Gain More Residents Through SEO Strategies for Senior Living Communities That Work

John SammonAuthor:John Sammon
Updated on 03/04/2024

In our current day and age, people of all ages are using the internet to research, buy, and talk about all the things happening in their lives. With all the activity going on online, standing out and attracting more residents to your assisted living, retirement, or memory care community can be challenging. While seniors have various living options to choose from, it’s your job to do all you can to illustrate that your facility is the right choice.

From ensuring that your website gets found when users search for things such as “assisted living near me” or “55+ communities Florida” to even making sure your social media is up to date so current residents can stay in the know, SEO is a vital marketing practice that can give your community or service an edge over your competitors.

Investing in search engine optimization for your senior care facility can be the make or break way of getting new business as companies continue to move away from traditional, fading tactics. Below we’ll share some thoughts and insights on SEO and marketing to help you with your initial research.

If you’re ready, though, and looking to partner with a reliable and reputable agency, we’d love to talk. Get in touch via the button below.

We Can Do Your SEO for You
“Sixth City Marketing provided National Church Residences with a full range of services including website design/administration/management, digital marketing, search engine optimization, analytics/metrics/reporting, and much more. Their excellent customer service, speedy turnaround times, and expert advice makes them a valued extension of our in-house team!”
– National Church Residences

Your 2024 Guide to SEO for Senior Living Facilities

Table of Contents


How SEO Fits into the Puzzle (For Beginners or Those Who Aren’t Doing SEO)

Senior Living SEOMarketing your senior living facility can be challenging.

Here are some typical questions and challenges that both digital and traditional marketers face when planning to market to their nearby community (and beyond):

Tip #1 – Consider Your Targeted Geographic Area for Your Campaign

Most senior housing organizations are focused on the immediate area around their facility. Often, communities market to people within a 5- to 15-mile radius. However, one other focus to consider is seniors residing in other areas who may be drawn back to the area for family. A great place to start researching this is Google Analytics (Audiences – Geo – Location) or even Google Trends.

Google Analytics Regional Snapshot

Tip #2 – Who Should Be Your Target Audience?

The primary audience to target is potential residents, obviously, but there are other audiences to consider, including spouses, family members, or even general caretakers. This is something to review and research with care, as the messaging and other parameters of your campaign can be greatly impacted by what you decide.

Tip #3 – What Type of Senior Marketing Is Most Effective? (Spoiler Alert – It’s SEO)

We’re certainly biased in this case. However, we’ve learned through experience working with many senior living communities in over a dozen markets. Among digital marketing techniques, the overwhelming channel that delivers the most qualified leads is SEO.

example screenshot

Tip #4 – Testing and Measuring Will Lead You to SEO

Our recommendation here is fueled by measurement. At the end of the day, SEO is one of the few marketing channels where you can truly verify and see how people who contacted you (chat, phone or form) found your website.

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What Is SEO for Senior Living Communities?

SEO for senior living communities is a type of marketing that focuses on gaining new visitors to your website by advancing your presence on popular search engines.

This is done through a variety of activities related to both on-site and off-site factors that combine to demonstrate to the search engines that your website is an authority on a series of topics and for relevant keywords (such as “senior living facilities” and “independent living communities”). A successful SEO campaign will regularly drive potential residents through your sales pipeline.

Check out these key senior living digital marketing stats and facts to get a better idea of how SEO and other tactics can boost your business:

senior living stats

  • According to a study conducted by Google, approximately 75% of people surveyed who were looking for senior living options used search engines (primarily Google) when fact finding and deciding on an option, highlighting how vital SEO can be (Senior Housing News)
  • Along with this, 39% of those looking for senior living for themselves or a loved one utilize organic search through search engines, something SEO greatly impacts (Invoca)
  • As BrightLocal has reported, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, illustrating why getting strong Google Business Profile reviews is so key (Search Engine Land)
  • Google has found that Baby Boomers spend up to 23 hours per week online, giving senior living companies a lot of touchpoint opportunities (Senior Housing News)
  • Additionally, 45% of seniors who are 65 years of age and older utilize at least one social media platform, making social media posts and ads a lucrative marketing possibility (Pew Research Center)
  • Plus, as the Pew Research Center has also reported, nearly half of the 65 and above population utilizes Facebook, so the platform is a particularly viable one for your senior living marketing efforts (Pew Research Center)
  • Smartphones are especially popular among seniors, with 77% owning them and as much as 60% of seniors’ website visits originating from them, making mobile-friendly sites essential for companies and their lead generation efforts (Invoca)
  • 48% of those who are searching online for senior living options are searching for themselves (Senior Housing News)
  • As much as 83% of those looking for senior living online do not have a specific provider in mind, creating great openings for proven marketing tactics to draw them in (Invoca)
  • 6,000 online searches for senior care and related topics are made ever hour in America, giving businesses so many opportunities for engaging with prospective customers (Senior Housing News)
  • 70% of those searching for senior living will call during their search process, illustrating the importance of having call tracking in place (Invoca)

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Getting Started in Improving Your Rankings for SEO

What’s the first step in getting started in SEO? You typically want to begin with determining which keywords your audience is searching for in your area. There are a few tools that can help you with that. We would advise you to check out Google Trends or even sign up for the effective keyword research and keyword tracking program called SE Ranking.

To help, here are some keyword phrases to adopt for your overall marketing campaign if you are targeting people looking for independent living:

  • Senior living in [your city]
  • Senior apartments in [your city]
  • 55+ communities in [your city]
  • Retirement communities in [your city]
  • CCRC [state or city]
  • Continuing care retirement community [state or city]

You can try variants of those options, too. You’ll want to make sure you assess where your site currently ranks for those terms to test and measure how effective the changes that you make to your website are, both on and off site.

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First Steps Toward Improving Your Ranking

Now that you have your keyword list and you’re ready to make changes, here are aspects to focus on:

1. Optimizing Your Google Business Profile and Bing Local Profiles

If you haven’t claimed your profiles on Google and Bing, do that before doing anything else. The next step you’ll want to take is to add as much information as you can to the profile, making the profile as complete as you can. It’s a good idea to take a look at your competitors in search to see to what extent they’ve filled theirs out, too. It may give you some good ideas for what categories to pick and what content to add.

2. Adding Content to the Page You Are Driving People to from Your Profiles

Try to include content that will not only help people understand the differentiation points of your business but also provides info on how to contact you and find your location. Embedding a Google map of your location and adding an address to the page is also essential, even if it’s at the bottom of the page.

3. Developing an Organizational Plan to Generate Reviews for Your Business on an Ongoing Basis

Reviews are so critical to get. If you are already asking customers for reviews, make sure they leave them on Google as opposed to other channels like Facebook or Yelp. Also, consider getting a QR code applied to your business cards and asking customers to scan the code, which would take them right to the place where they can leave a review for you.

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Make a Well-Informed Decision on Outsourcing Your SEO

To help you make a well-informed decision about partnering with an SEO firm, we collected some important questions and answers so that you know what to expect from our team.

How long will it take to see results?

The timeline for seeing results can vary based on location, competition, your website, algorithm updates, and more. Generally, you can expect to see significant results after a few months. However, some tactics will see quicker success than others. After that, you should expect to see consistent progress.

Is helpful content important for ranking?

In general, high-quality content on your website helps families and loved ones to be informed and decide a care plan for your future residents. Beyond this, it can also help improve your rankings and build the credibility of your website. Luckily, we have a talented team of in-house writers and editors who know the ins and outs of local SEO and optimized content.

Should we invest in PPC too?

While SEO contributes to organic growth, it does take a little bit to start working. PPC can deliver some immediate results, and is a good complement to SEO, which means you can have the two approaches working simultaneously. Therefore, supplementing your organic efforts with paid advertising like Google Ads can help you achieve visibility in search results more quickly.

This is especially useful if you are running any sort of deal or have any priority services that you want to prioritize. After all, PPC is one of the fastest and most effective ways to boost your business online.

Is SEO a one-time investment?

SEO of all kinds is an ongoing effort. Algorithms change, competition evolves, and other external factors can impact rankings. Luckily, our team has proven strategies to stay ahead of algorithm updates and the competition to help your rankings stay steady.

