Your managed services provider (MSP) website serves as the gateway to your business. It’s often the first experience potential customers will have with your company. Hence, it is crucial to make a powerful first impression by delivering compelling and useful information that piques their interest in your services. However, the aim goes beyond sparking curiosity; it’s about sustaining engagement and promoting interaction on your site, ultimately persuading visitors to invest in your services. This guide will explore the key elements and best practices necessary to elevate your MSP website to unparalleled heights, and establish it as an essential, user-friendly resource.
Create a compelling first impression with an inviting above-the-fold header
The phrase “above the fold” refers to the header section of a website, a pivotal area that is immediately visible without any need for scrolling. Essentially, it’s the user’s first interaction with your website and consequently, it forms their initial impression. Comprising a headline, a subheadline, a call to action (CTA), supportive imagery, and a top menu, the above-the-fold header is indeed the prime real estate of your website. In fact, users dedicate 80% of their browsing time to the information presented in this section.
Your website header needs to quickly and effectively convey an offer, both visually and textually. This concept echoes marketing expert Donald Miller’s “grunt test” from StoryBrand. To ace this test, your header must provide clear answers to three crucial questions within mere seconds of a visitor’s first glance:
- What do you offer?
- How will it make my life better?
- What do I need to do to buy it?
Consider this: a layperson who isn’t tech-savvy visits your website. Would they instantly comprehend the services you provide? If the answer is uncertain, here are the essential elements to ensure immediate understanding of your offerings.
Crafting an impactful heading and subheading
The heading and subheading on your MSP website are crucial for clearly conveying your services and demonstrating the value prospective clients will gain from partnering with you. These elements should adeptly address the first two questions of the “grunt test,” namely, what you offer and how it improves the client’s situation.
The primary heading of your MSP website should prominently feature your key service offering, for instance, “Managed IT Services.” This not only helps visitors quickly identify your core services, but also improves SEO, potentially attracting new visitors who are searching for these specific services. To go one step further, you may also include your business location in the heading; for example, “Managed IT Services Atlanta.”
Your subheading should then underscore the benefits that your audience stands to gain. This aspect is crucial for resonating with your users. A pitfall many MSP websites fall into is only answering “What services do you provide?” without clarifying who it benefits and the value they can expect — or even worse, resorting to a vague statement like “Excellence in IT.”
Explore the process of creating effective headings and subheadings for your MSP website by reading this article.
Specific call to action
A call to action (CTA) guides your visitors toward their next move. It’s crucial to highlight the primary action you want a visitor to take, such as scheduling a free IT assessment or starting a live chat for support. Try avoiding generic directives like “Contact us.” Instead, incorporate something more captivating that pertains to the MSP services you offer or the very first step in the engagement process; an example could be “Book Discovery Call.”
Secondary CTA for MSP websites
A secondary CTA is a useful method of forging a connection with a visitor who might not be ready to fully engage with your organization. This could involve directing them to your services page, a success story, a piece of content that answers a frequently asked question, or other areas where they can gain a more comprehensive understanding of your managed services provider organization. Examples would be “Read Our Case Studies,” “Why [Company Name],” and “How Much Does Managed IT Cost.”
Engaging and welcoming hero image
Making a powerful first impression with compelling imagery that aligns with your headline and subheadline or establishes a personal touch, is crucial for any managed services provider website. Most MSP websites tend to lack the personal touch that other professional service websites exude. Instead of using generic stock photos, showcasing images of your actual staff can enhance your organization’s uniqueness and foster connections with prospective clients.
Navigation menu essentials
The navigation menu of your website should display your logo, key information ( services, about us, resources, etc.) and primary call to action. This helps users find information easily. Your services could include IT support, cybersecurity, and more, and your company might have a unique history to share. A well-organized navigation bar with a drop-down or mega menu can strike the elusive balance between simplicity and depth. This balance ensures a clean, uncluttered header while providing users with a comprehensive view of your offerings.
Consider the following MSP websites that demonstrate user-friendly navigation bars with coherently organized drop-down menus:
Illuminate your processes for clients
In order to offer your clients a comprehensive understanding of your services, it’s crucial to highlight certain elements on your website. These elements include your unique methodology, the specifics of your managed services offerings, your client engagement process, and the procedures for getting in touch, onboarding, and transitioning to a new provider.
By distilling complex information into simplified, text and visual representations, you can help prospective clients quickly grasp what it would mean to work with you. This understanding can, in turn, fuel their desire to leverage your solutions.
Consider the following examples to understand how various MSPs have approached this task:
Creating in-depth MSP service pages
Boost your online visibility by curating unique pages for each of your managed services offerings, including network management, cybersecurity, cloud services, IT consulting, data backup and recovery, and more. This strategy is critical for your site to show up in search results; search engines constantly scrutinize and assess site content based on the interconnections between keywords, making it arduous to rank for a keyword that is not present on your site.
