach a great way to establish yourself as an authority, but it also goes a long way towards proving that you’re someone worth paying attention to as well.
Why are websites important for MSPs?
One of the major reasons why MSP websites are so important is because while they are absolutely the beginning of a relationship that you’re about to forge with a new member of your target audience, they also play an important role in helping you accomplish a much larger and farther reaching goal as well.
The end goal of MSP websites should always involve motivating people to go to your contact form, fill out all of their appropriate information and schedule that initial meeting or consultation as a next step.
Therefore, MSP websites are an opportunity to tell your story in a way that resonates with these people. Someone might know what a managed services provider is and even why they need one – but they’re just not sure why that partner they’re looking for has to be YOU.
When constructed properly, MSP websites are the best chance you have to educate your prospects in a way that also differentiates yourself from your competitors at the exact same time. It’s an opportunity to say “here’s what I do, here’s why that’s important and here’s why you should pick up the phone and give me a call or fill out my contact form.”
What pages belong on MSP websites?
Another important point to understand is that all MSPs are different – which means that no two MSP websites will be created in quite the same way. They should all outwardly reflect the qualities that make your own MSP unique, meaning that there really is no “one size fits all” structure to follow when designing an online destination of your own.
Having said that, there ARE a few common elements that all successful MSP websites share. In my experience, so many MSP business owners think that the most important pages on their website are going to be their services pages. They put a tremendous amount of effort into their pages on backup and disaster recovery or cloud-based solutions that they fail to properly emphasize… well, everything else.
I’m sure that you have terrific services that provide tons of value to your customers. But at Tech Pro Marketing, what we’ve found is that those services pages are NOT where you want to focus on as an MSP. Instead, you’ll want to pay attention to core pages like the following.
MSP Website Homepage
In no uncertain terms, the home page of MSP websites is by far the most important page because it will be exclusively responsible for the first impression that someone forms about your business.
For the best results, your MSP website homepage should clearly state:
- Who you are.
- What you do and who you work with (meaning what types of businesses or industries you’ve set yourself up to serve).
Every word you write should ultimately be in service of those two straightforward ideas.
If you’re an MSP that specifically helps small business owners in the financial sector in and around New Orleans, for example, that needs to be stated right at the beginning of your homepage. One of the biggest mistakes I often see in terms of MSP websites is that when visitors arrive, they can’t tell where the MSP operates or what types of industries they have experience with. Simply fixing that mistake will immediately separate you from the lion’s share of MSP websites out there.
Other important elements you’ll want to focus on with your homepage include an overview of the big problems you solve. Again, dive beneath your services in a literal sense and focus more on the big problems that your customers have and how you apply technology in a unique way to solve them. You’ll also definitely want to show as much social proof as you can, be it in the form of customer testimonials, awards you’ve won in the past, featured articles that you may have participated in and more.
Likewise, if you’ve spoken at a local event or give to a charity in your local area, you’ll also want to showcase this on your website as it’s a great way to build as much social proof as possible.
MSP websites should also, whenever possible, try to answer some of the common misconceptions, objectives or myths about your services. Don’t assume someone already knows exactly what you do – they may be operating from false assumptions that are currently clouding their decision making. If you hear the same misconceptions from a lot of your incoming clients, use MSP websites to shatter those myths in a way that tells your story as accurately as possible.
Finally, the homepage of MSP websites should have a crystal clear and strong call to action. There is a next step that you want your customers to take – you need to make it beyond clear what that is and how they do it.
In the end, a strong homepage will get someone straight from the landing page itself and right to the contact page to fill out their information so that you can get in touch with them to discuss things further. Any element of your MSP website’s homepage that isn’t operating in service of that goal is one that doesn’t need to be there.
MSP Website Contact Page
If the overarching goal of any MSP website is to drive people to your contact page, obviously the next most important part of the site comes by way of that page itself.
Your contact page, among other things, must have a clear and easy-to-use form to make the process of giving you identifying information as effortless as possible. Additionally, this is also a great place to show off even more social proof. Going beyond testimonials, you can include client reviews, statistics about how strong your services are and more.
You can also provide an overview of what customers can expect AFTER they fill out your contact form. A lot of times people aren’t quite sure what will happen next so go into as much detail as possible. If someone will reach out and schedule a one hour discovery call in the next business day, come right out and say it. Don’t leave people guessing and let them know exactly what they’re in store for.
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MSP Website Results Page
If MSP websites don’t have a results page or a testimonials page, you’re really missing out on another opportunity to provide the type of social proof people are actively looking for.
Here, you should devote an entire page to your existing, happy clients and what it’s like to work with you. If you have case studies or other supporting documentation about past successes, this is the perfect place to include it.
Yes, people care about your services and they want to know more about what is coming next. But if you can show people that you’ve helped similar businesses accomplish goals and achieve results that are similar to what they’re looking for, you’re putting yourself at an immediate advantage in terms of getting that relationship off on the right foot.
MSP Website About Page
One of the biggest mistakes that most MSP websites make involves making their about page more of a referendum on their personal history. They include information about the people on their team and what kind of company are. Sure, you want to include all of that stuff – you just don’t want to make things about YOU in the process.
