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The Solar SEO 90 Day Playbook

Who Should Read this Guide?

 

We created this Solar SEO 90 Day Playbook for B2C and B2B companies in the solar industry and their in-house marketing staff. Establishing a solid presence in Google organic search will enable your solar brand’s visibility when prospects search for relevant products and services.

 

 

An SEO Overview for Solar Companies

 

For solar companies to become successful with their local (and national) organic presence, they should invest in their website’s search engine optimization (SEO). SEO for solar companies is competitive, so you must have a framework for realizing your goals. This playbook guides in-house marketers and stakeholders to set up and manage their SEO for a more robust online, organic presence to become more discoverable for qualified prospects.

 

We organize this playbook into three stages: SEO Strategy, Content Distribution, and SEO Expansion. With a planned rollout as described in this playbook, you will ensure that:

 

  1. Your team is using an optimal strategy for your SEO implementation

  2. Content is distributed to relevant 3rd party websites and platforms

  3. You are leveraging opportunities to expand your solar company’s organic presence

 

Suggested SEO Tools for Solar Companies

 

Before moving into the daily recommendations, we recommend the following tools:

 

 

SEO Strategy Phase for Solar Companies

 

Day 1-2

 

Develop Personas for Your Target Customer Segments

 

Before executing any marketing strategy, you should develop a solid understanding of your target audience. In the marketing world, we call these your target audience segments or personas.

 

As you are building out personas for your solar company, consider these different categories & attributes:

 

Psychographic Attributes

 

  • Online behavior (how do they use Google search, social media, etc.)
  • Favorite websites
  • How do they make a buying decision (i.e., consult with their spouse, personal network, etc.)
  • Are they a spender or saver?
  • What are their cultural preferences (music, movies, books, etc.)?
  • Activity preferences (hobbies, what do they do with their families and friends)?

 

Demographic Attributes

 

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Education (high school, undergraduate, post-grad, etc.)
  • Household Income
  • Geographic Location (go granular here (neighborhoods, districts, etc.))
  • Marital Status
  • Do they have children?
  • Is this B2B or B2C?

 

Target Buyer Resistance Points

 

Consider your target audiences top resistance points for investing in solar, such as:

 

  • High upfront cost
  • Product or service quality
  • Personality fit with your team
  • Your team’s experience

 

To wrap up persona research, understand your target buyer’s before and after state. Before they avail of your solar product or service, what are their current pain points, and how can your solar solution help solve these problems? Also, make sure you address your buyer’s pain points throughout your team’s sale process.

 

Now that you understand your target buyer, you will have the information needed to perform strategic competitor research, build a list of relevant keywords, and develop content assets that position your brand as an expert within your chosen solar niche.

 

Days 3-4

 

Solar SEO Competitor Research

 

First, determine from your persona research who are your direct competitors at the local and national levels.

 

Find the competitors placed on page 1 and related to your website either directly or indirectly. You can do this by looking up information related to your business and by locality. Highlight the top ten Google search results in your location and that offer similar products or services to yours.

 

To keep track as you research, you can use the following table as a template:

 

URL

Number of Pages

Number of Blogs

Titles of Blogs

Current Rank

Where They Are Listed

           
           
           
           
           

 

We recommend starting with a list of 3-5 competitors for a robust analysis.

 

As you look up more keywords, use this concept to identify your competitors’ rank and gaps. This keyword discovery offers deeper scope to rank above other competitors. 

 

Leverage the HOTH Free Keyword Content Gap Analysis tool to find keywords your competitors are ranking for in the search results.

 

Access the HOTH tool here.

 

Day 5

 

Solar Keyword Research

 

Keyword research gives you specific, targeted data that allows search engines to understand how to categorize your website. Research offers the easiest search terms to rank for, compete with, and build a more substantial online presence. 

 

To research keywords, go to a free or paid tool, including options like:

 

SEMRush

 

Google Trends

 

Google Keyword Planner

 

We suggest starting with a list of 15-20 keywords.

 

Day 6-8

 

Create the hierarchy for your website and what you want to feature on each page

 

A hierarchy is how search engines read your website. It contains information about the primary keyword and the topics and subtopics of your page. Targeting and identifying what you need within the hierarchy will assist with ranking higher and allowing search engines to understand more context for your website. 

 

See the example website structure below:

 

website structure example destiny marketing solutions

 

The diagram above is a sample website structure for a solar website. Each line corresponds to a link between the two pages. The second row of the hierarchy corresponds to your top navigation menu, and the third hierarchy (highlighted in red) corresponds to the sub-menus under your top navigation menu.

 

Ensure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly and Provides a Greater User Experience

 

What Does Being Mobile-Friendly Mean?

 

In general, mobile-friendly means that your site works well on a mobile device such as a phone or tablet. However, you may also hear terms like mobile-friendly, mobile-first, responsive design, adaptive design, separate mobile website (or m dot site), and mobile apps thrown around.

