In my more than four years working at Continuum, I’ve given hundreds of marketing consultations to our partners. These conversations typically center around sales and marketing best practices, yet one topic tends to come up time and time again: how to get the most ROI out of your website.
I’ve seen it all—what works, what doesn’t work, and what you can do to set yourself apart. Keep reading to discover what elements every MSP should have on their website.
Why Is My Homepage So Important?
In this day and age, your website homepage acts as your digital storefront. It’s often the first encounter new visitors have with your MSP business, so you want to ensure it makes a strong first impression.
An effective homepage is NOT a nice-to-have, it’s a need-to-have. Your homepage is a key way to establish your brand and authority, differentiate yourself from your competitors, and uncover new sales conversations and revenue opportunities.
Consider this: Salesforce has found that it takes six to eight touches to generate a viable sales lead. That means people might be deciding to do business with or without you before your sales team is even able to have a conversation with them. And where are these touches occurring? Online.
Prospects conduct their own research to see if you’re worth considering. So, when they land on your homepage, you want to make sure they find what they’re looking for.
What Makes a Great Homepage?
Now, it’s time to dive into a few key must-haves for your MSP homepage.
First, you need to showcase a value proposition that summarizes the unique benefit you offer the businesses you serve. When crafting your value proposition, consider:
- Who you are
- What you do – Warning: avoid technical jargon, phrase this in a way that will translate with users who typically aren’t IT experts
- Who you serve
- What makes you unique
- Why the reader should care – What need do you fulfill? Why buy from you and why buy now?
These are important to keep in mind because your value proposition should be woven throughout your entire website experience. Make sure it’s clearly defined, resonates with your target market, and differentiates you from your competitors.
An easy-to-navigate website enables any user to find the information they’re looking for in a seamless, intuitive way. With effective navigation, users will be encouraged to explore your website further, opening them up to even more authoritative content and lead generation opportunities.
To do this, though, you have to organize your navigation so that it’s clear which path to take and doesn’t overwhelm users with too many choices—at either the main or dropdown level.
And, when designing or improving your homepage navigation, make sure it’s user-centric. By that, I mean it takes into account the buyer’s needs—not your own. What are the sections of the website they’re going to want to navigate to? If they’re deciding between you and a competitor, maybe they’ll want to browse your collection of client testimonials to learn how you help businesses like theirs. This is something you could feature under a “Resources” tab, for example.
Whatever you decide to do, it’s important that you have the right balance of services, resources and company information in your website navigation. We always recommend featuring your blog if it’s been updated and reflects your expertise. Or, another option I’ve seen that I really like is a “Who We Serve” or “Is this You?” option, where you’re able to explain the different verticals or buyer personas you serve.
Lastly, it’s essential to include at least one call-to-action (CTA) or conversion opportunity in your main homepage navigation. This could be as simple as including a button that says “schedule an IT consultation” or “network assessment,” along with your office phone number to accelerate sales with those prospects who are ready to buy.
Your business might revolve around remote support, but you need to be accessible and human. That all starts with your homepage.
Personalizing your website helps you establish trust and brand loyalty, and it gives prospects a sense of who they’ll be doing business with. After all, IT is a relationships business, so you should aim to form a bond with prospects through a personalized homepage experience that showcases your team.
And yes, your team—not a modeling agency’s. Time and time again I see MSPs using the same ten stock photos, rather than featuring those individuals who will be working alongside their clients to tighten operations.
Include pictures of your office, highlight certain team members, or showcase team photos. Prospects should feel a connection to your brand and therefore your team before getting in touch with you. It makes you and your services stickier, and can help reduce those selling barriers.
Conversion opportunities allow you to convert new website visitors into leads, as well as nurture existing leads further down the funnel until they’re ready to have a sales conversation.
To capture contact information, you can use any of the following:
- CTAs – Calls-to-action are a useful way of enticing a user to take action or click through to another page specific to the offer teased.
- Landing Pages – These are the pages where CTAs lead, and typically include more information about the piece of content or consultation, along with a form to capture important information.
- Forms – Forms can also exist in places other than a landing page. Do you have a blog or newsletter that visitors can sign up for? Include a short form on those pages for instant lead capture.
However, remember how I said your homepage has to support multiple users? Well, you can’t assume everyone is ready to buy from you or jump into a consultation. And you don’t want to run the risk of losing their trust by asking for too much too soon.
Instead, offer them an educational content download, webinar or subscription. That way, you can capture their contact information and keep them engaged, eventually nurturing them to the point of closing. At the same time, they’re getting the answers they were looking for, making them more loyal to your brand.
Want to learn about the last two website must-haves? Click below to watch the on-demand recording!
By Courtney Swift
By Scott Wittstock