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Everyone goes about saving the world in their own way. Some people ride their bikes to work. Others bring reusable bags to the grocery store. Leonardo DiCaprio yells about greenhouse gas emissions from the window of his private jet, which surpasses the annual emissions of a large car by the time his ivory tower diatribe is halfway over.
Increasingly, Americans are taking their green efforts one step further: using solar power, rather than fossil fuels, to run their homes. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the first quarter of 2018 saw the installation of enough solar energy units to power the homes of 10.7 million Americans. The SEIA expects the solar capacity of the U.S. to double over the next five years. Although renewable energy represents just 11% of total U.S. energy consumption, the market is growing at breakneck speed. If there were ever a time to ramp up the advertising efforts of your solar energy company, it’s now. And we’re here to help!
The first piece of advice is super simple: think about why people want to use solar power and let this inform your marketing strategies. Big utility bills and concerns about climate change are the of the most common reasons consumers turn to renewable energy. Keep these in mind when writing headlines for your paid search ads. “Cut Your Utility Bills Today” and “Reduce Your Carbon Footprint” are just two examples of potential headlines that offer prospects the solutions they’re looking for. Along those same lines, appeal to your prospects’ emotions in your ad copy. If you’re targeting people who want smaller bills, appeal to their frustration with their utility companies. If you’re targeting environmentalists, appeal to their love for the planet.
Making the switch to solar power isn’t like buying a new pair of kicks: it’s a decision your prospects will chew on for a long time. That’s where remarketing and RLSA comes in. Let’s say somebody searches “buy solar panels” and clicks on your paid search ad and eventually bounces. Don’t panic! Again, it’s not an instantaneous conversion. By simply remarketing on the (relatively inexpensive) Google Display Network, you can keep your business in the front of your prospects’ minds as they continue to consider solar power. RLSA (Remarketing Lists for Search Advertisements) is another great tactic. This tool allows you to adjust your bid on a keyword when one of your remarketing prospects searches something that matches. In other words, if someone shows intent multiple times, you can ramp up your advertising efforts for whatever keywords the prospect is searching. RLSA is a great way to focus your spend and creative on your most relevant audiences.
Knowing your audience – specifically in terms of age demographics and income levels – is essential to any successful marketing campaign. It’s unlikely that you’ll find many millennials in the market for household solar panels; not many of them are homeowners, and even fewer are in a position to make this transition. So, when developing your creative approach, think about the emotional appeals that will best resonate with older Americans. Maybe emphasize the role smaller electricity bills can play in saving for retirement. Also, think about where your prospects live. In many cases, it’s going to be in the suburbs. Use geotargeting to ensure that your ads are only showing in areas where they can convert. Otherwise, you’re going to waste a lot of impressions, clicks, and money on irrelevant audiences.
For more marketing advice across industries, read the WordStream blog.