We are working with our clients around the clock to help craft careful and direct messaging for their customers and service area communities. Below is a list of resources that home performance, HVAC, and solar companies can use to get out ahead of the evolving COVID-19/coronavirus crisis and take a strong position as a leading local business. Included are ideas for blogs, emails, social media, and more, as well as links to examples of already published material from some of your colleagues across the country. This page will be updated continuously moving forward, so feel free to bookmark and check back in, or to reach out to our team for assistance.
Energy Circle-Provided Resources
Examples of Company Statement Communications
- EcoPerformance Builders, California (home performance)
- Insource Renewables, Maine (solar, heat pumps)
- Healthy Home Energy & Consulting, New York (home performance)
April 2020: COVID-19 Impact Report from the Energy Circle Google Ads Dataset
Wednesday, May 13.
Shawn Cohen, Director of Digital Strategy
We're now over 2 months into actively monitoring the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on Google Ads performance and user search trends in the HVAC, Home Performance, and Solar industries. We are actively monitoring and analysizng patterns across KPIs such as impressions, clicks and conversions and forming hypothesis and conclusions as to how the crisis is impacting consumer demand and conversion behavior in the better building and clean energy sectors.
Below is a summary of our high level findings, and insights for the month of April 2020. A link to view the detailed analysis containing specific data points, and more in depth conclusions and hypotheses can be found below and will also be distributed in Energy Circle's regular newsletter.
- There were clear signs of decreased competition for target keywords in April with declining CPCs across the board - both year over year (YOY) and month over month (MOM).
- Campaigns for companies who "leaned in" and took advantage of less expensive CPCs (ie: dialed up click spend budget or maintained a steady spend even in the face of declining impressions) thrived in many cases - earning significantly more impressions, clicks, and conversions MOM as competition backed off.
- Demand / search volume for home services in general was definitely down in April, but Click-Through Rates and Conversion Rates were both up. This indicates that fewer people were searching, but among those searchers, more of them were clicking on ads and reaching out to contractors than they were in March, indicating a more motivated pool of consumers (and probably longer attention spans among a vastly home-bound audience).
- HVAC - All KPIs (including CPCs, impressions, CTR, and conversions) are following the same trends (both up and down) as we saw from March to April last year, indicating that performance in the last 30 days has been less impacted by COVID-19-specific changes to consumer search behavior than it has been by typical seasonal factors.
- Home Performance - Impressions (search volume) were up dramatically MOM. As predicted, searches for air purifiers, UV light filtration, IAQ testing, and also mold related tests and services saw the largest gains over March. Conversions were also up. COVID-19 and the related "stay at home" regulations have clearly had an impact on how people view the health and safety of their home environment.
- Solar - MOM impressions, clicks, and conversions are all down (as was ad spend for EC's Solar PPC campaigns), but Click-Through Rates and Conversion Rates were both up significantly. Again, indicating fewer people searching, but those who are searching are more motivated.
Relevant Industry News
We're following this effort closely, and encouraged to see industry organizations lobbying on behalf of businesses and workers in the HVACR and home services sectors, asking state and local governments to classify HVACR and related services as "essential" during the implementation of other policies aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to post updates on this and other efforts to support home services businesses so they can continue to support their customers during this time.
- March 20 - Update from ACHR News: https://www.achrnews.com/articles/142866-organizations-call-for-hvacr-to-continue-during-coronavirus-crisis
- Sign and Share the Petition: https://acca.mmp2.org/engage/hvac-contractors. ACCA has taken action by creating a petition demanding that HVACR contractors be exempt from any mandates that require businesses to temporarily close or individuals to self-isolate. Members of the public can sign the petition online; it generates a letter to state and federal officials.
Resources for the Solar Industry
- Subscribe to Ohm Analytics' Weekly Solar Activity Tracker: Monitoring the impact of the COVID virus and eventual rebound on the Solar Industry by tracking solar permits and other records in major solar markets in the U.S.
- Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) COVID-19 Resource Guide: Offering guidance for Solar Installers, EPCs and O&M Service Providers on Managing Through the COVID-19 Pandemic