As the transition to renewable energy gains momentum worldwide, residential solar companies are in a good position for growth through 2022. More than ever, homeowners are open to the idea of installing solar panels as a way to cut back on energy costs, raise their home value, and help protect the environment.
But is your solar company ready and able to stand out from the competition and attract potential customers?
Don’t worry if your team is ready to take on new business but not quite sure how to generate more qualified leads. We’ll explore some high-level strategies that will help you market your brand and boost your lead generation.
The 4 solar company marketing strategies we’ll cover include:
- Paid Advertising
- Content & Email Marketing
- OTT (over-the-top) advertising
Need help generating more leads?
Trust the team at Rocket Media to help you implement and run your solar digital marketing strategy. We have 17+ years of experience developing and implementing marketing strategies that drive lead generation and business growth.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) refers to the ongoing process of enhancing your website in order to increase organic traffic to your website and other digital properties.
Properly optimizing your site for search engines allows users to more likely see your website in the first page of results when they search for keywords such as “solar panel installers near me” or “solar panel installation in (city).”
Improving your solar SEO strategy can encompass many different tasks across a wide spectrum of areas, such as:
- Cleaning up your website code
- Implementing HTML tags throughout your core landing pages
- Adding schema markup to your site’s blog articles.
In this article, we’re going to cover easy suggestions to implement. If you’re not sure where to start or how to improve your company’s SEO efforts, we’ve created a list of 4 SEO “to-do’s” for solar websites.
Solar SEO to-do’s:
1. Optimize your GMB listing.
A well-optimized Google My Business (GMB) listing can increase your site’s visibility in search results, drive traffic to your site, and boost engagement with your brand via phone calls and messages.
To make sure your GMB listing is performing to the best of its ability, make sure that your profile information is complete and accurate (check for and fix any inconsistencies in your company name, address, or phone number).
You should also add special features to your GMB listing, such as:
- Service menus
- Booking buttons
- Product catalogs
Other options for enhancing your GMB listing include adding photos, responding to reviews, and creating posts to highlight promotions and/or company updates.
Want to learn more? We’ve provided in-depth details on each of these tasks in our blog, “How Can I Use Google My Business to Market my Solar Business?”.
2. Create distinct landing pages for the services/products your customers are searching for
Hundreds (even thousands) of potential customers in your area are searching for your services online every month. But the only way they will find you is if you create high-quality content that matches their online searches.
For example, we typically suggest that our solar clients have a landing page specifically dedicated to “Solar Panel Installations in (your area).” If clients offer solar battery storage systems, we’ll create a landing page for that service as well.
The main reason for creating separate landing pages is to not rely on your homepage to bring in all of your site traffic, which typically results in keyword stuffing. The practice of stuffing the homepage full of various keywords to lure in traffic can ultimately hurt rankings. Instead, we focus on performing in-depth keyword research and creating separate pages, each dedicated to one main service/product you offer.
3. Audit and enhance your website’s metadata
Your website’s metadata is the content that appears on a SERP (search engine results page) and includes the page title and summary of the page’s content (a short summary of the page). The metadata, specifically the meta title, helps Google understand what the page is about so that it can determine when to deliver the page to users.
That said, you should also check each of your website’s core pages to ensure that the page title and the meta description incorporate the main keyword you want to rank for.
Note: Google does not look at meta descriptions when determining search rankings. However, a unique meta description that clearly summarizes the page’s content plays a big role in the click-through rate (CTR). Users are more likely to click through to your page if the meta description is helpful and indicates that the content on the page matches what they are looking for.
4. Check for (and improve) any usability issues
Google’s goal is to deliver valuable results to its users. If your page has glaring usability issues, such as broken links, long load times, or visual instability, Google will be less likely to serve your page to users.
We suggest auditing your site’s main pages for usability issues and fixing these issues immediately. Not only do usability issues potentially lower your rankings, but they can also frustrate users and cause them to bounce (i.e., lost opportunities).
