The internet is the first place most people go when searching for information and reviews about assisted living facilities for themselves or their loved ones. Assisted living SEO executed properly can be the difference between a full facility or empty rooms.
SEO can help your assisted living facility gain a considerable presence on the internet and drive qualified leads at a fraction of the cost of referral agencies or other traditional marketing mediums.
Compelling SEO Statistics
SEO can open up the floodgates to Organic traffic that converts to new residents. Here are five SEO stats that are hard to ignore, courtesy of HubSpot:
- 81% of people will conduct online research before making a buying decision.
- 30% of all mobile phone searches are related to a physical location.
- 72% of all marketers have stated that relevant content creation is an extremely important SEO tactic.
- 61% of marketers say that improving SEO and growing organic traffic is their top inbound marketing priority.
How SEO Can Benefit Assisted Living Facilities
Competition and rising resident acquisition costs can cause the monthly marketing budget of an assisted living facility to spiral out of control. Out of all the advertising mediums, SEO has one of the highest ROI’s.
If you’re like most assisted living facilities, you probably rely upon referral services for a good portion of your leads and new residents. While this may seem like a good idea on the surface, these services can be extremely costly.
Referral services such as A Place for Mom rely upon a business model where they charge the facility 1-1.5x the 1st month of the resident’s rent.
For most assisted living facilities, that’s up to 12.5% of the annual revenue that a single client brings in. The client acquisition cost for these referral services makes them an unattractive and a costly means of lead generation.
What if you could acquire new leads and clients from organic traffic instead of paying a referral fee equal to 12% of the money you’d make in the first year?
More Quality Traffic and Qualified Leads
With SEO, you’re in control. You control the content on your pages and the funnel by which new leads are driven. By ranking organically in the search engines, a vast pool of prospective new clients is opened up. You can specifically target your ideal client and the influencers that contribute to the decision.
Now that the Baby Boomer generation are in their retirement years, internet searches and the number of people looking for information on assisted living facilities has grown exponentially – and will continue to do so for the next few decades.
Now is the best time to be optimizing your site and content in order to take advantage of the increasing number of people searching for an assisted living facility.
Better Conversion Rates
Check out these compelling stats from Webpage FX:
70% of clicked search results are organic
14.6% of all SEO leads close (as opposed to 1.7% of outbound leads)
Basically, most of the time people click on Organic leads. And a close rate of 14.6% will likely beat out any other lead source.
Assisted Living SEO Execution
When an SEO professional starts on a new site, they typically start with a comprehensive audit in order to create a prioritized project plan. The audit will typically result in a project plan categorized by different disciplines of SEO like, Local SEO, Technical, On-Page SEO, Mobile, Content and Link Building.
On-Page SEO is the practice of optimizing various elements that reside on a website – as opposed to Off Page SEO- which deals with all activity that takes place outside of the website.
Think of On-Page SEO as the strategy that goes into site structure and which pages you have on the site. You may learn from keyword research that ‘respite care’ has enough search volume to warrant it’s on page. If you have that service as a paragraph on the homepage, it’s time to build out a new page dedicated to respite care.
From there, you will need to optimize all the on-page elements like the H1 Tag, Title Tag, Meta Description, H2 Tag and Alt Tag. You’ll also want to ensure the page copy is 400+ words, highly relevant, utilizes LSI keywords and links to the contact us page with a call to action.
This is the aspect of SEO that ensures search engine spiders can easily crawl your site, access and index all of your content. You can review your technical SEO, by utilizing the SEOquake extension, Screaming Frog, Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools, GT Metrix and the SEM Rush Site Audit tool.
Google Search Console (GSC)
Google Search Console gives you a robust set of tools to help diagnose any problems or potential problems that your website might have. It also allows Google to directly communicate with you in case they find any issues with your website.
Backlinko posted a great write-up on how to set up and make the most out of the newly updated Google Search Console. If Google is encountering any technical issues with your website, GSC is the first place to start your research.
Here are just a few items you can accomplish inside Google Search Console:
Search Appearance Section
- Review your structured data for errors or warnings
- HTML Improvements – Review pages for duplicate Title Tags or duplicate Meta Descriptions
Search Traffic Section
- Review Search Analytics. Review queries, clicks, impressions, ctr‘s and positions.
