You’ve got a few hundred bucks, a budding solar business, and you want to build a website. Where do you start? It’s a question we hear from a lot of channel partners looking to create a digital space to drive (and capture) potential customers. A simple Google search will show you there are hundreds of thousands of articles on how to build a website—but we couldn’t find one that taught solar businesses where to start. Let’s get started.
Establish a budget.
You can build a website for free, hire a freelancer from Upwork to create a site from a template for few hundred bucks, or you can hire an agency to create a fully customizable site for tens of thousands. We recommend something between one and two. A little bit of money can go a long way to giving you the website that draws in customers and grows your business.
Study the competition.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. A quick Google search of what your competitors are doing can give you ideas for what you might like to do too. Consider how they talk about their services, what imagery they use, and how customers can contact them. Then, adopt what you like for your own page.
Choose a domain name.
Your domain name should be your business’s name. Choose something that reflects your work in the solar industry—it’ll help boost your rankings when it comes to search engines as well. Once you think of a good name, see if anyone owns it. You can visit sites like godaddy.com to ensure no one else has registered your name. Once you find one you like, buy it. Usually, you can find something for under $20.
Choose a hosting site.
This is easier than choosing a domain name. In fact, you can even host your site on your own small server if you have one. Otherwise, godaddy.com can link you to other sites, or hostgator.com has inexpensive options that ensure you can get your site up without breaking the budget.
Create your content.
Stop. Before you go hire some expensive web designer, listen to this: you can build a website yourself. It’s true! Sites like Wordpress offer templates and intuitive functionality that let you build a great website without much experience. Once you’re ready to go, write the basics of what you want to say on your site, and have a friend proofread and offer suggestions for it. Then, find images on any number of free stock sites like unsplash.com or take them with your smartphone when you’re out canvassing and upload your favorite images to your pages. A few tweaks and you’re ready to go. Pro-tip: when you establish a base of satisfied customers, gather a few testimonials to put on your website.
Don’t be scared.
There are plenty of Youtube tutorials to help you learn anything from how to build pages to search engine optimization (SEO). The key is to take a little bit at a time and decide what you’re website’s priority is. To sell solar, you need a page about what you do, your brand’s mission, and a form for people interested in going solar to send you their information. You can set the form to send an email directly to you. Voila! You’re selling solar digitally.
Once you have the basics in place, connect your social platforms to your website and ensure that when you post, you always send people to your website for more information or to fill out the contact form. It’s a great way to capture leads while people are in the comfort of their own homes.
Want more? Download our Top 10 Must-Use Solar Marketing Strategies today.