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Three online marketing techniques your community should be using.

There are two indisputable truths to online marketing for retirement communities. One, the use of the internet as a trusted tool to research senior living options shows no sign of diminishing. And two, if your community’s website cannot be easily found or lacks the important information the searcher is looking for, your community will not be among those considered.

Seniors and their family members are becoming ever more savvy and comfortable using the internet to research senior living options. That’s why it’s critical to have an online marketing strategy in place to attract their attention and begin a dialogue with your community. Here are three key techniques your online marketing strategy should be employing now.

1. Be found with SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be very technical and overwhelming. Keep things simple by considering what might be in the mind of the potential resident who is searching for the services you provide.

  • Write copy/content with the purpose of answering the questions people commonly have; that’s what they will be searching for online;
  • Use keywords that are popular with searches for your services;
  • Keep your content ‘local’ and mention your city and state frequently; include references to local culture, history or events;
  • Include frequent mentions of your services, floorplan offerings, amenities, etc., whenever possible with internal links to pages that more fully explain the features and benefits.

2. Engage searchers with information – when and where they want

The old model of waiting for a prospect to ask for a brochure to be mailed to them with a personalized letter included is no longer effective. Seniors and their families want real-time information and trustworthy advice.

  • Be sure your website is delivered across a number of different channels such as mobile phones, iPad and tablets;
  • Deliver content-rich landing pages specific to the terms relevant to the online search;
  • Create a blog with diverse topics of interest to your target audiences, such as the benefits of a CCRC, updates on new services and amenities, resident testimonials or community events;
  • Deliver opt-in e-newsletters so that your prospect can keep up on current happenings and events;
  • Use social media such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to deliver content such as reviews, videos and resident testimonials with links back to your site for more information.

3. Attention-grabbing calls to action

Now it’s time to create a dialogue with your searcher. Calls to Action (CTAs) are the words, graphics or images employed to compel the prospect to take some sort of action.

  • Use direct, concise and urgent language, but non-aggressive such as ‘Call to RSVP Today!’, ‘Reserve Your Seat At This Informative Event!’ or ‘Click Here To Learn More!;
  • Sweeten the CTA by offering a downloadable research document such as ‘A Guide To Finding The Right Retirement Community’ or other related topics in exchange for their contact information;
  • Make CTAs prominent on your page such as the top or middle section, especially if you have a long page that requires scrolling;
  • Employ short contact forms that only ask for a minimum of information like name, phone and email. Place these short forms on all pages of your site.

Your website is your immediate prospect-facing tool. Make sure it’s findable, content-rich, up-to-date and compelling!

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