Beginning a local SEO Google search for “senior living community” will result in the top google suggestion being “near me.” This is because Google has become more than just a search engine: It’s a quick and simple way for consumers to receive suggestions, advice, and reviews about products and services.
That’s why it’s important for senior living companies to understand how critical local search engine optimization (SEO) is and how to incorporate it into their online presence.
What Is SEO?
Basically, SEO is the utilization of particular keywords and key phrases to increase the chances that your website will be among the top of the listings in the search engine results page (SERP). An effective marketing campaign will include these and other SEO strategies (such as social media, and website design) to increase the likelihood of your facility being among the top-ranked of Google’s search results.
Local SEO is the same as SEO but incorporates specific information about your locality and the areas you serve, resulting in Google (and other search engines) recognizing you based on your proximity, relevance, and prominence to the searchers’ queries.
Why Local SEO Matters for Senior Living Companies
Senior living companies need to make sure their online presence is relevant to those who are seeking services locally. No matter how great you’re utilizing keywords and phrases for your online marketing strategy, it does little good if you’re not reaching the right target audience: locals.
The Institute on Aging reports that 65 percent of seniors with long-term care needs are reliant on family and friends to assist them which means more than half of today’s seniors have these caretakers searching for assistance to help them with their senior.
This means that the services your senior living company is offering need to be localized so those who seek them, know you are nearby, accessible, and relevant. While your facility may provide independent living such as laundry services, financial services, and transportation, another local facility might provide these services as well as palliative care and nursing services.
Conversely, if you’re offering all of what the searcher is looking for but not located near them, you’re wasting your SEO efforts on consumers who simply can’t incorporate your services.
A local who is searching for just the right fit, will look for exactly what they want, where they want it.
Local SEO Benefits
Google’s SERP’s now include paid advertisements at the top which most consumers are familiar with and which as much as 80 percent of consumers ignore, followed by what is called the “three pack” of local suggestions.
From there, search results are loaded. Hubspot reports that 75 percent of consumers won’t scroll past the first page of search results so being on that first page is critical to converting visitors into customers.
Remember that the options for senior living vary greatly for today’s seniors so today’s consumers will be looking for specific offerings, relevant to either themselves or their loved ones. If you’re an Omaha-based senior living facility that offers supplementary care so seniors can stay at home, but you don’t include these things in your SEO, you may be missing some opportunities.
Every year, Google’s algorithms change hundreds of times which means the most effective SEO strategies that work today, may be different tomorrow. However local SEO won’t. In fact, four in five consumers want their smart phone search results to be local to them and there’s an astonishing 900 percent increase in “near me” searches in 2019 meaning local SEO is critical to getting consumers through your door.
Optimizing your website to be locally relevant as well as mobile friendly is sure to increase your traffic. Research indicates that 67 percent of smartphone users include zip codes to customize their searches and the majority of those searchers used the phone number or directions included in the search results.
Additionally, 50 percent of consumers who searched and found a local company, visited it within a day.
When the results for your your senior living company include all of the essential information – including location, phone number, hours of operation – this means potential clients can reach you without even visiting your website to inquire about what services you provide. The simplicity of being able to tap your phone number on their screen means you can tap into the “88 percent of consumers who search for a type of local business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours.”
Ultimately, as big as the internet is, consumers are still in need of local products and services. This is particularly the case with such important things as senior care and living facilities and there are particular strategies you can put into place to increase your SEO strategies for senior living.
Still, no matter how great your website design is, if you’re not being found by the right people, then your senior living marketing strategies are costing you customers.
Implementing Local SEO
See Where You Stand
By conducting a local content audit, you can determine where you already rank in local SEO. Be sure your Google My Business listing is updated and then simply search. This information can tell you where you stand, how you’re measuring up against competitors and what your searchers are searching for.
Optimize your Google My Business Listing
Be sure your Google My Business listing is updated and matches the information on your website. GMB is a powerful, free tool offered by Google to give companies the opportunity to update/upgrade their web presence in many powerful ways. From photos to updated reviews, having a GMB that corresponds to your website will help lift your establishment in local search results.
Improve on Local Content
Think about anything significant that is physically near your facility – from landmarks to street crossings – and begin incorporating these things into your content. Include any rewards or recognition you have received or things like any local club memberships or directions to your location.
These are just a few strategies that can increase your local traffic and improve your local SEO.
At 408 Marketing, we are passionate about ensuring that your message, brand, and services are delivered to the right people in the right ways and we have dedicated our services to helping senior living companies utilize the best practices to ensure a successful marketing campaign.