Your website is your senior living community’s virtual business card.
It has the power to display all your community’s amenities and benefits to potential new tenants without them having to leave their home.
It can also help you communicate with your existing tenants, sharing information they need to know to optimize their experience as a part of your community.
Your website is only as strong as the content included on it, however. The strength of that content is determined by the effectiveness of the copy on the different sections of your community’s website.
In this post, we’ll take a look at six tips on how to write your senior living website copy in a way that maximizes its effectiveness in communicating with your intended audience of current and future residents.
1. Know your goal
Each component of your website has a different message to communicate with your intended audience. Before you sit down to write each section’s copy, make sure you understand the goal of each and what you want to convey. For example:
- Your “About” page is your “elevator speech” conveying the most important benefits of your community to future residents and pertinent information to current residents.
- Your “Amenities” page offers a glimpse of some of your community’s perks: fitness facilities, group activities, clubhouse, etc.
- If your community offers medical services such as physical rehab or other types of senior care, you can include a section on those types of services as well as the credentials of the staff. This allows you to position your onsite team as an authority, which can help increase the number of residents who trust (and choose) your community.
- A section dedicated to “Floor Plans” should be short and to the point, giving a brief description of what is included in each living space as well as pertinent details like the size.
- You may want to establish yourself as a “thought leader” in the senior living space. This would be a good reason to start a blog with tips on senior living topics such as medical care, maintaining the proper diet and physical fitness, and what to look for in a senior living community. It can also help attract more of your intended audience to your site through search engine optimization (more on that later).
Before you write your copy for either your entire website or a specific section, know what you want to get out of it. Do you want to attract more residents? Do you want to communicate to your current ones? Knowing this is important to crafting copy that’s as effective as possible.
2. Understand the information your audience needs (and wants)
It’s also critical to understand who your senior living website is speaking to and what the audience is after. This ensures your copy will remain on target and leave you achieving your end goal.
In your case, you’ll be writing to two distinctive audiences: current and future residents.
- For future residents, understand that they’re either seniors or the family of seniors looking for a place to live. That’s why you should write to highlight and accentuate the benefits of living in your community. You’re promoting all the positive aspects in an attempt to entice seniors to live in one of your residences.
- For current residents, you’ll want to write more plainly. Give them concise, direct information they need to get the most value out of your community. This includes instructions on how to access the amenities, phone numbers for the front desk and maintenance, and other types of auxiliary services.
For future residents, you’re focusing on outreach. For current residents, you’re focusing on providing information and education on the resources available to them. This is an important distinction and will change how you write each section.
3. Stay concise
The one thing current and future residents will have in common is a desire to not have to wade through tons of unnecessary copy to find the information they need. Start by outlining the key points you’d like to include and then filling it in with the minimum amount of words needed to get your point across. Avoid flowery and unnecessary adjectives.
Keep your writing concise. Only include what’s absolutely necessary to convey the message you need to communicate.
4. Know the difference between features and benefits
A key component of copywriting is understanding the difference between features and benefits.
- Features are the aspects of your senior community that lead to benefits later.
- Benefits represent the value your audience will gain out of living at your community.
While it’s great to describe the features of your community, the most important thing to describe are the benefits of those features. This leaves no doubt in the mind of your audience what they’ll gain by choosing to live with you.
For example, the following passage describes features of a hypothetical senior living community:
Our complex has a tennis court, walking trail, and fitness center. Our residents are free to use these.
Now look at how much more attractive those features seem when the benefits are expressed more clearly:
Our tennis courts, walking trail, and fitness center gives our residents a variety of ways to increase their physical fitness, stay active, and have fun. No matter what type of exercise you like, our community has an option for you. They’re also free to use, helping our members cut down on costs associated with health club or gym memberships.
Include the features, but always emphasize the benefits you offer. This explicitly communicates to the seniors reading your website copy why they should choose you. It’s how you develop your community’s “value proposition,” which is a summary of the value you offer the people who live there.
5. Read it out loud
After you’ve completed your draft, read the copy out loud. This will help you in two ways:
- It will make any errors or typos readily apparent.
- You can hear how it will sound to your readers. This gives you an opportunity to edit any unnecessary words, fix any run-on sentences, and generally improve the flow of the copy.
6. Use search engine optimization
The most important entity you’re writing for is the resident (or resident’s family member) you’re trying to communicate with. The second most important is the internet – more specifically, search engines.
Employ search engine optimization (SEO) when writing your copy. Use hyperlinks to relevant sources where appropriate. Use subheadings and bullet points throughout your piece. Include specific keywords and phrases you know your audience will be searching for (i.e. “senior living community,” “senior care,” “longterm assisted living,” etc.). Don’t forget to include your city and state as well.
Using SEO helps your site rank higher in Google searches, connecting the audience you’re trying to reach with the message you hope to communicate with them.