Well, hello senior living marketer, we’ve got some unique findings just for you. And, not to be all big brother about it, but the truth of the matter is that our online researching steps leave a digital footprint. When we look at this data for trends, we see some behaviors that might help you be a better marketer. Since the goal is to make sure you are answering a prospect’s questions across online channels, it really benefits people searching for senior living.

Today’s senior living researching journey has changed. In the past few years, we’ve all experienced an increase in tech adoption. Moms and dads were suddenly ordering groceries online for the first time and even ordering to-go food from companies like DoorDash. It happened fast but “necessity is the mother of invention,” as the saying goes. Well, the beauty of all this tech adoption is that seniors and their families are using their newfound skills to search for…you guessed it, senior living communities.

As a marketer, you know how complex senior living is and how your audience is often learning about it for the very first time. They certainly call you because they need a guiding hand, but what our data uncovered is that they spend more time researching than you likely guessed before they pick up the phone to call you. 

The Invisible Period

Let us translate it for you: On average, senior living researchers spend 32 days going it alone…that’s a whole month trying to figure out if you are worth calling. We call this “The Invisible Period” and we dug in a little more.

During this month of research, senior living researchers are taking about 17 steps, either clicking on advertising, searching for your community, clicking on Google Business Profile (as seen in map results), and viewing multiple pages of your website. That’s a lot of research being done without you.

So, we were curious. Is this a lot? Is it changing? We looked at what researchers were doing two years ago to compare. Lo and behold, senior living researchers are spending 10.5% more time today and taking 22.7% more steps than they did just two years ago. Interesting trend, right?

We weren’t done being curious. We then asked our data scientists which marketing channel was bringing in the most qualified leads, aka people who were actually interested in a move-in. Although it was neck-and-neck between Google Business Profile , search, and digital advertising, GBP came out as the top channel for bringing in quality leads.

Now we get to the good stuff. What actions should you be taking? Since Google Business Profile is your top source of quality leads, it needs some care and feeding.

  1. Show Up – Be sure to provide complete and accurate information about your community. This is business 101. We’re talking about your legal business name, and phone number. Also make sure your business category is what people think of when looking for you, and most importantly, keep your community hours updated, including holidays. It matters. Last but not least, be sure to request ownership of your Business Listing (aka claim it as yours).
  2. Show Off – Now we’re ready for some marketing fun. In today’s world, your brand is essentially limited to what the channels decide they’ll include. So, when it comes to visually impacting areas, like photos, it’s time to shine. Select photos carefully and if you get new ones, come back and keep it fresh. And, consider the “Products & Services” section where you can either focus on your care levels, or show off your floor plans. The choice is yours.
  3. Show Empathy – Choosing a senior living community is an emotional decision, so how you respond to reviews and Q&A matters. This can be a turning point when a prospect decides if you are worth a phone call or if they scratch you off the list. Take care here. Be professional and respond to everything. No really, everything. And, even if you know what really happened and want to go into defense mode? Don’t. People need to get their voice heard and even some negative reviews are okay. We know it happens, and prospects just want to see that you handle it with empathy, or at least compassion.

That’s it! Show up, show off, and show empathy on Google Business Profile. But, with a busy schedule and limited resources, it is easy to let days, if not weeks and months, go by without checking for new reviews/questions. If you manage a portfolio, consider a tool that consolidates everything into one place or a service that makes sure someone is on top of it. 

Schedule a demo to learn how G5+LL can help you maximize your Google Business Profile.