The senior living decision is a sensitive, emotional, and most of all hard one, not just for the senior, but for their adult children and loved ones.  

For the elderly couple considering assisted living, the odds are strong that they’ve been having that conversation for months – maybe years. 

For the adult daughter whose mom forgot to cook the turkey this Thanksgiving, she’s been seeing the signs for months – she just didn’t want to admit that it was time to consider a memory care community for her mom.  

These are the people with whom you want to have a conversation because they need a senior living community like yours.  

And they’re exactly the kind of person who reaches out to you through Google Ads.  

In this blog, we’ll cover how Google Ads works for senior living, why you should consider using it, and when you should start.  

How Does Google Ads Work for Senior Living? 

Google Ads is an auction-based system that lets you advertise your senior living community in one of two main ways:  

  1. Search Ads: These are the ads that show at the top of Google search results when someone looks up a term or asks a question 
  2. Display Ads: These are the visual and text ads that show on a website next to blog posts, news articles, videos, and more 

Let’s take a look at each of these ad types individually.  

Google Search Ads 

Search ads are excellent for earning senior living leads because you can create an ad for a keyword like “senior living near me” and set a geographic radius to control who should see the ad.  

Then, when someone looks up “senior living near me,” your ad will enter a bidding system against the other competitors in that region.  

The higher your bid, the higher your ad shows in search results. If you have the highest bid, you show at the very top!  

Best of all, you only pay for the ad if someone clicks on it. In other words, you only pay Google when you have a real, bona fide chance of earning a lead from your ad.  

If someone sees your ad and ignores it, you don’t pay a dime.  

These ads help senior living communities because they’re based on someone’s immediate intent.  

Related: Read Our Tips for Interacting With Motivated Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) 

For comparison, say you bought space on a billboard on a local highway. You may reach some people who are qualified to call you or follow up, but there are a lot of variables at play.  

Will someone remember your brand? Your phone number? Will they see your billboard during rush hour? There are a lot of questions that make an ad like a billboard risky.  

Search ads, on the other hand, give you a guaranteed assurance that someone wants to know who you are, they want to learn more about you, and they’re qualified to do so.  


Because search terms like “senior living near me” must be done by someone who’s actively interested in the term itself. Because you offer the service, you know that they’ll see your ad, they may go to your website, and – if they choose to become a lead – they’ll opt to get in touch with you then and there, instead of hopefully remembering your phone number while driving.  

Overall, Google Search ads are a much more calculated, cost-conscious, and trackable method of attracting prospects to your community.  

Now, let’s look at display ads.  

Google Display Ads 

Google Display ads are excellent at promoting brand awareness and spreading the word about your community.  

They’re ideal for communities in the process of opening or otherwise building a waitlist because they’re shown to as many people as possible.  

Display ads may show up on websites as diverse as Forbes, industry publications, and even local newspapers, if applicable.  

When someone sees your ad, they may choose to engage with it.  

If they don’t, you can still make an impression by showing a captivating, eye-catching ad.  

If they do, you again have the chance to turn that prospect into a lead.  

With the ability to control elements like geography and the specific websites where your ads show, display ads are an excellent option for any senior living community simply looking to “get the word out.” 

With all of that in mind, why should a senior living community use Google Ads in the first place?  

Why Use Google Ads for Senior Living? 

Google Ads comes with several powerful advantages over other methods of lead generation:  

  1. Inbound: All of the leads from Google Ads choose to come to you, so you know they’re interested in you and you don’t have to cold-call 
  2. Cost-Effective: Most of our clients spend between $20 and $80 per lead (as of Q1 2023) 
  3. Trackable: Google shows you when and where someone turned into a lead so you can optimize your campaigns as they run 
  4. AI Assistance: Google’s automated assistants help show you trends, data, and details that you may have otherwise overlooked 

These advantages all stand in stark contrast to other lead strategies in the industry, such as buying leads from an aggregator or spending valuable sales time making calls to purchased lists.  

Running Google Ads will also not open you up to risks like being reported for spamming by sending mass emails to people who never asked to hear from you.  

(Did you know your ISP can cut your service for getting too many spam reports?) 

Does Google Ads cost money? Sure. That’s the price of doing business.  

Is it also a calculated, precise way of investing that money? Absolutely.  

In fact, with all of the control that Google Ads gives you, it’s one of the safest ways of earning leads for senior living communities.  

So let’s answer one last question: 

When Should You Start Using Google Ads for Senior Living? 


Google Ads is an exceptionally powerful tool that can deliver exceptionally good results for your senior living community.  

If you haven’t started using it yet, it’s time!  

Don’t have the expertise? No problem.  

Senior Living Smart is here to help! 

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get the most out of Google Ads.  

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