How to beat SolarCity in Google – How local SEO can help solar energy installers win more clients.

SolarCity often dominates the solar energy and solar panel searches in Google. But how can smaller solar panel installers beat the bigger national companies when trying to attract clients in their area.

The answer is local SEO. When Google shows results for more area specific searches such as “Solar Panels Staten Island” a box including local suppliers is shown near the top of the page. This is called the Map Pack.

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The Google Map Pack, shows local companies that perform services that fit your search, as well as their phone numbers, prices if applicable and directions to their location.

There is often a call now button on the listing that allows the searcher to quickly contact the business they are looking for.

Due to a recent Google update, there are now only 3 local results shown in the map pack where there used to be 7. This means that it is even more important to be at the top of the results than before.

However according to a Moz.com heat map survey where they track where people click, many searchers are clicking to see more results and view the entire map. This is great for local service providers as it becomes easier to be visible in the full screen map view.

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How to rank for local search results?

Local search results are often easier to rank for than the full search results for “solar energy” or “solar panels” in a state or country. This is because there is less competition and fewer factors that influence the results.

To rank for solar energy searches in your local area, follow the following steps.

  1. Business Listings:Make sure all of your business listings around the web have up to date information. This means that anywhere on the web that your company is listed must have exactly the same information and it must to be correct.The kind of information listed around the web includes your business name, address, telephone numbers, email addresses and website.

    Examples of websites that list your company are review websites like Yelp.com as well as industry websites like enfsolar.com.

    It can be difficult to find all your listings, as many of them have been automatically created around the web. In order to rank well for local search results, it is important to find all of your listings and make sure they are correct and up to date. If they are not correct it is important to claim these listings or ask the website to correct the listing.

    Once you have fixed all your existing listings, the next step is to create more. The more listings you have the higher up in the local results you will appear.

  2. Reviews:Another important factor in local listings is Google Reviews. The more reviews your business has on Google the more often Google shows your business in the results. This is due to two factors, the first is interaction with your business, which we will talk about a bit later, and the second is a vote of confidence by searchers and people who have used your business. The more votes you have the more likely it is that your business will be the right fit for the searcher.This is how Google attributes trust to your business.

    It is very important that all your reviews are completed by real people. Do not go and buy Google reviews, as Google will notice this and punish you for it.

  3. Keyword relevance:Keyword relevance is important in the local results too. Google will check what keywords relating to the search appears in your website as well as what links your site has for the relevant keywords. This area of local SEO is similar to broader search engine optimization strategies.
  4. Where you are:The address that your office/s are listed at also makes a difference, as your proximity to the searcher, or the searchers desired location makes a difference to what results are shown. Google wants to show the most relevant results for the searchers needs.
  5. Trust and Interaction:Google places a lot of emphasis on your website and business’s trust. It judges trust from things like reviews which we mentioned before, your companies social interaction, how often your business/review/post is shared on social media, how often your brand name is mentioned in conjunction with certain keywords online, etc.

If you get all of these factors correct your business can start to be seen by potential clients in your area, even before your large corporate competition.

As with all search engine optimization your first step is to check your website and it’s set up, as well as find all your business listings around the web. If you are not sure how to do this, Get in touch and we will run a full audit on your site for free.

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