SEO “Low Hanging Fruit”: Simple Fixes for Your MSP Website that Can Have a Big Search Impact

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most important website strategies to use if you want to have your MSP website found online by potential customers.

Unfortunately, you can’t just put your site up and expect it to naturally show up on page one or two in local area searches for “IT help” or “computer shops.” It takes some optimization on the back end to help it communicate better with Google’s search algorithms.

By using some simple SEO techniques that are considered “low hanging fruit,” you can have a significant positive impact on your search rankings without needing to spend days or weeks trying to code your site with meta tags.

Get an SEO Boost for your MSP with these Simple Optimization Tips

While SEO might not be as instant as placing a Google paid ad, once your page climbs up in the rankings it has the benefit of staying power and it doesn’t cost you money each time someone clicks on the link.

For IT shops, SEO is particularly helpful for driving new business and generating visitors because that’s where people are looking for a nearby vendor. According to SEO Expert, 97% of people search online to find a local business before calling or visiting them.

Here some of the easy fixes you can make to boost your search engine rankings to help your company be found more easily by potential clients.

Create a Keywords List

When adding a new web page, people are generally focused on what type of marketing text to use to present their product and services, and often keywords for SEO are an afterthought.

You can improve your use of keywords and save yourself time when putting up pages and blog posts by creating a keywords list that you can reference.

Think of all the ways someone would search for your products and services, including both short and long-tailed keywords. Be sure to include the different city or area names people might use to find you and ask family and friends to help.

Your goal isn’t to use all the keywords on every single page, but rather to have a reference list that you can pull one or two keywords from when adding pages and posts to your site.

Use an SEO Plugin

If you have a WordPress site, using an SEO plugin can help you optimize for good SEO in much less time than doing it manually. The plugins will give you a template for filling in your keyword(s), title tag, and descriptions. Many will also suggest internal links to make within your site and give you a “green, yellow, or red” indicator according to how well you’ve optimized that page.

Here are a few plugins designed to make SEO easy:

Use HTTPS on Your Site

If you’re still using the unsecure HTTP on your site, you’re getting a ding in the rankings by Google. Back in 2014, they mentioned they were beginning to use HTTPS as a ranking signal, so securing your site with an SSL certificate can be an easy way to boost your SEO scores.

Switching from HTTP to HTTPS takes just a few minutes. Most webhosts allow you to instantly purchase and install an SSL certificate on your server, which will ad the “s” for security to your URL and boost your website in Google’s ranking algorithms.

Use a Schema Plugin

You may have seen those Google search results that have star ratings or an author photo and wondered how they got those little extras on their listings. It’s from use of Schema markup. This information gives Google more details to properly categorize a number of different elements about your website content.

Trying to do this yourself can be complicated and time consuming, but you can take a shortcut by using a Schema plugin.

There are several out there, and one that we’ve taken for a test drive is WP SEO Structured Data Schema. The free version includes several templates including the product template (which allows you to enter those star ratings) and one for local business information. The pro version unlocks time-saving auto-fill functions along with other schema types.

Write a Title Tag that Generates Clicks

One factor that can gain you positive SEO traction is your click-through rate (CTR). Google is in the business of serving up relevant search results that people are interested in, so naturally if your website gets a good click-through rate, you’ll get ranked higher than similar search results that don’t.

According to Smart Insights, search rank position and click-through rate have a clear correlation. Websites ranking in the #1 position typically have a CTR of over 35%, those in the #2 spot have a CTR of about 13%, and sites in the 6th search position have a CTR of about 5%.

You can improve the “clickability” of your webpages by writing a title tag that’s enticing to those searching.

For example, instead of using this as a title tag for a page:

“IT Services in Detroit”

Try:

“The Most Responsive IT Services You’ll Find in Detroit”

Good IT business website SEO

Post Your Videos on YouTube

Since Google owns YouTube, it makes sense that they bring YouTube videos up in their search results alongside website listings. An easy way to create a coordinated effort in SEO between your website and videos SERPs, is to make sure you post your business videos on YouTube and optimize them.

You can use the same types of keywords you’re using on your site and be sure to put your website URL in the description area, which ads a solid backlink from YouTube to your page.

