There’s a common misconception about websites: once they’re developed, they’re done. But a website is not static; it’s ever-evolving and changing to meet the many needs of a community. Though it may seem like investing (and re-investing) in a dynamic website is a large portion of a marketing budget, the overall gain makes it worth it.
With changes to the senior living space, such as the effects of a pandemic, and potential changing community needs, having the flexibility to adapt and improve your website is key to staying competitive in your market space.
The Value Of A Senior Living Website Correlates With Its Goals
Unless your website serves to support other marketing initiatives and is continually evaluated for improvements, there’s little value to a website. These goals depend on overall marketing goals and needs and, of course, the products offered.
Unlike other industries, senior living isn’t selling just a product. It’s marketing a lifestyle as well as personal, trusted care. With this comes emotions, decision-making, an extended buyer’s journey, and often education about different services, which can all affect the purposes and needs of a website. Because of this, a website is often multifaceted and ever-changing to meet the needs of different goals and stages of a buyer’s journey.
Here’s why we recommend investing in a dynamic website to support the different goals of a senior living website.
A Website Provides Brand Presence & Identity
First and foremost, a website can act as a first impression of your brand. It establishes a consistent and cohesive brand identity, which helps users recognize the brand across different platforms and tactics as well as understand your space in the market.
The design and visuals of a website greatly contribute to the established brand identity and tell the visitor quite a lot about a community. For example, a modern, sophisticated website design will likely give the impression of a high-end, upscale community. Whereas a colorful, fresh, vibrant design and visuals give the impression of a playful and neighborly environment.
These brand elements help display important key identities and lifestyles while telling the story of the community and residents, such as an active and outdoorsy lifestyle, an urban community, or a volunteer-focused community. These different aspects will attract different prospects. Therefore, displaying the right tone and personality of the community in the design and visuals contributes to attracting and converting qualified and fitting leads.
Showcases Community Culture
A gallery page with images and videos provides you with an opportunity to showcase community culture and resident lifestyle—another contributor to creating a brand identity. Gallery images and videos of residents and events allow leads and prospects to visually see the lifestyle that they’d be joining and imagine themselves as part of the community. For adult child influencers, this page can act as an endorsement of the community’s positive environment and provide comfort and peace of mind for resident culture.
Keeping these pages current is also beneficial for cross-sharing content with other platforms. The benefits of showcasing featured videos or linking to an up-to-date gallery page on social media platforms are threefold.
- Supports your other marketing tactics
- Drives traffic to your website
- Promotes social engagement and the community lifestyle
Clarifies & Displays Services
Your website should be a place that answers people’s top questions about senior living and its various topics. With the many different living options available, like independent living, assisted living, Life Plan, etc., it’s important to explain what exactly you offer and how that differs from the others. In addition, listing out floor plan options, amenities and services provides website visitors with valuable information for decision making.
It’s important to note that some information should not be shared on your website so that prospects and leads must engage with the sales team to learn more. However, a website should provide them with basic information to keep them interested and informed.
Testimonials: Online Word-Of-Mouth
People trust other people’s experiences and expect to experience something similar. Displaying testimonials upfront on a website is a simple way to increase a community’s credibility and trustworthiness and influence people’s perceptions about a brand. Whether your website displays a testimonial page or a testimonial slider, there’s an opportunity to continuously update the testimonials and display the best reviews for your community.
Testimonials also influence a brand’s overall online reputation and SEO. To read more about why it’s important to have an online reputation strategy, read here.
Contributes To An SEO Strategy
These days, people search for topics like “senior living community near me” and stumble upon your website—if you have a proper search engine optimization (SEO) strategy and a well-optimized website.
Without an SEO strategy driving organic traffic to a website, a community will have much fewer website visitors, and, therefore, fewer conversions. Different efforts contribute to optimizing a website, including on- and off-page content, user experience, and utilizing specific keywords on web pages. Search engines will take these elements into account and will grant a website higher or lower positions on a search page. Meaning, a well-optimized website will be found on search engines like Google more easily for prospects and leads searching for your community or related terms.
According to DialogTech, 75% of senior living consumers start researching their options on search engines. Often, these older adults don’t have a specific community in mind, so a well-optimized website gives you a leg-up and helps introduce your audience to your community. Without this online presence, your audience won’t find you. More importantly, without being available online for people at the top of the sales funnel, you’re ignoring a large segment of your audience.
Encourages Conversions With Calls-To-Action
Features on your website such as pop-ups, contact forms, buttons, downloadable resources, eNewsletter signups, etc., offer call-to-action messages for consumers to move further down the sales funnel. In this way, a website can act as a gateway to opening, or re-engaging, a line of communication with leads and prospects. With new resources being developed or new actionable ideas to encourage, updating a website to reflect these changes will reinforce these initiatives and drive interest. Elements like these act as your pseudo sales and marketing team—driving conversions so your team can focus on connecting with leads and closing sales.
Each resource, form, etc., promotes the following:
- Adding new leads to your CRM & tracking inquiries (Read more about tracking inquiries here.)
- Act as a trusted resource and a credible leader in the senior living community
- Reconnect with leads further down the sales funnel
Provides Updates & A Platform For Connection
A website can also serve as a way to update your audience about your community. In some cases, communities on the coast use their website to provide weather-related updates, such as in cases like hurricanes.
This is also a great way to provide updates, information, and guidelines related to health and safety, especially for COVID-19. It’s an easy way to disseminate information and make it accessible to multiple types of audiences (i.e., leads and prospects, family members, and residents) all at once.
A careers page and Resident Portal page also offer a way to connect with non-leads. For those looking for a potential career with your community, a careers page typically provides valuable information to recruit trusted and qualified care. A list of benefits, staff mission promises, and current, open positions are all important in attracting experienced staff members.
A Resident Portal is an efficient way to communicate with residents in the community. These platforms typically provide dining menus, activity schedules, and necessary updates for the residents.
Refresh & Add New Pages
Evaluating your website to identify missing or outdated components is another element to having a successful, dynamic website. Examining pages to ensure optimal SEO, updating services and amenities, and removing inapplicable information regarding your community will not only clarify offerings for website visitors but also can ease frequently asked questions for the sales team.
Investing in new pages to fulfill changing needs will also add value for your visitors. Adding new pages to stay current, such as a virtual tours page during COVID-19, will support your community in staying relevant and competitive. Consistently auditing your website for new ways to enhance the user experience and increase conversions will not only improve your website but also help your marketing efforts and prove to be a valuable investment in the long run.
Act As A Trusted Resource For Leads & Adult Child Influencers
While a blog is a type of website, it can be a component within an existing website as well. Including a blog page on a website and consistently posting and optimizing new content is important for several reasons.
For SEO purposes, it’s important to consistently add organic content to a website. However, most of the content on services pages like independent living, assisted living, health services, and home pages will likely not need to be updated very frequently since little will change. A blog page provides you with an opportunity to post organic content with industry-related keywords for Google to index and then drive traffic to your website organically.
A blog page also helps increase brand awareness and provides educational content to visitors. By publishing relevant content that provides information about various topics like health tips, caregiver information, or resources for making a move, your community is established as a reputable community and a trusted resource during the decision-making process.
Invest In A Successful Website With The Help Of Angell Marketing!
With the expertise of Angell Marketing, see how a well-designed, well-optimized, and ever-evolving website can help your community reach its unique goals. Contact us today! Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn for more insights into senior living marketing.