In a survey by Morningscore,1 82% of experts agreed that SEO takes an average of six months to increase website traffic, with the full effects only being seen after one to two years.

The best time to start developing your SEO strategy is now.

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a set of processes used to improve a website’s ranking and visibility in search engines like Google. As explained by Semrush,2 SEO is achieved by creating an excellent user experience with relevant, unique, and high-quality content alongside technical optimization, keyword research, and link building.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is focused on increasing local traffic and visibility rather than increasing traffic in general. It’s essential for businesses with a physical location or those who serve a specific geographical area.3 Local SEO strategies include optimizing your website’s metadata and content and keeping local business listings updated.4

Why is Local SEO Important for Senior Living Providers?

As a senior living community, your primary target audience will likely be people in your local area. While strategies that drive a high traffic volume to your website are great, the leads most likely to convert into residents are those coming from nearby. Today, 98% of consumers use the internet to find out about local businesses, and 87% use Google to evaluate them.5

Google data suggests that around 72% of prospects conducting a local search will visit a business within a five-mile radius of them, and 92% of searchers will choose an option from the first page of local search results.6 Almost half of all Google searches are by people looking for local content, and local searches result in a purchase in more than a quarter of cases.7

For the senior living industry, these figures could be even higher. In a recent Forbes article8, Marcy Baskin, Vice President of Senior Care Authority, highlighted that location is vital to seniors choosing assisted living. Many seniors place a high value on having friends and family nearby and moving to an unfamiliar town or city can be overwhelming. This suggests that seniors may be more inclined to choose assisted living in their immediate local area. Therefore, positioning your senior care organization as a prominent and trusted authority in your city can be helpful to local seniors or family caregivers searching for care. 

Local SEO Tips for Senior Living Communities

Harness Your Google Business Profile 

Google Business Profile (GBP) is a powerful and free tool for improving local SEO. In 2024, when a customer searches for a relevant local keyword on Google, they will be presented with Google ads, followed by the “Google 3-Pack” (top three local businesses), followed by organic search results.9 Optimizing your Google Business Profile will give you the best chance of becoming one of Google’s top three local results. This coveted position instantly highlights you as one of your area’s best, most trustworthy communities. When a senior’s lifestyle and health are at stake, trust, and authority matter.

Being in the Google 3-Pack also lets visitors immediately see your business’ information, reviews, and ratings. Positive reviews build trust in 73% of consumers7 and, according to a 2024 Brightlocal survey,10 75% of consumers “always” or “regularly” read online reviews when searching for local businesses. Conversely, only 3% of those surveyed “never” read reviews online. The same survey found that Google is the most popular website consumers use to read online reviews, with 81% of respondents using it.10

How Can You Increase Your Chance of Making the Google 3-Pack?

Google ranks local results based on relevance, distance, and how well-known a business is.11 They suggest businesses do the following with their GBP profile to gain a better position in local search results.11

    • Ensure all your organization’s details are entered and kept up to date.
    • Verify your business’ location.
    • Make sure your opening hours are accurate.
    • Thoughtfully respond to all reviews.
    • Add photos to your profile.

Local Keywords and Content

Using targeted keywords in your website pages and blog posts can be an excellent way to help Google categorize your content in local search results. However, it’s important to do so mindfully. In 2024, Google places a high value on original, frequently updated content that provides maximum value to the target audience.12 Recycling content and stuffing pages full of ill-placed keywords won’t work and could harm your search engine rankings.

Instead, consider how you can present genuinely helpful, unique, and interesting content. For example, you may create blog posts tackling topics relevant to your target audience in your local area. As a senior living community, this might include things to do for seniors in your town or city, why it is a great place to retire to or issues faced by seniors in your area (and how you can help). Consider an interesting and unique angle that highlights your expertise where possible.

Creating Excellent, Locally Relevant Content Can:

    • Position you as an expert in your industry and an integral part of the community.
    • Highlight your knowledge of the local area and issues faced by local seniors.
    • Help you naturally weave local keywords into your content.
    • Encourage other local organizations to link to your content on their websites (backlinking). Gaining backlinks solidifies your place as a trustworthy authority.

How Can SMCG® Help with Local SEO?

Scott Marketing and Consulting Group® is a full-service marketing agency working with senior living and healthcare organizations across the country. Our marketing and SEO experts will craft unique content and tailored strategies based on your organizational mission, goals, and services.

With extensive and constantly updated knowledge in SEO, local SEO, and the emerging area of generative engine optimization (GEO), we will help you significantly widen your online presence and impact. Ultimately, our support can set your organization up for increased census and consistent, long-term growth.

To find out how our senior living marketing consultancy can help build your community’s SEO strategy, get in touch to arrange a no-obligation consultation today.

 

References

  1. Madsen K. How long does SEO take to work: Stats from 75 experts [2024]. Morningscore. Updated February 8, 2024. Accessed April 17, 2024. https://morningscore.io/how-long-does-seo-take/.
  2. Pavlik V. What is SEO? Meaning, examples & how to optimize your site. Semrush. Published December 5, 2022. Accessed April 17, 2024. https://www.semrush.com/blog/what-is-seo/.
  3. Silva C. Local SEO: What is it & how to do it. Semrush. Published June 8, 2023. Accessed April 17, 2024. https://www.semrush.com/blog/what-is-local-seo/.
  4. Xin Global Services. What is local SEO & why it being important for your business. Published January 9, 2024. Accessed April 18, 2024. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-local-seo-why-being-important-your-business-a2jtf/.
  5. Zalani C. 33 (verified) local SEO stats for 2024. On the map. Published Jan 8, 2024. Accessed April 18, 2024. https://www.onthemap.com/blog/local-seo-stats/.
  6. Roman Agency. Local SEO: The key to digital success for senior living facilities. Accessed April 17, 2024. https://romanz.ca/digital-marketing-local-seo/.
  7. Xpand Digital. SEO statistics 2023 that will absolutely shock you. Accessed April 17, 2024. https://xpanddigital.io/seo-statistics/.
  8. Hipp D. Assisted living statistics and facts in 2024. Forbes. Updated Jan 11, 2024. Accessed 18 April, 2024. https://www.forbes.com/health/senior-living/assisted-living-statistics/.
  9. Stojanovic F. Google My Business SEO: 8 tips to optimize your business for local searches. Databox. Published March 12, 2024. Accessed April 17, 2024. https://databox.com/google-my-business-seo#2.
  10. Paget S. Local consumer review survey 2024: Trends, behaviors, and platforms explored. Brightlocal. Published March 6, 2024. Accessed April 17, 2024. https://www.brightlocal.com/research/local-consumer-review-survey/#.
  11. Google Help. How to improve your local ranking on Google. Accessed April 17, 2024. https://support.google.com/business/answer/7091?hl=en-GB#zippy=%2Crelevance%2Cdistance%2Cprominence.
  12. Skow J. Google ranking factors for 2024 (the 10 most important). MonsterInsights. Published Jan 2, 2024. Accessed April 18, 2024. https://www.monsterinsights.com/google-ranking-factors/#hq-content.