When someone needs to find a solar company to install solar panels on their roof or a solar power system on their property, they search Google to find a company near them. They'll click on ads, read a review or two, and do their research before deciding on a company.
The question is, are they talking to your business? If your solar company isn't on the first page of Google, you're losing their business to your competitors. So, how can you stop losing your customers? By implementing a digital marketing strategy for solar companies.
We've outlined just a handful of strategies you can use to drive growth for your solar company. They include:
- Investing in an SEO strategy
- Generate social proof
- Building out your local presence
- Re-marketing ads to bring users back
Keep reading to learn more about these tactics that'll help increase your traffic, leads, and phone calls.
#1: Invest in search engine optimization (SEO) to passively earn highly qualified traffic & leads
The most important way to market your solar company, and set it on a path for long-term growth, is search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO involves creating targeted content, optimizing how your site is built, and improving its performance to help your pages rank higher in the organic search results for specific keywords.
Boosting your organic visibility should be at the top of your to-do list. More and more people are searching online to find companies instead of getting a recommendation from a friend or family member.
When they search for "solar companies near me", will they find your website at the top of the search results or one of your competitors?
Every day that your solar company isn't on the first page of Google is another day that you're losing tens of thousands of opportunities to the competition.
Don't believe me? We can look at the data.
Average Monthly Searches for Solar Keywords
|Keyword||Avg. Searches||Avg. CPC|
|Solar panels for home||27,100||$7.15|
|Solar installers near me||14,800||$11.79|
|Solar panel installation||14,800||$8.89|
|Best solar panels||12,100||$4.24|
|Solar companies near me||12,100||$13.24|
|Solar panel home||9,900||$7.15|
|Solar providers near me||9,900||$11.12|
|Solar panel company||8,100||$7.97|
|Solar panel companies||6,600||$7.97|
|Solar company near me||5,400||$13.24|
|Solar installation near me||5,400||$11.79|
|Solar energy companies near me||1,300||$12.15|
|Solar panel company near me||720||$12.70|
That's roughly 170,000 searches per month for only a handful of keywords. From "best solar panels for my home" to "how much will I save on my electric bill", there are tons of other topics that your company can target with content marketing and SEO to earn more opportunities.
And, depending on where you rank on the first page of Google, you'll be able to carve out an even bigger piece of the pie.
It shouldn't be a surprise that you'll earn more traffic if you rank higher for a particular keyword. The reason is that the top search results have greater visibility and higher click-through rates (CTRs) than the lower ones. And thanks to various studies over the years, we're able to predict just how much traffic you'll get. These are the exact benchmarks we use when planning out SEO strategies for all of our clients.
How much of an impact would an extra 4,000 - 51,000 visits a month to your site have? A pretty big one, right? Depending on your company, it could be a complete game-changer.
That's thousands of extra opportunities and warm leads for your sales team to follow up on every month. Even ranking 10th can have a major impact on your business.
These benchmarks can also vary by industry and keyword too. We've seen higher (and lower) CTRs for keywords that rank in the #1 and #2 positions.
The most important part of search engine optimization is that you do it consistently and correctly. Many companies give up on SEO before it's even had a chance to start generating results. If you stick with it, it can have a compounding effect on your inbound traffic.
Focus on creating content around evergreen, long-tail keywords that your target audience wants to read about for years to come. The more content you create, the more opportunities you have to rank in search and earn inbound traffic.
You can find these evergreen and long-tail keywords by doing keyword research. Some other ways to improve your site's SEO are:
- Improve the user experience (UX): Nearly 88% of users won't return to a website if they've had a bad experience. The signals around bad UX (high bounce rates, low time on site, etc.) tell Google that your site is not a good source of information. Improving these signals will be solid indicators that your content is valuable and useful for your target audience and likely lead to higher rankings and more traffic.
- Speed up your load times: Users expect websites to load in under 2 seconds. The longer it takes to load, the more likely they are to bounce and go back to the search results to go to a different website. Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights and GTMetrix to find out what you need to do to improve your load times.
- Make your site mobile friendly: You never know what type of device your audience will be using so having a responsive website that adapts to their device guarantees a great user experience. And more importantly, Google switched over to a mobile-first index, which means that they primarily use the mobile version of your website when it comes to indexing and ranking.
- Optimize & submit your sitemap: Google can't index pages it can't find. Your sitemap is the simplest and easiest way to tell Google what pages you want to be indexed in their search engine. Be sure to declare your sitemap in your robots.txt file and submit your sitemap in Search Console to guarantee that your pages get indexed quickly.
#2: Create a follow up campaign to generate social proof
Social proof is the new word of mouth. Nearly 88% of consumers trust user reviews and other forms of social proof as much as they do personal recommendations from a friend or family member.
The reason why it's so powerful is that when a person is shopping, they want to know they're making the right decision. They want to feel confident in what they're doing. Even if you say all the right things and give your prospects the white glove treatment, there can still be doubts in the back of their minds. Social proof disarms those doubts in a few ways.
