Even if you’re buying solar leads now from a third-party vendor, you know that you can get higher quality leads by generating them yourself right on your website.
Making your own leads may not be as quick as buying a list, but getting started now will help you improve the quality of your leads in the near future, making your salesforce both happier and more productive. In the longer term, generating leads on your website will also lay the groundwork for you to generate leads specific to your company for years to come.
And the best way to generate leads on your own website? Do inbound marketing. By now, inbound has been reduced to a step-by-step process that any solar marketer can follow to get good results.
The first step is to get the best picture you can of your ideal customer, by creating a solar buyer persona.
Why solar keywords matter
You’ve probably heard lots of talk about the importance of keywords. To get more traffic on your website, using the right keywords is essential. As Moz explains, “Keyword research is one of the most important, valuable, and high return activities in the search marketing field. Ranking for the right keywords can make or break your website.”
Finding the right solar keywords will also give you valuable insight into your target customer and help you generate traffic to your site most likely to turn into qualified solar leads:
How to find the best solar keywords
- Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool
- Google Trends
- Microsoft Bing Ads Intelligence
- Wordtracker (free trial)
My company uses HubSpot’s keyword tool, which is part of their integrated inbound marketing software suite. The advantage of their system is that you can connect keywords to a buyer persona, allowing you to close the loop between your ideal solar customer and what solar keywords they’re likely to search for.
But whichever keyword tool you use, you then need to develop a list of a few dozen keywords that your persona is searching for on a regular basis but yet aren’t too competitive.
For example, “residential solar installer” gets a lot of monthly searches. But it’s not a good keyword for your company because it’s too competitive. It would be difficult for your company to get on the first screen of Google (where you really want to be) for such a broad and popular term, since big well established companies are already taking up the top spots for this search. You need to find keywords that you can dominate if you focus on them.
So, the last stage in your keyword research should be to refine your general keywords into “long-tail keywords” that have less traffic, but are also less competitive, and thus, more likely to send traffic to your website.
Wordtracker explains the benefit of long-tail keywords:
Long tail keywords are those three and four keyword phrases which are very, very specific to whatever you are selling. You see, whenever a customer uses a highly specific search phrase, they tend to be looking for exactly what they are actually going to buy. In virtually every case, such very specific searches are far more likely to convert to sales than general generic searches that tend to be geared more toward the type of research that consumers typically do prior to making a buying decision.
To make a general solar keyword into a long-tail keyword phrase, try adding your city or another term to your more popular keywords. For example, “no money down solar San Antonio” or “no money down home solar PPA.” Then test the keyword phrase in your keyword tool of choice.
Once you have a list of 25 or so long-tail keywords, then you’re ready to start using them to generate more qualified solar leads. And the way to do that is to put those keywords in all the content on your website, especially pages and blog posts. Don’t use keywords in an artificial way (known as “keyword stuffing”). Instead, work keywords naturally into text, focusing on the places where Google will give you the most credit, such as the headline, subheads and alt tags for images.
— Erik Curren, Curren Media Group