Today, seniors and their families are initially looking for assisted living facilities online. Therefore, it is more important than ever that your assisted living facility ranks well in Google and other places that people search for assisted living facilities.
The higher you rank and the better your online reviews, the more likely that you will attract greater interest, more visitors and qualified new residents.
We knew little about online marketing when we started but wanted to summarize the basics for you here. Even if you are new to the world of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or already have some knowledge, the information in this blog will provide you with key insights that can be easily accomplished.
1 – How to Get More People to Your Website
If you are still in the early stages of setting up an assisted living facility, you first need to look into RCFE certification. While getting your RCFE certification and license, you can start the process of building your website. Look at how other facilities are listed online. Do they have a website and are they in online directories such as Yelp or Google My Business? What do you like and not like so you can inform the people building your website?
Once the site is created and is live, you can start trying to rank for keywords. In other words, you hope to find keywords that people would logically be searching for assisted living and try to get as high on the Google search results as possible, so viewers will find you.
A good search engine strategy centers on finding the keywords that people looking to find a facility in a specific town are most often searching. Essentially, you need to comprehend what terms people are likely to type into their search engine bar so your website can appear.
Most likely, the keywords would revolve around phrases like “assisted living” or “assisted living facility” or “senior assisted living” along with the city your community resides in.
For example, if your facility was in Encino, California, you’d most likely want to show up in search results when people typed in “assisted living Encino”.
The simple strategy is then to place that keyword in the text of your home page – maybe even a couple of times. That way, Google will see that keyword on your site and make the connection to the search. Thus, you’ll have a better chance of ranking higher when that phrase is searched for.
Even if you already run an established community, you can gain a lot of potential search engine ground by adding those keywords to your existing website on several of the pages that you think would best describe your facility.
2 – Claim Your Google My Business & Other Directory Listings
Many of the major search engines allow you to make a specific business listing where you can include all of your facility’s key information. Google being the largest search engine in the world is the place you want to begin.
The Google My Business listing is the most popular, most visited and simplest for you to claim. It’s easy to sign your business up and costs nothing. You simply go to Google, search “Google my business” and click on the “manage now” button.
The rest of the process will take minutes by just following the directions on each screen. Enter your business’ information along with contact details, and you will immediately have a new presence with Google My Business (GMB).
Often, these listings also automatically display a map of your location. Further enhancing your GMB presence, you can easily upload photos of your facility or your staff to personalize the listing further.
Now, when someone types in the name of your facility, this listing will be near or at the top of the results. Over time, other keywords that you have been adding to your website pages may also display this GMB page increasing your prospective clients even further.
Here is an example of Google’s local search results for “assisted living Encino”
Note how the facility with the most reviews showed up at the top of list. More about reviews below.
While Google may be the biggest directory in the world, we’d also suggest setting up similar profiles on other directories such as:
Taking the time to get your assisted living business noticed is almost as important as the RCFE licensing process if you want to be successful.
3 – Solicit Reviews From Satisfied Clients
The importance of online reviews cannot be understated.
A recent survey showed that people were 270% more likely to purchase a good or service that had at least one five-star review as compared to a company that had no reviews at all. Almost three times more likely to choose your facility just because of reviews.
Once you have set-up your directories, engage with your satisfied clients – both past and present – and ask them to please post a positive, five-star review on these places. (To make it simple for them to do, you may want to email them the request with a series of direct links to your Google My Business, Yelp and other business directory pages.)
You also want to manage the reviews – both favorable or unfavorable – in a timely fashion. This direct interaction with your audience shows you care about your quality of service and care what your customers think.
If you have any negative reviews, it is a good idea to address these directly. Offer an apology or explain the circumstances behind this complaint. Online reputation management is key to growing the word-of-mouth and credibility of your facility.
In addition, placing any positive reviews on your website in a testimonial section also helps enhance the selling of your service.
4 – Engage Visitors on Your Website
So you’ve started getting potential new clients to come to your website after seeing you rank high in search results and reading all your positive reviews. Now the goal is converting them from visitors into customers.
You want to make your site easy to comprehend with a very clear “call to action”. In other words, you should quickly and clearly make the case why your facility is the best one for mom or dad. Then get the web user to call your business or fill out a contact form.
The phone number and contact form should be present at all times on the page. Your web developer should recognize that the forms and phone should be at the top of the page in a stationary spot that doesn’t move out of the reader’s eye even if he or she scrolls down the page.
The other key to closing new leads is a lightning quick response. If a call is made after hours and a message is left, that lead should be the top priority for a recall first thing in the morning.
Similarly, when the contact form is filled out, there should be a follow-up action (preferably a phone call to the person) within minutes, even seconds. With so many search results out there for assisted living facilities, chances are the same family that reached out to you also did so to several other facilities.
In this case, it’s often a race as the first facility to contact that potential client will more often than not win the client’s business.
These are just some of the basics that can seriously help improve your online marketing. It may seem intimidating at first but it gets easier once you start. If you would like to know more than I recommend you reach out to great people and the company we use for digital online marketing.
Please let us know if you found this blog helpful.
About Assisted Living Education
Assisted Living Education is the premier provider of RCFE certification, RCFE classes, licensing, products and services for assisted living. Our teachers are industry professionals with many years of experience that are engaging, entertaining and highly informative. They offer RCFE consulting services and share real RCFE experience that will help you be successful in this fast growing career industry.