By Susan Saldibar
How do people know that your community exists?
Interesting question, isn’t it? Probably even more interesting is how many C-level executives can properly answer it. And they should.
According to recent Google surveys, 87% of people turn to the web to search to learn more about a place or product. That includes senior living communities. Which means you need to know something about SEO and how well your community is positioned to be found among all the competing communities. Do you?
I spoke recently with Celena Canode, Marketing Campaign Manager for G5 (a Senior Housing Forum partner). She told me that a much better understanding is needed by senior management as to the role the internet plays in lead generation and conversion, especially when it comes to “search”.
“As an example, too many CEOs think that all they need to know about SEO is that it stands for ‘search engine optimization’,” she tells me. “The truth, however, is that CEOs need to have at least a working knowledge of ‘search’ because it probably has more impact on lead generation and conversion than any other digital program.”
That said, here are some things Celena wants to drive home:
Keywords matter. A lot. Are you confident that your online advertising and social media posts are using the same keywords that prospects are ‘googling’ to find you? Do you know what your top 10 keywords are? You should. Keywords are the lifeblood of the internet. Not only should they be used in your advertising, your team also needs to make sure they are present in all the online blogs, articles and other documentation that you want to be found and read.
Local search is today’s version of the Yellow Pages. “You have to ask yourself when prospects are looking for senior living in your cities, what the keywords look like,” says Celena. “What nearby areas might you want to capture as well?” Some communities make the mistake of only including the location keywords of their city, without including other nearby cities and counties.
Landing pages can make or break a lead. What do landing pages have to do with search? Quite a bit. Because, even if your team is putting out all the right keywords, if there is any disconnect between what an individual is searching for and the page they land on when they click, you have a problem. They will quickly abandon your site and move on. Coordinating your landing pages with your search advertising is critical. Make sure your team is taking the extra time to get this right.
Equally important is to keep track of your own statistics. Celena recommends that senior management periodically ask their marketers about the effectiveness of their search engine marketing programs. She urges CEOs and EDs to ask about things like how many searches were made on yours and other communities per month, on average, over the last year. Then ask what has changed. What trends are they seeing? Search marketing is dynamic. It has to be evaluated and adjusted on a regular basis to be successful.
“Nothing stays static on the internet,” says Celena. “CEOs and EDs need to know enough about their marketing search efforts to ask questions and stay involved. Let your marketing team know that you are interested in your search efforts. Stay involved. It will benefit everyone.”
Of course, having a strong partner like G5 certainly helps.
To find out more about G5, please visit their website.
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