Senior Living SEO Strategies You Could Be Neglecting
by Kyna Garrett, on May 30, 2019 9:00:00 AM
SEO is never a one-time job. It requires constant upkeep, research and regular audits to ensure you’re on top of the latest trends.
The problem is that many senior living providers are still missing out on one of the most vital SEO strategies: content that engages.
What better way to engage your audience than right off the bat - from the moment the prospect types into the Google search bar and discovers your Google My Business listing.
Google wants to display as much information about your business as possible to be helpful to users, so having a complete and accurate Google Maps and business listing is a must to reach seniors and their families. Not only is having a complete business listing helpful and tells Google you have quality content, this stage in the senior housing discovery is an important time to hook your audience.
That means high-quality photography - and yes, virtual tours - can make a difference in your community’s overall SEO. In this article, we'll dive into just how powerful visual and interactive content can be for your internet marketing.
Are Photography and Virtual Tours in Senior Living Absolutely Necessary?
The short answer to that question: pretty much.
If you don’t have high-quality photography of your community on Google, you’re probably not showcasing your space in the best way possible. You could even risk a poor online reputation if you don’t have any professional, high-quality photos on your Google listing, as these will outrank any poor images that may appear from user uploads.
For the case of senior living virtual tours, offering an interactive walk-through is a helpful and useful tool for seniors during their senior housing search.
Unfortunately, there’s a misconception that seniors are not going to utilize this kind of content online, but don’t be so quick to judge. Seniors are becoming more active online, and high-quality photos of your community and an interactive walk-through is a necessary tool to aid seniors (and their families) in the senior housing decision.
Consider these senior technology stats from Pew Research Center:
- 82% of seniors between 65 and 69 have internet in their homes.
- 40% of seniors use social networking sites like Facebook and Pinterest.
- 32% of seniors say they own a tablet device.
- 26% of internet users 65 and older say they feel confident using computers, smartphones and other electronic devices for online use.
So that’s great news - seniors are pretty active online despite what we may all assume. What’s more, the senior housing industry is actually in need of virtual tours more than ever as competition rises and a large portion of America enters retirement in the next ten years.
How Photography and Virtual Tours Impact Senior Living SEO
According to Google, “useful content” is one of the 200+ ranking factors Google takes into account when deciding how to rank your website in the sea of search results.
And yes - photos and virtual tours on your Google listing do affect your senior living website’s ranking. In 2016, Google began ranking businesses based on quality and frequency of photo updates to a Google business listing. Not only do businesses have a higher chance of ranking in the Local Pack with high-quality visual content, it’s perceived more useful, thus increasing click-throughs and engagement.
To sum that up, high-quality visual content on your business listing will contribute to your ranking factors, including:
- Increasing social signals
- Improving user experience
- Boosting online reputation
- Increase in relevant website traffic
But those are just the benefits of Google content. What about this kind of content that lives on your website?
Embedding a virtual tour (whether Google or a customized virtual tour) on your website will lead to even more robust analytics.
For example, embedded virtual tours on community websites have proven to keep users on the website longer, improve click-through rate and decrease bounce rate (meaning, more people are engaging with your website). This in turn sends signals to Google that your content is useful to people and therefore might be more relevant to a larger audience - thus pushing your website closer to the top of search results.
How Do I Directly Correlate Digital Content to My Website’s SEO?
Photography and virtual tours are unique pieces of content. Good photography conveys quality and says a lot about your brand. But we know you can’t just slap some great photography and a virtual tour on your Google listing or website and move on. You need to track performance and tie this kind of content back to marketing and revenue.
While we already know that visual content attracts more views and engagement than traditional paragraphs of dense content, we want to be able to prove that with our own efforts.
But how do you track the correlation of your community’s photography and virtual tour to SEO?
To measure the impact of a Google virtual tour, you can turn to Google My Business analytics to monitor views on each 360 scene and compare GMB performance and SEO metrics before and after a virtual tour was added. The same rule applies to photography on your Google My Business listing.
As for a non-Google virtual tour embedded on your website, you will want to make sure you have the ability to view analytics somehow with with that platform. Panoskin virtual tours from LCP360 are built with a robust backend that allows owners and marketers to view metrics such as views, conversions and overall engagement.
Taking Your Senior Living SEO to the Next Level
Whether you’re focusing on SEO for assisted living, need to boost your independent community’s Google ranking, always remember who you are targeting.
Virtual tours are still a fairly new concept and can be quite challenging to wrap one's head around - but it's no secret that this kind of content is proving useful to senior living audiences and boosting senior living sales.