You are creating promotional videos, right?

Use Keywords in Your Site URLs

When you’re posting a new blog on your site, do you just let the application auto-generate the URL? You could be losing some SEO juice by not editing the URL to be keyword-friendly.

A good practice is to keep your URL as short and clear as possible, and use keywords to further match your title tag, URL, and description. It only takes a few moments to edit out “stop words” like “the” or “and” and make sure you’ve got a chosen keyword for that page included in its URL.

Pay Attention to Your Google My Business Page

Google’s My Business pages are prime real estate and taking a few minutes to ensure your information is accurate and complete can make a big difference in your site being found in a local search.

Some SEO tips for your Google My Business page, courtesy of Search Engine Journal, include:

  • Make sure your contact details (address, phone) match your website
  • Add your contact email address
  • Use keywords in your My Business description
  • Add your operating hours
  • Add photos
  • Take advantage of the analytics data
  • Be sure to verify your listing

Use Headers in Your Page Text (H1, H2, etc.)

An important component of good page and blog post structure is to use header tags for your headings, sub-headings, and sub-sub headings. Search engines look for these tags as key data telling them what your site it about.

So instead of just bolding your sub-titles, use an H2 of H3 tag instead. A good way to use this easy SEO tip is:

  • Use your keyword in H1 tags (i.e. Detroit anti-virus services)
  • Use a related keyword in H2 tags (i.e. virus removal in the Detroit area)
  • Use another related keyword in H3 tags (i.e. malware and virus help)

The point is to keep your content comprehensive and not “keyword stuffed” while creating a structure of keyword relevance that will help Google rank your page.

Create Geo-Targeted Landing Pages

How many landing pages do you have on your site? If you’re like many typical MSPs, you have something along the lines of a home page, about us page, and a page for each service you offer. But you could be missing out on some excellent local SEO by not creating more landing pages and specifically, geo-targeted ones.

Companies see 55% more leads when increasing their number of landing pages from 10 to 15.

The SEO “secret” here is that you can get more targeted with location specific keywords and give Google a better idea of what you offer when creating multiple landing pages for each location you serve. Rather than trying to SEO optimize “Seattle IT services”, “Tacoma IT services”, and “Portland IT services” all on the same landing page, create a different one for each area.

Refresh Old Blog Posts

Refreshing old content is an SEO “short-cut” that can get you some great ranking results. It takes less time than writing a new post from scratch and gives you a reason to resend it out on your promotional channels.

In a case study by Backlinko, the author refreshed an older blog post by adding more content in the form of a case study, tips, and additional photos. They then re-promoted it through email and social media. The result was a 111.37% increase in that post’s traffic, which also boosted its SEO.

Use Alt Tags on Images

When you’re inserting an image, it only takes a few more seconds to add an Alt tag with your keyword in it. Alt tags are also a great way to improve website accessibility for those with disabilities, along with boosting your SEO by adding tags that Google reads and can connect to the main idea of your page or post.

SEO Is about Developing Good Habits

Getting your website optimized for good ranking in search results is really just about developing good habits. If you think about keyword penetration when you’re adding a page or blog post to your website, you’ll find that it only takes a few minutes extra to set yourself up for better rankings in the future.

Have you struggled with trying to get pages ranked for local searches? Had great success with a page 1 result? Share your stories below.

Tips for Making Video Promotion Impactful & Engaging for Your IT Business

Video MarketingEveryone is buzzing about video these days, and it’s because video has evolved to become a vital tool in every company’s marketing plan. Simply adding a video to an email boosts click-through rates by 200-300% and having one on your homepage can increase conversion rates by 20% or more.

In this digital age, people like to watch videos and can take in much more information from a few minutes of well-designed video footage than they can trying to read through several pages of text.

If you’re like many IT business owners, you’ve probably been working videos into your mix of marketing activities. But you might not know the best practices you should be following to get the most out of your efforts and create a video that engages and converts the viewers.

Are you fully utilizing the description area in YouTube? Are you ending with a splash screen with your website address, but no call to action?

Before you upload your next promotional video, you’ll want to take a look through our tips of the best practices to help generate a successful video marketing campaign.