For more information on usability issues, check out our blog, “How Will Google Page Experience Affect Website Rankings.”
Paid search ads are a great way to quickly get in front of potential customers. Paid ads primarily refer to ads that appear in Google search results, but paid advertising also exists on other platforms such as Facebook, Bing, etc.
These ads are typically highly visible on the search results page, which means more potential business for the advertiser. In return for such high visibility, the advertiser pays a small fee every time a user clicks on the ad. For more information, check out our blog, “How Does Paid Search Work?”
Solar companies can leverage paid search in a variety of ways. One effective paid search strategy for solar companies is to bid on keywords that indicate a high intent to purchase, ex. “Solar panel installation quote.”
Focusing on “high-intent” keywords almost always means less traffic but also means higher click-through and conversion rates. In other words, users who click are more likely to actually book an appointment (and hopefully purchase from you).
For more insight into paid search strategies for solar companies, check out these resources:
Content and Email Marketing
At its core, content and email marketing refers to providing valuable content at every stage of the customer’s journey with your company. It’s crucial to meet your customers where they are at in solar because of the long sales cycle for installations.
To help drive lead generation using content marketing, we’ve outlined the main phases of a customer’s journey with residential solar products. For each phase, we’ve provided some ideas of content you can create to ensure your brand stays top of mind.
The awareness phase
It can take months or even years for a homeowner to finally decide to invest in solar power. And during that time, homeowners have many questions and concerns. They’re aware of their problem (e.g., wanting an energy solution that saves them money in the long run) and that your product/service might help but they don’t know how specifically. We refer to this customer journey phase as the “awareness” stage.
Content for customers in this phase should provide in-depth answers to questions such as:
- How much does a solar panel system cost?
- How much money can I save with a solar panel system
This content should not be heavy on the sales messaging. Instead, the content should educate and gently guide curious homeowners through all their solar panel questions.
The “consideration” phase
Once a homeowner is convinced that they need a solar panel system, you need to be ready with content that convinces them that you are the company they want to do business with. This content should be heavier on the brand messaging and the unique benefits you offer to them.
Consider a high-quality landing page that fully explains what your installation process is like, what certifications and training your techs/installers have, testimonials from past customers, etc.
Finally, you’ll want to create content that encourages advocacy post-purchase. Content during this phase can include automated emails that ask satisfied customers for reviews on GMB or Yelp. Email marketing can also be a helpful way to encourage past customers to refer your business to family and friends.
OTT (over-the-top) advertising
Perhaps the newest form of advertising is over-the-top (OTT) advertising. OTT advertising refers to ads shown to users via ad-supported streaming services such as Hulu, YouTube TV, etc.
While this is a relatively new form of advertising, OTT ads can offer a huge boost in visibility for your brand. In fact, it’s estimated that by 2022, 55.1 million people worldwide will have abandoned cable TV for OTT services.
Other benefits of leveraging OTT advertising include:
- Strong targeting opportunities. With OTT, you can target ads to customers based on their zip code, device, demographic, or even behavior. More precise targeting means wasting less money on customers outside your service area or who won’t be interested in your services/products.
- Ads are shown on premium content sources and are non-skippable. Because customers cannot skip ads on ad-supported OTT services, it’s more likely that they will watch them all the way through, increasing your brand awareness, perception, and the chance for conversion.
- Strong analytics and better insights. Most OTT consumers are accessing content via apps that track usage and demographic data on the user, allowing advertisers to track who saw their ads and then visited their websites. That data can help you measure the effectiveness of your ads and adjust accordingly.
Need more lead generation advice for your solar company?
Trust Rocket Media to provide the industry-specific marketing advice you need. We’re experts at understanding what solar companies need to do to stand out and generate more leads. We have a diverse team of experts in SEO, paid ads, content marketing, OTT, and more. If you’re ready to take your marketing to the next level, reach out for a free marketing consultation.