Will My Residence Be Easily Found Online?

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Your retirement residence’s website can be one of the most powerful tools your business has to help future residents, their families, and other senior living professionals learn about you, your services, and amenities before they reach out. This, however, is only true if the individuals searching for you land on your website in the first place.  

An effective SEO strategy will result in your residence showing up higher in search results, making it easier for prospective residents to find the retirement information they’re looking for, and to choose you as their care provider.  

SEO, or “Search Engine Optimization”, is a set of strategies implemented on an ongoing basis that help search engines like Google find your website and show your listing in the search results. More than 25% of people click the first organic search result, and over 55% click a result in the first three (Search Engine Journal, 2020).  

Unfortunately, there’s no perfect formula for search engine optimization. Instead, there are specific strategies and tactics you can test to see what works best for your senior living residence. As you start implementing some of these strategies, keep in mind that it will take some time before you see the results of your SEO efforts. 

1. Develop Your Keyword Strategy

A strong keyword strategy is the core of your residence’s entire SEO strategy. Essentially, keywords are the words and phrases people are likely to type into Google when searching for services like yours. 

Once you’ve found relevant search terms for your senior living business, you’ll use this new master list of words begin creating valuable website and social content for your prospective residents and their loved ones.  

Get started on your keyword research for free with online tools like the Moz Keyword Explorer for general exploration, Semrush for competitive analysis, and GetKeywords for local SEO recommendations.  

2. Create & Share High-Quality Content

On your website: With your keywords in hand, you’ll use them to generate ideas for online content to attract visitors to your residence’s website. Useful, keyword-rich blog posts, website copy, downloadable guides, and videos, will support your brand’s position as an authority in the senior living niche, in addition to helping search engines rank your residence higher in the organic search results.  

BONUS TIP: Develop Client Personas: Creating referenceable personas (or “avatars”) of the people you hope to reach online (future residents, their loved ones, or senior care professionals) allows you to create relevant, effective digital media to influence a stronger SEO strategy and cohesive brand identity. For more information on customer personas, click here.  

Not every piece of content must add value or appeal to every client persona you’ve created, but a good variety will help extend your digital outreach.  

Across your social media: Social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest also indirectly support a robust SEO strategy (SEMrush, 2020). Consider taking the valuable website content you write and repurposing it into platform-optimized pieces to connect with even more of your audience.  

BONUS TIP: Platform Best Practices: It’s worth remembering that the most effective types of posts, content topics or even posting times will be different for each type of social media. What works great for your residence’s Facebook audience may not be as effective on Instagram or LinkedIn. Tracking of performance data like Click-Through-Rate or Conversions will ensure that your residence has the necessary data to adjust your content strategy. 

Highlighting your residence’s varied programming, top-notch amenities, and close-knit community can help you provide future residents and their loved ones, or senior care professionals valuable qualitative insights into daily life at your residence. 

By interacting regularly with prospective clients and their loved ones regularly on social media, you’ll also building your brand’s credibility and inviting online visitors to learn more by visiting your website or subscribing to your email newsletter—both of which are great for your SEO strategy.  

With nearly a quarter (23%) of senior living sales coming directly from online sources (Creating Results, 2018), nurturing and gaining the trust of prospective residents and their families is paramount to generating more senior living sales. 

3. Double-Down on Local SEO

More than likely, seniors and their loved ones, or other senior living professions will be looking for residences close to where they already live. Tailoring your keyword strategy to help your residence show up in searches for your local area can be extremely beneficial for your senior living business. 

If, for example, a prospective resident or their loved one searches for the phrase “senior living residence in [city, province],” your website appear closer to the top of the search results if it includes the same phrase. However, that’s not always enough to land you in the top 3 results where clients are most likely to click. 

Search engines like Google typically rank websites with the most helpful details and answers even higher—this is where all those valuable blog posts come in. Follow this link to learn even more about how Google’s algorithm ranks search results.  

4. Nitty-Gritty About On & Off-Page SEO

On-page SEO primarily affects what visitors to your website see, but it also helps search engines discover, read and categorize your content to show it as a relevant search result. The words, images and graphics that prospective residents and their loved ones see on your site have hidden SEO elements involved; this is due to the coding that makes up your website. Optimizing things like HTML tags, loading speed, .txt files, schema markup, and mobile compatibility may require the help of a webmaster or developer. However, there are a few SEO best practices that you can do on your own.  

DIY On-Page SEO Optimization:   

  • Include keywords naturally in your web copy and blog posts  
  • Consider what a visitor’s search intent may be, and use similar phrases  
  • Create and share quality content that matches your client personas 
  • Off-page SEO is less technical and a lot more human—it's about building relationships. This aspect of SEO focuses primarily on how the content you make for residence is distributed by others around the internet. The goal of your off-page SEO strategy is to build “backlinks”; you’re aiming to have other websites to send their visitors to your website.  

Off-Page SEO Optimization:  

  • Use social media to connect with your audience and other senior living content creators 
  • Provide value to others in the senior living niche through an especially informative piece of content or guest post for a brand mention 
  • Be camera ready for media appearances— offer yourself up for relevant interviews for articles, news stories and podcasts 

5. Build Links & Credibility with Reviews

With 68% of seniors present online (2016), up from just 32% in 2007 (BrightLocal, 2016), seniors are becoming search-savvy than ever.  

Choosing a senior living residence or senior care provider is one of most important decisions a senior and their family will make. A glowing review from a current resident or their loved ones helps support both your credibility and your SEO strategy.  

Keeping your profiles up-to-date and populated with positive reviews and testimonials helps the discovery of your business through search engines and places your residence in front of seniors and their families who are already searching for you online. 

Ensuring that your reviews are distributed everywhere across your online presence can help you generate even more leads from prospective residents. Places like your business’ website, Facebook Page, Google Listing and third-party platforms like Cared Upon, work together to create a credible image for your residence and strong foundation for your SEO strategy.  

Proactively reaching out to current residents, family members or other senior care professionals for review of your residence improves your SEO performance in two ways:   

  • Reviews generate share-worthy content for your brand that can be repurposed on your social media channels 
  • Helping search engines detect the presence of user-generated content on your website, leading to a higher ranking in search results 

While your website is a fantastic and necessary place to have positive reviews displayed, clients know that you’re able to choose what appears there. Although reviews posted to your Google listing or Facebook pages garner a little more trust, only 7% of consumers say they're 'not at all' suspicious of reviews on Facebook, while almost two thirds (62%) of consumers believe they've seen a fake review for a local business in the past year (BrightLocal, 2022).  

Platforms like Cared Upon have already established trust as a client-focused digital information hub, in addition to offering a place for clients to read reviews that are not directly affiliated with one specific care provider.  

Cared Upon.ca helps senior care providers generate keyword-rich backlinks by:  

  • Allowing care providers to claim and manage their own listings 
  • Functioning as an unbiased place for senior living reviews 

Best of all, because caredupon.ca was developed specifically for the senior living industry, your residence’s listing is automatically placed in front of an audience of your ideal clients in your local area. Even better—it's free to start.