No one can deny that the solar energy industry has been the rising star of the U.S. economy. With the 30% Solar Investment Tax Credit being available to homeowners and commercial property owners over the past decade, this industry has seen incredible growth over the years, both in photovoltaic (PV) system installations and in solar jobs. With those tax credits originally set to expire at the end of 2016 (dropping the credit to 10% for commercial and disappearing completely for residential), there has been concern about a major fizzling out of solar installation activity starting in 2017.
However, the Solar ITC has been extended to last another 5 years. It will remain at 30% through the end of 2019 and then drop incrementally through 2021 before it comes to an end.
What does that mean for solar companies? It means more industry growth and a strong flow of installation business over the next several years. But what happens when you get more opportunity in a booming industry? You also get more competition!
If you want to position your solar power company to capture as much market share as possible during this exciting time in the solar industry, you’re going to need a strategy for making your company stand out from all the others. This is where online marketing becomes the game changer.
With the right strategies in place, you can ensure that your solar panel installation company gets noticed online, and that you are actually successful in turning web visitors into customers. As the competition gets fiercer, so should your Internet marketing plan!
Growth, Growth & More Growth
Let’s take a look at the solar industry’s growth spurts over the years, and the growth that is expected in the years to come.
- In Q2 of 2015, the solar industry finally passed the 20 gigawatts (GW) mark of installed solar electric capacity installed in the U.S., a major milestone for the industry. That is enough capacity to power 4.6 million homes. The total installed capacity has increased since then.
- With the extension of the Solar ITC, the industry is expected to install over 72 GW of solar capacity from 2016 through 2020 – representing 54% more than what was expected without the extension of the tax credit.
- By 2020, the nation should be at 100 GW of solar capacity, which is enough to power over 20 million homes.
- Solar jobs grew by 20% in 2015, which is 12x faster than the overall U.S. workforce. And since 2010, solar jobs grew by 123%.
- With the Solar ITC extension, solar jobs are expected to double by 2020 (in comparison to 2015).
Is Your Solar Company Ready to Compete?
It’s clear to see that the solar industry is still moving ahead at full speed. As a solar company, this could be mean great opportunity for your business if you play your cards right and get ahead of the competition. On the other end of the spectrum, if you move to slowly to get a strong marketing plan together, your company could get left behind as property owners choose your competitors over you.
Here are a few ways you can give your solar firm a competitive advantage:
Create an expertly designed website that is well-optimized for search engines and filled with high-quality, relevant content. Your website should be responsive, meaning it can be viewed on all types of devices, from desktops to smartphones. When you website is set up correctly, it can serve as a significant source of new business.
Run up paid search ads that will get your solar company more visibility in search results, which can help get you more website visitors. (Paid search ads are the website listings that are shown at the top and sides of search results pages.) Because you can target your paid search ads on numerous levels, you have more control over who sees these ads, which is helpful for getting your business more qualified leads.
Track and manage your online reviews. In today’s world, online reviews hold considerable sway over consumers. If you have a lack of online reviews or too many negative ones, this could do be driving potential customers away. To improve your online reputation, you should monitor what consumers are saying about your online and take the appropriate measures to respond to negative reviews. It’s also important to continually work on attracting positive reviews from happy customers.
Properly marketing your solar company on the Internet takes a lot of time and effort. It also requires knowledge of the most up-to-date search engine requirements and Internet marketing practices. At Scorpion, our experienced solar marketing experts are here to handle your online marketing so you can just focus on running your business.
Call us to find out how we can help you get more quality installations from the Internet!
About the Author
Chris Carlberg is the Director of Client Development for Renewable Energy at Scorpion. In this role, he provides renewable energy companies with online marketing solutions that are designed to help them capture more market share and build more predictable revenue streams.
As someone who is passionate about clean energy, Chris stays up-to-date of the latest industry developments and technological advancements. He was inspired to work in the area of renewable energy by his uncle, Dennis Carlberg, who is the Director of Sustainability at Boston University. Chris has more than a decade of marketing experience, and he is both Google AdWords-certified and Bing Ads-certified.
Chris received his bachelor’s degree in business and management from the Berklee College of Music in Boston. When Chris isn’t working, he loves spending time outdoors with his daughter, playing music, and drinking craft beer.