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Marketing a senior living community is a unique job. As a marketing manager, your job is to make your facility successful and part of that is bringing in high-quality new prospects.  Today those prospects are going to find you on their smartphone so you need to take the first step with your SEO and do keyword research so you know what words to include in your marketing.

Once you know what keywords you are going to focus on you need to figure out the following:

  • What your site is about – what makes your assisted living facility special and stand out from the crowd.
  • What’s the Point – how are you going to help your residents and future residents?
  • Level of Dedication – Your commitment to your site traffic is important.  You are doing the research to make it a success so keep up the good work and make SEO part of your regular routine.

Now it’s time to put your nose to the grindstone…

SEO Tips

To optimize your whole site for search engines, you’ll need to follow these basic tips:

1. Location, Location, Location – put your keywords where they matter.

Include your top keyword in the site title, domain name, description, tagline, keywords, blog categories, and page titles.  If you don’t have access to these areas, ask your website designer to add them in for you.  The one area you do have access to is your page content.  Keywords should be distributed throughout the content evenly – showing up at the top, in middle and towards the end of the copy.  Make sure they flow naturally into your page writing so you don’t sound like a robot.

2. Count Chocula Says, “Identify the word count of the page.”

Each page should have a minimum and/or target word count. You should always say as much as you need to on the topic to be thorough and provide something of quality, but there is typically a minimum word count. I always like to think of 300 words as the least amount of copy you want to write on a topic. 

3. No Junk In The Trunk -remove anything that slows down your website.

Page load times are important, so get rid of any non-essentials that bog down your website. These may including music players, large images, flash graphics, and unnecessary plugins.

4. A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words – use keywords in your images.

Include words that reflect your site topic in the image title, description, and alt attributes.

Also, re-title the file name if it doesn’t reflect your main keywords (e.g. surgery-tips.jpginstead of 1234.jpg).

5. Have A Few BFF’s – link to other websites with relevant content.

You can do this by including a resources page on your website that links to local pharmacies, senior center, Medicare, etc..

Of course, do it sparingly, as each outbound link is a “vote” for another site. However, if you do it well and people click your links, this tells search engines you are a trusted authority on your particular topic.

6. Don’t Let The Bread Get Stale – update your website frequently.

Sites with dynamic content often rank higher than those with static content. That’s why blogs do so well on search engines. They are constantly being updated with new content. Promote new events, make your newsletter digital, and add new pictures to your site of resident activities.

7. Dewey Decimal System, What’s That? – make sure your website is indexed in search engines.

Don’t count on search engines automatically finding and indexing your content. You want to be sure engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo is crawling your site so that people are finding you online. You can add them directly by following simple instructions on each search engine.

8. Hook Up – have other websites link to you.

This is really important when it comes to SEO. The downside is that you have no control over it unless you ask politely and send flowers. I would advise you to spend the time you would be trying to convince somebody to link to you on just writing great content. Regardless of what you do, know that inbound links are essential to SEO.

9. Are You In The Witness Protection Program? – stop changing your domain name.

How long you have owned your domain name is a factor in your site’s search ranking, so be patient. If you’re launching a new blog every six months, you’ll never see your site get the value it deserves.

10. Listen To Mom – be patient.

Have patience, and you’ll see results if you follow these SEO tips for senior living communities. This is going to take a few months.  Just remember to be consistent and dedicated to your website content.

Obviously, most of you reading this already have a website, but many of these tips can be applied retroactively. And once you’re done with your initial SEO on your website you can start writing regular content for your blog.