Senior living communities likely know they need a web presence, but it’s tempting to throw up a quick, rough concept with your contact information and call it a day.

Some senior living communities may even make the mistake of thinking that older populations won’t start online when they search for a retirement community, but that’s not true. Plus, many younger family members help older individuals research senior living communities before a final decision is made.

Even if you know a web presence is important, if you’re making these five website mistakes, you could be losing out on conversions on your senior living community page.

1. No Call to Action or Confusing Calls to Action

The call to action is what ultimately drives conversion, but you must tell website visitors exactly what they need to do to take the next step. Senior living communities can’t always rely on visitors understanding the general functionality of pages or where to look for information based on daily experience on the web — yes, some younger people may be using the site to help older loved ones, but you should assume your target audience is Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.

Consider providing prompts for visitors via big, bright (but tasteful) buttons that lead to easy-to-follow online forms or instruction pages. For example, a “Schedule a Visit” button might lead to a web contact form with a phone number and name of a person the visitor can call instead if they’re more comfortable with traditional forms of contact.

Remember that you can’t rely on visitors all using smartphones or being familiar with web calling, so don’t place all your CTA bets on things like automatic call links or downloads.

2. Site Architecture That Isn’t User-Friendly

CTAs aren’t the only thing that should keep the user in mind. Senior living community websites should have simple menu structures that make information as easy to find as possible. Something as simple as drop-down menus, which may be intuitive to younger users, aren’t going to be as easy for older visitors to navigate.

Use simplified menus that describe links in user-centric language (Community Photos versus Gallery, for example), and consider giving directions within in-text anchor links, such as “click here to view layouts of our assisted living apartments.”

Opt for clean page designs that work well on mobile devices and older computers and don’t require the fastest internet connections for usability. Expect seniors to browse from a variety of devices, including tablets such as Kindles or even iPads, so ensure sites are responsive. Older users may become frustrated if they have to navigate a desktop version on a smaller screen.

3. Not Localizing Content

Assisted living communities are a local business in many ways. Seniors often want to find a place in their home communities where they can live out their retirement years, and individuals who are willing to move farther away may be making a choice to live near loved ones.

That means research into various retirement community options is likely to begin with a geocentric Google search. For example, someone might look for “senior living communities in Dallas,” but it’s even more likely in metro areas that individuals would search by suburb or neighborhood. Do keyword research to understand how individuals are searching for retirement communities and use those phrases in your content.

You can localize content on your pages by including city and neighborhood location names, but it’s also a good idea to create content with a local flair. Talk about things that are near the community, such as parks, libraries, hospitals and churches, for example, or include specifics about the weather or public transportation. This content can boost your performance in the search engines for local keywords, but it’s also relevant and useful to seniors considering your community. If you’re right near a bus or subway stop, and they can take advantage of senior fares, that enhances their mobility and makes the entire city accessible for them.

Remember that keyword and content trends change over time, so you’ll need dynamic content that is updated regularly to stay ahead. You might consider a blog or periodic updates of all landing pages for this purpose.

4. Failing to Put Reviews and Testimonials to Good Use

Many senior living communities make the mistake of relegating testimonials to a single page, which people may never even click on. Reviews and testimonials are a great way to encourage trust in your community and engage with visitors to your website, though, so consider peppering them throughout your pages and putting them to creative use across your site.

Studies repeatedly show that individuals are more likely to trust a review that comes from another consumer than content written by the brand, so including what current or former residents — or their family members — say about you can help improve overall branding.

Here are just a few ways you can put testimonials to good use:

  • Humblebrag. Testimonials let you publish good comments about your facility without saying them yourself. You can use this tactic to highlight community strengths across all your pages. For example, on a page that provides information about the dining room and menus, include pull quotes where residents talk about how they enjoy the meals, what meals are their favorites or how the delicious nutrition is playing a role in improved health.
  • Create a community feel on your pages. Including input from various residents demonstrates your commitment to community. Consider including quotes with pictures of the people making them, especially if you can capture candid shots of the activities, events or places discussed in the testimonial.
  • Create visual interest with different types of media. While you do want to keep it simple and easy-to-use, your website can leverage media to create interest and target different types of communicators. Consider video testimonials that show residents talking about their community or infographics that highlight resident answers to questions about community satisfaction.

5. A Lack of High-Quality, Updated Photographs

In some ways, marketing your senior living community is similar to marketing a piece of real estate or a hotel. Photographs do a lot of the talking, and you need plenty of updated pictures on your site. Include pictures of seniors engaging in activities when possible to demonstrate the vitality of the community — and use organic photos instead of stock photos whenever possible.

You should also include pictures of all the amenities you list on your site, including dining spaces, porches, gardens, activity rooms and the apartments themselves. Ensure that areas are clean and well-kept when you photograph them, and if you remodel an area, get new pictures on the site as soon as possible.

Work With the Experts in Senior Living Community Online Marketing

Keeping a website updated and performing well can be difficult, and senior living communities often have more immediate concerns — such as resident safety and satisfaction — on their plates. But you don’t have to choose one over the other when you work with the experts at Lead to Conversion. We’ll help you create a website that maximizes conversions and drives interested seniors to contact you or schedule a visit. Contact or call Lead to Conversion at 855.473.6582 today.