What Should Be on My Website? On-Page SEO for Senior Care

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Three in four senior living consumers use search engines to find out more about their care options (Google, 2015, and a whopping 83% of nursing home consumers don't have a specific care provider in mind when beginning their search (Invoca, 2021).  

These insights highlight the importance of search engine rankings for building a strong, intentional online presence, and ultimately helping prospective clients to find and choose your residence. 

With the right tools and strategies, you’ll have no trouble nailing and iterating on your SEO strategy to keep your online presence growing, thriving, and a step ahead of your competition. 

Why is on-page SEO important? 

Google continuously improves its ability to understand user intent and overall user experience once a someone lands on your senior living residence’s website. That's why it’s important to learn how to maximize your residence’s SEO (search engine optimization) strategy and stay on top of best practices as they evolve over time. 

On-page SEO is the process of optimizing individual pages of content to rank higher in organic search results, and drive relevant traffic to your site, and improve the user experience.  

Components of on-page SEO include: 

  • Title Tags 
  • Internal Links 
  • HTML Code 
  • URL Optimization 
  • On-Page Content 
  • Images 
  • User Experience (UX) 

A well-optimized page helps Google recognize what your business’ website is about and decide when to show your page to people searching for care providers like you. In essence, you’re helping Google do its job better. 

According to Google, “the most basic signal that information is relevant is when content contains the same keywords as your search query.”  

There can be “too much of a good thing” when it comes to keywords though. You’ll want to avoid stuffing keywords unnaturally into your content at the expense of its quality or readability.  

Without further ado, you’ll find a 16-point checklist to optimize your residence’s website below:  

16-Point On-Page SEO Checklist for Senior Living Providers

1. Find Relevant Keywords with Research 

On-page SEO begins with finding and choosing the most relevant keywords for different pages on your senior living residence’s website. The best keywords are phrases or terms that: 

  • Are relevant and accurate to the content on each webpage 
  • Are regularly being searched for by your ideal residents, their loved ones, or senior living professionals 
  • Great places to begin your keyword research for residence are: Moz Keyword Explorer for general exploration, Semrush for competitive analysis, and GetKeywords for local SEO recommendations.  

2. Create a Content Plan for Your Keywords 

Once you’ve chosen your keywords, you’ll want to create a plan for how you’ll start using them. Depending on the goal of your residence’s SEO strategy, you’ll create different types of content to help Google direct more prospective clients to your website. Things you might consider before writing a blog post or creating an infographic may be:  

  •  The search intent of the keyword: Are your clients looking for more information? Are they ready to book a call with your residence’s sales team? Create content that provides seniors, their loved ones, or other senior living professionals what they’re looking for when they perform their search. 
  • Create better content than what is already ranking: While searching for your keywords, pay attention to the content that comes up- could you create a page that gives more valuable information to readers, is easier to navigate, or contains new original data? 

3. Write & Share Unique, High-Quality Content 

Even if your intention is to have your residence’s website rank first in search results, your primary focus should be the people seeking information from your website. Aim to have the content that you create, and share deliver useful, valuable information to prospective residents, their loved ones, other senior living professionals, or all three groups.  

Ensure that the content you create for your residence’s website is new and original. If the content is copied or duplicated from your own or another website, search engines may penalize or not rank your residence’s site. 

  • 300 word minimum for body content: “Body copy” or “body content” is everything that comes after the title of any page on your website. As a best practice, aim to write at least 300 words of body copy for each piece of content or page of your residence’s website. The number of words you’ll write will vary depending on the information you’re providing to prospective residents, their loved ones, or senior living professionals. For in-depth topics, a minimum of 800 words will strengthen the stronger possibility of your page ranking.  

4. Format Digestible Content 

The people who will be reading your residence’s website and search engines like content that is easy to skim through and understand. Consider doing the following to make the valuable information you share easier for your readers and Google to navigate:  

  • Break content into sections with descriptive titles 
  • Use bullet points  
  • Use bolding, underlines, italics or callouts to highlight important information  
  • Write at an eighth grade reading level: Writing high-quality content doesn’t mean using complex industry jargon. Writing for an eighth grade reading level on the Flesch Reading Scale will mean using common language and short sentences and paragraphs. 

5. Ensure Titles Include Your Primary Keyword 

Just like formatting your content for easy skimming helps your senior living clients and their advocates, appealing titles support both search engines and your target audience. Including your primary keyword near the beginning each headline tells readers and search engines why the content to follow is relevant to them. 

  • Use H1 Tags for Titles: H1 title tags are pieces of HTML code that let Google know what the title of the page is, and that it’s an important description of the content. 

