October 30, 2023

What Do the Best MSP Websites Have in Common?

In this blog article, we explore what makes a great MSP website and the measures you can take to ensure yours is effective.

Hello, my name is Ryan, and I’m the Head of Marketing at Salesbuildr. I have worked in the IT channel for over a decade, helping MSPs internally and externally with their marketing efforts, including multiple website projects. 

In the world of business, first impressions matter a lot. The first interaction with a customer can be the deciding factor between success and failure. This is no different for MSPs. Your website serves as the initial point of contact, providing potential customers with a glimpse of your company and your work. Your website is a reflection of your organisation, and investing in it appropriately is crucial. 

The best MSP websites have a number of things in common and can be used as inspiration when creating or renovating your own site. While some may believe that their services and products will speak for themselves, having a website that draws customers in and initiates that first interaction can not be undervalued, as:

  • 57% of internet users say they won't recommend a business with a poorly designed website on mobile.
  • It takes 2.6 seconds for a user’s eyes to land on the area of a website that most influences their first impression.
  • 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience.
  • 75% of consumers admit to making judgements on a company's credibility based on the company's website design.

What the best MSP websites all have in common: Top 10

The best MSP websites serve as a “digital shop window” for potential customers passing by to take a look at what you do and who you are. The success of your MSP hinges on your ability to generate and retain customers. Generating a customer will almost certainly involve them visiting your website at some point, regardless if you meet them at an event or another customer has referred them.

Here are my top 10 things the best MSP websites have in common.

Clear Messaging on Your Home Page

This might sound obvious, but clearly stating you are a business IT provider on your homepage is important. I have often seen MSPs try to be too clever with messaging (and design) on their home page in an effort to stand out from the crowd, which I totally understand, given how saturated the market is. 

Still, more often than not, it is confusing and annoying to the viewer. That’s not to say don’t be creative, but make sure you are saying exactly what you are. It also helps with SEO. Using popular and relevant keywords helps your MSP website climb the organic search rankings. A good idea would be to use popular keywords in H1s and be more creative/unique in H2s and body copy.

User-friendly Design

The best MSP websites all take into account UI and UX design. Your design should allow visitors to easily navigate your website to find the information they want. Every page should align with your brand guidelines and follow the same theme as the rest of the site. This includes any off-site landing pages and your blog, etc. A strong website design is crucial. It takes about 50 milliseconds for visitors to form an opinion about your website, which determines whether they’ll stay or leave.

Designing and developing a website are skills all their own. I recommend working with an external agency that specialises in your particular website provider, i.e. WordPress or HubSpot, as hiring an in-house web designer/developer is probably an unnecessary luxury for most small and medium-sized MSPs. 

The best MSP websites use suitable, on-brand imagery, sometimes a mix of photography and illustrations. Real images of your team and workplace work best, but don’t be scared of using stock.* When used correctly, stock imagery can work well on any website. I recommend taking stock imagery and adding your MSP branding as an overlay or with illustrations in your company colours. Try to avoid “cheesy” stock images, i.e. the ones where people are shaking hands and staring directly into the camera. Some of my favourite stock imagery sites are Pexels, Unsplash and Freepik

*Always check the copyright on stock imagery.

Clearly Defined Services

This follows on from the first point about clear messaging. It can be very tempting to list every IT service possible on your website so as not to miss an opportunity for someone looking for something as specific as email filtering… In my experience, this has the opposite effect, as viewers are overwhelmed by the plethora of services listed. 

The best MSP websites have a structured approach to presenting their services. Many successful MSPs have productised their services that focus on business outcomes rather than individual services. For example, Cloud, Cyber Security, and Support packages. 

Clearly defining your services on your website is part of a much larger conversation around productisation. You can’t market your services until you know what services you want to provide. Productising and standardising your MSP services must be done internally by the leadership team and enforced across sales and service teams. We have a free guide for this that can be found here. We don’t ask for your details to download our guides, no forms, no friction.

Specialist Sectors

The best MSPs know who they are marketing to. They will have a defined ICP (ideal customer profile) based on persona and organisation type. You may have seen other MSPs have “sectors” or “industries we serve” sections on their website. This is a great way to show visitors what areas your business specialises in and how your MSP can help solve specific IT challenges in that particular industry. Sectors pages are also a great way to show customer testimonials to emphasise your expertise. Speaking of testimonials…

Testimonials & Case Studies

The best MSP websites always have customer testimonials and case studies, sometimes even an entire section dedicated to customer success stories. Testimonials are great to have dotted around your MSP website, usually found in a floating speech bubble, whereas more detailed case studies are usually found as a separate page or PDF download. 

