Assisted Living Marketing – First Page of Google in Less than 7 Months
We recently were able to help a client with their assisted living marketing efforts take over the first page of Google without previously existing as a brand or website in less than 7 months. In this article, we will begin to unpack our methods and our assisted living marketing package that will help our clients keep their beds filled for years to come.
Residential Assisted Living – A Tidal Wave of Opportunity
If you’ve been paying attention lately, you know the enormous wave that is upon us and will continue to grow in the Senior Living market. The big money is starting to massive amounts of investment dollars into CCRCs (Continuous Care Retirement Communities), which usually include Independent Living, Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing Care. Because all of this investment money is going to these massive institutions, a vacuum has been created for savvy entrepreneurs to come and fill the gap with residential assisted living homes.
I was presented with this enormous opportunity when I attended Gene Guarino’s Residential Assisted Living Academy in Phoenix, AZ last year. Gene is a skilled an excellent teacher and his students come out the course fully equipped to take on ownership of a residential assisted living home. The opportunity is right there in front of you. It’s easy to see why many people would rather live in a home than in a large institution that feels like a hospital.
While I have been pursuing residential assisted living in the Cincinnati area on my own as a real estate investor, I have also been had the opportunity to help many other owners in this space. It’s been our privilege at Marketplace Earth to help four of these owners in the past year with their online marketing efforts, and I look forward to helping many more.
So, how do we do it? Let’s take a look.
Offline vs. Online Assisted Living Marketing
Let’s make a few things clear to begin. While your online marketing efforts for your assisted living home can drive leads and fill up your home with residents, we don’t believe they should be your ONLY form of marketing.
As Gene points out in his class, there are several offline marketing ideas that can have a big role in your efforts. Some of those ideas include open houses, partnering with hospitals and rehabilitation centers, signage, flyers, business cards and a referral strategy.
While online marketing efforts can drive phone calls, emails and leads to your home, you still need boots on the ground to manage your offline marketing and local relationships.
Top 10 Assisted Living Marketing Tools
Now, let’s do a quick overview of the Top 10 Marketing Tools we used to help get our client to the first page of Google in less than 7 months.
Remember, our client had no brand. No website. No logo. Nothing.
We were starting from scratch. And if you have no idea of how Google works, it is very difficult to compete against companies that have been out there for 10, 15, or 20 years, who have put the work into their brand and their online marketing efforts.
I believe we are going to have to do a series of blogs and videos to explore each of these tools and how they can drive leads to your assisted living home, but for now, here is the overview.
- Placing Agencies
- Local SEO
- Social Media
- Paid (Adwords)
Getting Leads for Less
When I went through Gene’s residential assisted living academy, I was specifically looking at the marketing budget in the pro forma. My question was, “what does it cost to actually fill these beds and how are you doing it?”.
The basic answer I saw in the pro forma was paying placement agents such as aplaceformom.com, seniorhomes.com, senioradvisor.com, etc. While these places are reliable in that they are good at collecting leads (because they’ve invested in their own online marketing efforts), they are also VERY expensive.
Typically with a placing agency, it costs at least one month’s rent to get one resident. Based on the level of care for your home, that can easily be $5,000 per lead.
That’s an expensive lead.
So I thought, there has to be a better, more efficient way. And there is! It’s call get out there and do your own online marketing!
If you take a look at the list above, we just cranked through it step by step. We created a trustworthy brand and logo. We designed and developed a clean and professional mobile friendly website. And then our marketing strategy really took over.
Because I knew we were starting from scratch, my main objective all along was to target Local SEO and Google Adwords. I knew that because we didn’t have any domain trust or authority, we would be hard pressed to try to rank in the traditional organic search results. However, because we were in area with relatively few competitors in this space, I thought we could target Local SEO and rank within Google Maps.
This was the strategy we put into place, and this was the strategy that worked. As a bonus, because we did things the right way, Google has also rewarded our website with first page rankings!
So, what does Google look for?
The #1 Rule for Google
Google has made a lot of changes to its algorithm over the years to weed out the keyword stuffers, spam bots, crappy link farms, and all sorts of other grey to black hat things that “SEOs” have tried to do for years.
Instead of trying to game Google (the smartest guys on the planet), you should do what they want. And what do they want?
Build. A. Brand.
Google wants to rank brands. They want to see real businesses. They want to see that they can trust you. Is your website legit? Are you registered on Google My Business? What links are coming your way? How is your Social Media strategy? Are you consistent with your content? Is it relevant? Hey local business, why aren’t you registered with your chamber of commerce? Do you have any local press?
Repeat after me … build a brand. Build a brand. Build a brand.
Do the things that good businesses do. No shortcuts. Build content. Reach out. Have a useful website. Be consistent. Show up.
And if you do, you may just get on the first page of Google from all of your assisted living marketing efforts.
Go get ’em. If you need help, let us know.