Why digital marketing for care homes is unique
Digital marketing allows businesses of all types to reach target audiences, increase leads and drive sales all in a measurable way. For those in the care industry, the same benefits can be gained, however, there are several factors that make marketing for care homes unique.
Care home terminology
Due to all of the different types of care available, there is some ambiguity surrounding customer knowledge and what specific type of care they require. Subsequently, it is essential to identify which terms your prospective clients are using in their searches. These should be targeted with high-quality content and website optimisation to ensure that your business appears in their search results. Here are some examples of keywords and their different variations –
short stay care
care for when on holiday
break from care
respite care centres
24 hour care
residential care facility
residential care services
senior residential care
care for dementia
dementia patient care
stay living together care
care for partners
care for married couples
end of life care
later life care
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Due to the expenses and emotions involved when choosing care for a loved one, many prospective customers want to speak on the phone to gather further information and book a visit for as soon as possible.
It is important that your business caters to these needs by providing easy to find and accurate contact information on your website. Paid adverts should also be optimised so that they run when staff are available to respond. Leads can be gained and converted into sales whilst the prospective client is showing interest and the business is open.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) helps you increase your website rankings organically. SEO can be a highly effective way of reaching more prospective customers by ensuring that your website appears at the top of their searches. For care homes, prospective customers need to be able to easily visit and commute to and from the care home. As the primary focus is to target those within a local area, Local SEO should be the method applied to in order to promote your care home services on search engines to a local audience. Local SEO helps businesses target local customers at the precise time they are looking for their services and involves optimising –
- NAP consistency (Name Address Postcode)
- Local Link Building
- Google My Business
- Social Media referencing local events and links
- Local Reviews
- Local Business Listings
- On-site Optimisation with Local Terms
As those looking for care are often unable to visit the care home immediately, reviews are one of the most important factors that can help your prospective customers in the decision-making process. It is therefore imperative to have positive and regular reviews on your website and Google My Business listing to help provide peace-of-mind and confidence in your services.
At AlphaQuad, we can show you how to increase reviews and protect your business against poor reviews.
Directories and industry-specific websites
This industry is heavily regulated and has a number of well-known and well-ranking directory sites that feature at the top of the majority of searches, as shown in the examples below for Birmingham:
Outranking sites such as these is challenging, and therefore a key part of SEO in sectors such as this is optimising your presence on the sites that do rank well, alongside optimising your own site. This should include:
- Improving the description – including features such as example menus, facilities and what life is like at the home
- Adding staff profiles
- Adding news/events – particularly focusing on activities undertaken as this gives a good indication to residents and their family of what life will be like and separates its care from other homes
- Populating photo gallery
- Encouraging reviews – listings are often ordered by review rating so this is especially important
Another key aspect of local SEO, is establishing relationships with influencers in the local area, for example:
- Social Workers
- Community / District Nurse
- GPs within the catchment area
- Consultants / doctors /nurses in hospitals
- Hospital Discharge teams
- Local Authority Commissioning team members
- Local Authority Brokerage team members
- Day centres in the catchment area, especially those attended by any residents past or present
- Village halls, community centres, churches
- Clubs in catchment area especially those attended by any residents past or present (eg WI, sports clubs, etc)
As well as being able to refer residents in need of care, these people and organisations can also provide local links to your website, potential social media interaction and traffic to your website – all of which influence your site’s ranking in search engines.
Marketing for care homes at AlphaQuad
We have over 20 years of experience working in digital marketing and have helped a wide range of clients including care homes and private healthcare practices. Our SEO experts can help you increase online visibility, website traffic and sales.