Moreover, each page should be imbued with valuable information and comprehensive details, and should contain at least 800 words. Crafting a multitude of service pages is counterproductive if they lack the requisite length to appear in search results; even if users stumble upon them, they will remain unconvinced if the page does not adequately respond to their inquiries or assuage their potential concerns.
Contact page options for MSP websites
Make sure that your potential clients can easily get in touch with you. If you use a contact form, it should only ask for the essential information needed to understand why a prospect is reaching out to you. To accomplish this, the arrangement of your input fields should be as simple as possible. Incorporating a drop-down menu or radio-select option can streamline your client engagement process if you provide a range of services, such as managed services, cabling and infrastructure, and data backup and recovery.
An even better alternative to a contact form for streamlining your sales process is to offer a booking calendar option as the default. This allows prospects to schedule a time to speak with you immediately, eliminating the need for back-and-forth communication.
Exhibit a deep understanding of your target audience
Integrate content that cogently and concisely communicates who will reap the rewards from your service; this will instill confidence in your prospects about your proficiency in addressing their unique needs. Among the segments and elements you should incorporate are features and benefits, value propositions, problems and challenges, roles and use cases, industries catered to, and solutions tailored to various departments or business functions. This comprehensive approach ensures your audience feels seen, understood, and valued.
Highlight your target audience’s IT challenges
Emphasizing the core difficulties commonly encountered by your prospective clients not only demonstrates your understanding of the challenges they face but also highlights your ability to provide assistance. Aim to make potential clients feel that “This company truly understands my IT-specific concerns!”
Communicate your unique value proposition
Articulate the distinct advantages prospective customers stand to gain by availing themselves of your services. These perks could be as diverse as the time they’ll reclaim, the costs they’ll save, the way they operate, or the unparalleled transparency they’ll experience in their dealings with you. Consider enhancing the potency of your value proposition by employing a judicious mix of icons, images, bullet points, or succinct, resonant sentences; this approach can serve to underscore your message and make it more compelling.
Here are some examples:
Detail who will benefit from your managed IT services
Highlight the individuals, roles, and functions that derive benefits from your managed services provider solutions. Provide a concise overview of the positive changes they can anticipate with your assistance. Describe the specific advantages for each person or role, including business owners, executives, operations managers, and internal IT managers. This level of detail demonstrates your understanding of the intricate challenges faced by different positions and your ability to support them effectively.
Highlight your industries of specialization
Develop distinct pages on your website for each of the key sectors you cater to. This not only underscores your proficiency in working within specific industries that may have unique IT or cybersecurity needs, but it also enhances your chances of ranking for vital keywords such as, for example, “healthcare IT solutions.”
Consider these instances of sector-specific pages for managed IT services:
Establishing trust and credibility
As you strive to persuade potential clients that your business is the better choice for their IT needs, incorporating content that fosters a relationship of trust is paramount. Let’s explore a few strategies to accomplish this.
Create a strong first impression as an MSP
As a managed services provider, it is crucial to convey your credibility and expertise immediately. By demonstrating this as soon as someone lands on your homepage, you can establish trust with visitors and differentiate yourself from competitors. To achieve this, strategically present the following elements on your home page or other key pages, ensuring that they are prominently displayed and easily accessible:
- Customer satisfaction and testimonials: Utilize client testimonials and real-time customer satisfaction to showcase your MSP organization’s expertise. Display reviews that highlight your proficiency and feature positive customer interactions and CSAT survey results on your website.
- Logos of clients: Showcase logos of companies you’ve provided services to, particularly if they’re well known or represent diverse industries.
- Awards: Highlight any industry awards your MSP has received, to demonstrate your recognition for superior service and innovation in the IT field.
- Partnerships: Present your strategic alliances with major tech partners and vendors (such as Microsoft, AWS, or Cisco) to emphasize your access to up-to-date resources and advanced technologies.
- Certifications: Feature your team’s certifications in specific IT specialties (such as network security, cloud computing, or ITIL) to reflect their professional skills and competency.
Here are some examples of these elements/components:
Boost your reputation with comprehensive case studies and client narratives
While a visually appealing website can quickly establish credibility, some potential clients crave deeper insight; they wish to understand precisely how you’ve assisted others in circumstances similar to theirs. In this regard, comprehensive customer stories or case studies can serve as powerful tools to reinforce trust, authority, and expertise.