 

Why Is Mobile-Friendly Important?

 

One of the most effective ways to keep visitors on websites longer is to make them mobile-friendly. People are more likely to stay on an easy-to-use website and are less likely to leave it, so having a mobile-friendly website lowers your bounce rate.

 

Why is Web Design Important for SEO?

 

Web design impacts user experience, but it also has an impact on search engine rankings. Poor web design practices reduce your SEO rank, causing your site to appear lower in search results. Lower search engine result rankings have a direct impact on your solar company's bottom line, which is why it's critical to invest in SEO-focused web design from the beginning.

 

Day 9 - 14

 

Outline Your Solar Content

 

Create content that incorporates the following elements:

 

 

  • Secondary or related keywords. These can be included 1 - 2 times and are alternatives to your primary keyword. Helpful hint: You can use Google-related searches for suggestions on secondary keywords (see the screenshot below).

 

  • Internal links to other relevant content on your website, and external links to relevant, non-competing websites (Ex: Solar Power World). This approach ensures you place your website in a good “link neighborhood.”

 

search suggestions destiny marketing solutions

 

Google Search Suggestions (dropdown menu at the top of the search results)

 

Day 15 - 18

 

On-Page SEO Optimization

 

On-page optimization consists of any activities optimizing your site’s content for improved search engine visibility.

 

There are several areas to consider for your site’s on-page SEO:

 

Title Tag

 

The title tag is an HTML code tag that allows you to give a web page a title. Each page’s title tag is in the browser title bar and the search engine result pages. It's crucial to add and optimize your website's title tags, as they play an essential role in search results rankings.

 

See the examples of title tags in the screenshot below.

 

examples of title tag destiny marketing solutions

 

 

 

Title Tag Examples

 

For your web pages’ title tags, it’s best practice to:

 

  • Include your target keyword for the page at the beginning of the title tag
  • Include your company name, usually at the end of the title tag following a “/” or “|” symbol
  • Keep the title tag at 65 characters or less

 

Meta Description

 

The meta description, seen below, serves as a brief snippet for what the searcher can expect before clicking on your search result.

 

meta description examples destiny marketing solutions

 

Meta Description Examples

 

The meta description has an indirect impact on SEO, as the more clicks your search result receives, the higher your clickthrough rate (CTR), which is a positive signal for Google.

 

We suggest including a call to action (i.e., Click here to learn how solar can change your life) and your primary keyword for the page.

 

Consider these other areas as you optimize your website’s on-page SEO:

 

  • Use a secondary keyword or a keyword from another page to link from your main page. You should include an average of 4-5 links on each page. 
  • When you link, make sure you focus on a keyword-optimized “anchor text.” Anchor text looks like  “Click Here” when read by visitors.
  • External Linking. Link your information to outside pages, if applicable. These should have complementary pieces of information relating to your web page’s content. 
  • Alt Text in Images. Take your main keyword and add it to all images that are on the page. To do this, click on the image and add the “alt text” to describe what the image is. Be sure to mix in variations so that your page is not at risk for an over-optimization penalty.

 

image alt destiny marketing solutions

 

Day 19 - 22

 

Analytics Setup

 

Step 1: Set up Google Analytics to track your traffic and ranking. To do this, go to analytics.google.com and submit your website. 

 

You will receive a code that looks like GA-123456. You will need to find your Universal Analytics script and add it to your website.

 

Note: Starting in December 2022, Google will begin phasing out the Universal Analytics version of Google Analytics. In place of Universal Analytics, website owners will have to use Google Analytics 4, or GA4. Click here to learn more about GA 4.

 

Step 2: Set up the Search Console to track your keyword rankings and to submit your sitemap. To do this, go to https://search.google.com/search-console/welcome  and submit your site. Note you will need access to your website’s DNS.

 

Step 3: Distribute your website to Google, Bing, Yahoo, and any other search engines that will help you to rank. Do this by going into your Google Search Console and clicking on URL inspection. You can list individual pages as well as the main page of your website. Each time you add a new page to your website, it’s good practice to submit that new URL to Google Search Console so that it will index or be added to Google’s search results faster.

 

google indexing destiny marketing solutions

 

Step 4: Once you have all tools set up, pull your sitemap from your site. The sitemap is typically located in the root directory of your domain and has the link of www.xyzsolar.com/sitemap.xml. You will submit this to Google Search Console for the search engine to read. As your site grows with content, it will automatically update and help search engines to read. 

 

sitemap submission destiny marketing solutions

 

Day 23 - 32

 

Create Static Content for Your Website

 

Static content refers to content assets on your site that do not change much, such as your About Us, Products, Services, and Who We Serve pages.