- Review links pointing to your site
- Check site for mobile usability errors
- Review the number of URLs from your site that have been added to Google’s Index
- Temporarily block URLs
- Review crawl stats and crawl errors
- Manually request indexing
- Submit sitemaps
- Request pages to not be indexed by updating your robots.txt file
Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider Tool
This free tool (there is a paid version that allows you to cast a wider net) will crawl your website and look for any issues such as 404 pages, images without proper alt text, broken links and a whole host of other things that could be hindering Google from efficiently and effectively crawling and indexing your website.
GT Metrix is a free online tool that will scan your website for issues that could affect the site speed and load time. Site speed is important because Google considers a slow website to be a bad user experience. Things that can contribute to slow site speed are poorly optimized code, shared web hosting, and huge image sizes.
Google has routinely stated that good content is one of the top 2 ranking factors of their algorithm. A valuable user experience can be found in the form of unique, authoritative, and insightful content.
If you are not producing content each month I highly recommend you start. Content would be considered long form blog postings, videos, infographics, white papers or Ebooks. The most practical form of content to start with is blog content.
High Quality Content
While it may seem highly subjective, there is a definitive way to tell good from bad content. SearchEngineLand has compiled a list of the various factors that Google takes into consideration when determining if the content on a website is high or low quality. A few of the elements that make up good content are:
- Length (Around 2,000 words ranks the best)
- Links to reputable sources
- Offers real value to the reader
- Updated regularly
Low Quality Content
Google can also determine if the content is sub-par. What does Google consider to be low quality content?
- Duplicate content (particularly from an external sources)
- “Syndicated content” (which is where you use the same article/content that thousands of other websites use)
- Content that offers a poor UX (not enough whitespace, too short, or not enough relevant info)
- “Spun” content (pre-written text or articles that have been altered slightly to make it appear more unique than it is)
- Thin content (minimal text/words)
To keep up with SEO best practices and to provide a superior site experience for prospects, be sure to consistently add high quality content to your site.
Take some time to think about what your target clients are interested in. Then write 2,000 word or more detailed articles that will help them solve whatever pain points they may have. A benefit that many websites that routinely post high-quality content experience is that they will often acquire backlinks from authoritative websites. Since backlinks are a top 2 ranking signal, these links can you give you a huge bump in rankings.
Having good content on your website isn’t just for Google – it’s also to help convert visitors. You could have all the traffic in the world coming to your site, but if the content on your homepage and service pages is poor, visitors will hit the “Back” button on their browsers and go visit your competitor’s website.
Believe it or not Google measures these user behavior metrics. They look at bounce rates and dwell time.
When creating content for your assisted living website, you need to keep in mind the target demographic. The messaging needs to engage the prospective residents and their family members.
Sons and daughters will often be the ones researching facilities on behalf of their loved ones. Make sure your content speaks to them and addresses any pain points they might have, such as:
- Is this place safe for Mom or Dad?
- Are there any hidden costs?
- Will Mom or Dad be happy here?
- If an emergency should occur, can this facility handle it?
- Are other residents happy?
- Is the staff well trained and kind?
Other Forms of SEO
These methods will not only help out with the SEO, but they can drive additional traffic.
If you invest in professionally made-and-edited videos that showcase the grounds or life in your assisted living facility, you will have a leg up on your competitors. Prospective tenants (and more importantly their family members) want to see what the facility looks like – and can do so from the comfort of their home computer or mobile phone. Pictures can only show so much, whereas videos can really sell your facility. Make sure to upload the video to YouTube. Add a relevant title and lengthy description.
*You can also upload the video to Facebook and run a video marketing campaign. Video on Facebook typically converts really well.
Some keywords in Google are too competitive for smaller websites to rank for. Sites like Quora, directories and Yelp might be ranking for these high search volume/highly competitive keywords. Instead of trying to outrank these sites, make sure your site is listed on them so you can grab your fair share of the traffic.
Quora is a Q&A website that is very popular nowadays. If you become an active community member and participate by offering valuable responses to questions, you can increase your referral traffic.
