Best Assisted Living Websites: 5 UX Elements to Make Your Phone Ring - Tips From a Top Healthcare Marketing Agency
The senior housing market is getting more competitive and complex as searching for a trusted senior living community moves from a doctor or hospital referral to recommendations from social media networks and search engines. Search engine optimization, web design, PPC, social media pages, and reviews are all part of the professional digital marketing strategy that will put your senior living website into the hands of prospective residents and their family members.
The Search for a Senior Living Community Starts Online- Making Digital Marketing the Key to Keeping Your Assisted Living Facility Full
The adult children and family members of seniors in need of safer living options and life care communities are typically the decision-makers when it comes to choosing an assisted living facility. They are tech-savvy and connected.
A typical search will start online, asking for recommendations from friends and family on social networks. It's then followed with hours of online searches from researching articles on everything from 'how to choose a senior living community' to 'best assisted living facilities for memory care.'
Once the research phase is complete, the family members are usually ready to compare the local senior living facilities, request tours, and decide.
Should You Partner with a Healthcare Marketing Agency or Hire Website Design Freelancer?
As more senior care communities and life care communities are built to accommodate the growing population of seniors and the need for safe senior care outside of the home, the local senior living market is competitive. To reach potential residents and their families, it's more important than ever that assisted living facilities, nursing homes, retirement communities, and senior communities do everything they can to be visible online and stand out from the crowd. That's why the most successful local assisted living facilities need the help of a digital marketing agency experienced in senior living and healthcare marketing.
Assisted Living Website Design: The First Step to Standing Out in a Crowded Senior Care Industry
If you have an assisted living facility, you have to be careful how you spend your marketing budget. It's a careful balance of engaging prospects, driving traffic, and converting leads. And you may wonder if a new website will give you the best bang for your buck. The answer is yes, yes, and yes!
A professional senior living website is the fundamental building block to the online presence of your assisted living community. Not only will it provide the first impression of your facility to the families of prospective residents, but it will also provide a wealth of information about your facility as the cornerstone to all of your marketing activities.
If you don't have a website, or it's outdated, then you are missing out on the chance to promote your services, your facility, and your team effectively. Your website is the perfect place to showcase your brand identity and the core values that make you a better choice.
What about DIY sites that use website templates?
While building your own website using a senior living website template seems like it can save you money, they aren't that easy to use and it actually costs you more in time away from building your business. Your website should have a custom design that looks and feels unique to your brand. It needs to have original content that is relevant not only to help people choose an assisted living facility but also guides the visitor into making your facility their number one choice.
But it's not enough to have a senior living community website that looks good. The search engines are scanning your website for specific criteria. At minimum, your website needs to be fast with a responsive design. Responsive websites are mobile-friendly, meaning they scale up and down to provide an optimal customer experience on every single device, from large monitors to phones and mobile devices.
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A new, professionally designed, and developed senior living website should showcase your brand identity, be aesthetically pleasing, and be user-friendly and easy to navigate. First, it should be obvious how to contact you. Next, the menus, calls-to-actions, and links should be clear and concise, and the user should know exactly where they go by clicking them. For example, your visitors are likely looking for more information about your staff, senior living options, activities, meals, and floor plans. Your website should guide them to the next steps they need to take, like filling out a form or calling you directly for additional information.
5 UX Elements Every Assisted Living Website Design Needs to Earn Trust and Convert More Leads
When it comes to designing high-converting senior living websites, there are a lot of opinions. Some people follow behavioral science strategies; others base strategies on experience and support it with client case studies. Just remember, senior living marketing is not one size fits all.
However, most healthcare marketing experts can agree there are five things that every assisted living website design must have because people expect them. The key to keeping your website visitors engaged and converting is to meet their expectations.
It's why most websites have the logo on the left, the phone number on the right, and the page navigation above the banner. When you design a page that strays from that formula, people struggle to navigate your site. And when people get confused, they bounce.
