Karina Tama-Rutigliano is a Digital Marketing Strategist and Founder of Senior Care Clicks. Karina helps Senior Care Businesses.
Online search practices are going through an evolution, and the changes should motivate you to take your home care agency’s digital marketing strategy through a revolution too.
What’s new in marketing for home care agencies is that the customer journey looks significantly different than it did as recently as a few years ago. If you haven’t yet mapped out your customers’ journey in stages, now is the time to tackle it.
To be successful in today’s market, your home care agency should get a grip on today’s standards for online search. I believe it’s the ticket to converting more leads, getting more referrals and hiring the most qualified caregivers.
Online Search Trends For Home Care Agencies
I encourage you to think about the state of mind that your future customers are in during an online search. Seniors looking for home care are likely experiencing big fears. They’re just coming to the realization that they need help, and they may be hesitant to take the first steps toward getting it. For family members of seniors, the world of senior care can feel like foreign territory. They may be feeling lost and overwhelmed.
In both situations, the first place seniors and their family members look for information to give them peace of mind is typically the internet.
According to Google Trends, the statistics support that philosophy. The searches for keywords like “home care agency” hit a peak in January 2020. Over the last year, searches for keywords related to senior care agencies have had some ebbs and flows in frequency, but the searches for senior care continue to trend upward overall.
The following statistics prove my point:
• Searches for “home care agencies” are up 43% from five years ago.
• Searches for “caregivers” have increased 45% from five years ago.
Statistics like these likely reflect two demographics of searchers: consumers looking for information on home care and consumers who have gotten referrals from people they know and want to check out a particular home care agency.
Tapping Into The Potential Of Referrals
In the home care industry, it’s common for agencies to build their businesses and reputations on referrals. That’s still relevant, and I don’t want to discount it in any way. What you may be missing is how to combine word-of-mouth referrals with your online marketing efforts.
When one of your current clients refers a friend to your agency today, the referral can do more than just take their word for how great your agency is. Referrals are bound to pull up your website at the earliest opportunity and check out your professionalism, services and reputation.
This is an opportunity because the right marketing strategies can provide you with a big payoff. By leveraging paid ads, map listings, reviews and business listings, you can make your brand highly visible to referral sources. Greater visibility means they’ll be calling your agency rather than one of your competitors.
Simple Yet Effective Strategies For Optimizing SEO
There are hundreds of ways to approach SEO, so it can be difficult to know where to start. You don’t have to be an expert marketer to get results in the home care industry.
All you need to do is focus on three simple and effective marketing tasks:
• Gather online reviews and testimonials at every opportunity. Google is hot on the trail of reviews, ratings and testimonials. If a consumer takes the time to write a review, rate your business or provide you with a testimonial, it’s a sign that your home care agency is legit.
I believe Google knows that consumers often check out what other people are saying about your agency before they ever visit your website. Lots of reviews and ratings can signal Google’s algorithms to boost your domain authority and award your agency’s ads and listings with a higher search ranking.
• Gain visibility with online mapping strategies. Google puts maps on the first page of relevant search results, which makes them a highly effective tool for local search. Prospects and referrals are bound to recognize local streets and landmarks. That immediately tells them that your agency is a local business they can trust.
In addition to Google Maps, you can find business map listings on Yelp and Facebook. Test them all to make sure your business shows up. If you’re not seeing it, you can “claim your business” on the appropriate platform. Edit the information and add your contact information, hours and a few photos.
• Develop your paid ad marketing strategies. I’ve found that paid ads are one of the most effective ways to target your service area. Ads help attract your target audience, and you can further engage prospects with your reviews and location.
When someone searches for your keywords, they should see your ads at the top of the results page. Having a strong Google Ads campaign should be a key element of your lead-generation strategy to help your home care agency acquire new clients.
Finally, take note of an important nuance with home-care marketing. Home care is a personal service, and marketing home care services requires a human touch in addition to automated marketing strategies.
Online visibility is a good way to introduce your brand and make connections. Don’t overlook the fact that the prospects in the senior care industry often prefer to talk to a person on the phone when they’re gathering information or scheduling a visit to your facility. There’s a lot at stake, and I’ve found that they want to get better acquainted before they cement the relationship.
The three steps I’ve outlined for you can work together to help clients find your brand and hire quality caregivers. Put them to good use and you could see stellar results.