5 SEO Marketing Tactics Your Assisted Living Facility Needs to Start Doing Now: Tips from the Google Pros at HLM
When faced with finding safer living solutions for their loved ones, where do families turn first? The internet.
The truth is, even with a doctor's or hospital's recommendation, when choosing an assisted living facility, memory care facility, or nursing home, people still turn to search engines to research solutions, confirm biases, and make their decision.
That's why it's more important than ever to do everything you can to ensure your assisted living website shows up at the top of search results. That includes search engine optimization.
Here 5 tactics you can do to help your assisted living facility rank higher with search engines:
#1: Know Your Target Customer
We'll give you a hint. For assisted living facilities, your target customer is not necessarily a future resident. You want to reach, attract, and convert the person researching and influencing the decision. That's usually a son, daughter, or spouse. They may have an immediate need for placement or maybe at the early stages of researching and planning for the future.
So put yourself in the shoes of the people making this decision and create website content that addresses concerns, answers questions, and positions your senior care facility as the best choice to meet their loved one's changing needs.
Meet Customer Needs with Content
For search engines to recommend your website pages at the top of search results, they need to contain valuable, relevant content that provides information on the subjects people are researching.
You can target people at the very early stages of research with blogs and materials that focus on how-to information such as, "How to choose an assisted living facility?" or "What's the difference between memory care and Alzheimer's care?"
And you can target people with ready to make a decision with on-page content that focuses on quality of life at your facility, why you are the best facility, and social proof.
When writing content, headlines, blogs, free guides, and video content, write about topics they will likely research, answer questions they will probably ask, and above all else, make your on-page content all about the resident experience. Uprooting a parent or loved one out of their home is a very emotional decision. Often people are looking for reasons not to choose you as much as the reasons to choose you. Your website should minimize any doubt or risk to choosing your facility.
The more informative and engaging your content, the longer people will stay on your page and engage with your entire site. This longer dwell-time (where people spend longer browsing your website) can positively affect your SEO ranking. It can also increase the likelihood of people sharing links to your website with friends looking for quality senior care. Both actions can figure into the trust score Google uses to rank your website.
Make Your Website Easy to Navigate
Your website should include standard pages like About, Our Team, Services, Resident Life, Floor Plans, Events, Contact, and a Blog. In our experience, people researching assisted living facilities want to see floor plans, food quality, family and caregiver testimonials, and daily activities. People need reassurance you can take care of their loved ones through the remaining stages of life, and they want positive reinforcement that choosing your facility is the best decision possible. Well-planned navigation will help your website visitors get answers to their questions quickly and logically. An effortless website experience will translate into a trust that working with you will be a good experience too.
Reach More Clients with Topical Blogs
Many of our clients ask if blogs are essential to SEO. For most industries, the answer is yes. Google, especially, gives preference to websites that are regularly updated. One way to keep your website content fresh and generate more traffic from people researching senior care options is to blog.
Blogs not only create more paths for visitors to enter your website, but they also promote website engagement. Visitors will have more reasons to stay on your website if your blog has a variety of senior health and senior care articles that link to each other. This type of content will help position you as an authority to search engines, helping your website rank overall for top industry keywords and key phrases.
#2: Do Keyword Research
At High Level Marketing, one of the first steps our SEO experts take when creating an SEO strategy for our clients is keyword research. A keyword is any search term or group of search terms entered into a search engine like Google, Alexis, Bing, etc., that calls up a results page. Keyword research aims to understand the top keyword inquiries in your industry, build content around it, and then optimize.
Keyword research starts internally with a review of your customer personas. Understanding each customer type, their pain points, and where they are in the sales funnel will help you create a list of topics, keywords, and key phrases those personas may be searching online.
Think about the common words and phrases that will lead clients to your website and use them in your description pages, blog posts, headers, link texts, title tags, and other areas of website content. This prioritization will help search engines understand your website and rank page content against content from other assisted living facilities and industry authorities.
Need help creating your list? Google is an excellent resource for generating content ideas and understanding industry searches.
Perform a search in Google like: "How to choose an assisted living facility." About midway down the page, Google will have a section, "People also ask." Write content on your website that answers those questions. At the bottom of Google search results is another section, "Related searches." Write content on your website using those keyword combinations or modify them to be more specific to your services and location.
Want to take your list to the next level? Use a free keyword planning tool.
Keyword planning tools recommend exact keywords used in internet searches related to your industry or topic. Two of the most popular free keyword planning tools include Google Keyword Planner, and MOZ Keyword Explorer.
Other keyword planning tips:
- Use Geo Modifiers- People typically look for senior care facilities in a specific geographical area. These local searches typically use a geo-modifier, like assisted living facility near Houston. Help search engines give preference to your website by adding your facility's location in the main headline of your page and throughout the page content.
- Use Long-Tail Keywords- Long-tail keywords, or key phrases, are groups of keywords typically used in the research stage. It looks something like "best assisted living facility for memory care near me." Write headlines and content that includes those types of phrases along with information relevant to them.
#3: Use Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free service for tracking and reporting on website traffic. The more you understand who is coming to your website, what marketing channels funneled them there, and how they interact with the pages and content on your website, the better decisions you can make about SEO, PPC, and Social Media Marketing.
