6 Key Points For Solution Providers Looking To Drive More SEO Leads

Going For Google Gold

As more of the buyer's journey is driven by internet research, digital content and SEO have become vital parts of any effective marketing strategy. The leads they generate also have become more valuable, according to MSP SEO Factory Marketing Director David Walter, because of their high conversion rates.

Walter posits that Google's ubiquitous usage has created a paramount need for original content, which promotes thought leadership, brand awareness and inbound interest. The search engine is "a newspaper without content that only sells ads," he said – one that will reward content creators who best play by its rules.

"Online marketing really does help," said Uri Rozenblat, CEO of New York-based solution provider Tech-Alert. "It puts you ahead of the game when it comes to making a sale."

Walter discussed several ways solution providers can boost their SEO presence at the XChange Solution Provider 2018 conference in Orlando, Fla. CRN highlights six of them in the following slides.

Original Content Is King

Businesses sometimes believe they are unable to produce enough content to improve their Google ranking, Walter said, leading them to rely on syndicated blogs.

"They're for the weak-minded," he continued. "You can't be a thought leader if you're writing syndicated content because it's all copycat content and it's not indexed by Google. And the people who read it are going to be able to spot it a mile away."

Instead, Walter suggests solution providers rely on the creativity of their own teams or third parties to generate individually tailored, original ideas.

"We can produce an unlimited number of original article ideas. It is something that can be scaled," he said.

Guest Blogging

In addition to publishing content on the company page, Walter pointed to guest blogging as another method for improving SEO. This is ideally done with an outlet that has high Google rankings and includes links back to the author's website. Finding such a partner, however, can prove challenging.

"Essentially, it's piggybacking," Walter said. "These links are SEO gold. This is the ultimate thing you want to get. It's also the hardest thing to get. Most webmasters don't want to work with you. They'll tell you they'll start posting your guest blogs but it'll never happen. And guest blogs have to happen on a regular basis."

Committing To The Journey

Walter said that establishing and maintaining good SEO standing is an ongoing project that requires new web page creation and a long home page. Solution providers therefore need to be willing to invest time and be comfortable with not seeing immediate results.

Finding Your Keywords

Walter, whose company provides SEO services to MSPs, is able to do business with multiple clients in the same region through targeted keyword prioritization. He said most MSPs only need to target three or four keywords because the amount of content needed to support a top ranking for them is exceptionally high.

Keyword examples for New York City, for instance, could range from "IT support Manhattan" and "IT consulting Manhattan" to "Managed IT services Manhattan" and "Managed services Manhattan."

"Each keyword has a certain amount of ranking volume. If [a solution provider) could get keywords and leverage around 200 to 300 in volume, that's enough to generate internet marketing leads," Walter said.

Web Design And Conversion

Walter asserts that companies need not be the top result for a keyword search in order to drive site traffic and leads. Those on the bottom of page one "are actually getting a considerable amount of traffic," he said.

But SEO is only an opportunity generator, and Walter said that some solution providers struggle to effectively convert those leads because their web profile is not "conversion-friendly." Making basic information easily found – such as a breakdown of IT specialties, employee count and even photos of the company team or office – can help drive sales.

"They can go to hundreds of sites and not know that you have 100 employees and another company has five," Walter said. "One of the best ways to convert sales is to get that person to your office, provided it's a nice office."

Google Reviews

On top of creating original content that strengthens SEO ranking, Walter advised solution providers to encourage their customers to post positive feedback on Google Reviews, which are integrated into the Google search algorithm. Reviews that include relevant keywords are a bonus, he added.