6. Put Subtitles in H2 Tags 

By using subheadings or subtitles throughout your website’s content, highlighting the main points of your copy, you’ll be able to help search engines and website visitors better navigate what you’ve written. This piece of HTML code helps search engines detect that this content is related to the main topic of the page. 

  • Put Your Primary Keyword in at Least One Subtitle: Connect your content back to your main keyword by using it as one of your subheadings, but only if it makes sense and flows naturally. 

7. Use Related Keywords in the Body Copy of Your Webpage 

Use keywords and phrases from the list you’ve compiled for your residence’s website and include a few of them in your copy. 

Here are some general guidelines for incorporating your target keyword into your content: 

  • Title Tag <title>: Use the target phrase once near the beginning of your title tag, this should be between 60 and 70 characters 
  • Meta Description: Include the target phrase in 320 characters or less. 
  • Header <h1>: Use the target phrase once, this should be between 20 and 70 characters 
  • Body Text: Use the phrase 2-3 times for every 500 words, there’s no technical limit here, so use as much space as you need to author a great article. 

8. Bookend Your Website’s Copy with Your Primary Keyword 

Use your target keyword close to the beginning of your first paragraph and your final paragraph to reinforce the information you’re sharing on your site. This helps search engines understand why your content is relevant. 

9. Proofread & Edit Your Residence’s Digital Content  

Preserve the quality of your content with a thorough “once-over” before publishing your writing. Keeping your content free of spelling and grammatical errors makes sure it comes across as authoritative, and worthy of being a top search result. 

10. Add Relevant Links Using Targeted Anchor Text 

Links help search engines connect and understand how the content you’re sharing about your residence is related to other sources online. These relationships help Google understand the relevance of your website and the information you share. 

  • Add Internal Links to Other Pages on Your Site: When possible, add links to other relevant pages on your residence’s website. This will help seniors, their loved ones, or other senior living professionals spend more time on your website and find more valuable information.  
  • Add Relevant Links to High-quality Sites: Links leading to other sites also add context that helps search engines understand what your content is about. Including relevant, valuable, and high-quality outbound links to other pages when you mention a resource or cite a source helps improve your website’s domain authority.  
  • Have Outbound Links Open in New Pages: When a website visitor clicks a link on your page, you don’t want them to leave your site completely. Have your high-quality outbound links open in new windows so that your website stays open when a prospective resident or their advocate visits another site temporarily. 

11. Add Images & Format Them Correctly 

Peppering images throughout text-heavy content helps make your residence’s website more engaging for visitors and shows search engines that your content is valuable. Correctly formatting these images also ensures that search engines have ample information to help rank your residence higher in search results: 

  • Use Your Primary Keyword in the Image File Name: Prior to uploading the relevant image to your website, name the file with a phrase that includes your primary keyword. 
  • Use Your Primary Keyword to the Image Title: Once you upload the image to your website, add your primary keyword to the image title assigned to the element. 
  • Use Your Primary Keyword to the image alt tag: In one last place, add your primary keyword to the image’s alt text. This place is especially important as it also helps visually impaired web visitors navigate your residence’s website with ease. 
  • Size the Image Correctly for the Page: Check the size of your image and make sure it’s not so large that it will slow down site loading times, throw off your website’s formatting, or make navigation more difficult on mobile devices. 

12. Include Your Primary Keyword in an SEO-Optimized URL  

Ensure that the URL for the page includes your residence’s primary keyword. Avoid adding any stop words, special characters like question marks, or unnecessary words. 

13. Group Blog Posts with Relevant Tags & Categories 

Tags and categories organize content on your website, making it easier for future senior living clients to find what they’re looking for and help search engines organize your content.  

14. Optimize Meta Titles 

A meta title is the title that appears on search engine results pages (SERPs). The best meta titles have fewer than 60 characters, include your residence’s primary keyword near the front of the title and entice visitors to click on your listing. 

15. Optimize Meta Descriptions 

A meta description is a blurb of information that supports the meta title, has fewer than 320 characters, includes your primary keyword near the front of the description, and includes a call to action encouraging searchers to visit your residence’s site. 

16. Have Social Sharing Links on Your Content  

The information you share about your senior living residence is more likely to be found when it’s optimized for search engines and social media. Including sharing buttons for places like Facebook or LinkedIn help your visitors share the valuable information you’ve provided with their networks.  

By keeping up with Google’s search engine optimization best practices, you’ll be able to outrank your competitors and help prospective clients find your residence first.  

While each of these tools and tactics is important for your residence’s organic search rankings, great website visitor experiences are the foundation of strong SEO strategy.  

Focus on helping and supporting seniors and their loved ones through one of the most significant transitions of their lives before diving into the nitty-gritty—with this goal top of mind, you’ll have no problem creating value-rich, relevant content to drive senior living sales.