Here are a few instances of businesses effectively leveraging client narratives and case studies:
Showcase your MSP’s expertise with concrete data and statistics
Boost your credibility by adding relevant numbers and figures; for instance:
- Years in business (demonstrating you’ve been providing managed services even before it gained popularity can significantly boost your reputation)
- Devices under management
- Unnecessary costs identified and saved
- Response times
- Rate of first call or ticket resolution
- Number of customers you have served or successful projects you’ve handled
- Size of your expert team committed to offering top-notch managed services
- Customer satisfaction rate
- Client retention rate
Here are some ideas if you’re not sure what to include:
Introduce your unique identity
Forge an impactful About Us page, for it often serves as a cornerstone for potential clients deciding whether to initiate contact. Here, your distinction from competitors should be illuminated, not solely through the services you offer, but fundamentally by your mission, your values, and the team behind your endeavors.
Consider how the following companies uniquely define themselves in their About Us pages:
Resolve queries and enlighten your prospects
Develop resources on your MSP website such as articles or independent pages that can answer commonly asked questions and key sales inquiries, and offer educational content and technical blogs that can provide value to your site visitors.
Your potential clients might be researching online or asking themselves questions like these about your managed services provider organization:
- What is the typical cost of MSP services?
- How do I transition from my existing IT provider to a new provider?
- We are planning to introduce cloud services in our organization. How do we go about it effectively?
- Should I build an in-house IT function or outsource it?
- What factors should I consider when selecting a managed IT services provider?
- I’m concerned about disruptions during integration. How do you ensure a smooth process?
Below are links and examples of blogs and web resources that serve to educate prospective clients and answer questions that might arise in the sales process:
Expanding on best practices (and pitfalls to circumvent)
Beyond the essential elements already outlined, there are additional best practices to ensure your website offers an exemplary user experience.
Clarity in content presentation
At the heart of a successful MSP website is a mastery of the basics, one of which is content organization, an area where many falter due to unnecessary complexity. It’s crucial to display your content in a coherent and logical flow, progressing from the top left to the bottom right. Furthermore, embrace the use of short paragraphs and ample formatting to enhance the scannability of your text.
Organize it in the footer
While your navigation menu needs to carefully curate what to show website visitors, your website footer can have a lot more freedom in terms of the number of links you place. It can mirror the structure and links in your navigation menu, as well as showcase links that are not necessary to be displayed in the top navigation menu. By carefully selecting the links to include in the navigation menu and placing others at the bottom of your page, you can enhance the overall structure of your website. This approach makes it more streamlined, user-friendly, and easier to navigate and understand.
Here is an example of well-organized footer:
Avoiding image sliders, carousel images, and slideshow banners
Image sliders, carousel images, and slideshow banners may initially appear as engaging features that could set your website apart; however, they often result in degraded usability. The majority of visitors tend to read your headline, then promptly start scrolling, thus missing your second or third slide. Furthermore, these elements often lead to a negative SEO impact due to the incorporation of multiple H1 headings; thus, it would be more beneficial to craft a compelling headline and subheadline complemented by a clear call to action.
Utilization of “real photos” (avoid stock photos)
Consider stock photos as your last line of defense; their often inauthentic feel can detract from your website’s credibility. Moreover, the repetitive use of the same images across multiple platforms may lead to user fatigue; this redundancy could potentially mar the user experience.
It might be challenging to use real photos of people throughout your entire website, but here are some key areas where it can have the most impact:
Home page hero banner:
Your About Us page:
Articles and thought leadership pieces:
Bonus: Enhance your presence with location pages
For MSPs serving clients beyond their immediate area, it is crucial to boost online visibility. While your main page and Google listing may display your physical location, it is essential to ensure that your website appears in searches from neighboring towns.
One key strategy is to incorporate location-specific pages. These pages enhance visibility and help connect with local clients. By tailoring content for different regions, MSPs can improve their local search rankings, thereby increasing the likelihood of being discovered by potential clients.
Additionally, these pages foster trust by demonstrating a commitment to addressing the unique needs of the community. They highlight partnerships, events, and case studies, demonstrating their understanding of local challenges and their commitment to providing personalized service.
By leveraging location pages, your MSP can extend its reach beyond the physical location of your office and increase the likelihood of appearing in local search results.
Here are examples of location-specific pages on MSP websites:
Maximizing the potential of your MSP website
Your website can transform into a crucial asset for your managed services provider business. By incorporating the elements discussed in this article into your website, you can quickly and succinctly demonstrate to prospects how you can solve their challenges, educate them through content, and address queries that might arise in the sales process. This essentially generates more leads, fostering a positive experience for your website visitors. As a vital resource for your clients, your website will aid in asserting your firm as an authority, thereby positioning you for increased visitor conversion and business expansion.
If you need help in making strategic marketing decisions or require someone to lead your marketing efforts, schedule a no-obligation call with a Growth Connect Fractional CMO. Discover how we can transform your marketing.