Managed Service Providers (MSPs) operate in a unique business environment. The stakes are high, with MSP clients sticking around for an average of 5 – 8 years and a buying cycle ranging from 3 months to 3 years.
Potential clients only switch MSP if something goes wrong, they are cutting costs, or their current provider doesn’t have the specialty they need. For this reason, many enterprise organizations have more than one MSP specializing in several areas at any time.
Thus, being present when a company considers changing its MSP becomes a crucial strategy.
Enter Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
SEO for MSPs: Being There at the Right Time
If done correctly, SEO can place you right in front of a potential customer just when they want to make a change. But here’s the challenge: How can you stand out with numerous MSPs competing for the same set of high-competition keywords such as “Managed IT Services”?
The solution lies in the long tail – those specific, longer phrases that people search for, which might have a lower search volume but can be incredibly relevant and less competitive. Focusing on these can help MSPs target niche segments effectively.
Here are five examples of long-tail keywords an MSP can prioritize:
- Cloud migration services for enterprise businesses
- Gsuite to Office 365 migration services (or M365 to Google Workspace Migration Services)
- Cybersecurity solutions for healthcare
- Data backup and recovery for law firms
- Remote IT support for educational institutions
- Network optimization for e-commerce companies
- IT compliance solutions for fintech
- Hybrid cloud solutions for manufacturing companies
- Endpoint security solutions for remote teams
- Digital transformation consulting for non-profits
- VoIP systems for multi-branch businesses
- Enterprise software integration and customization
- Retail POS system support and maintenance
- AI-powered business analytics for SMEs
- Network infrastructure overhaul for hotels
These keywords are less competitive and very specific. By targeting them, you can appeal directly to the needs of a particular segment, increasing the chances of attracting businesses looking for specialized IT solutions.
SEO for MSPs: An Appreciating Asset
It’s essential to view SEO as a long-term investment. Just as assets appreciate over time, the value of SEO grows as you continue to nurture and refine it. On average, LeftLeads clients who witness the best results from SEO spend at least 24 months on their strategy.
The most successful among them often specialize in fewer than three verticals, sharpening their expertise and increasing their relevance for those specific industries.
The buying cycle for managed services is long and high stakes; SEO is an invaluable tool.
While everyone vies for the spotlight with broad, competitive keywords, the smart approach lies in carving a niche using long-tail keywords. With patience and persistence, an effective SEO strategy can yield results that last years, aligning perfectly with the MSP business model.
By placing yourself in the right place at the right time in a potential client’s journey, you don’t just get a lead; you earn a partner for years to come.