 

We recommend creating dedicated pages for each of your service offerings and target customer segments (i.e., Residential, Utility, etc.) for optimal SEO. With dedicated landing pages, you can speak directly to that service or customer and incorporate relevant keywords as well.

 

Develop Your Brand’s Content Editorial Calendar

 

Blogs support your capacity to grow online. Blog assets “feed” search engines with new information that help your site rank higher and receive recognition for relevant keywords and topics. The more SEO and user-optimized content you have available on your site, the higher likelihood for others to find your information. Blogs are a great way to help prospective customers and position you and your team as the experts.

 

Identify 4-5 categories related to your services or target customer. Make the categories sufficiently broad so that you can grow these parts of your website over time.

 

Aim to plan 12 weeks of content at a time, ideally at the beginning of each quarter. There is no ideal frequency for posting new content. Make sure you present the best quality content possible and go above and beyond anything else on the web related to the topic.

 

As you develop your content plan, also identify which keywords you will target in each blog piece. Also, consider including other content types, such as infographics, videos, eBooks, and whitepapers in your content plan.

 

Distribution Phase for Your Solar Content

 

Once you have a substantial amount of content and keywords on your site’s primary pages, you can start communicating with different websites and places online to link back to you. The more you share that you are online, the higher ranking you will get. 

 

solar content distribution phase destiny marketing solutions

 

Day 34 - 38

 

Distribute to local directories

 

Before you begin distribution, identify the keywords you want to rank for, write out descriptions, and find images as well as unique identifiers for the local directories. The more information you provide to each directory, the more search engines will read and rank you. 

 

Local directories that you need to include are:

 

  • Google My Business
  • Yelp
  • Yellow Pages
  • Bing Places
  • Mapquest
  • Super Pages

 

You can also research and find other local directory listings, many of which may be specific to your locality. If you do, explore the directory online to ensure the DA (domain authority) has a higher number, usually 20 or above, so it is a relevant listing and link. You can use this tool for DA research

 

In a nutshell, domain authority is a third-party metric that indicates the link “power” your site receives from receiving a backlink from that site. DA is not a Google metric; however, DA can provide you with a general authority of a website.

 

You should also target additional listings based on your services and target client:

 

Construction Listings

 

Tradesmen Listings

 

If your company offers equipment such as solar panels, there may be additional listing opportunities available. Try doing a Google search for <equipment type> listings to find those opportunities relevant to your business.

 

Day 39

 

Get listed in the blogosphere.

 

If you have written your blogs, make sure to list them in the blogosphere. You can submit to places such as Blogarama and Medium to assist with building topical relevancy for your website. 

 

Day 40 - 45

 

Develop your social media presence

 

While most identify social media as a separate channel, social media can support your ranking in search engines and assists others in finding you. At a minimum, you want to maintain two social media channels, such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Your choice depends on where your target audience congregates on social media.

 

Special Note for B2B Solar Companies: Make sure you include LinkedIn in your social media marketing efforts, as the LinkedIn platform is best suited for B2B marketing campaigns. Consider subscribing to LinkedIn Sales Navigator to gain more intimate access with decision-makers for your target industries and verticals.

 

Create Your Bio: When starting your social media, use a description that contains your location and main keywords so others can find you through the social media search engines. 

 

Linking: Always link back to your site with social media to build relevant information and assist others in finding you. 

 

Add in Relevant Content: If you use social media for search engine purposes, posting 1 - 2 times a week and getting some followers will help feed the site. As you do so, make sure you add keyword-based content that identifies who you are and the services you provide. 

 

Hashtags: Hashtags are the same concept as keywords, using relevant terms to identify who you are. Using 2 - 10 hashtags in each post will assist with identifying who you are and building this back relevance and authority back to your website. 

 

Day 46 - 50

 

 

One way that search engines identify who you are is through other websites that point back to you. Searching for local links and adding in your information will support the growth of your website. 

 

1. Search for high domain authority. While looking for local websites, use a tool such as SEMRush. When you enter the information in the search, it will tell you what the domain authority is of that site (Listed as Authority Score). 

 

build local links destiny marketing solutions

 

If the domain authority is above 20, the local directory will help build authority for your website.

 

2. Consider outside-the-box ideas, such as contributing to a local renewable energy initiative or sponsoring a scholarship or internship program for local students considering a career in solar.

 

Day 51-58

 

Get press and community noticeability.

 

Press as well as support from local communities not only offers strategies for search. It also provides a way to get direct leads interested in your business to knock on your door.

 

Find all the relevant press that serves your community, as well as online forums and communities that are online. Include online social communities as you start to grow your online presence.

 

If it is a forum or community group, an introduction with a link back to your website will support relevancy.

 

If it is community press, send an inquiry that announces the launch of available services your business offers. 

 

A sample inquiry looks as follows:

 

<Contact person’s first name>,

 

I am interested in a feature story about a new local business that can support the community.

