Online marketing has skyrocketed in recent years and if you, long-term care provider, have yet to dip your toes into the Web waters, now’s the time if you hope to get a leg up on your local competition.
The numbers tell the story. Between Q1 2011 and Q1 2012, U.S. search marketing grew by 30.3 percent, according to Adobe Systems Global Digital Advertising. Local online advertising is expected to grow more than 21 percent this year and could surpass print newspapers by next year. Online advertising has proven to be effective as well, with ROI for digital campaigns in the U.S. rising 11 percent in Q1 2012 compared to a year ago.
And get this: More than 70 million searches are specific to senior living and care, according to Promatura Group. Yet the average senior living community gets less than 5 percent of move-ins from the Web. That number jumps to 20 percent with a highly optimized website.
So how do you best allocate your resources to reach your prospects online? Garrett Gladden, senior Web project manager at G5, a search marketing company, presented five powerful and cost-effective online advertising opportunities during a recent Long-Term Living webinar. Those tools include: search engine marketing (SEM), remarketing ads, mobile SEM, online directories and Facebook advertising. Let’s break it out.
1. SEM (SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING)
- Precisely-targeted (including geo-targeting)
- Drives highly qualified traffic (more conversions)
- Highly quantifiable
- Instant results
- Allows more keyword targeting than SEO
- Relevant to user context
- Guaranteed page 1 placement
- Start with a strategy.
- Conduct research before writing the ads.
- Use relevant landing pages to convert leads quickly.
- Target based on location.
- Track, test and adjust accordingly.
- Calculate cost per lead to quantify success.
- Assume that a high bid guarantees placement.
- Include keywords that do not match the keywords on your landing page.
- Link to a landing page or website with poor SEO.
- Be vague, general or “clever” in your ad copy.
- Give up if your ad isn’t performing well right away.
What is remarketing? Each time a user visits your website, a browser cookie is placed to indicate the user’s status as a prospect. When the Web user then visits a site that is also a participant in an ad publishing network, the cookie is used to trigger your ads.
- Limits payment to only those display ads that reach qualified prospects.
- Reinforces brand and increases loyalty.
- Rescues leads lost to distraction or competitive offers.
- Increases cross-channel marketing effectiveness.
- Re-engages prospects during long sales cycles.
- Allows for better targeting.
3. MOBILE SEM
Mobile SEM Do’s:
- Have a mobile-optimized website.
- Create well-written ads and relevant, content-rich landing pages—both are critical to placement.
- Make sure you have a mobile SEO strategy in place and that your mobile website is optimized for search.
- Buy ads that will appear “below the fold.”
- Use the same strategy for mobile as you would for desktop.
- Expect the budget to be the same. (Mobile paid ads usually cost more.)
4. ONLINE DIRECTORIES
- Pick the most relevant directories—less is more.
- Drive users to your website as quickly as possible in the listing.
- Focus locally and regionally for best results
- Neglect your SEO strategy—directories can’t replace SEO.
- Pay for move-ins you shouldn’t have to. Make sure you come up first for branded searches.
- Always expect a high ROI.
- Allocate a higher percentage of your overall budget than you should.
5. FACEBOOK ADVERTISING
- Target as much as possible based on interests, groups, regions and demographics.
- Keep an eye on the campaign and make sure your bids are in line.
- Write attention-grabbing copy and use interesting images to increase clicks.
- Expect the same results you would find with paid search.
- Link to your community’s Facebook page (unless your objective is to grow your fan base).
“Local search is growing on desktop and mobile,” Gladden said. “SEO and SEM maintenance are required to compete. Online advertising should complement an SEO strategy. Make sure they go hand in hand.”
Click here to register to download the archived webinar.