Much has happened in the last 12 months thanks to AI and its impact on search. Below, we’re offering a reality check regarding senior living search engine optimization (SEO) for 2024, including what to expect and why you don’t need to panic.
Search Generative Experience (SGE) isn’t likely to disrupt your organic search results any time soon.
Google unveiled its Search Generative Experience (SGE) back in May to much fanfare and speculation that the end of search (as we know it) was near. But to say things have fizzled since then would be an understatement.
Search Engine Journal reports the reduced frequency of SGE components in search results. It also cites possible reasons, including the problem with accuracy. So far, AI isn’t hugely reliable and is famous for its “hallucinations.” Another reason could be the public’s hesitation to trust AI.
Marketers would be remiss, however, to dismiss SGE altogether. SGE is still in its infancy, and Google has invested significantly in its development. (In November, Google announced it would roll out SGE worldwide.) Besides, the spirit of what SGE is trying to accomplish—providing robust conversational results on the search engine results page (SERP)—is something to embrace, not shy away from.
Search Engine Land says the best way to prepare for SGE is to continue using SEO best practices. This means producing compelling, authoritative content people can trust: “Generic answers and traditional search tactics aren’t enough anymore,” Search Engine Land reports. “The focus has moved towards creating content that offers a unique experience and reflects real human perspectives. Your content should also be personality-driven and thought-provoking to set it apart from the generic content most publishers are churning out, thanks to the proliferation of AI tools.”
You should also continue to optimize your site for long-tail keywords with the goal that SGE could link to your blog post or website page about that particular long-tail topic, which would help boost your site’s visibility.
Bottom line: Stay aware, but don’t panic.
Large-language models like ChatGPT shouldn’t disrupt your SEO or replace your content marketing strategy.
In the spring of 2023, people were braced for large-language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT to take over content marketing. Many writers were worried about losing their jobs.
But the death of content writers has been greatly exaggerated.
So, what happened?
Well, people got taken in by how fast ChatGPT was. However, upon closer inspection of ChatGPT’s output, it quickly became apparent that the content was merely adequate (at best).
Remember, the most effective content is authentic, reflects the brand voice, and has personality. So far, AI tools like ChatGPT (yes, even the paid version), Bing, and Bard can’t produce brand-rich content that doesn’t sound wooden and generic. At some point, AI will improve in these areas. But we’re not there yet.
This doesn’t mean you should ignore ChatGPT. Large-language models are suitable for many tasks, such as the following:
- Brainstorming. Give the AI tool a headline and ask it to brainstorm five alternatives. Choose the one you like best and tweak it. Do the same for email subject lines, CTAs, and other short-form content.
- Outlining. Need a 1,500-word blog post written on a specific topic? Share the details with the AI tool and ask it to create an outline. For some tools (like Bing), you can ask it to develop some copy points and sources. (But you must remember to triple-check any sources it provides. You’ll likely need to find your own.)
- Reviewing. Give your blog post (or other content) to the AI tool and ask it to give you feedback. You’ll have your own on-demand editor.
Bottom line: Use AI to support your content marketing strategy, not replace it.
Local SEO will continue to play a pivotal role in 2024. (This shouldn’t be a surprise.)
Local SEO involves optimizing your website and online presence for a specific geographic area, such as a city, state, or region. Local SEO can help you improve your site’s ranking, visibility, and trustworthiness on search engines like Google, especially for users searching for senior living options near them.
Optimizing for local search is something you should already be doing, but if you haven’t focused on it, now is the time to step it up. Here’s how.
- Create a robust Google Business Profile. Ensure you have the correct info (address, phone number, website URL, hours of operation) and use all the features (like photos).
- Use location-based keywords on your site. Weave location-based keywords into your content and meta data, like title tags and meta descriptions.
- Monitor and manage conversations about your brand, especially at the local level. In addition to paying attention to review sites, follow conversations in local online groups. For example, join your area’s local Facebook community group and participate in conversations around senior care, aging in place, and senior living.
Want to dive deeper into this topic? Check out our podcast where we discuss local search marketing.
What works for senior living SEO in 2024 will look a lot like what has always worked.
SEO best practices rarely change dramatically. We might need to tweak our approach whenever Google tweaks its algorithm or introduces initiatives like SGE, but the overall best practices will likely remain the same since the goal is to provide quality content that helps satisfy a person’s search query.
We’re talking about content that . . .
- Speaks to people on a real, human level
- Answers questions and solves problems
- Is honest and authentic
- Demonstrates expertise and authority
- Uses keywords in a thoughtful way
- Always considers humans first, search engines second
If you do the above regularly, you’re “doing” senior living SEO right.
Of course, if you need help overhauling your senior living search engine optimization, give us a shout.
We have a team of SEO specialists who can help your team navigate the ins and outs of search engine optimization for senior living. Get in touch and let’s chat.