Your website is often one of the first engagements that potential prospects have with your elder care community. As such, it should represent your community accurately and well. This is often easier said than done, and website flaws and design issues are all too common. Whether your website is underperforming or you’re preparing to refresh your marketing for 2022, it might be time to re-evaluate and rethink your site.
Why a quality website is important
Evan Berglund, senior partner at Gonzberg Agency in San Francisco, explains that a quality website is an essential investment in your marketing strategy. “A website is really the first impression (other than the ads) of an establishment and should reflect the overall strategy of the operation (eg, inexpensive, exclusive, type of service, etc.),” says Berglund.
It’s also important that your site clearly and honestly describes the style, culture and benefits of your business, says Reno Lovison of Reno Lovison Marketing. “Don’t rely too much on archival footage. Hire a good photographer who can show your installation in its best light. Video testimonials and short snippets from staff members can go a long way in building a personal connection, ”he says.
When it comes to the overall design of your site, sometimes less is more. Gary Morris, CEO of Grafted-In, notes the importance of presenting a quality site in a way that makes it easy for visitors to start engaging with your community. “Don’t try to do too much,” he says. “Just ask people to raise their hands and say I’m interested. “
Website mistakes to avoid
When designing your site, it is easy to fall into common design mistakes that can negatively impact the impression your site makes, how visitors can interact with the site, and how well your site looks. site can capture potential leads. Morris suggests focusing more on the content than the overall design. Instead, try to provide information in a readable format that also looks crisp and clear.
Another potential pitfall is your website navigation. According to Lovison, it’s important to focus on how each page on your site can be crawled. “Don’t think that visiting a website is like reading a book, starting at the home page and working your way down to the content page,” he says. “Every page on your website is a potential entry point. He says it’s important to make sure each page has a clear selling proposition and a goal in terms of what you want your visitors to do next. “Guide them through the process with a clear goal of contacting you for more information or to arrange a visit. “
Once you’ve created your site and established that navigation, it’s just as important to maintain your site. Berglund notes that you will need to periodically update the design and information of your site. If you have a blog, make sure you maintain it and post updated blog entries.
Strategies to refresh your website for the new year
The New Year is a great time to focus on updating and refreshing your website, especially if you are reviewing your marketing materials, revising your marketing messages, and even launching a new marketing campaign. Morris recommends that you first rate your home page. Assuming you have the right marketing to send leads to your website, ask yourself, “Is our home page producing the flow of leads that we want?” If not, figure out what steps you need to take to get more engagement from those prospects.
Lovison suggests evaluating the message your site conveys, as a whole. “Ask yourself honestly if your website is telling the story you hope to convey,” he says. “Consider that your visitors aren’t just looking for a facility – they’re looking for a solution to a problem. Show that you understand their problems and that you are the best solution.
Best website practices to follow
When it comes to designing and reworking your website, following site design best practices can increase your site’s performance and success. Lovison explains that with the elderly care industry being very competitive, it is important to focus on good SEO practices.
Berglund notes that it is important to design your site with an emphasis on your target audience and their preferences. “Starting with one size fits all for senior care facilities is a guaranteed recipe for wasting money developing a new website,” he says. Instead, a deep understanding and taking charge of your target audience will increase your changes for higher lead capture rates.
Call in a professional
If you have an established marketing team, you may decide to have that team work on your site. Alternatively, you may want to hire a professional for this project and for future projects.
Lovison explains that you’ll want to think carefully if you need a website designer, a marketer, or both. “Your marketer can help you by guiding the process so that all components of the website contribute to the goal of getting your prospect to take action,” he says. A marketer can help you with key things like writing and selecting photos, videos, and graphics. With these components ready, the marketer can work with a web designer, who will ensure that your site is visually stimulating. The web designer can also handle any backend coding needed to ensure that your site displays correctly on desktops, mobiles, tablets, etc.
“Don’t assume your web designer is a marketer, or vice versa, especially with larger or more complex websites,” he recommends. “If you have a password-protected employee portal or a private family section on your website, you’ll need an experienced web developer to make sure the information is secure. “
Whether you decide to work with a marketer or keep your website design in-house, Lovison recommends that you invest in your site. “Put as much effort into your website as you do in your lobby because your site is the first glimpse of your setup that most prospects will see. “