Every year, Seniorhomes.com, a website designed to help consumers find the perfect senior living facility for themselves or a family member, comes out with its list of top provider websites.  This past year, 2014, it divided its list into two categories: large providers and small providers.

The lists are worth perusing and you can see the score from judges as well as the consumer vote (letting you know exactly what consumers like).  While each site is unique, there were some themes throughout all of the top sites that can be applied so that you can see your facility on the list next year:

No Do-it-Yourself

Every single website appears to have been created by a professional, and almost certainly was.  A website should be your facility’s best first appearance, as consumers will attribute your website’s attributes to your facility, whether or not such a leap is accurate.  If your website appears sloppy, unprofessional, or unfinished, consumers are likely to think your facility will be sloppy, unprofessional, and lacking.

It’s okay to draft the substantive content yourself since you’re likely to have the most intimate knowledge of your facility’s selling points. But when it comes to design, layout, and optimizing for mobile, leave it to the experts.

Easy to Navigate

All of the winning and consumer preferred websites are easy to navigate.  Again, using a professional will help achieve this goal, but generally this involves an easy to find navigation bar at the top or left of the screen and a clean homepage with minimal text and links to relevant pages.

Information on the best websites is divided into pages and subpages rather than thrown onto one page.  For example, a common practice is for multi-location operators to have subpages for each facility.  This type of division is simple but effective.

Provision Living received credit for its “large font” and “big buttons” lending to ease of use for seniors; but it’s important that font and buttons aren’t so big that the site appears juvenile or unprofessional.  Many devices can now be set to larger fonts or zoom without the website itself having to be set that way.  It’s a judgment call – but again, this is where using a professional can again come in handy.

Provide Resources

One of the attributes that received the most positive attention from judges, and likely consumers as well, is the provision of resources.  Top websites are more than sales brochures for the senior housing facility; instead, they provide valuable resources for seniors and their families.  For example, Holiday Retirement provides a Retirement Guide, Halcyon Hospice explains hospice to consumers and provides instructions for having difficult conversations, and Brookdale Senior Living has an entire section of “Elder Care Resources,” complete with a section of relevant definitions.

Call to Action

Finally, your sales staff will thank you if you make sure that your call to action is clear and appears on every page, following the lead of the top facility websites.  A call to action can be as simple as providing the phone number and e-mail link at the top of every page with the direction “Get in Touch” like Holiday Retirement (best large provider website) does.

Other Ways to Optimize Your Facility

Of course, an effective website is just one way to help improve your facility, and is relatively inexpensive.  For more expensive improvements, like renovations, that require additional capital, contact the real estate finance experts atCambridge Realty Capital today.

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