Looking for Part 1? Click here.
Phase 2: Shopping Around
After someone has done their initial research and narrowed down the type of care they want, they will begin searching for senior living options in a specific area. This is called a local search, which may look like “Senior Living near me” or “Assisted Living in Park Ridge, IL”.
In these cases, Google factors in the location of your community when listing the search results, but that is just one factor. The condition of your local directories (such as Facebook, Yelp, etc..) is also a very important factor. There are thousands of online local directory sites, and having up-to-date consistent information about your physical address and contact information is a huge plus to search engines like Google.
Another important factor in your rankings are the amount of quality reviews your free local directory pages have. When someone performs a local search on Google, the result page will display a map with a few locations. This is often the first thing the user will see. Having 50-100 quality, generally positive reviews and an optimized Google+ Business listing will help your ranking in this map section, which is listed above the organic search results.
Pay Per Click campaigns are also a great tool to improve visibility in a local search. If your location is not necessarily city center, then you could be at a slight disadvantage if someone searches a specific city name. Having a PPC campaign for a certain location can help you get on that first page.
Phase 3: Ready to Tour
At this stage of the game, people are familiar with your community or they have been given a direct referral and want to know more, so they will perform a Branded Search — when they use the name of your community specifically. If someone is searching for your facility, you would think that your website and social media pages would be all over the first page, but unfortunately this is where we have seen a lot of problems. The referral sites are dominating the first page rankings for your communities branded search and the majority of the direct traffic to your website is being diverted to them.
The last thing you want is for the user being taken to a referral site. In many cases, these sites will charge you for the lead or worse, they can guide the user to another facility. If your website is optimized properly, you should not only have the first organic listing, but the 2nd, 3rd, and even 4th. In addition to that, you want free, non-gated sites like Facebook and Yelp showing up so users can view your reviews without signing up for an account.
If a lead is searching for your community by name, it’s a prime opportunity to get them on your website, on the phone, and through your doors for a tour. It’s important to make sure your web presence makes it easy for them to do just that.
Your online presence is the first impression your community is going to make on a family member searching for your services. Dominating the first page results for branded and local search is must to dramatically increase your digital lead flow. By obtaining reviews for each location, you can further maximize the clicks to your Website to drive higher conversion and occupancy rates. Once the prospect reaches your Website, if you present yourself as a welcoming helpful resource every step of the way during their search, then you’ve taken the right steps to closing the lead before they have even stepped foot into your facility.