People looking for a care home, either for themselves or a loved one will often start their research online. Your website is therefore a powerful marketing tool when it comes to grabbing attention and highlighting the benefits of choosing your facilities over the competition. As such, it is very important that you give your website the care and attention it deserves – it is a crowded marketplace out there and you need to stand out in order to attract people’s interest.
Simply having an online presence is no longer enough. Here are some key areas to help ensure that your website works as hard as you do.
Easy contact methods
If you want your website visitors to turn into viable sales leads, you need to make it as easy as possible to get in touch with you and your team. As well as keeping your ‘contact us’ page up to date with vital details like names, addresses, email and phone numbers, make sure that your social media links are working and up-to-date. Time-poor people will move on to the next website if they cannot find how to contact you quickly and easily. You could add an online form for visitors to complete if they want to receive a phone call or further information from you.
Think about who will be looking at your website and tailor its contents accordingly. This could include making the text bigger for older people to read it more easily. Use simple language that describes your services plainly and includes the kind of details that potential residents will be interested in. Keep the design straightforward too, with as little visual ‘clutter’ as possible to prevent distractions, or slower page loading times. If you have separate sections for family members, staff, medical professionals etc., make sure that you tailor the language and images etc. to the specific audiences you are targeting. A one-size-fits-all approach may not work across the entire website.
Search engine optimisation, or SEO, is the secret to getting your website ranked higher up in search engine results such as Google. SEO is based on key words and phrases being included in the website by various methods, which align with the type of phrases that people type into Google etc. to find what they are looking for. Some examples might include ‘care homes in London’ or ‘residential acre for people with dementia’. The more you can align with the most popular SEO phrases that are used for your sector, the better your rankings will become. Being higher up the list is important, as most if us don’t scroll down very far when we search for things online – we tend to stick to the first few entries that appear. There are numerous articles online about getting started in SEO.
The personal touch
People want to see exactly what you offer and how it will benefit them personally, or their loved ones. So, include plenty of photographs of your facilities and of happy residents and staff. Ask people within your care home community to write brief quotes about what they enjoy about your care home, and why they would recommend it to others. Third-part endorsements like these are extremely valuable when it comes to your marketing as they tend to be trusted more than ‘slick’ PR materials alone. Another nice way to add a personal touch is to have a blog or news pager, where you can add staff updates, news about activities enjoyed and details about forthcoming events. Regularly changing content like this gives people a reason to return to your website many times over, in order to read your latest updates.
Finally, make sure that you provide enough ‘technical’ information to answer people’s queries. Areas such as medical conditions covered, facilities provided, CQC compliance checks and safety policies are all important details to include. If you use Care Vision care management software, this can be a selling point to potential residents and should be mentioned in your website. It shows a dedication to organised, efficient administration and a healthy approach to time management and smarter working. Review your Q&As page regularly to ensure that it reflects the type of queries your online visitors are asking you about your care home and what people can expect from it.