Case studies help demonstrate your success and value to prospects visiting your website. Case studies are a great middle-of-the-funnel piece of content to send to engaged prospects in sales outreach and marketing nurture campaigns.

Mobile Optimised Responsive Design 

I recommend checking Google Analytics to see how much of your web traffic is mobile. You may be surprised. It might be worth considering how you drive traffic to your website, ads, social media, email campaigns, etc. For example, people landing on your site from social media channels or ads will most likely be on their mobile phones. The best MSP websites consider mobile visitors' experience as important as desktop visitors. Certain website providers, like HubSpot and Webflow, allow you to see and amend your website’s mobile view easily. 

Again, working with an external web agency that clearly understands mobile optimisation will be the best approach. You can set the expectation at the start of the project that you want mobile optimisation to be a top priority.

Content for All Stages of the Marketing Funnel

The best MSP websites contain content for all three stages of the marketing funnel: top, middle and bottom. Salesbuildr’s MSP Marketing Guide has everything you need on the marketing funnel, campaigns, budgets and reporting, so we won't go into detail here, but the main takeaway from this point is that your MSP website should contain content that can nurture and educate your prospects from awareness to consideration, to conversion.

You may even want to gate some of your content and use it as a lead magnet for generating marketing leads, such as a “Disaster Recovery Plan Template” or a “Cloud Backup Pricing Calculator.” The best MSP websites all have a gated lead magnet. But be careful what content you gate. You don’t want to gate content such as case studies, datasheets or product demonstrations because, at this stage, prospects are already aware they have a problem and are looking at you (and your competitors) to help them fix that problem. You don’t want a form getting in the way of your prospects learning about your solutions and how you have helped other businesses like theirs overcome their challenges. 

A general rule of thumb for gating is if the content is high-value and educational, it is okay to gate. Any content that is specifically about your services should not be gated.

Show Off Your Team

People buy from people! It’s an old saying, but it’s true. Show off your team of IT experts to your visitors. After all, it will be your team they will speak to on a daily basis if they become a customer. Showing a human side to your business with images of your staff and workspace is key to instilling trust in your visitors. The best MSP websites have an About Us page. These pages usually contain the company's history, leadership team and values. 

Get in touch with a local photographer to come in for a few hours and get as many shots as possible. These photos can be used across many channels, such as social media, email campaigns and brochures, not just your website. Your marketing team will thank you for it!

For smaller MSPs that may not have a fancy office with an army of employees, focus pieces on your team can work well. A short paragraph for each employee lets you tell your story and demonstrate your expertise, even with a small team.

Vendor Partners

When it comes to building trust with potential clients, the best MSP websites proudly display partner accreditations and awards. Not only does it showcase your expertise in delivering industry-leading products and services, but it also gives your visitors a sense of confidence. 

By prominently displaying the names of big brand vendors, such as Microsoft or Dell, you can tap into their brand recognition and leverage it to establish credibility for your business. This can help differentiate your MSP from competitors and attract customers looking for a reliable and experienced partner to work with. 

Clear Contact Details and a Chat Feature

Your website is your digital shop window. You want to make it as easy as possible for visitors to reach out to you. The best MSP websites all clearly display their contact details, including phone numbers, email and social media channels. Providing contact info makes your business appear accessible and, most importantly, allows your visitors to talk to you directly.

A chat feature or chatbot is another great way to allow visitors to talk to you directly, especially given the developments of AI in the past year. Chatbots can be pre-programmed with information to answer simple questions from customers and prospects, enabling your visitors to get a response quickly without having to speak to a member of your team. This is key for small and large MSPs looking to improve their efficiencies. HubSpot offers a free chatbot builder to help you start qualifying leads, booking meetings and providing customer support.

Clear messaging, user-centric design, and showcasing the human side of the business are essential for the best MSP websites. To create a compelling online presence, MSPs should focus on understanding their audience, presenting standardised services in a structured manner, leveraging vendor partnerships, and integrating modern features like chatbots. A website that resonates with visitors, instils trust and drives business growth can make a significant difference in a highly competitive market.

For more insights into MSP marketing, visit our resources section.

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