When it comes to the topic of best local SEO tips for your senior living marketing strategy, we probably sound like a broken record. But if you want your community or communities to effectively compete in today’s ultra-competitive landscape, you must pay attention to local search.
Why local search optimization is so important
If you’ve spent any time reading about local SEO, you’ve likely heard the saying that ALL search is local search. Because optimizing for local search first means you’re automatically optimizing for overall search, period.
Of course, in the senior living industry, optimizing for local search matters for another reason: PROSPECTS CARE ABOUT LOCATION. And yet too often we see communities ignoring location-based keywords and defaulting to generic optimization techniques with the hope that Google will “figure it out.”
Listen, Google is smart. But you’ll increase your chances of Google serving up your content to the right prospects if you take the time TO TELL GOOGLE where your communities are located.
Need some local search stats to convince you? Here you go . . .
- 92% of searchers will pick businesses on the first page of local search results. [Source: SEO Expert Brad]
- 82% of local searchers follow up offline via an in-person visit, phone call, or purchase. [Source: Duct Tape Marketing]
- 61% of mobile searchers are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile-friendly site. [Source: HubSpot]
Oh, we could go on and on, but hopefully you get the idea. So let’s talk local search, specifically the best local SEO tips to weave into your overall senior living marketing strategy.
Best local SEO tips: Create a strong Google My Business listing (or listings).
We recently provided lots of tips for Google My Business listings, so check it out. But the short of it goes like this: Google controls the universe (or, at the very least, the search universe). Google uses your Google My Business (GMB) listing to inform your company’s entire presence across Google, including all related products from Search to Maps.
Keep in mind that you will need a separate Google My Business listing for each senior living community’s location. Depending on how many you have, that can be a lot of work, but agencies like ours are familiar with the ins and outs of GMB, including bulk location management. Let us help.
Best local SEO tips: Make sure your social media profiles are location-specific.
It’s so easy to get lost in tweets, posts, pics, and TikToks while overlooking the critical “About” sections in each social media platform. Don’t underestimate their power. Because social media profiles do rank in Google.
As marketing guru Neil Patel notes, “While social shares may or may not affect a web page’s position in search listings, your social profiles definitely influence the content of your search results. In fact, social media profiles are often amongst the top results in search listings for brand names.”
If you have multiple locations, get creative—and take advantage of any baked-in tools. Just as Google My Business allows you to easily manage multiple locations from one dashboard, Facebook’s “Locations” lets you do the same thing.
As Facebook explains, “With Facebook Locations, you can connect and manage all your business locations on Facebook. Our free tool lets you quickly add new store Pages, edit information for existing stores, and manage your locations from one central spot.”
For Instagram, as of the writing of this article, you’ll need to set up separate Instagram accounts for each location, but you can manage them all from one single device.
We wouldn’t necessarily recommend having multiple Twitter accounts (that would be too hard to maintain and likely unnecessary for our industry, at this time). For something like YouTube, you could have your main channel and then create location-specific “playlists” for each location. (Yes, YouTube is important. Remember who owns it: Google.)
Like everything else in marketing, you need to think about social media strategically based on the marketing resources you have in your various locations. Bottom line: Make sure you properly optimize every account you do have for local search. (Guess what: We can help! Let’s discuss your social media strategy.)
Best local SEO tips: Run location-specific pay-per-click (PPC) and social media ads.
Running location-specific PPC ads is a great way to build awareness for your various locations. Paid ads will supplement and support organic listings (including your Google My Business listing).
When you run social media ads, particularly on Facebook, you can create location-specific campaigns that target people within a certain radius of your location. (You can even target specific zip codes in addition to other attributes, like age and gender.) Instead of running the same generic ad to all your locations, location-specific campaigns will sound much more personal, timely, and intimate.
Best local SEO tips: Monitor and manage review sites.
Reputation management should be a cornerstone of your senior living marketing strategy. What people are saying about your community matters. According to Qualtrics, nearly all consumers (97%) use online media when researching products or services in their local area. And 93% of consumers say online reviews influence their purchasing decision.
You’ll want to monitor the “big guys” like Google reviews (which appear on your Google My Business listing) and Facebook. But don’t overlook other popular sites, like Yelp, and industry-specific listings, like SeniorAdvisor.com and Caring.com.
Responding to reviews can be tricky. The thing to remember is this: People leave reviews because they want to be heard and they want to share their experience, for better or worse. They’re not writing the reviews for you—they’re writing them for other potential customers.
For positive reviews, you can say simply say thank you or give the equivalent of a “thumbs up.” With mediocre or downright negative reviews, be mindful in your approach. Be genuine in your thanks and/or acceptance of constructive criticism. Never be defensive. And don’t engage in any back and forth—take it offline.
Keep in mind that reputation management is never done. It’s an ongoing task, one that you have to work into your marketing plan.
Best local SEO tips: Be mindful of your main hub—your senior living website.
At the very least, you should have a page on your senior living website devoted to each location (and optimized for the strongest keyword phrase for that location). The page should be compelling! In other words, it should have more than just one or two pics and contact info for that location.
Your blog is also a good place to highlight location-specific longtail keyword phrases. If you want to get super fancy, when people subscribe to your blog, you could have them choose a location they’re interested in. You could set up the blog automation so that the person only receives evergreen content or the location-specific content that matches the location they selected.
And don’t forget: Make sure you pay attention to how your site renders on mobile. As HubSpot reports, “Mobile web traffic has consistently accounted for about half of all global web traffic since the beginning of 2017.” It’s critical that your site looks great on mobile.
Best local SEO tips: Work with a senior living marketing agency that gets it.
And by “it,” we mean search engine optimization and senior living. At Senior Living SMART, we have specialists on our team who can help with all aspects of local SEO. Even better? Everyone is passionate about senior living. Let’s chat about your community’s local SEO needs!