Solar companies consider two general approaches when deciding on the best way to get solar leads. It often comes down to either going for paid or organic traffic. We almost always recommend content marketing for organic traffic for several reasons, which we will discuss below. However, to get quality solar leads, you will also want to dig a little deeper. Find out where those potential customers can be found, what is holding them back, how to solve their problems, and how to get their attention in the most effective way possible. As it turns out, there are several ways to do it. Here is what we have discovered:
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Paid versus organic traffic
Organic traffic will always have a higher value than paid traffic. The reason is simple.
The potential customers that organic traffic brings in are there because they have a specific interest, one that you can take advantage of by including the keywords they are most likely to use. The keywords and phrases a person uses can indicate if they are still researching or if they are ready to make a purchase. For example, someone who is still researching may look for “do solar panels work at night” while a potential buyer is more likely to type in “low-cost solar panel options.” If done right, you will be the solution they have specifically searched for and discovered.
They intentionally sought out information or a service. They actively chose to engage with the content and information you provide. That momentum of their effort is what is much more likely to result in a sale. It pales in comparison to directed traffic ads that pop up even when their interest is waning. It’s also less costly overall, especially in the solar industry in which a single quality lead may cost hundreds.
Go organic for solar leads
Getting organic traffic doesn’t mean just sitting back and waiting for potential purchasers to show up. Much like organic gardening, it takes some consistent effort. It means creating quality content that interests your potential customers. That content needs to bring them in and let them know that you know what you are talking about.
When it comes down to it, the important part of creating organic leads is about being seen and increasing your ranking in searches. This is done by making yourself an expert in the field – the company people go to with their questions as well as their business.
Does the effort required to get organic leads seem like too much time taken away from the important stuff, like installing and maintaining solar panel systems? We can do part or all of it for you!
Regardless of who puts in the time and effort, there are several ways to do it:
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Blogging is the cornerstone for building an organic following and increasing real and valuable traffic to your solar energy website, social media accounts, and business. Every solar business website should have a section dedicated to blogging. It’s a great way to highlight your expertise and bring in potential customers who are seeking deeper information about solar panel installation and solar panel systems.
As far as article depth, the data is clear, year after year the best performing content has been found to be longer in length. Nowadays, it’s not unusual to see blog posts that are longer than 1500 words.
Blogging doesn’t just bring in window shoppers. It brings in the people who are looking into specifics and are likely to make a purchase immediately or in the near future. For bonus points, see about getting mentioned (and linked to) in other blogs and by industry influencers.
Harnessing SEO for solar leads
You don’t have to create a blog post every day, but it is good to have consistent content to keep readers interested. As you develop a wealth of posts, you will also widen the number of relevant keywords connected to your website. This will help your business to rise in search engines across a variety of relevant search terms. The more content you have available for search engines to utilize and for potential customers to discover, the better.
This is the next natural step for getting solar leads after creating blog posts, informative graphics, ads, and other information that your customers will find useful. Content marketing is what gets all that information, including what is in those blog posts, out into the public eye.
It all comes down to hitting that share button.
You will want to share your content across your social media accounts, in relevant groups, on related platforms, and via email to your subscribers (this is a good reason to collect email addresses, but we’ll discuss more on how to do that in another post).
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Don’t let your engagement stop after hitting share. Make sure to check in with those who are engaging with your posts, answer questions, and show that you are involved, interested, and happy to answer any solar energy-related questions. Everyone likes to know that the company they are considering is a responsive one. This may be the first opportunity to signal that you are.
When paid traffic is an option within content marketing
Note: Using a paid boost to amplify your content marketing message to reach more potential customers may be useful at this stage. Check the viewer and engagement analytics on a particular post. If it’s really gaining traction, it might be the right one to boost to a wider audience and capture their attention. Paid traffic can still be a valid option in some cases. The primary issue is that it is often so expensive that it isn’t worth the low quality of leads that it tends to bring in. However, if you have high-quality content to share that will really bring the right potential buyers in, that may be enough to make the investment worth it on occasion.
Increasing your presence through local map listings
Make sure that your solar business is showing up in local listings, including by adding it on Google Maps, so that the customers in your area see your business before national options. It’s also good to be listed by industry associations to give credibility to your business in addition to making it more visible. NABCEP and SEIA are both good examples.
If you have a local business, your potential customers aren’t just online. Find them where they engage locally. Get involved with local homeowners’ communities, town hall activities, and community and environmental events. Be willing to do speaking events, answer questions, and act as an expert in your area. You aren’t just selling a service or a product. You are selling the expertise, knowledge, and reliability that back those up and make those investments a solid choice. That is the difference between a good solar company and a thriving one.
Image credit: Kelly L