They show that your company can be trusted. That you've worked with other clients before and solved their problems. And the more reviews you have, they'll naturally assume that you're more experienced than companies with fewer reviews.
Your ratings and social proof can also mean the difference between winning a client or losing them to a competitor.
There are a few different ways you can go about earning social proof, but the simplest way to do it? Just ask. You know your business. You know your team, and you know when they've done a good job. There is no better time to ask for a review than immediately after you've solved a customer's problem.
They will never be more satisfied with your service than they are at that moment. Having a team member or an automated email go out that directs them to your company profiles is the best way to make those positive reviews happen.
#3: Implement a local marketing strategy that dominates your service area
If you want to generate long-term, sustainable growth for your solar company, you need to own your service area. The best way to do that is to dominate the local search results. When a potential client in your town searches for your services online, they need to see your company there every single time.
They should see you so often and in so many different places that your name is the first thing that comes to mind when they think of solar panels. To do that, you need an effective local marketing strategy so your website saturates the search results.
There are four main ways that your website can show up for local searches.
- Running Google Local Service Ads
- Google Ads campaigns that target a local area
- Updating your Google Business Profile
- Creating content that ranks in the local search results
Get approved to run Local Service Ads
Google Local Services Ads are probably the best way for you to reach people searching for your services online. These paid ads are shown at the very top of the search results and contain listings for 2-3 companies that have been verified by Google as trusted businesses.
They're the first thing that your ideal customers see after doing a local search. Their prime real estate on the search results page gives you the best chances of generating warm, qualified leads from your target audience. And the Google Guaranteed badge helps instill a degree of trust in your company even if it's their first time hearing of you.
Target & optimize your site for local keywords
Your target audience is people that live in your service area. These are the only people that matter to your business and who you want to see your website.
When these people search for your services online, they're going to do a local search. These searches include your service and a location, like "solar panels in Plano, TX". They can also include your service and proximity to the searcher, like "solar panels near me".
These keywords are incredibly important to you since 88% of local searches call or visit the business within 24 hours. Targeting these keywords will help your website show up in the local search results.
Run Google Ads campaigns that target specific locations
Another way to generate highly-qualified leads from your target audience is to spin up a Google Ads campaign and narrow the location targeting to your service area.
This allows you to laser focus your targeting on just the people you can help. It also prevents your budget from being wasted on clicks by people that are in a different city, a different state, or even across the country.
Paid ads can also increase your brand awareness by up to 80% which is crucial for local businesses. Having a recognizable brand that people know and look for can help increase the effectiveness of your other marketing channels.
Optimize your Google Business Profile
Having a Google Business Profile is what determines whether or not your company is shown in the local 3-pack. This section shows up when someone searches for something in their local area. It can be found just below the Google Ads listings and above the regular organic search results.
Showing up in the local 3-pack gives your company an enormous boost to its local presence and visibility. This section shows up almost 93% of the time for local searches and businesses that show up here get roughly 100% more clicks than those that don't.
If you don't have a listing, create one. If you do have a listing, be sure to claim it and fill out every field. This gives your potential customers all the information they need to do business with you.
#4: Run a re-marketing campaign to bring people back to your website
Not everyone is going to convert the first time they visit your website. They might not even convert on the second or third time either. Studies are showing that it can take up to 8 interactions for a customer to feel comfortable enough with a company to convert.
Sometimes it can take even more touches if a company has a long sales cycle because they sell customized solutions or high dollar ticket items, like solar power systems.
While we always hope that our websites are good enough and memorable enough to bring customers back on their own merits, why leave things to chance? Why not actively market to those people to stay on their minds and bring them back into our sales funnel?
Running a re-marketing campaign is a phenomenal way to kickstart a new conversation with your ideal customers and bring them back into your sales funnel.
When a customer visits your website, their browser is tagged with a cookie. This cookie lets you show paid ads to the user when they browse other websites or use certain apps.
Remarketing ads can be a very powerful tool for companies with long sales cycles. And to make sure you stay on their minds, you can change how long the cookie stays in their browser. Does it normally take ~4 months to close a lead? Change the membership duration so it lasts at least 120 days.
One thing to keep in mind is that we only want to target users that visited your website. When you're building your remarketing audience, be sure to select "Website Visitors" so you can create a marketing campaign that's specifically built to bring them back to your website.
Ready to get started with digital marketing for solar companies?
Digital marketing for solar companies is more important than ever. The industry is growing at a rapid pace and we're seeing more and more players enter the space to claim their piece of the pie. By investing the time and capital in an internet marketing strategy, you can earn more clients and cement your company as the go-to solar company in your area.
If you aren't sure where to start, Hearth Marketing can help. Our team of experts can build an internet marketing strategy for solar companies that drives results. We've generated over 1,389,310 qualified leads for our clients and we can do the same for you. You can rest easy knowing that your solar company is in good hands.