Instead, make it about your customers. Tell your own story within the context of HOW and WHY you help customers. Let people know about not your personal successes, but the successes you’ve generated for your clients. Weave into this personal narrative all the details that matter most to people looking for solutions like yours in the first place.
Always, always, always place the emphasis not inward on your business, but outward on your customers. If you’re able to do that, you’ll immediately create the type of compelling content that will resonate with as many people out there as possible.
MSP Website Service Pages
Last but not least, MSP websites should always include an overview of your services. While you don’t want this to be the sole emphasis on your site, you also don’t want your site to be super vague about what it is that you do.
Remember that a lot of potential customers will be coming to you from another MSP, so they have a decent understanding of what options are out there. What you want to do with your services page involves showing them that you truly understand what they’re going through and what they’re looking for.
They know that their existing MSP already offers backup and disaster recovery, for example. So instead of just rewriting a generic description about what that means, frame it around the problems that YOUR solution helps solve or the value that YOUR solution brings to the table. This is again a great way to get people thinking about MSP websites a bit differently, all while establishing yourself as an authority at the same time.
Keys to Making Your MSP Website Stand Out
By now, you’ve probably notice that a lot of MSP websites out there look… well, identical. You never want your own site to blend together in a prospect’s head with every other provider that they’ve been researching. You want to do whatever it takes to really stand out in a crowd and make a memorable impression.
Thankfully, there are easy opportunities that you can use to accomplish exactly that. You just have to leverage a few important techniques to your advantage.
Use Real Photos of Your MSP and Your People
At a bare minimum, invest in professional headshots of you and all of your team members. People don’t just want to know what you can do in a literal, services-driven sense. They want to know WHO will be doing it and if your website does not have a photo of you and your team members on your about page, you’re lacking major credibility during a time when you need as much of it as possible.
Better yet, get pictures of your teams in action. Take photos of your teams working with clients and on job sites. If you get rid of all that stock photography and only use real pictures of you and your teams, your website will come out all the better for it.
Invest in Video
Absolutely nothing is more powerful than a well-designed video on your homepage – and this, too, is a lot easier to pull off than you might think. Invest in having someone with professional equipment come in and take a video of you as the MSP owner speaking for a few minutes. Discuss important topics that matter to you and let people hear the tone in your voice and see the expression on your face while you talk about what you do and why that means so much to you.
If you can include a few of these strategically on your website, your potential customers will come to know and trust you. They’ll also get a sense of your personality, which is again important in terms of differentiating you from your competitors.
Speak to Your Audience
Next, make sure that every last word on your site is speaking to the people who matter most of all: your actual target customers.
Now is not the time to be general or generic. If you have customers in Charleston, South Carolina and one of their major fears is downtime related to a hurricane, talk about backup and disaster recovery through that lens. Let them know that you have a plan in place to help them deal with massive power outages. Talk about exactly what you would do in that situation to get them back online.
That audience focus – and that specificity – will matter a great deal in the minds of your customers.
Finally, you should always be honest with no exceptions about what you do and, more importantly, what you can do for someone else.
Far too many MSP websites promise the moon to their customers. They guarantee the fastest response times, the highest availability and more. The problem is that when you go overboard about how perfect your services are, really what you’re doing is losing trust in your visitors. If you promise them the moon, they’ll expect it – and the minute you don’t deliver, they’re back looking for other MSP websites to try out.
Talk about where the problems are going to come from. Talk about how switching IT providers isn’t necessarily the easiest task in the world. But when you say that you’ll do everything in your power to make the transition go as smoothly as possible, at that point people are going to start to believe you – which may very well be the most important benefit of all.
What features do MSP websites need in 2022?
In order to stay competitive in the MSP market, your website must have certain features in 2022. Here is a list of what we think are the features that are important:
- Live agent chat. MSP websites need to have live agent chat in order to answer any questions potential clients may have. This will help increase conversion rates and close more deals.
- Call tracking and recording. MSP businesses need to be able to track and record phone calls in order to monitor customer service quality and improve MSP marketing efforts.
- Lead magnet. MSP businesses need to offer a lead magnet in order to capture leads and convert them into customers. A lead magnet could be a white paper, an ebook, or a free trial.
- Video. Video is a powerful marketing tool and MSP businesses need to use it in order to stand out from the competition. Video can be used to showcase MSP services, testimonials, or even customer stories.
Your MSP Website is NOT a Magic Bullet
At the end of the day, it’s imperative to understand that MSP websites are NOT a magic bullet. It’s an important part of the story, yes – but it’s far from the only part. You could have what is objectively one of the best MSP websites on Earth and if you’re not doing anything else like content marketing, SEO, paid advertising or LinkedIn outreach, you’re not going to get even a fraction of the results that you’re after.
Really, what you need is a holistic msp marketing plan and you need one alongside the types of MSP websites we’ve been talking about. So if you’d like to better understand what the next step is and what you need to do for your own business – whether it involves building better MSP websites or something else entirely – the good news is that we’re here to help.
Apply for a strategy call with myself or a team member at Tech Pro Marketing. Once we learn as much about your business as possible, we’ll help you understand the unique goals in front of you – and how you can better position yourself to accomplish them the right way.