Digital MarketingHealth

How to Do Marketing for a Nursing Home

How to Do Marketing for a Nursing Home

In this insights piece, we’re looking at answering a question that we’re asked all the time here at business telegraph. The question being ‘how can I market my nursing home’ or some variation of this question. This question may seem straightforward, but the answer is dependant on many variables, such as:

What Determines a Home’s Marketing Strategy?

Type of home – The niche that your home sits in (i.e. an elderly home or a dementia home) will determine what marketing channels are most suitable for your overall strategy. For example, if you run a dementia home in a small area, there may be a lot of competition in paid ads – but with SEO, you may be able to spend less money to see results. This is a hypothetical example.

Location of your home – If your home is situated in a saturated area, then paid ads are likely to be expensive. For this reason, it may be suggestable for you to engage in SEO more than PPC. Again, this is just a hypothetical example of how location can impact the marketing strategy.

Marketing budget – The higher a marketing budget, the more marketing channels you can afford to explore. If you have a budget of £10,000, this is enough for an aggressive PPC and SEO campaign – whereas with £500, it’s best to stick with one channel.

What are the Different Marketing Channels for Nursing Homes?

We’ve looked at what factors can determine a marketing strategy. Now let’s look at what marketing channels make up this strategy.

Nursing homes typically operate within a small region, whether it be a town or a city, care homes don’t typically target residents at a country-wide level. This means that widespread media channels (such as radio and TV) are typically ineffective – for this reason we suggest that small and mid-size homes avoid large-scale social media campaigns and unfocused PR efforts. Instead, we suggest running hyper focused ads (such as Google ads) and SEO (where you rank for a specific location).

We spoke to Keyla Norman, founder of Jenkl – a leading care home marketing company to find out what she recommends for care/nursing homes looking to drive leads through digital channels:

“For smaller budgets I’d always suggest putting it into SEO. With paid ads (PPC) you need around £1,500 per month as a minimum. This budget goes into testing and it can take a few weeks to fine tune a campaign – which ends up being slightly more expensive than SEO in the short term”.

Paid Search Ads

Even without knowing it, you come across paid search ads every time you input a query on a search engine. Paid search ads are the links to websites that show at the top of the results page, under “Sponsored”. In this section, we look at why you may or may not want to run paid ads for your care home.

How do Paid Ads Work?

PPC (Pay-Per-Click) is a type of paid, where you pay a search engine to display a link to your website at the top of the search results. Let’s say that you want your website to display for “dementia home Essex” for users who search that term in Essex. Google ads, for example, will have a cost associated with this keyword – also known as the Cost Per Click (or CPC rate). This click is likely be anywhere from £0.50 to £2. Once you launch your campaign, Google will keep displaying your paid link until the budget runs out.

Benefits of Running Paid Ads for a Care Home

Fast results – There is one primary benefit of running PPC/paid ads instead of SEO, and that is time. Unlike organic marketing channels, paid ads can start generating clicks to your website as soon as your campaign goes live. With SEO, it can take weeks or even longer in some cases to get drive clicks to your website.

Robust pricing – Another upside to running paid ads is that you can turn them off. If you fill all the rooms in your home and no longer want to run ads, you can simply switch your campaign off. This will prevent your ad displaying any longer and you will not be billed beyond that point.

Downsides to Running Paid Ads for a Care Home

Expensive for care – Care home sit within the health sector, which sees some of the highest CPC rates out of all sectors. This means that compared against other businesses, you might be paying more for per click to keep your advert live.

Search Engine Optimisation (Organic Marketing)

In this section we explore the reasons why SEO may or may not be the right marketing channel for your care home.

How Does SEO Work?

Search engine optimisation is the process of improving a website to improve its visibility on search engines. Once you have a website for your care home, improving the SEO of it will help it rank on search engines, with the aim of driving leads and referrals.

SEO consists of three main pillars: content, technical and backlinks.

Content covers the words and multimedia on your website. Content is the most important part of SEO, and the quality of your content will be the primary determiner of how your site ranks. Content should be original and answer what the reader is looking for.

Links or backlinks are hyperlinks on another website that point to yours. Backlinks are an off-page signal that search engines use to determine the authority of your website. Links are about quality and when an established website links to yours, it adds to the authority of your site.

Technical SEO covers the fundamental construction of your site. Site speed and overall function is covered under technical SEO.

Benefits of SEO for a Care Home

SEO is suitable for all care homes. Unlike PPC, search engine optimisation is an organic channel and requires much less financial investment. Despite taking weeks or longer to drive results, a care home can undertake SEO and improve their rankings over time.

Downsides of SEO for a Care Home

As mentioned previously, SEO can take a long time to see results. Unlike PPC, you may be waiting weeks or longer for your website to rank and drive leads.

What’s Suitable for Your Home?

If you manage/direct a nursing home and are looking to drive leads and referrals through digital channels, it’s a good idea to use a marketing agency or freelancer.

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