Let’s face it: when it comes to marketing themselves online, many nursing homes fall short. Be it a website that needs updating, unfavorable reviews that appear much more than they should, or not using social media in the best possible ways, nursing homes are only hurting themselves by not having a strong online presence. Fortunately, creating a better online presence isn’t complicated, and using these four tools will help bolster your ability to connect with your audience in this digital world.
- When people are researching nursing homes, one of the first things they will do is pull up a facility’s website. This is the “first impression” that many people will see of your facility and as the saying goes: “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Your website should be simple. Studies show that a person will decide whether to stay on a site or leave within the first ten seconds, so having a straightforward and easy to navigate website is very important.
- Another thing that will help make your website as valuable as possible is by using Opt-In forms. Opt-In forms, much like the name suggests, allows site visitors to opt-in to receiving information from the nursing home, schedule a visit, subscribe to the facility’s newsletter and many other things. Giving site visitors the opt-in ability gives you a database of potential new customers to target.
- Another great way to improve your online presence is through blogging. It may seem like everyone and their dog has a blog, but that’s because it is a wonderful way to help your potential new customers find out more about you. Posting blogs about things pertinent to your facility, such as events, profiles on the various nursing staff members, promotional videos, and so on, help get your facility more and more visibility online.
- Your facility is likely to already be using social media, but are you using it correctly? Facebook, which is the largest social media platform, is a great way to connect with potential new customers. And it’s not just to connect with the younger sons or daughters of a potential new resident. A study from the Pew Research Center suggests that 37% of adults 65+ and 64% of adults ages 50 to 64 use at least one social media site. This greatly increases your exposure to your target audience.
- So, what should you post to your social media accounts? Creating engaging posts, such as pictures of a smiling resident, a resident participating in nursing home activities or a nurse helping a resident stand up, will show your nursing home in a positive light.
- Make sure your Google My Business is properly set up and optimized to ensure that people will see your nursing home listing are impressed. Here is a great resource on how to set up your nursing home listing
- Make sure your name, address, and phone number (NAP) is correct on all your websites and all other sites where your listing appears.
- Work on getting citations on other sites. These are simply mentions of your nursing home on other sites that list nursing homes such as Care.com, ElderCare.com, Caring.com, and others.
- Any links from other sites that point back to your site are valuable to gaining exposure online. Sites such as the local chamber of commerce, other local businesses, and other blogs will get your nursing home’s site displayed as much as possible.
- One of the most overlooked things when it comes to an online presence are the user reviews of a facility. If someone searches for your facility on Google, Facebook, or any of the major nursing home review sites (US News and Senior Living, for example) and there are a lot of negative reviews, people won’t want to come to your facility. Being vigilant about negative reviews will help maximize your facility’s ability to be seen in a good light.
This all may seem like a lot to take in, but utilizing these four online marketing tools will help your nursing home grow as much as possible. Having a strong online presence is crucial in the digital age, and making the most of these tools will ensure your nursing home having the best possible online presence.