Google processes more than 200 petabytes of data every day.1 Imagine lining up 200,000 one-terabyte external hard drives in a row. That’s what 200 petabytes looks like. How can this help improve your senior living community marketing plan?
It’s no secret how much data Google harvests daily. Because they process more than 3.5 trillion searches per day, account for 28% of daily worldwide email, and manage a whole host of other data-collecting platforms (YouTube, anyone?), Google just might know more about us and our businesses than we know about ourselves.23
The obvious question here is: what in the world are they doing with all that data?
Improving Your Senior Living Community Marketing Plan
As it turns out, quite a bit. One of the most valuable uses to senior living community marketers is Google Trends.4 Although intended for retail businesses, there’s no reason senior living communities shouldn’t take advantage of this powerful tool. Today, we’re taking a look at how you can use Google Trends to drive traffic to your community’s website, connect with your target prospective residents, and increase conversions.
1. Identify New Keywords
The more users who see your senior living community’s digital content, the more new resident leads enter your sales funnel and, ultimately, convert. Your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is how you get your content in front of them. And keywords are the foundation of your SEO.
The success of your SEO strategy hinges on your ability to select and optimize the right keywords that help your content cut through the online noise and get in front of your target audience. But knowing that you need the right keywords is just the first step, and choosing your keywords and crafting your SEO strategy can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming. While keyword identification often feels like looking for a needle in a haystack, Google Trends makes the whole process a lot easier.
Start by searching Google Trends for a keyword you’re already using. Google will then return a list of keywords related to the one you’ve queried. In one easy step, you’ll uncover new, impactful keywords to sharpen your SEO that you might not have otherwise considered.
Notice how Google labels some of these terms as “rising topics”? These terms will have had a major increase in search frequency during the period you’ve selected compared to the previous search period. Some terms will be marked “breakout”. These have had a meteoric rise in search volume, either because they’re new or seasonal.
2. Capitalize on Seasonal Trends
If you think seasonal search trends only affect retailers, think again. One look at Google Trends demonstrates that since 2004, searches for “senior community” have been on the rise every November and January, following the family-focused holiday seasons. In contrast, search volume for this term reached a near-record low in May 2020, likely caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Google Trends helps you capitalize on seasonal trends by tracking what search terms experience a cyclical surge in popularity. Knowing that the searches for “senior community” increase through the end of the fourth quarter and into the first quarter of the following year, you can create content and digital marketing assets that focus on those terms and associated long-tail keywords to post several weeks ahead of those annual surges.
SEO takes time to gain traction, to be sure to optimize your content around those recurring seasonal searches in advance to ensure your page is at the top of the SERP the next time they come around.
3. Improve Your Freshness
Data refreshes, knowledge improves, and best practices come and go. So what do you do with content that depends on outdated information? Toss it? No!
Almost all content, but especially your top-ranking articles, can be made evergreen with regular additions and replacements. (Just be sure to note the date of your refresh at the top and bottom of the article.)5 Your most popular articles—those that you know resonate with your ideal prospective patients—should be monitored for potential updates.
Use Google Trends to inform your changes and help you optimize your content to support your SEO strategy. This can be a great way to help pages that rank on the second page of Google’s search results reach the first page, or move your first-page rankings even further up.
4. Monitor Your Competitors
Senior living is a competitive space, and you need to know how the competition’s senior living community marketing plan is performing. Afterall, a successful SEO strategy is a lot like that old saying about outrunning a bear—you don’t have to be faster than the bear, just faster than everybody between you and the bear. Google Trends can help with this, too. (Knowing how the competition is performing, not outrunning the bear. At least, not yet.)
Search for terms related to competing senior living communities and compare their rankings with yours. If they’re outperforming you, explore their website to find out why. Is their content more topical, or make better use of keywords or more directly address your target market’s pain points? Do they have stronger CTAs? What keywords are they optimizing for?
If you believe the issue is rooted in your keyword strategy, use Google Trends to compare their keywords with yours. Is their content optimized for more robust keywords? Or are they going after the same keywords as you? Either way, Google Trends offers valuable insights to sharpen your strategy.
Considering all the variables, keeping up with changes in best practices, and making effective keyword decisions is a huge undertaking. We can create a results-driven digital marketing plan for you. Contact us at 888.307.7304 to schedule a strategy session.
For a list of references, please contact us.