Local listings are often considered to be technical and confusing to those not regularly citing and syndicating. In part one of this three-part guide, we’ll arm you with proven tips to improve your local listing strategy, your local search engine optimization strategy and your local pay-per-click ad campaigns. For the sake of today’s topic, we’ll uncover how to boost your local listings to grow your census. Let’s dig in!
Picture this scenario: You have a close friend visiting from out of town, and you both make plans to dine at a renowned bistro. You arrive at the bistro and receive a call from your friend about ten minutes after your arrival. Your friend is having trouble locating the bistro, and you search online to discover that the previous address appeared in Google instead of the current, accurate address. While it may have not ruined the evening or dining experience in this example – it certainly created uncertainty and confusion for all parties involved.
Now imagine this: Instead of searching for restaurant directions—a potential resident is searching for the address to your senior living community. Could you imagine the frustration the resident would feel if they drove to an incorrect address?
Let’s back up for a second. The term “local listings” refers to the information on a search engine results page (SERP) that shows the top locations pertaining to the user’s immediate geographic area. It’s also referred to as your “map pack breakout.” So, how do you optimize the local listing results that show up for your senior living community?
Senior living communities are faced with all sorts of challenges like the one outlined above. If you’re an owner, you may have even wondered: “Is my community getting the most resident acquisitions out of the area we’re located?” And now, here are some tips to help you do exactly this:
Your community only has one chance to make a solid first impression. That’s why having accurate and consistent name, address and phone number (NAP) information is critical to your community’s continued success.
In order to ensure that the right info is displayed to a potential resident search for communities near them, you will have to cite the correct top-level community information to a directory. The four main directories to consider are Axciom, Factual, Neustar and Infogroup. Keep the following factors in mind when submitting your business information:
Visit Moz Local to check your community’s local listing score. For reference, an acceptable local listings score would be at or above 85% accuracy. If your community falls below that percentage, you’ll have to manually submit the correct information to the directories to stay on task. As I mentioned in the final bullet above, it takes a lot of time to manually check and submit your information to the various directories. If time is something your community doesn’t have, consider hiring a reputable SEO agency for help.
A surefire way to increase census is to provide a tour for potential residents. Remember what I said about not having a second opportunity to make a first impression? Here’s where it really comes into play. If a potential resident schedules a tour of your community and it doesn’t accurately reflect the pictures you’ve used online, it will create dissonance between your community and your potential resident.
We know that more scheduled tours provides equates to more opportunities to grow census. But using stock images or low-res images on your community’s website to promote tours or visits does about as much harm as good.
Our suggestion is to hire a professional photographer to visit your community and take pictures of your campus and residents that accurately reflect your brand and personality. You don’t have to pay this person a small fortune for the work. Just make sure the pictures highlight the unique amenities your community offers. Having pictures of happy and engaged residents doesn’t hurt either! Try to capture moments that are genuine. They can also be repurposed for marketing collateral. Make the most out of that resource!
Local visibility depends on accuracy, consistency, and relevancy. One way to increase traffic—for both potential residents and search engines—is to include the city and state into your page header, or h1 tag.
A header, or h1 tag represents the most important information on a given web page. It’s part of HTML coding and helps determine the level of importance of a topic on a specific page. Header tags go from h1 through h6, with descending levels of importance.
Make sure to include both your community’s city and state in the h1 tag on your pages. This will tell search engines that your community’s content is relevant to people in your geographic area. This will help your community acquire the ideal, qualified resident.
Hopefully these tips were helpful to your current strategy. If you have questions or need further guidance, contact us. We’re experts in local listing management, and can help your community achieve its goals. Stay tuned next week as we provide some tips to improve your local SEO.