Your website could be the first impression that a family has of your company or community. The feel of your website should mimic the culture of your communities, establish trust, and provide helpful information for families under stress.
What does a typical senior living website look like? I investigated over 80 websites of senior living providers, including communities and home care companies, in order to find the patterns in senior living websites and talk about website trends.
35% of senior living websites feature blue as their primary color. This makes perfect sense for senior living, because the color blue invokes a calming effect and is heavily associated with the healthcare industry. Blue also helps consumers see you as a credible source.
22% of senior living websites use green as their primary color. Green is associated with nurturing. While you don’t often find green in the healthcare space, senior living is using green as either a primary or secondary color very often; in fact, green is the most common secondary color on senior living websites.
For the most part, large senior living providers stick to blue and green and are unlikely to make any color palette changes without millions of dollars spent on rebranding. If you own and/or operate a handful of communities, or even just one, consider revamping your website to include more blue and green to take advantage of the calming and nurturing feeling that these colors instill in families.
A key component of building trust with consumers is to display your knowledge of senior living. An important way to do this is by maintaining a blog where regular contributors can post on current and important topics in senior living. Remarkably, 73% of senior living providers I looked at do not have a blog on their website. Building and maintaining a blog with regular, quality content will bring people to your site and help establish you as an expert in senior living. Additionally, if you’re able to get a blog up and running quickly, you’ll be ahead of most of your competitors when it comes to driving more organic internet traffic.
3. Community Information
When families search on www.aplaceformom.com, they are often looking for specific community information. Families are looking for: 1) Directions to a community; 2) Floor plans; and 3) Pictures. Directions are fairly easy to get, even if the family has to go to a different mapping site. If they’ve been to your website, they at least have the address and can find their way to your doors.
In regards to floor plans, 46% of community websites do not have floor plans. As a consumer, if I can’t find what I need, I’m just as likely to move on as I am to reach out to the community for more information. As a salesperson, I don’t like those 50/50 odds. A quick and easy addition to your website is an example floor plan, and several if you have them!
60% of senior living provider websites do not have photo galleries. Pictures are a quick way to establish familiarity and trust with a family. Think about how often you hand out brochures for your community. How often have you wished that up-to-date pictures of your community were featured in those brochures? Think of your website as a digital brochure. Use quality photos in all of your online marketing channels (including your A Place for Mom web page) and swap them out seasonally. Families will be more likely to reach out to you to learn more if they like what they see.
Granted, home care providers wouldn’t have community photos (and are not included in the photo or floor plan calculations). Management company websites may be tailored to community owners rather than seniors and their families, but if a management company is using its brand to market the communities it oversees, comprehensive community information on the management company’s website would be a welcome addition.
4. Social Media
While social media can be seen as a youthful endeavor, seniors and (more importantly) their adult children are using social media to research companies. Followers of A Place for Mom’s Facebook page currently consist of 22% women ages 45-54 and 37% women ages 55+. Users turn to Facebook to hear their friends’ stories, see up-to-date photos, and read authentic reviews. This is a huge opportunity to highlight current events at your community and show that you are uplifting your residents’ lives with great activities and programs.
Despite the upside to engaging with people via social media, 24% of senior living provider websites do not have a way for visitors to connect with them on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, etc. Adding those buttons is easy to do, but make sure you’re also participating regularly. Click here to check out one of our past articles on Social Media Activities for Senior Living that can help you define and shape your social media strategy.
A complete and engaging website will impress families, seniors, and industry professionals alike. By paying attention to online trends in senior living, you can be sure to stay relevant to consumers and reach as many families as possible.