If you work in online marketing, you’ve undoubtedly heard of keywords. They’re essential to search engine optimization (SEO).
With the right solar keywords, you receive visitors primed to buy. With the wrong ones, you receive traffic that doesn’t convert. Or worse yet, you don’t receive any traffic at all.
Whether you’re starting a new site (or blog) from scratch or launching a new SEO campaign for an existing property, your keywords can make or break your solar business.
So choose wisely.
In this 2-part post, we’ll explore what goes into solar energy keyword selection. Part 1 provides some general background and a “how to” for one of my favorite tools. Part 2 checks out another favorite technology of mine and includes some tips and suggestions.
Phrases Are Better Than Individual Words
When you search on Yahoo, Google, and Bing, rarely do you use individual words. More often than not, you use longer phrases.
The same applies to your target audience (regardless of what vertical you’re in). No one in the market for solar panels will simply type in “solar panels.” There would be too many results, most of them irrelevant to a shopper. He or she would see results like:
- How to manufacturer solar panels
- The history of solar panels
- The best solar panels for residential rooftops
- How to clean solar panels
- Order solar panels online
- Acme Factory installs solar panels on new facility
Only the underlined topics above are likely to interest a potential buyer.
So right off the bat, you need to think in terms of longer phrases. Shorter keyword phrases invite way too much competition.
Is there any ideal keyword phrase length?
Just remember – the shorter it is, the more competition you’ll have. But the more specific it is, the fewer searches and hits you’ll receive.
Brainstorming a Starter List of Solar Keywords
With keyword length in mind, we’re ready to start brainstorming. Intuition should be your guide here. Ask yourself,
What would someone type into Google if she wanted to purchase my product or service?
Let’s pretend that you offer solar installation certification courses throughout the country. Potential keyword candidates might be:
- affordable solar training courses
- solar installation classes in California
- solar PV installation certification
I like to start with 5-10 starter keyword phrases. Some prefer having a longer list, others start with just one phrase. It doesn’t really matter since we’re going to grow this list in the next few steps.
Free & Paid Keyword Tools
There exist a number of keyword tools – both desktop clients and web-based – paid and free.
If you have the budget, you might wanna check out WordTracker. It’s a terrific resource for expanding your starter keyword list. Because it’s subscription-based ($70/month), you can use it to kick-off your SEO campaign and cancel it once you’re done. They have a free trial version, but the features are limited.
Fortunately, you don’t need to spend a dime developing a solid keyword list for your solar property. Google offers two outstanding tools for free. In this post, we’ll look at Google Insights for Search. In the next post, we’ll look at Google’s Keyword Tool.
Google Insights for Search
Google Insights for Search is a relatively new resource, and it’s awesome!
Let’s run through an example.
Although I mentioned above that 1 or 2-word phrases aren’t very useful, we’ll focus on the keyword “solar training” strictly for demonstration purposes. In actual practice, you’d probably want to go after something more like:
- where can I find nearby solar training courses
- the best solar training program
- solar training in new jersey
So let’s begin.
- your keyword phrase (“solar training”)
- select the region (in this case, the US)
- time range (Jan 2010 to Now)
And Voila! The tool shows you recent search trends for “solar training.”
Ouch. It looks like interest in solar training has kind of tapered off in recent years.
But that’s ok. If you scroll down, Google Insights provides some additional data that are of tremendous use.
For example, we see that Arizona, California, and New Jersey are the three regions of the country with the most searches for this keyword. Perhaps it’s worth targeting these areas in some of your upcoming solar marketing campaigns. Or maybe you’ll want to write blog posts that feature these three States.
If you scroll down further, there are more goodies.
On the left, you see Top Searches. This is a list of related search terms, ranked by popularity. Numbers 2 through 10 are good keywords to weave into your solar blog copy.
On the right, you see Rising Searches. This list shows terms that have become increasingly popular with time. If more and more people are searching for these keywords, you definitely want to weave the relevant ones into your copy. Solar training institute, NABCEP, solar training NJ, and solar system training are all good candidates.
Tune in Tomorrow
Google Insights is great for developing keyword ideas, but I don’t recommend using it in isolation. To really solidify your keyword list, we’ll need to use at least one more App.
In Part 2 of this post, we’ll take a quick look at Google Keyword Tool.