What are some common SEO mistakes you see?

Possibly the biggest pitfall is not maintaining an effective SEO campaign. Things to avoid that can cause your rankings to fall include neglecting local SEO efforts, failing to optimize for mobile users, ignoring the user experience, and forgetting to regularly update and refresh content.

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Our Experience with Senior Living Centers

While we have worked with a variety of industries over the years, we have gained considerable experience helping senior living facilities like yours in our time working with National Church Residences.

For example, we helped Water’s Edge of Lake Wales, located in Florida, through our senior living SEO tactics that included implementing Google Analytics goal tracking, creating strong calls to action (CTAs), optimizing page copy, writing blog posts, and more. Through these efforts, we were able to:

  • Increase overall traffic by 138%
  • Increase organic traffic by 96%
  • Increase conversions (form submissions) by 295%

We also worked with a variety of their other communities that offered memory care and assisted living services, which helped us to become very experienced at marketing these services to seniors and their families.

SEO Services We Offer for Senior Living Facilities

In order to get your website where it needs to be in search engines, we can implement the following senior living SEO strategies.

Content Writing

Do you have key pages on your website that target all the services you offer? What about pages that specify the cities and locations you want to attract? These are some starter questions that we use when beginning a content strategy for senior communities. We can optimize your content and add to it by focusing on the keywords you want to rank for and supplement it with blog posts that can further attract seniors to your website.

Conversion Optimization and Design

The way your website is laid out can be a huge factor in getting more leads. And while getting people to your website is certainly key, having them contact you is a whole different ballgame. Our background in design gives us the insight needed to determine what strategic adjustments should be made to your website, whether it involves moving forms, adding calls to action, or anything else.

Technical Adjustments

There are various actions that can be performed behind the scenes of your website that can help make your site more appealing to Google and users alike. From adding schema to using metadata titles and descriptions to improving site speed, a variety of possibilities exist to enhance your online presence.

Goal Tracking Measurement

As we mentioned in our case study, implementing conversion tracking is a key part of SEO, as it helps monitor the success of your campaign. We have the ability to set up Google Analytics, install it on your website, make adjustments to web forms, and put goal tracking in place in your account.

Photo Optimization

A major aspect of attracting residents to your community is showcasing what your campus and facilities look like. From pictures of apartments to common rooms to green spaces and more, having various photos on your website is key – but these pics could be missing key metadata that helps search engines “read” them better. Not to mention, the size of your photos also matters because some can slow down your website, which can in turn impact your search engine rankings. Our team can oversee all of these aspects to ensure everything is operating at its best.

Backlink Building

One part of our strategy for senior living communities that we have seen great results from is link building, which is the process of getting other reputable websites to link to yours. This can be accomplished through directories, guest posts, and other local businesses you connect with. Having more backlinks can build your trust with Google and help increase your rankings.

Brand Awareness

We will use the content we write for your site as a way to gain backlinks from local businesses and other relevant sources to help build up your local authority and make you better known both in your desired area and nationally. We also have tools that help us find unlinked mentions of your brand to ensure you get proper acknowledgement and subsequent backlinks.

Local SEO

To help your facility rank higher on Google Maps, and to rank for key terms like “senior living near me,” we also can perform local SEO tactics like managing your local listings, local link building, keyword research, and more. These efforts enhance your online presence in the cities that your communities are within.

Types of Facilities We Can Help

  • Assisted living communities
  • Retirement communities
  • Independent living communities
  • Continuing care retirement communities
  • Memory care facilities
  • Skilled nursing care facilities
  • Hospice care facilities
  • Rehabilitation facilities
  • At-home senior care providers
  • Respite care services
  • Senior placement services
  • Many more

Our Process in Developing SEO Strategies

Our process for creating customized SEO for senior care is customized to your business based on the goals we work together to create. We work closely with clients to help them reach their SEO marketing goals by:

