Are you considering investing in online marketing for your assisted living community? Before you start spending money to drive traffic to your assisted living website, you need to ensure that the website will be effective in converting online visitors into leads.
There are a few easy guidelines to follow to optimize a website for an assisted living community.
1. Set up a clear call to action on every page on your websiteLook at each page of your existing site. Is it clear on each page of the website what the next step should be? You should be directing visitors to your site what you want them to do at each step along the way. Take a look at the Brookdale Living site. On the home page, its very clear that they want you to Find a Community. On one of their community pages, the thing that jumps out first is the "Request Information" button. For your own site, you can test different calls to action. These might include: "Find a community" (if you have several locations), "Request Information", "Request a brochure", or even "Schedule a Tour". You can experiment with different messaging but the bottom line is that on every page the site visitor should know what to do next.
2. Use a form as the main call to action for someone to contact you.There are 2 reasons to use a form as the primary way to contact you. First, you have a permanent record of those to follow up with. This is going to be more reliable than the staff you've trained to answer the phones. Second, and more importantly, a form will allow you to more easily measure the percent of the people that visit your website that contact you, becoming a lead. The percent of site visitors that turn into leads is commonly called the conversion rate of the site. Knowing the conversion rate will allow you to measure the return on investment of different online marketing channels down the road.
3. Have your phone number and address on every page of the website.Most site visitors will be looking for how to reach you. Some won't want to fill out your "request information" form, so you should provide an alternative. Make it easy for them to find your number and address by putting them everywhere on the site. This shouldn't be as big and noticeable as your "request information" form, but should be there nonetheless.
4. Keep it simple.Less is more for websites. The easier it is to navigate the site and find information, the more likely visitor to your website will turn into leads for your assisted living community. Fancy graphics are much less important than a simple site that makes it easy for people to learn what your assisted living community has to offer and how to contact you.
5. Set up the systems to measure traffic and conversions on your assisted living websiteWith online marketing, just about everything is measurable, and to maximize the return on your marketing dollars, you need to make sure you can measure your success at every point along the way. There are two things set up: 1) A way to measure the traffic and website visitors from different traffic sources and 2) A way to measure whether the site is converting or not.
To measure traffic and visitors, I recommend using Google Analytics. Google analytics is free, is easy to set up and will give you just about everything you need: site visitors, which pages they visited, and how they found your site.
To measure whether or not your site is converting, there are a couple things to do. First, train whoever answers your phone to ask any new leads where they found out about your community. This will capture visitors who don't fill out your "request information" form. Next, set up Google analytics to track how many people fill out your "request information" form. This may be more difficult to set up, but if you have trouble, there are many consultants out there that can help. After this is set, you'll find it very easy to measure over time how well your site is converting website visitors into leads.
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