How to Improve Your Senior Care Website to Get Better Leads
Your website is often one of the first engagements that potential leads have with your senior care community. As such, it needs to represent your community accurately and well. That’s often easier said than done, and website flaws and design issues are all too common. Whether your website is under-performing or you’re preparing to refresh your marketing for 2022, it might be time to reevaluate and redesign your site.
Why a Quality Website Matters
Evan Berglund, senior partner at the Gonzberg Agency in San Francisco, explains that a quality website is an essential investment in your marketing strategy. “A website is really the first impression (other than ads) of a facility, and needs to reflect the overall strategy of the operation (e.g., inexpensive, exclusive, type of services, etc.),” says Berglund.
It’s also important for your site to clearly and honestly depict the style, culture, and benefits of your facility, says Reno Lovison of Reno Lovison Marketing. “Don’t over rely on stock pictures. Hire a good photographer who can show your facility in its best light. Video testimonials and short snippets of staff can go a long way toward making a personal connection,” he says.
When it comes to your site’s overall design, sometimes less is more. Gary Morris, CEO of Grafted-In, notes that it’s important to present a quality site in a way that makes it easy for visitors to begin to engage with your community. “Don’t try to do too much,” he says. “Just get people to raise their hands and say I’m interested.”
Website Mistakes to Avoid
When designing your site, it’s easy to fall into common design mistakes that can negatively impact the impression your site makes, how visitors can interact with the site, and how well your site can capture potential leads. Morris suggests focusing more on content than overall design. Instead, try to deliver information in a readable format that also offers a clean, sharp look.
Your website’s navigation is another potential pitfall. According to Lovison, it’s important to focus on how every individual page of your site may be navigated. “Don’t think that visiting a website is like reading a book, beginning on the home page and working through to the content page,” he says. “Every page on your website is a potential entry point.” He says it’s important to make sure that every page contains a clear sales proposition and an objective in terms of what you want your visitors to do next. “Walk them through the process with a clear objective of contacting you for more information or to arrange a visit.”
Once you build your site and establish that navigation, it’s equally important to maintain your site. Berglund notes that you’ll need to periodically update your site’s design and information. If you have a blog, make sure that you maintain it and post updated blog entries.
Strategies to Refresh Your Website for the New Year
The New Year is the perfect time to focus on updating and refreshing your website, especially if you’re revisiting your marketing materials, revising your marketing messages, and even starting a new marketing campaign. Morris recommends that you start by evaluating your homepage. Assuming you have the right marketing sending leads to your website, ask yourself, “Is our homepage producing the lead flow as we want?” If not, then determine the steps that you need to take to get better engagement from those leads.
Lovison suggests evaluating the messaging your site conveys, as a whole. “Ask yourself honestly if your website is telling the story you hope to convey,” he says. “Consider that your visitors are not simply looking for a facility – they are looking for a solution to a problem. Demonstrate that you understand their problems and that you are the best solution.”
Website Best Practices to Follow
When it comes to designing and reworking your website, following site design best practices may increase your site’s performance and success. Lovison explains that since the senior care industry is very competitive, it’s important to focus on good SEO practices.
Berglund notes that it’s important to design your site with a focus on your target audience and their preferences. “Starting with a one-size-fits-all for senior care facilities is a guaranteed recipe for wasting money in developing a new website,” he says. Instead, deeply understanding and catering to your target audience will increase your changes for higher prospect capture rates.
Bringing in a Professional
If you have an established marketing team, you might decide to have that team work on your site. Alternatively, you might want to bring in a professional for that project, and for future projects.
Lovison explains that you’ll want to think carefully about whether you need a website designer, a marketing professional, or both. “Your marketing professional can help you by guiding the process so that all of the components of the website are contributing to the objective of getting your prospect to take action,” he says. A marketing professional may help with key elements like copywriting and selecting photos, videos, and graphics. Once those components are ready, the marketing professional can work with a web designer, who will help ensure your site is visually stimulating. The web designer can also manage any backend coding necessary to ensure that your site displays properly over desktop, mobile, tablets, and more.
“Don’t assume your web designer is a marketing pro, or vice versa, especially with larger or more complex websites,” he recommends. “If you have a password-protected employee portal or a private family section to your website, you will need an experienced web developer to make sure information is secure.”
Whether you decide to work with a marketing professional or keep your website design in-house, Lovison recommends that you invest in your site. “Put as much effort into your website as you do into your lobby, because your site is the first glimpse of your facility that most prospects will see.”
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