If you’re looking for the average, boring tips where we dive deep into meta titles and descriptions, image alt tags, or the minimum words to have on a page, you’ve got another thing coming.
Truth: Great MSP websites all pretty much look the same and have similar words on them.
Truth: Great MSP websites all pretty much look the same and have similar words on them. If you have a ton of competition with great websites in your area, changing your meta tags around aren’t going to change the way your site ranks.
Here are the things you need to do in order to rank well in your area.
1. You must perform the basics of on-page SEO
I said we weren’t going to talk about it, but what I meant is that it’s not the only thing that needs done. You’ve heard it time and time again.
- Meta title and description
- Alt tags for all images
- Proper heading structure
- Appropriate keywords
I’ll make a resource that goes over these items if you need an explainer, but this is just the tip of the iceberg.
2. Monitor your technical SEO
If you’ve built your site in the last 3 years or so, these things probably aren’t an issue but it never hurts to check.
Does your website have an SSL certificate and do pages show the “padlock” in Google Chrome? If not, don’t fret! There’s a website called Why No Padlock that aims to make it easy for you to figure out what is preventing your website from indicating it’s secure.
One of the most important things you can do for your website is to make sure it’s mobile optimized. This means that it will be easy to read and navigate on a phone or tablet. You may think that this isn’t important because not as many people are using their mobile devices to browse the internet, but that’s changing.
In fact, Google has been changing their algorithms to give preference to websites that are mobile optimized. This means that if your website isn’t optimized, you’re going to be losing traffic and potential customers.
To test your site, pop the URL into the Google Mobile-Friendly Test site. If the results are green then you’re good to go.
If the results are red you’ll be given tips on what needs to be fixed.
The speed in which your site loads isn’t a high factor for ranking on Google, but studies show it can impact your bounce rate — the people who go to a page, but leave without going to another page.
404 errors are when a website doesn’t have a page that someone is looking for. Websites are constantly changing. Links that once worked might no longer work because a page has been deleted or moved. A simple way to fix a 404 error is to use a 301 redirect.
To find what 404 errors your site has, use Google Search Console to drill down into the Coverage section. Here’s an example of what it looks like to have some 404 errors on your site.
A permanent redirect is a type of redirect that tells a web browser that the page has been permanently moved to a new location. When someone clicks on a link to a page that has been permanently redirected, they’ll be automatically taken to the new page. This is helpful when you’ve deleted a page or moved it to a different location on your website.
301 Redirects can be implemented at the DNS level with solutions like Cloudflare, but it’s more common to do this with the website host or a plugin if you’re on WordPress.
3. Understand Search Intent to Match Your Content
Google pays attention to how people interact with your website. If people generally get what they’re looking for from your page, you can expect your rankings to improve. If not, they can actually go down. There are four types of user intent according to Google.
- How many calories are in water?
- Does yellow snow taste like lemon or banana?
- Facebook login
- Most comfortable speedos for men
- Hammocks shaped like bananas
- Flights from CLE to PDX
- Mail order bride pricing
4. Improve Your Bounce Rate
There are a few reasons why you should improve your bounce rate. First, it’s important to keep in mind that Google doesn’t like to see people go to your website and then quickly bounce back to the search results. This tells Google that your website isn’t providing the information people are looking for.
Second, improving your bounce rate can help improve your website’s overall user experience. If people are bouncing off of your website quickly, it’s probably because they’re not finding what they’re looking for or the website is difficult to navigate.
Third, improving your bounce rate can help you generate more leads and sales. If people are staying on your website longer, they’re more likely to convert into a customer.
How to Reduce Bounce Rate
Look “above the fold” on your website. Above the fold is a term used to describe what you can see when your website opens in a browser. If it looks like you have a lot of scrolling before they feel like they’ll get answers, people may get overwhelmed and bounce off of your site quickly.
When people visit your website, you want them to be able to understand what you’re offering them and what they can find on your pages. This means that you need to have concise and easy-to-read content. You also don’t want to overwhelm your visitors with too much information at once.
If you’re having trouble keeping your content concise, try using lists or headings to organize your thoughts. This will make it easier for people to scan through your content and find the information they’re looking for. Also consider including a table of contents if there’s a LOT of content.
5. Target More Keywords
If you want to bring more traffic to your website, it’s important to optimize your page around several different keywords. To do this, log into your Google Search Console and review the search queries that you’re ranking for. You’ll likely recognize many of them since you’ve already optimized pages for these keywords.
Sometimes you’ll find a keywords that you’re not optimizing for. If it’s a fluke that you’re ranking for that term by accident, think of how great you would rank for that term if you actually tried ranking for it.
How to Add Keywords
You’ve got a site that ranks really well for managed IT services and realize that people are landing on that page when they search for cybersecurity provider. You don’t have cybersecurity as a key service on your site, you just mentioned the importance of solid cybersecurity on your service pages.
Think of how much better you could do in your region if you built content around cybersecurity!
There’s a fantastic tool that I can’t recommend enough called Surfer SEO (affiliate link) that helps you understand how your content is ranking and what keywords you should tackle to rank even higher.
6. Backlinks, Backlinks, Backlinks
If I say it three times then they have to appear, right? Unfortunately backlinks don’t just magically appear, unless you’re writing high quality content that’s worth linking back to.
Backlinks are incredibly important to your domain name receiving a higher ranking as a Domain Authority. Here are a few ways to generate backlinks to your site:
- Publish great content that’s worth linking to.
- Reach out to other websites and ask them to link to your content.
- Create guest blog posts for other websites.
- Submit your website to directories and review sites.
- Connect with other bloggers and social media users in your industry.
7. Publish Great Content
Since publishing great content is important to have people want to link to it, focus on that.
Use Lots of Pictures
Pictures and other visual content is a fantastic way to draw people into your content. They can quickly show what you’re talking about without having to read through a lot of text.
Publish Something People Will Read
It’s important that people want to actually read the content on your site. If you write an incredibly dull article, no one is going to link back to it or share it. They’ll just head over to your competition’s website and forget about yours.
Organize Your Content for Easy Skimming
When people visit your site, they’re looking for specific answers. If they can’t find those quickly then they’ll probably leave. Keep them on your website by structuring your content in an easy to skim format.
Use Headings and Lists to Organize Your Thoughts
You can break up long articles into sections that you control with headings and lists. This will help people find the information they’re looking for within a post without having to read through everything.
The better your content the more people will want to share that content with others. Having others share great content from your site is a passive way to build backlinks, building up massive Page Rank and Page Trust with Google.
Having a website that ranks high with Google and other search engines is easy to do when you realize that it’s a multi-step process. Once you begin following the process, you’ll have an easy time bringing more traffic to your site by posting great content. Don’t forget to track your results to know how your content compares as you continue to strive for that #1 spot.