Here are some of our favorite GA reports for measuring SEO performance:
Traffic Reports- How are people finding your website?
Knowing where your traffic is coming from and what channels produce the highest conversions will help you decide where to put your biggest marketing efforts. There are six traffic reports to focus on:
- Organic Search Traffic Report- Traffic came to the website from a search result
- Referral Traffic Report- Traffic came to the website from another website or directory site like Clutch
- Direct Traffic Report- Traffic from visitor typing web address into the search box or address bar
- Social Traffic Report- Visitor came to the website from Facebook, LinkedIn, or other social media website
- Paid Traffic Report- Traffic from PPC campaigns
- Email Traffic Report- Traffic from outbound lead generation and drip campaigns that are tagged as email
Time on Page Report- Knowing the average time spent on pages along with the conversion rates will help you determine which pages and content to spend time optimizing. Pages with high page times but low conversions can indicate traffic to that page is higher in the funnel or researching or maybe needs more direct CTA's (calls to actions.) Pages with low page times but high conversions can indicate you are meeting the right users with the right content. Both pages are worth assessing and testing.
Landing Page Report- This is the essential report for content marketers. See what pages earn the most traffic and which pages are the highest performing. Combine it with the Source/Medium report to see which channels are driving the most traffic.
#4 Understand Google Core Web Vitals
In 2021 Google went live with the Google Page Experience update. It's a new ranking algorithm designed to store your web pages on the perceived experience of user interaction. It uses a set of metrics called Core Web Vitals.
The bad news is, if you're not a developer, most of the information about Google's Core Web Vitals is, at best, challenging to understand and will be pretty tricky to fix without access to your website's platform and web development experience. What you can do, however, is assess your website on the basic core web vitals concepts and work with your web design agency to fix your current site or invest in a redesign.
The Basics of Core Web Vitals
LOADING- How fast does your page take to load? Google is now monitoring the load time for the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP). Large picture formats, animations, and embedded videos are the biggest culprits of slow page speeds. Ideally, your entire page should load in 2.5 seconds or less. Optimize images for the web, host videos on a 3rd party platform like YouTube, and remove animations that are not essential to understanding your content.
INTERACTIVITY- How long does it take to act on your website? For Core Web Vitals, this is called First Input Delay, or FID. It's similar to page speed but measures actual activity on the page and includes things like:
- Clicking the navigation
- Opening accordions on mobile
- Choosing a menu option
- Filling out form fields
VISUAL STABILITY- Cumulative Shift Layout (CLS) measures the stability of your page as it loads. CLS is not the same as when page elements move to stack on a responsive website. It most often happens when images, videos, and 3rd party embedded content does not have specified dimensions. You might notice CLS in a page element like a testimonial bar that changes size depending on the length of the testimonial. Or, it might simply be in the HTML code of an image.
Core Web Vitals is just the most recent metric in a series of algorithm updates Google has made as part of their Page Experience Update. Other Google User Experience metrics include:
Mobile-Friendly- Is your website responsive? Does your website content stack neatly on a mobile phone, or do you need to swipe left and right to get full images and text? If your website is older than five years, there is a good chance it is not fully responsive, and investing in an upgrade will be necessary to reach top page rankings.
Safe Browsing- the page doesn't contain malicious or deceptive content. Sometimes older websites that have not been updated or maintained fall subject to hijacking issues.
HTTPS- Is your website secure? Is your page served over HTTPS? Hint: Look for the padlock to the left of your URL. If you don't see one, there is a good chance your website is not on a secure server. You can double-check by copying your web address and pasting it into a Word doc or Notes. Your web address should look something like this: https://yourwebsite.com.
#5 Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
Are you wondering how to get your assisted living facility to show up in Google Maps? It starts by claiming your Google My Business (GMB) listing and optimizing it with photos, business information, and reviews.
With GMB, you can create a business profile that will show up in search results and drive traffic back to your website. Google will show your business profile on both search engine pages and Google Maps, so you are twice as likely to attract new clients living in your area.
If your business has been open for a few years, there's a good chance Google created a listing for you. All you need to do is claim it and manage the information that is already on there. If your business isn't listed, it doesn't take too long to set one up. Head over to the Google My Business page, enter the relevant information and wait for Google verification.
Then optimize your GMB listing by completing your profile with photos, hours of operation, and categories. Then start asking for reviews. Reviews are a key ranking factor in Google's algorithms. To get the most from Google reviews, be sure to respond to positive and negative reviews professionally and positively.
Team Up with the SEO Professionals at High Level Marketing
We encourage our clients to take an active role in developing their website content. That's why we offer several web design and SEO options. We are happy to guide your content and support it with SEO optimization, or we'll do it all from strategy to development to ongoing optimization. We pride ourselves on being the flexible digital marketing partner you need to grow your business.
Senior Care is a highly competitive industry. To reach the most prospects, you need more than a basic brochure website. Let us help you create an online brand with an SEO strategy to drive more traffic, engage more families, and set the foundation for long-term success.
High Level Marketing has 5 locations that design and develop high-converting websites for assisted living and senior living communities: Montgomery AL digital marketing, Birmingham AL digital marketing, Nashville TN digital marketing, Houston TX digital marketing, and Detroit MI digital marketing. Or, learn more about senior living marketing from High Level Marketing.