[Read more…]

5 Critical Design Mistakes that Will Kill Your Tech Business Website Conversions

Critical Design Mistakes that Will Kill Your Tech Business Website ConversionsWhy aren’t more of your website visitors converting to leads? It’s a question that plagues nearly every website owner no matter what industry they’re in. You put up a nice website with all your services, work hard on your marketing to drive visitors, but most of them are leaving without filling out a form or lead magnet page. Why?

It’s frustrating to see a high percentage of visitors leaving your tech business website without giving you any way to contact them. Some of the key reasons for them not turning into leads could be tied to the design of your site.

38% of website visitors will stop interacting with a site if they find the design unattractive. (Forbes)

There are several design mistakes that may seem small but can have big impacts on whether or not a visitor clicks that call to action to learn more, sign up, or contact you. And if you’re paying for pay-per-click advertising, and losing a majority of those leads, these errors could be costing you even more.

Read on to find out how to identify what may be driving your visitors away from your site and how to correct it. [Read more…]

How to Generate Visitors to Your MSP Website (Without Paying a Dime for Ads)

Tech Business WebsiteYou’ve finally got your website up and open for business, but instead of people knocking down the virtual door, you’ve got crickets chirping. How do you get people to see it if you don’t want to pay a bundle in paid search ads?

Just putting up a great tech business website isn’t enough to make it magically show up in front of the right customers. But there are several ways of driving traffic to your website without having to pay a dime. All it takes it a little know-how and digital elbow grease.

93% of people never go past the first page of a search result.

While it can seem daunting to try to compete for that page one Google space in the organic search listings, if you have a little patience and follow the right strategies, it is possible to get your website in front of buyers without having to buy those paid Google ads.

If you’re trying to keep overhead down but need to generate more website visitors and sales, read on for our best tips to get your website noticed and visited regularly by more people. [Read more…]

New Features in Q3 2018: Coming Soon Page, Sticky Header, and more!

We’ve added a few new features in the 3rd quarter of 2018 that I wanted to catch you up on so you can continue to take full advantage of the Tech Site Builder platform as a customer (or see what we’ve been working on if you’re not a customer).

Coming Soon Page

We’ve had this request a few times so we decided to implement it as a feature.  If you’re still working on your website, or making major changes to it, but you know that people will be visiting it, now you can show a “Coming Soon” page to your visitors.

The cool thing is, you as the admin of the site, will still be able to work on the site….only you visitors will see the coming soon page.

This new feature is available in the Site Settings screen of your dashboard.

Check out the video to see it in action:

Sticky Header

Add a little glue to to the top of your website withe the “sticky header” functionality.  When enabled, your logo and navigation menu will stick to the top of the browser window as your visitor scrolls down.  This makes it easy for your users to jump to another page (hopefully the “contact us” page!) no matter where they are on your site.

See how it works below:

Other Updates

We’ve been busy making other small updates and tweaks such as:

  • There a new option to add open text in your header area.  This is great if you’d like to add custom information like extra phone numbers or announcements.
  • Full icon library (over 100!) available for services pages.
  • Added “visited link” option to style settings so you can specify a different color for links that have been previously clicked.
  • Turn commenting on and off globally via site settings screen.
  • And much more! For a full list of changes to the platform, visit the Changelog.

What do you think of the latest updated?  Let us know in the comments below.

Here’s to your success!

– The Tech Site Builder Team

Introducing the Visual Customizer

One of our primary goals here at Tech Site Builder is to make the experience of building a website as easy and hassle-free as possible. To that end, we’re happy to announce a new feature that should help speed-up and streamline the website build process.

A big frustration for many people when making changes to a website is that you don’t know what the end product is going to look like until you save your changes and view your website.  By that time, your changes are already “live” and view-able to the public.  This is not ideal.

We solved part of that problem with the implementation of the page builder last year. That allows you to edit the content of each page using a drag-and-drop editor that represents exactly what the finished page will look like.

But in order to update the other visual parts of your website, like the headers, colors, fonts, front page, widgets, menu, etc., you still needed to head to the good ol’ admin dashboard.

That changes today…

Introducing the Visual Customizer

With the Visual Customizer you can now make your overall site changes and see them applied in real time.  We’ve migrated the Header, Home Page, and Style settings exclusively into the customizer.