 

{About your Business}

 

{Why this is newsworthy}

 

{Why readers will like the story}

 

For the full story, please contact me at {{email}} or visit the website www.xyzsolar.com.

 

Regards,

 

Keep track of outreach requests, and if there is no response within 1 - 2 weeks, follow up to monitor the status of your story.  Position yourself as a local solar expert, and people will reach out to your team for your solutions to their solar and renewable energy-related inquiries.

 

Day 59 - 62

 

Connect with other renewable energy blogs online

 

Search for other relevant and local blogs that are in your vicinity. Many will allow you to add your link to their website to build relevance online. 

 

  • Search for {{keyword}} {{submit an article}}

  • Reach out to those who allow you to post an article or blog post on their site with an introductory letter as well as a value-add piece of information that you will provide

 

If the blog site owner gives permission, write content assets that meet that website’s requirements for guest content. For example, if they require 1000 words for each content asset, go above and beyond to meet their requirements.

 

The anchor text that you use should look like: “<a href=”https://www.xyz.com”> YOUR SITE</a> to help search engines pick up the information. 

 

Expansion Phase for Your Solar SEO Campaign

 

Now that you have the first level of distribution in motion, you can begin to analyze and expand your website for better results. 

 

Day 64 - 70

 

Create a FAQ Page

 

You can also rank your website for your customers’ frequently asked questions related to solar and renewable energy. These are known as “Rank 0” and listed as snippets on the top of search engines. Creating snippets through questions and answers on your website will assist with getting this ranking for your website. 

 

Step 1: Search through Google’s keywords, People Also Ask, and SEMRush. Each has a section with common questions related to your target keyword. 

 

Example of People Also Ask search:

 

Step 2: Take 15-20 of the most common questions on each of the platforms. Write these into a FAQ section of your website.

 

Step 3: Create a FAQ page with the question and expand to reveal the answers below this. 

 

You can also incorporate questions and answers into relevant blogs and pages on your website.

 

Expert Tip: Make sure to format the questions as Heading 2 tags to emphasize these phrases for Google.

 

It’s essential to continue looking for questions to add to your blogs and content so you can improve your visibility over time. 

 

Day 71 - 75

 

Add in reviews

 

Reviews should naturally assist with the growth of your solar business online. When you get new customers and projects, you want to continue adding reviews that support your reputation. 

 

You can add in reviews with Google as well as places like Yelp. These will all grow organically over time. 

 

If you don’t have reviews, send a message to your current or past customers and ask for testimonials to help you grow your business. 

 

You also want to have a review section part of your website and links directly to your services. Find a way to connect your Google Reviews to your website or ask someone to independently review your services on the page. 

 

Once you have these central reviews in place, you can expand to other types of review sites and boost your presence. Several review sites will support local businesses and are interested in connecting to your testimonials and services reviews. 

 

Day 76 - 82

 

Add in 5 more blogs that address pain points with your target solar customer.

 

Find five more keywords that you want to rank for and write five more blogs. Follow the same format with the main keyword and secondary keywords. Make sure you add in the meta description, header, links, and alt text for images, so you have a higher ranking. 

 

After you have completed each blog, space them to publish at different times. As each publishes, you can link them to social media, Web 2.0 (such as Blogger, Medium, etc., and other central areas.

 

Long term, you should focus on a goal of twenty-five to forty blogs posts aligned with each of your service, customer,  and product categories.

 

Day 83 -86

 

Follow-up on your PR outreach

 

What do you need to do to have a live article? Revisit your PR as well as distribution with links from your distribution phase. Find those who have not responded as well as those who have. If follow-up is required, make sure you have sent more information to push the decision maker’s approval. 

 

Also, consider other communication channels, such as social media, phone, or direct mail.

 

Day 87 - 90

 

Additional Solar Content Distribution

 

Revisit the Phase 2 distribution and find more links that you can build. Identify competitor backlinks as well as your own to find a competitive placement that is online. Long term, allocating resources to expand your business’s visibility will help you surpass local competitors.

 

Link building and content creation are ongoing activities, so make sure you are regularly engaging in these activities so that your website is not at risk of losing visibility.

 

Putting it All Together

 

What does it look like when all these SEO elements are working together? Often, it means having a team dedicated to on-page & technical SEO, content creation, link building, and other digital PR activities that grow your solar brand's visibility. 

 

Growing organic traffic takes more time and effort than paying for search ads, but the payoff can be enormous as you reduce your marginal digital marketing costs over time. Combine a strong SEO effort with other efforts such as email and social media marketing, and you’ll reap significant benefits.

 

Are you looking for a team of trusted SEO experts to help develop your organic visibility in popular search engines like Google and Bing?

 

We are a leading SEO agency with specific expertise in results-oriented SEO services for solar companies.

 

Learn more about how we can help you achieve your goals and attract more potential customers.