Website Strategy Done Right: 6 Questions to Ask Digital Agencies
Almost anyone can “build” a website, thanks to YouTube tutorials and free website templates. But that doesn’t mean the website will work from a sales and marketing perspective. Why? Because an effective website needs a strong strategy behind it, one that shows an understanding of whatever industry the business is in.
This is especially true for the senior living industry. Favorable demographics are making the senior living market very hot right now, and many new digital agencies are jumping in without any industry experience or knowledge. As a result, you have many more options to choose from, but the downside is that these new players don’t necessarily have the right background to drive the right strategy.
So how do you separate those agencies that know what they’re doing from the fly-by-nighters who literally just put out a virtual shingle?
Here are six questions to ask digital agencies before making a decision:
1. How will you drive the right prospects to my website?
Not all traffic is good traffic. We all have the ideal prospect in mind—or we should. Your digital partner should be able to help you to identify the prospect attributes that best match your brand, services, and price points. They should be able to tell you who they are, what they want, how they search, who they listen to, how and where they seek out information, and much more.
2. How will you attract my ideal prospects to my website vs. my competitor?
Your digital partner should include keyword analytics for your brand and your competitors. Understanding the search terms that prospects use when looking for senior housing and care options, how often each term is searched monthly, how difficult it is to rank for these prized terms, and where you and your competitors stack up will be key to developing the right content and strategy.
3. What is your strategy to turn anonymous website visitors into contacts and leads?
Driving qualified prospects to your website is just the beginning. The website also has to be intentionally built to convert those visitors into contacts, scheduled tours, and home visits to create face-to-face and voice-to-voice interactions.
4. How will you nurture the early stage leads to keep them engaged until they are ready to interact with the sales team?
If you generate 100 form requests (such as “request a brochure” or “request a tour”), there may be 10 that are going to make a decision in the next 30 – 60 days; the other 90% of these contacts are “not ready.” If you put all 100 leads into the CRM, the sales team will disqualify them, move them to cold, and never have time to nurture them. The secret is to know how to identify the 10% of urgent leads and get those quickly into the hands of the sales team, while having a system to nurture the other 90% of the contacts so you won’t lose a single lead from neglect.
5. How will you get the right information to the right prospect at the right time?
Prospects are in different stages within their journey, and your digital partner should be able to identify where each prospect is and provide relevant content for each stage. This is why high quality original blogs and premium content aligned with your keyword strategy (e.g., guides, checklists, and e-books) is so valuable.
6. How well does your digital partner understand your sales process?
A strategic partner will be able to articulate your prospect’s journey from the point they begin their research online through their path to conversion and move-in. Marketing strategy must be aligned with sales strategy. Most digital agencies only understand marketing, but that is not enough. Understanding the discovery, advancing, and closing process is critical in designing the right experience for prospects and for the sales team.
The website is the virtual intersection where marketing meets sales. There must be a clearly defined understanding of a marketing vs. sales qualified lead and a way to plate up sales qualified leads to the community sales teams and also nurture marketing qualified leads until they advance to the selling zone.
Remember, whether you’re building a new website with all the bells and whistles or refreshing an existing website, this project is going to require an investment of scarce resources: time and marketing budget. Operators expect to see tangible data to quantify growth in qualified leads, tours, and move-ins to justify the investment in digital and social marketing channels. The bottom line is that the success of the website is about results, which makes choosing the right strategic partner imperative.
The Senior Living SMART team has years of experience on the operator side of the industry and you get a VP of Sales & Marketing consultant included in the development of your website and marketing automaton strategy.
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