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Search Marketing for MSPs

January 30, 2020 in Business Strategy



Search Marketing for MSPs

Search marketing is one of the fastest ways to grow a business. Many MSPs and Telcos have their search campaigns configured incorrectly or aren’t running search marketing at all.

Emersion’s marketing manager Alex Diamond has five easy to implement tips for companies who want to improve the performance of their Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising campaigns. 

Search advertising is one of the fastest ways to grow your business. Otherwise known as Google Ads (formerly AdWords) or Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing Ads) search advertising works because your ads are displayed to people who are actively looking for your products (E.g. Managed Service Providers in Australia). 

One business in the MSP 501 (e-nerds) stated that they get half of their new leads from AdWords. Despite this, only 46% of the MSP 501 use any form of Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC) including search advertising and social media advertising. 

For companies who are using search advertising it is worth taking the time to optimise your campaigns for the best performance. This will help to ensure that your ads are reaching the right people and continue to produce a steady stream of leads.

Here are five simple ways for MSPs and Telcos to improve their existing search advertising campaigns: 

1.) Hone in on your customers with targeting

Many companies waste a lot of money targeting people who will never become customers. 

This can mean were paying for clicks from people who were outside of their service region, or who don’t fit their ideal customer profile.

Is your company targeting specific demographics? For instance, you can target by region, age range, what field people are working in, what their interests are and many other characteristics.

Here is a 20-minute video explaining the various targeting options available in Google Ads.

2.) Regularly review the search terms people are using to find your ads

Another way to improve the performance of your Google Ads or Microsoft Advertising campaigns is to regularly review the search terms that trigger your ads. 

In many cases, the keywords will be completely irrelevant (e.g. ads being displayed for the MSP airport). To get around these companies can use negative keywords. This would prevent your ads from being shown when someone is searching for the term ‘Airport’. 

Watch the video below for more information about how negative keywords work:

3.) Make sure your website is optimised for conversions as well

Even if you have the best search advertising campaign in the world, you still need a well-optimised website. This means a website that loads quickly, is SSL certified and uses appropriate markup (Meta descriptions, Alt text, Headers etc). Tools like Hubspot’s website grader can help to quickly pinpoint exactly what needs to be improved. 

You also need to think about what people will see when they click on your advertisement. Best practice is to create a custom landing page for each campaign that uses the same keywords as your ad. This will improve your quality score (meaning your ads cost less every time someone clicks on them) and mean that people are more likely to convert into leads. 

Landing pages with some form of offer get more conversions than those with a generic ‘contact us’ call to action. This could be in the form of a limited-time discount or signup bonus for new customers or access to a tool, whitepaper, article or video. 

For more information on what makes a high converting landing page, watch the video below.

4.) Regularly check your account

When you log into your account, you will typically be presented with suggestions on how your campaigns can be improved such as:

  • Targeting new keywords
  • Changing campaign budgets
  • Adding tracking
  • Updating ad copy

Google and Microsoft regularly change the format of Ads. Last year Google Introduced a third headline and a longer text field for all ads. Companies that updated their ads to match this new format improved the quality of their ad score. This means that their ads would be prioritised over the ads of companies who did not update their ads. 

For this reason, it is recommended to log into your search advertising account on a regular basis (ideally daily but at least once per week).  

5.) Hire an expert

There are a lot of other suggestions that could be made for most Google Ads or Microsoft Advertising accounts, but they are not exactly simple. These includes:

  • Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGs)
  • Properly setting up tagging and conversion tracking
  • Remarketing
  • Advertising on the display and shopping networks

Most of these have a pretty steep learning curve and take time to implement. It is often faster and more cost-effective to hire an expert to manage your ad account for you.

This could be in the form of an advertising agency, or alternatively could be in the form of a freelancer through a service like UpWork. If you would like suggestions on either how to get started with Google Ads or Microsoft Ads, or alternatively would like suggestions on who could manage your account feel free to reach out to me by emailing marketing@emersion.com