MOZ created a great video that goes into depth about Barnacle SEO and how it can help drive ancillary traffic above and beyond what Google sends. Best of all it’s 100% free low hanging fruit that your facility can immediately take advantage of!
When a prospective client performs a Google search such as: “San Diego assisted living facility,” a bunch of listings and a map will show up before the regular organic search results. Local SEO deals with getting your website to show up prominently in these search results.
Citations play a vital ranking factor when it comes to local SEO. Just a few places to get citations are:
- Where to
- Yello Bot
- Merchant Circle
- City Squares
- Chamber of Commerce
- Judys Book
- Brown Book
- Show Me Local
- Express Business Directory
You probably thinking you have never heard of someone these directories and wondering if they are actually going to send traffic. Well, Google is actually looking for consistency in your Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) across the web. This influences which sites are shown in the local Maps listing.
You can build these profiles by hand or use software products like Yext, Synup and White Spark to automate the process.
If you have an ahrefs account, you can review your competitors link profile to identify directories they are using for additional opportunities.
This discipline of SEO has to do with providing a valuable user-experience for people who use their mobile phones or tablets to visit your website. In 2015, Google stated that people searching for information on their mobile phones had surpassed those on desktop/laptop computers.
Is your assisted living website optimized for mobile traffic? Head on over to the Google Mobile-Friendly Test website to see for yourself.
If your website is not mobile friendly, then Google could lower your mobile rankings significantly. This is especially detrimental to acquiring new residents as many people will hop in their car and drive around town while searching for retirement homes on their cell phone.
Check out these compelling Mobile Stats compliments of Webpage FX
- When searching on a mobile phone, 96% of users utilize Google
- Searches for near me doubled in 2016 from mobile
- 50% of all mobile searches are local searches
Having a website that will display correctly on the small screen of a mobile phone is critical in this day and age. If your website doesn’t function properly on the Apple or Android phone, there’s a good chance they’ll skip over you entirely.
You could be losing out on a ton of free organic traffic if your assisted living facility website isn’t optimized for mobile and local search.
Off Page SEO
Off Page SEO pertains primarily to links pointing to your website from other websites. The stronger your link profile, the higher your site will rank. Google views websites with powerful incoming links as authoritative sources and will reward them with rankings and ultimately more traffic.
Remember that high quality content is the precursor to building links. Webmasters won’t link to low quality pieces of content. Focus on building out a portfolio of high quality, useful content and your link building campaigns will flourish.
Google will also look at the quality of the links that point to your website. If you have low-quality, spammy websites linking to you, they can really damage your rankings.
What are some examples of high and low-quality links?
High Quality Links
If the website that is linking to your website is authoritative, popular, and relevant, then Google considers it to be a high-quality link. A few examples of websites that could provide high-quality links to you are:
- Relevant blogs
- Industry sites with high domain authority
Low Quality Links
If you have an abundance of “bad” links coming into your website, Google will either ignore them (at best) or penalize your website (if they think you’re trying to manipulate their algorithm by using “black hat” or spammy techniques.
Some examples of bad links are:
- Spammy directories (low quality)
- PBN’s (paid blog networks)
- Paid links (links you buy for money from other websites)
Google has tools designed to seek out websites which are performing spammy linking practices. This is why it’s best to avoid any black hat or questionable link building practices. If Google doesn’t catch you now, it’s only a matter of time before they do.
Sites that are penalized by Google can lose a lot of organic traffic and rankings. It can be extremely challenging to recover from a Google penalty.
Performing good Off Page SEO by getting high quality, relevant websites to link back to yours can drive new leads and residents.
Looking for More Information on How to Perform SEO for Your Assisted Living Facility?
There are ample opportunities for assisted living facilities to attract more clients through an intelligently executed SEO strategy.
As the months go by, traditional online advertising mediums such as Facebook and Google AdWords will continue to rise in cost as competition grows.
Referral services are unsustainable, and the resident acquisition cost is too high.
I hope this article was informative and you are ready to implement a comprehensive SEO plan for your Assisted Living facility.
Of course if you are interested in professional SEO, do not hesitate to contact me directly. We have extensive experience in managing very thorough SEO plans. We can make a substantial difference to your facilities rankings, traffic and ultimately revenue. 858-775-4110