How can you completely screw up everything you’ve worked so hard to pull together?

By Susan Saldibar

I was talking with Jason McCloud, VP of Digital Marketing for Sage Age Strategies, a Senior Housing Forum partner, a while back and he made a great point about the ways people go about ruining otherwise perfectly good websites. Listening to him, a lot of lightbulbs went on. So that’s where this ‘tell it like it is’ title to this article is coming from.

Don’t Screw It Up

So how can you completely screw up everything you’ve worked so hard to pull together? According to Jason, people are not tackling basics and/or are getting caught up in all kinds of ancillary things that don’t drive leads. Take a look at the list below. Are you doing any of these?

  • No phone number or contact info, highly visible on every page. Today we have all kinds of widgets to float tracking numbers and contact details in plain sight of the prospect. Your audience should be able to quickly see a phone number or CTA (Call to Action) inquiry form.

  • Not getting to the point. In other words, too much information. Conventional wisdom says you will lose them after about 150 words. That’s not to say you shouldn’t optimize your content and play by Google’s rules. But structure your site’s content so it’s meaningful and readable.

  • No clear CTA or confusing CTAs. You need to be crystal clear as to what you want them to do. Believe it or not, you need to tell prospects that you want them to click on that big orange button that says “Request Information Now”.  Also use CTAs that speak to prospects. So, knowing they are most likely looking for pricing and floor plan availability, use a CTA like “Check Availability & Pricing Today!”

  • Too few visuals, or bad ones. You need visuals to break up your text. And they should show the reader something about your unique community. “You can go on 10 different sites and you’ll see 60-70% showing the same stock photos that reveal nothing about the community, or speak to its uniqueness.  Imagine using a realtor aggregator site and searching for a new home without seeing any or few pictures of the home!” says Jason.

  • Giving away all the gold up front. You need to give them just enough useful information to want to contact you for details. Anything more than that and they’ll happily go on their way and forget where they got all that great information in the first place. Save brochures and white paper downloads for those who are willing to provide their basic contact details up front. Don’t give away store!

  • Virtual tours buried deep. You spend time, effort and money on virtual tour software or services. Don’t hide your tours in a place where prospects have to dig to find them. They won’t.

  • Surveys that are too long. “Lots of communities like to have prospects fill out ‘care type’ surveys,” says Jason. “The problem is that they’re typically too long and yield vague results. The rule of thumb is 3-5 questions, max. Any more than that and they’ll drop off your survey. And you may not even have their contact details!”  

It’s important to remember that web designers are designers. They are often more focused on aesthetics than on creating a website that is optimized for lead generation. Pass this list along to whoever is handling your SEO and website maintenance. Have them go through it and make any necessary adjustments. It’s worth taking the time to make sure that your beautiful website isn’t losing you leads.

“Your website should be considered the top of your sales funnel,” says Jason. “It’s the initial connection point between your prospect and your community. Get the lead. Let your sales team do the selling!”

Want some expert advice? For more information, visit the SageAge website by clicking the button below: They’ll be glad to help.