5 ways to boost your care business’s online success for free

Smaller businesses without marketing departments usually won’t have the budget or all the technical knowledge needed to get the full benefit from online advertising. However, if you have a website for your business you can still set yourself up for success if you focus on growing your audience organically (without advertising).

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5 ways to boost your care business’s online success for free

Many larger businesses have impressive marketing budgets dedicated to attracting new clients and generating brand awareness. Online advertising is becoming more competitive and costly, so an increasing amount of money is needed each year to maintain a strong performance and achieve good results. Smaller businesses without marketing departments usually won’t have the budget or all the technical knowledge needed to get the full benefit from online advertising. However, if you have a website for your business you can still set yourself up for success if you focus on growing your audience organically (without advertising).

Here’s 5 things you can do to attract more visitors to your website and keep them for longer without spending a penny.

1. Create a search engine business page

Most of us, when we want to find information, will naturally open up a search engine and type in what we’re looking for. For example, when searching for restaurants in a specific area, we might simply type ‘Birmingham restaurants’ – and in addition to the normal search results – the search engine will display listings to us in different ways. We get to see the restaurants by location on a map, and each business has its own profile containing a website, address, contact information, photos and customer ratings. We are able to view key details for multiple restaurants without needing to go on its website, making the search process more efficient. This is how search engines also act as a business directory.

The same applies for care businesses. Typing ‘Birmingham care homes’ will provide you with pages of directory listings, each with unique information about the care home. However, you need to manually add your business onto the search engine directory if you want to appear in these results. Doing this gives you twice the chance of being clicked on – once in the normal search results and again via the directory. And the more positive business reviews you can get, the more chance you have of standing out.

In the UK, roughly 93% of all internet searches are conducted through Google and just over 4% are conducted using Bing. You can follow the links below to set your directories up.

Google Business Profiles can be created here: https://www.google.com/intl/en_uk/business/

Bing Places for Businesses can be created here: https://www.bingplaces.com/

2. Optimise your website’s home page

Most people have a relatively short attention span when browsing the internet. Your website doesn’t necessarily need to be expensive and loud to get results, but it does need to communicate what your business does at the earliest opportunity so visitors don’t have to go hunting for information. Your home page is the first thing the majority of potential clients see, so you have to reassure them they’ve come to the right place and start building trust within the first few seconds.

There are several ways you can optimise your home page, but here are the three most important:

  • Have an eye-catching headline at the top. Aim for simple but informative – something which tells the viewer that they are in the right place. For example, ‘Outstanding elder care in the heart of Surrey’ or ‘Small Bristol care home with a big heart’.

  • Include an informative sub-header underneath the headline. Expand a bit more on what you specialise in and what makes you the best choice. This is your best opportunity at making someone stay and explore the rest of your website. For example, ‘Modern facilities with countryside surroundings and regular outdoor activities. Our cosy rooms and friendly staff will make you feel at home from the first instant time you step inside.’

  • Make your contact information easy to find. Once you’ve grabbed your visitors’ interest, they can begin exploring the rest of your website and seeing what else you have to offer. But make sure your contact details are always in a prominent position – ideally at the top of the website and in the footer, including the home page. If a visitor struggles to locate your telephone number or email address, you could still lose them at the final hurdle.

3. Add a virtual tour to the website

In addition to having plenty of good quality photos to browse, show off your care home in a quick video to give your audience a better idea of the facilities you have to offer. Start at the entrance for a warm welcome and make your way around swiftly, focusing more on key details that are attractive to potential clients. Maybe even say hello to a few friendly faces along the way (if they consent to be in the video).

All you need is a smart phone and a YouTube account. You can upload the video directly to YouTube and use the video editing tools that come free with it, including trimming, adding music and blurring faces. However, there are various free video editors you can download which are more user friendly and allow you to add titles. Once you’re video is up and running, embed it on your website. It might sound complicated but YouTube makes this simple by letting you copy and paste what you need to do it yourself.

4. Create social media accounts for your business

It’s good practice to have at least one social media page as well as your website. Social media can act as an extension of your website to further develop your brand and audience. You can place your contact details, address, testimonials, availability and any other details to help potential clients inform themselves about you. The more effort you put into keeping it up to date, the higher it will appear in search engine results, giving you a greater chance of being seen.

You can also use your social media page to post more casual or creative updates that might not have a place on your website but are relevant to existing clients’ families. For example, birthday photos, resident achievements, home refurbishments or what’s on the menu today. Anyone stumbling across your social media page first will get to know what your business is like on a more personable level before clicking on your main website. It’s also another platform to receive messages of interest.

5. Write blogs & news

You work hard to maintain a great service, so why not tell people about it? Each time you have something noteworthy happen, it’s a chance to invite your website’s visitors into your world. Many potential clients want an insight into your culture because they will be looking at what sets you apart, or why you are the best fit for their requirements. For example, if you use a digital care management system like CareDocs, you could explain the ways it has improved your business and how clients have benefitted. The more you exhibit appealing activities or events to an outside audience, or communicate the kind of work ethic you provide, the more interest you will gain.

Don’t worry, we’re not talking thousands of words – just a few hundred is enough to let your business’s personality shine through. If you struggle with spelling and grammar, consider asking a family member or friend to proof read it for you before you post it online. Blogs or news articles with errors could give off a bad impression. The more quality content you can produce, the higher you will appear in search ranking for specific key phrases. Don’t forget to share your work on social media to reach a wider audience.

We hope you found this blog helpful. For more information about CareDocs and the digital services we offer care providers, including person-centred care planning and daily notes recording, please contact us on 0330 056 3333 or email sales@caredocs.co.uk.  Alternatively, book a free demo here.

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Originally published on October 19, 2021
Article updated on October 25, 2021

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