Plus you can also make changes to your Navigation Menus and Widgets from the customizer as well (though you can still manage those two features from the dashboard like always).

Finally, there’s a new Background Image feature that you can use to set a texture, pattern, or photo background for your entire site.

Watch this walk-through to see how the new Visual Customizer works.

Some notable NEW features available in the customizer include:

Hundreds of Font Choices

In the customizer, head to the Styles menu and then the Basic sub-menu and you’ll see the drop-down menu for font selection has expanded to hundreds of choices!

Not sure what to choose? Head over to https://fonts.google.com/ and find something you like…chances are it will be available.

Preview Your Website in Mobile View

While in the customizer you may overlook the three little icons at the bottom of the screen. These represent desktop, tablet, and mobile phone screen sizes and allow you to switch between a simulation of what your website will look like on screens of those sizes.

Now you can make sure a change you made will look good on a mobile phone BEFORE you publish the change!

Share a draft of the changes you made before you make them live

The little gear icon next to the Publish button in the customizer exposes a screen where you can save a draft of your current changes.  Once you save your draft you’re then given a unique URL you can use to share your draft changes with others. The beautiful part is that your actual website will not change…so are free to make crazy changes and share them without worrying about your live website being affected.

On this same screen you can also schedule your changes to publish in the future.  This all functions similarly to a blog post or page in the editor screen.

Take ‘er for a Spin!

Even if it’s been a while since you’ve updated your website…jump in and try out the new customizer. You just may find yourself with a renewed motivation to add that extra polish on to your well-worn website.

Introducing Our Front End Drag-and-Drop Page Builder

At Tech Site Builder our goal is to give you all the tools you need to build an effective website.  Today we're introducing a new feature that will help you make building your website even easier!

With the new front-end drag-and-drop page builder you can now edit your pages in a very visual way with more control over how it looks.

With the page builder you can:

  • Position images and text with precision
  • Build column-based layouts in minutes
  • Save and reuse rows & modules
  • Add custom CSS for ultimate design control
  • Insert code so you can integrate in 3rd party scripts (finally!)

Now creating comuns on your page is a breeze!

Advanced Modules

Not only does the page builder make it easy to arrange the exact layout you want, but it also comes with a ton of advanced content modules.  Here's a list of all the modules you get access to:

  • Accordion - Creates an interactive accordion. Useful for an FAQ or Q&A pages.
  • Call to Action - The call to action module allows you to call attention to content, i.e., specific services you offer or a special.
  • Callout - The callout module is a more robust method of calling attention to content, very similar to the Call to Action module.
  • Content Slider - Used to create robust content slide shows featuring images and/or rich text.
  • Gallery - Insert a gallery of images from your Media Library or SmugMug.
  • Tabs - Easily create tabular content.
  • Number Counter - Create animated circle, number, and bar counters.
  • Subscribe Form - Create newsletter signup forms that integrate with MailChimp, Mad Mimi, Constant Contact, and many others.
  • Icon - Renders an icon on your page. Icons from FontAwesome, Foundation, and Dashicons are available.
  • Icon Group - Insert a group of icons. Useful for building Social Media buttons.
  • Posts - Create blog pages and post grids with images. Filterable by tags or categories.
  • Post Carousel - Generates an animated carousel of blog, or custom post type, posts. Filterable by tags or categories.
  • Post Slider - Generates an animated, magazine style slider of posts. Filterable by tags or categories.
  • Pricing Table - Creates a simple pricing table, like the one on our pricing page.
  • Slideshow - Renders a slide show of images from either your Media Library or SmugMug.
  • Menu - Renders a native WordPress menu with several display and formatting options.

 

This is a game changer folks.  You now have professional website design features available in an easy-to-use interface.  And this is just the tip of the iceberg!

You can access the Page Builder in one of two ways:

Via the tab in the editor
Via the tab in the editor
Vai the admin toolbar
Vai the admin toolbar

Video Walk-through

And finally, here's a quick video walk-through of how the Page Builder works:

What do you think of the new page builder?  Anything you wish it would do?  Let us know in the comments below!