Senior housing websites can be highly effective in attracting new residents, but some providers might not be using them to the best of their abilities. Luckily, there are some tools that can be employed to quickly and easily convert a site into a lead-generating machine.
A July survey conducted by third-party senior living referral company Caring.com found that only 27% of consumers used a company’s website to as part of their senior care selection process when asked what resources were essential in choosing a senior living community or health provider.
“This highlights that while maybe they’re using the websites, they’re not really critical in decision-making,” said Katie Roper, Caring.com’s vice president of sales.
But websites can, and should, generate more leads, said Hendrik De Vries, creator of Cyber Guide, a company that analyzes websites. To do so, he said there are three opportunities that companies can take advantage of in order to attract more clients.
Incorporating unbiased reviews is a surefire way to build trust among an audience, De Vries said. As opposed to testimonials, which tend to come straight from a company or community, third-party reviews offer the opinion of other people who have interacted with staff or had some experience with the services provided.
De Vries suggests directly linking to third-party reviews to ensure transparency and return user traffic to the company’s website.
“That way, if they click the back button, they’re back on your site,” he said.
And though the prospect of less-than-favorable reviews might make such a move seem daunting, De Vries said a blend of positive and negative opinions could prove beneficial for business.
“Consumers are increasingly savvy about online reviews,” De Vries said. “If negative reviews are because someone is having a bad day, we can pick up on that. The best thing to do is to ask some of your current residents or families to post positive reviews to go on top of them. Having both makes it clear that it’s unbiased.”
Of the few senior care websites that have a blog, only a handful are making the most use of it by consistently posting and providing valuable information, De Vries said, meaning the time is more opportune than ever to initiate a blog.
“[Blogs] are low-hanging fruit,” De Vries said. “Whoever does it first and does it well will have an immediate head start. This opportunity is still here.”
Topics covered in a blog don’t have to be anything groundbreaking, Roper said. One might focus on something happening at a local hospital, she said, while another could center on a partnership between the company and another business in the area.
“A blog post doesn’t have to be cutting-edge research,” Roper said. “What you’re trying to do is create engagement with people in your community so that they’ll use your service.”
Most importantly, every blog should include a call to action, De Vries said.
“It’s not rocket science,” he said. “It just takes time.”
Given today’s level of technology that allows people to access the Internet while on the go, having a mobile-friendly website is key, De Vries said. When someone is browsing the web on a smartphone and have trouble navigating or reading too-small font, people can get frustrated and steer away from a site, he said.
The main goal with mobile-friendliness, then, is clarity, De Vries said. And overall, he said it takes just a couple changes to enhance a website’s performance.
“By making a few changes, we’ve seen websites increase lead generation from three-times all the way to 10-times,” De Vries said.
Written by Kourtney Liepelt