  • Researching – We will take a thorough look at your website, current keyword positions, and competitors to identify any issues or roadblocks that need to be resolved.
  • Strategizing – Our strategists craft a custom plan based on our analysis that will yield positive results based on your marketing goals.
  • Implementing – Once you approve of the strategy, our team of writers, developers, and marketing experts will get to work, executing the work within the strategy, including content writing and interlinking.
  • Reporting – At the end of the month, our team will send a report of the progress with details of the campaign, conversions, and other metrics related to our efforts.
  • Meeting – Our team schedules monthly meetings with you so that we can discuss our findings and make sure that the campaign is achieving your specific goals for senior living SEO.
  • Adjusting – Being able to see the results of our efforts allows us to pivot strategically based on not only the data but also your feedback on the leads we obtain for you.
  • Repeating – Our team will continue the cycle of writing a strategy each quarter, working through this strategy, and reporting on the progress once a month, maintaining correspondence with you on any questions or comments you may have.

Why Choose Sixth City Marketing for SEO Marketing?

We understand that choosing a dedicated SEO agency from your varied options can be a difficult decision. It is our goal to make the process easier by helping you get to know our company and what makes us different:

  • Industry experience – From our time working with senior care, alongside helping other healthcare-types such as therapists, doctors, dentists, and more, you can trust that we know how to cater to your ideal audience.
  • Reliable team – Our expert staff is all in-house, which means we collectively work together on strategies, ideas, and content to provide you with the highest quality services.
  • Transparency – We strive to build a relationship with you founded on trust, so you can rely on us to show you real data and be open with you on the progress of your campaign.
  • Range of services – Not only can we provide SEO for your senior living community, but we also offer paid advertising, web design, email marketing, social media, and more.
  • Results driven – Our #1 priority while working with you is to help bring in solid leads that turn into residents. Everything we do is all in order to help fill your sales pipeline so your community can grow.
  • Convenient locations – While we have offices in Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, Chicago, and Pittsburgh, since everything we do is online, we can serve your business no matter where you are located.

Other Ways We Can Help Outside of SEO

Not only is SEO for senior living important, but a complete marketing campaign will help you to be even more successful. At Sixth City Marketing, some of the other digital marketing services we offer include:

  • Pay-per-click marketing – Our team can create effective paid search campaigns through platforms such as Google Ads, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, or Instagram.
  • Website design and development – We know a well-designed site is the foundation of your company’s online presence. Every website design project that we take on strongly focuses on producing leads through our strategic development tactics.
  • Email marketing – The process of sending email marketing for businesses consists of our team writing copy, designing templates, scheduling emails, and monitoring your campaigns with the goal of customer retention, creation, and engagement.
  • Auditing and consulting – We have to ability to help your business as part of a consulting agreement where we will determine the best strategies for your industry and company. From a website audit to keyword analysis and more, our marketing consulting can help give your team the direction it needs.

Additional SEO Questions We Receive

During our free strategy session, we often receive a handful of questions as potential clients vet our services and try to understand more about our business and our services. Here are some we have answered that may help you in this process:

  1. How do you show results?
    In our monthly reports, we break down various data metrics that illustrate our success. Our main form of results is from leads which come by way of contact form submissions and phone calls. We also see changes in keyword positions, acquired backlinks, and other metrics as great strides and evidence of the success of your campaign.
  2. Can you show ROI data?
    Yes! We have a unique process that allows us to see lead source tracking on your web forms so the leads you acquire that convert can be traced back to our SEO efforts.
  3. Is SEO the best fit for our business?
    One of the best parts about SEO is that it can benefit every type of business. So no matter if you are a small retirement community in Columbus, or if you have hundreds of assisted living facilities nationwide, SEO can help. Much like you have turned to the internet to look for services personally and professionally, your potential residents, or their children, are doing the same. SEO allows you to put your site in the best position possible when such individuals are searching for what your facility provides.
  4. Can we expand on our services?
    Yes, not only would we love to expand our retainer with you for SEO, but we also offer a verity of other services such as paid marketing, social media, website design, HubSpot consulting, email marketing, and more which can all supplement the SEO we do and expand your reach.
“Sixth City Marketing has provided consulting, SEO and many other services to National Church Residences. The team has excellent advice and is very easy to work with.” – Karen Twinem, National Church Residences

Let’s Talk About Our Senior Living SEO Services

Contact us today to get more details on how we can help your community grow through SEO for assisted living and senior living. We look forward to speaking with you.

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