Hi all, Happy December,
This post details how we built a diversified online solar lead generation system for a new solar company that averages 300 leads per month.
A few months ago I shared our case study on how we build in-house paid search campaigns for our clients so they own the data and can scale accordingly.
Last autumn we were contacted by a company launching a new solar division located on the east coast of the US.
They wanted to get a consistent flow of leads to feed their sales team.
They understood the value of investing in organic search and owning their own data in-house.
Since we’ve built them a diversified lead generation system that averages around 300 inbound leads per month at an average of $30 cost per lead.
These are all form fills from an in-depth questionnaire from branded campaigns that ask for name, address, phone, email, shading, and utility.
Of course, it was not built over night, but in a month.
It took one month to build, applying our best practice campaigns we have from years of building solar campaigns, and adapting it to their specific market and brand. By month two we were already getting leads in their sales team.
We encountered our fair share of algo and policy shake-ups as well , and were able to correct these quickly.
We wanted to give them a diversified lead generation system that would be insulated from each other.
It’s not uncommon for a campaign to be paused from policy or algo mishaps, and can take a few days to get back up running again.
That’s why having insulated, diversified sources of leads is the safest route to take to ensure you have a consistent flow of daily leads.
Best Practice Templates – A System Built on Past Data Across the US
Since we’ve ranked and built so many solar campaigns, we already had a great baseline of keywords, adgroup structure, landing page design, creatives and ad copy we knew converted web traffic into solar leads that resulted in less time spent researching, and faster deployment times to get leads in the door.
Branded Forward Facebook Ads
We started them off building them a brand new Facebook Ads campaign in their brand new business manager account.
Retargeting pixel set up, conversions tracking, and account verification were all set up.
Shortcut Google Ad Campaign
Next we built a very thorough Google Ads campaign complete with all the bells and whistles extensions, sitelinks, and keywords we know drive the most conversions from past campaigns.
Once we started getting leads in the door and slowly ramped up spend once we found out the highest converting audiences, creatives, and keywords.
Self Booked Appointments
Our clients did not have a robust system for driving self booked appointments, so we audited this system and built a follow up funnel to drive more calendar bookings.
We helped them improve their self booked appointment ratio by including a book appointment calendar that included videos of reps discussing next steps to get an electric bill and qualify the homeowners.
We built an automated SMS + email follow up sequence to nurture the lead and self book.
Once this was implemented, self booked appointments increased by 10x!
The key is to record content ahead of time that educates the lead about available incentives and the economic benefits of going solar along with proof of concept like example electric bills and customer testimonials, signage of trucks…etc. Anything to paint the picture that we’re an established, trusted, local solar company.
Organic Search = Long Term Free Leads
At the same time we were building their paid media campaigns, we were restructuring their website to be more visible for both local searches across their entire service area and when people searched at the statewide term. We architected the pages so they could stack on new states in the future and new services.
We found there was most search volume at the state level keyword, so we prioritized their Google My Business listing to rank for the state wide keyword, and worked on building optimized location pages for every city they service and building supporting topical pages about anything related to solar incentives at the state and federal level.
We have a robust program for helping Google My Business listings rank, and applied this to help them generate over 15 leads a month just from their Google My Business listing.
Around 5 months ago they reached the first page for the statewide searches and various individual cities and now average our 34 organic inbound leads per month.
These are free solar leads they’ll have trickle in for eternity.
Often Overlooked – Bing Ads
Once we had a primed Google Ads campaign cooking, we imported this directly into Bing Ads. We made a few tweaks, trimmed down the ad groups to just the top performers, and now this campaign is generates around 50 ads per month spending $30/day.
Now that we have multiple traffic sources going to their website, we have a nice high quality audience pool to retarget on Facebook built on organic and paid search traffic.
We’ll run a retargeting campaign every 2 weeks or so at a very small daily budget.
On the to-do list for 2023 are YouTube Ads and TikTok Ads to fuel the fire.
We can leverage their existing videos discussing state wide solar incentives, net metering, and example post-solar bills to drive more inbounds.
For any business, the key is diversification and owning your own assets.
Curious how much potential revenue is sitting in your market? Contact us for a free revenue projection report for your local market and brand.