It’s not enough to get your prospects to your website. The key is to keep them there long enough for them to “bond” with your site.

By Susan Saldibar

Where is the first place people go when researching and evaluating senior living communities? The internet. The second place? Hopefully, to your website.

But it’s not enough to get your prospects to your website. The key is to keep them there long enough for them to “bond” with your site. That is what gets sites bookmarked and links passed along. And, that’s what gets you leads.

Sites that offer little in the way of useful information and resources are usually abandoned pretty quickly. People know that if they don’t find what they need on one site, there are plenty of other sites to check out.  

Become Bookmark-able

How do you turn your website into a remarkable, “bookmark-able” site? Here are the brand elements that Ashley Nicol, Director of Client Services for Senior Living at G5, a Senior Housing Forum partner, recommends to turn your ho-hum site into an interactive, brand building site:

  1. Promote links to your most valuable content upfront, such as:

    • a link to trending content

    • a video spotlight of a resident

    • an upcoming event

By prominently displaying helpful links, you’ll pull visitors deeper into your site. The better the content you offer them, the longer they’ll stay.

  1. Use videos whenever possible. They are more compelling to viewers and the search engines love them. Be sure to highlight residents, their families, and your staff.

  2. Avoid “stock” whenever possible. That means avoid stock photos, stock videos, and even stock language in the form of clichéd terms, acronyms, and overused phrases.

  3. Make it easy to contact you. Different people communicate in different ways, so you need to provide phone numbers, a live chat capability, and email communication; but make sure you deliver a short turnaround.

  4. Provide resources. Become the “go to” community for information. Create blogs and articles that meet the needs of your clients. The more useful the articles are, the more likely they will be passed along to other potential clients. It lifts up your community and helps differentiate it from the others.

  5. Keep your social media both current and engaging. Don’t let your social media suffer for all the work you put into your website. Facebook is the number one social media platform used by adult children of seniors. Make sure yours is up-to-date and that it provides a strong springboard to your website.

Don’t Lose Their Attention

Is all this easy? No, it takes time and planning to create custom photos, videos, and other great content. “That’s why so many communities fall back on curated content and generic images,” says Ashley. “It saves time and effort. But it also loses the attention of prospective clients.”

The key is to take it one step at a time. Take a good look at your home page and the layout of your site. Create a schedule of actions to improve it. Identify topics of interest to your market and put a list together to get your content machine up and running.

“Never before has your website been more important as a place to promote and keep your brand alive,” says Ashley. “Taking steps to turn dull, generic pages into interesting, evocative pages will pay high dividends in the form of a stronger brand, prospects and clients who are more engaged, and more clients knocking at your door.”

To dive deeper into how you can improve the user experience on your website and convert more visitors, download this conversion rate optimization checklist (CRO) to find out what CRO is and how you can put it to work to reach your business goals.