Looking to market your senior living or senior care services? Good! Because 87% of people who contact you will check you out online BEFORE they contact you in person or by phone. And that number is not getting any smaller, so you’d better get on the ball!
Here’s the kicker – if your Prospects and Referral Sources check you out online – they are most likely checking out your competitors also!
So your ability to intrigue, interest and captivate them is crucial. But – more importantly – your ability to capture their information and follow up with them professionally, flawlessly and immediately is critical to YOUR success!
But this is no longer your granny’ website! Today’s seniors are active, savvy and likely to be more interested in Elvis than Frank Sinatra and leather than lace doilies!
Here are some tips when designing your website.
1. Who’s your daddy? Or at least your audience? It may seem like a no-brainer, but is your website designed for your prospects, their children, your referral sources or your investors? Once you determine that, you can design to engage. You may need multiple sites (or pages) for each audience.
2. Are you attractive? Use fresh, bright colors – rather than dark, drab colors. Also don’t be afraid of contemporary fonts. Make your fonts a nice, larger point size – or give them the ability to change the point size. Use contrasting colors or simple backgrounds
to make your text easy to read.
It's hard to read light text on a light background, or dark text on a dark background.
There are also some color combinations that don't work.
3. A picture speaks a thousand words – so use lots of pictures and a picture gallery. Make the pictures big enough so they can be seen without squinting! Whenever possible select photos with faces – not just buildings. People relate to people!
4. Marketing 101: Lead with Benefits – not Features. Don’t sell the steak – sell the sizzle. Don’t just give them a laundry list of what you have, describe how it feels to be pampered, not have to worry about your healthy meals, make new friends…it’s just like being on a cruise ship!
5. Information Overload! Give them plenty to learn on your site. Articles, tips, testimonials, your chef’s most popular recipe, dinner menus, calendar of events, blog….you name it. If you have a light-hearted culture, include jokes or cartoons (keep them senior friendly and ALWAYS in good taste!). The more you have on your site, the longer they will stay. The longer they stay, the more comfortable they are with you and the more likely they are to give you their information.
As a side benefit, all that information will improve your organic search engine optimization. So go crazy, write articles, give out free information that is interesting to your target audience.
6. Watch this! We like to watch videos (not YouTube’s success!), so post plenty of videos. A general video tour, a message from your Executive Director, a fun video, video testimonials.
7. Don’t be shy! Invite them to your Friday Happy Hours or Saturday Ice Cream Socials, or Movie Night or Valentine Day Dinner. Post it clearly on your pages and on your calendar (with a click here to RSVP).
8. Sticky Points. Why should your prospect engage with you? Give them plenty of reasons (see #s 2 and 3 above). Let them “stick” where they are attracted. It will tell you not only what they are interested in, but also who they are!
So in exchange for these “sticky” valuable tidbits, ask for their name, email address and phone number. Ideally, that “lead” should go into your sales and marketing system, trigger follow up, and launch a series of activities (shameless self promotion).
9. What makes you special? Really? If you were a senior, why would you want to move there? Reflect your community’s personality: are you luxurious, active, fun-loving or nestled in picturesque surroundings? Once you figure that out, shout it from the rooftops (or at least the front page!). Remember, this is NOT the time to be coy and hide your best assets.
10. Testimonials are like noses – everybody better have them! And they better not smell! Make yours interesting. Include a picture of your resident testimonial – or intersperse a few video testimonials (you can easily record them on your smart phone!). Consider putting one on every page and making them a focal point (instead of confining them to one testimonial page).
11. Connect with us! Create links to connect with you on Facebook, YouTube or your other social sites. But the caveat is, if you do, you’d better darn stay on top of your social media presence! There’s nothing worse than to tease them with a connection and then not deliver.
12. Who you gonna’ call? Phone, Address prominently on every page? Don’t make me lash you with a wet noodle – which I will do if you hide your phone number at the bottom or put it in gray, 8 point font!
13. Brag a little. Won an award? Made the news? Got a claim to fame? Don’t be afraid to show it off on your website. People like to be associated with winners! A little shameless self-promotion never hurt anyone!
14. The obvious: you are painting a picture. Describe your culture and lifestyle, tell them about your services – use layman’s terms and keep in mind your audience (who will be reading this). So keep it interesting, informative and help them imagine how they will “place their furniture” in your community.
15. It’s not about you! Avoid the temptation to name every page “Our Services”, “Our Location”, “Our Team”, “Our Ego”. Like with any good marketing – it’s
all about THEM. Remember to keep THEM in mind when you’re creating layouts, selecting words and determining your content.
16. Don’t forget your residents and family members! Consider a page or portal for them to log in for “insider” information, calendars or communication
17. Attention techies – avoid flash and other non-standard graphics that may not load on all browsers or take forever to download. Keep in mind more people
are hitting websites from mobile devices so make your sites mobile-friendly or provide alternate mobile-friendly sites.
Create clear navigation in a prominent place. Make sure your visitors can get to the information they want to easily and fewest clicks (without having to
drill down multiple levels). Remember that the eye travels across the screen in a large Z pattern.
18. First you date – then you marry! Remember, we’re courting them at the website, not trying to get them to the (contract) altar. Don’t try to close the
sale on your website. Tease and lure them. Once you get them in and treat them like the VIP they are, it’ll be easy to get them to accept your proposal!
19. Keep it fresh! Want organic search engine optimization? Keep your content updated (set yourself a calendar appointment once a week to update your site,
enter a blog entry, update your calendar of activities, menu or information).
20. Optimize your website. 85% of all web users find what they are looking for via the top search engines. Make sure that your page is designed to maximize
You get the idea! Creating your website is part art and part science! If you need assistance in ideas, consulting, design or actual development, call us!
We’re here to help you be successful!