The truth is, there are several "proven" senior living website design elements and UX strategies. And honestly, they all are very similar to what you'll see on most service industry websites. We are showcasing the five most basic UX elements every assisted living website design needs to be successful. If you focus on these five website design elements, you will be able to instill trust while also ensuring that you are doing what you can to provide the right amount of information, guidance, and support. Take a look below to see some assisted living web design best practices.
A well-designed home page seems like a pretty obvious UX element for senior community web designs. We chose to include it because there are disagreements on the ideal page length and what to have on it. As a top healthcare marketing agency, High Level Marketing is a fan of the long-format web design for home pages. Why? Your home page will be the most visited page on your website.
Choosing a senior living facility for your mom, dad, or a loved one is stressful. You have a fraction of a second to attract, engage, and persuade visitors to scroll, click, or call. It needs to provide enough information for search engines to find relevant to search queries, but the information on the page needs to be skimmable, and the graphics should be easy to process. In other words, incite emotion and create a lasting impression. Don't make your potential clients think. Use bullets, accordions, callouts, testimonials, awards, and happy people to invoke emotion, earn trust, guide the visitor down the page and into a decision to call you.
A well-planned about page will be your potential client's virtual tour. It should be light and informative, talking about your history, your philosophy for senior care, and how you choose your staff. It should include photos of happy residents with staff members helping them and pictures of activities they can expect their loved ones to participate in. And it should have content that will drive visitors deeper into your website. Create opportunities to send people to location pages (if you have more than one), a team bio page, a floor plan page, a gallery page, an event page, and anything else your potential clients regularly ask about by phone or during tours.
As an experienced healthcare marketing agency, we highly recommend including a blog on your website. For some senior living communities, blog articles are the number one driver of traffic to the website. Relevant, informational articles get picked up by search engines. They are essential to gaining traction and visibility on search engine results pages. Posting original articles pertinent to caregivers and seniors will help ensure a broad audience will get exposure to your assisted living facility. Many of our clients include lifestyle articles as part of their senior living marketing plan. They promote events, feature residents, highlight staff contributions and shout-outs, allowing potential clients to imagine what it would be like to live there.
That's right, real photos. Even less than perfect pictures are better than stock photos for communicating the real you. For most of the content areas on a website, taking pictures with a smartphone on the hi-res setting will be sufficient for a website. We recommend you professionally shoot banners and large background photos due to their large format. However, those would be only shots where we may recommend stock photography.
Your website photos should be bright, welcoming, lively, and beautiful. The text that goes alongside your images should be clear and concise. These two things will allow people to get the answers to their questions visually- after all, when it comes to websites, we are skimmers, not readers. Make sure people are happy, engaged, and inviting. Focus on shots that represent your senior living facility as a community and not just a home. Read a great article on how many photos your website needs.
Live chat is now becoming the norm for senior living websites. People want answers, and they want them immediately. We live in a very digitally fuelled world, and if you wish your assisted living website to convert more customers, you need to make sure people can get answers the way they want to. Live chat has gotten a bad rap. It stems from companies who offer it but then don't staff it. The worst experience you can create is a live chat with a series of questions and auto-generated answers.
Live chat with an actual live attendant can offer the assistance someone needs to take the next step. It shows your genuine interest in helping them at a difficult time. It is an excellent way to introduce yourselves as a valuable resource and a community that cares about people. Live chat can help you build a rapport that will differentiate you from your competition.
Taking the First Step-Should You Partner with a Healthcare Marketing Agency or Hire Website Design Freelancer?
Several industries would do just fine to hire a freelance website designer. The senior living and healthcare industries will not. You need to hire an experienced healthcare marketing agency like High Level Marketing for your nursing home or assisted living website because you are in a highly competitive industry. A lot is riding on your website design, the platform it's developed on, the content included, and the team of SEO, PPC, content marketing, and healthcare marketing experts that can provide a competitive analysis and custom plan to outrank and outperform them. Most freelancers are graphic designers who don't have access to the tools, technology, or experts needed for your facility to be competitive online. We do.
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.