How many hats does your website wear? From alert system to communications hub to home base for blog posts, websites for senior living communities often serve a variety of purposes and audiences.
Often lost in the shuffle, though, is the key reason for a website to exist: sales. Your community likely doesn’t engage in direct e-commerce selling, but your site should still contribute significantly toward boosting your waiting list and increasing occupancy.
Turning Your Site into a Conversion Machine
It’s true that you’re not collecting credit card numbers and making sales on your website. But designed correctly, your site can provide you with the next best thing to sales: conversions.
While they don’t always correlate one-to-one with sales, conversions stand as a key marketing metric that provides a good indicator of your sales success over time. Conversions indicate that your prospect took an action that leads to the next step in the purchase funnel. They also can act as a virtual canary in a coal mine, alerting you to potential problems — or opportunities — in your sales process.
By keeping an eye on your conversions, you can ensure that you’re spending your marketing budget in the best ways and targeting the right prospects. To boost conversions, consider creating a content-rich website that includes a number of informative “conversion points.”
To get your site conversion-ready, first take a look at the design. Does it include appealing colors and a user-friendly interface? Is text easy to read and free of industry jargon? Are there noticeable, clickable graphical elements you can use to draw attention to calls to action? Your marketing agency can help you set up A/B testing protocols to determine what design elements may work best.
Once the design is up to speed, what are some specific conversion points you should consider adding?
You may hesitate to give out too much information on your website for fear that prospects won’t come in for a visit. In many cases, though, helping prospects get informed before they ever set foot in your community assists with pre-qualification, saving your marketing representatives time and making your overall sales process more efficient.
Consider offering useful, informative downloads such as your resident handbook, disclosure statement, financial reports and application forms on your site. By asking prospects to provide contact information before downloading, you can get them into your database — or move them along the purchase funnel if they’re existing prospects.
A large percentage of your prospects are interested in how your community addresses wellness. By packaging all your wellness-related information, you can create another engaging conversion point on your site.
Consider offering downloads including exercise schedules and sample healthy eating plans. You also can offer a premium such as an exercise session in your wellness center, attendance in a group fitness class, or an orientation with one of your wellness professionals.
To get prospects into your community, you can test different offers such as a free lunch in your cafe or attendance at a program such as a musical performance. Consider offering a more-valuable premium — such as a night or weekend in one of your guest suites or a week of fitness classes — for prospects who come in for a tour and brief presentation with a marketing representative.
Most of your prospects won’t decide overnight to move to your community. In many cases, the decision takes years, along with multiple marketing “touches.”
By offering a newsletter subscription option on your site, you capture initial information about your prospects. In addition, you create the opportunity to speak to prospects through the newsletter on an ongoing basis.
You can offer subscriptions to a periodic marketing newsletter as well as a resident newsletter, if your community offers one.
Driving Conversions with Valuable Information
The look and functionality of your website are key for providing an engaging experience that draws in visitors and keeps them. But without the inclusion of practical, useful information, your site serves essentially as an online brochure; prospects may visit once, but they likely won’t return.
By offering helpful information, you give your visitors a reason to return to your site and to provide you with their personal information. You also create additional opportunities for conversions that translate to full waiting lists and increased occupancy.