James Melton

James was a writer and content manager at Sagapixel. He worked with our team of writers, ensuring our content follows best practices in copywriting, conversion rate optimization, and SEO.

How To Generate Leads For Senior Living Facilities

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Over the last four years, we’ve learned a thing or two on how to generate leads for senior living.

We’ve had the opportunity to work with senior living communities and assisted livings where we were able to generate leads through Google Ads as low as $12/each during our best month—and even lower through SEO.

In this article, I’m going to go over the two channels we used.

As it turns out, there are basic steps you can take to have a steady stream of leads for your sales team.

While lead generation for senior living takes some upfront effort and investment to get started, you’ll soon learn that taking the right steps now can help your senior living community drive new leads for years to come. 

This post will teach you how to put the power of lead generation in your own hands. By the end, you’ll learn that:

  • Your website is much more than a digital brochure—it’s your main lead generation machine.
  • One well-optimized piece of content can be the sole driver of leads to your community for years to come.
  • Over time, generating your own leads through SEO and Google Ads has a much better ROI than using lead generation services and online directories
  • Data-driven lead generation using proven tactics in digital marketing are ultimately more cost-effective for your senior community than traditional marketing channels. 

If you want to drive more qualified leads to your senior living community and ensure that your lead-generation efforts don’t go to waste, we can help you develop proven digital marketing marketing strategies. Give us a call to talk to a senior living digital marketing strategist

How Do Senior Living Communities Attract Residents?

There are many ways a senior living community can attract residents. The majority of leads come in through professional referrals from hospitals, primary care doctors, and other professional references. According to NIC MAP Vision, a market analytics firm specializing in the senior housing market, 70% of inbound leads come from professional referral services.

What about the other 30%? There are also leads that come in through third-party lead generation companies like A Place For Mom or Caring.com, and lead generation from your own marketing efforts. Though there are good reasons to use these third-party companies, there are several digital marketing drawbacks to using their services instead of generating your own leads.

  • You don’t control the messaging
  • You don’t have access to the strategic analyses of the referral service
  • You don’t control the prospect pools  

Their lead generation services will generate senior leads for you, it’s true. But the process of matching seniors with your senior living facilities is not a closely kept secret. In fact, these businesses use SEO and PPC to dominate the search results on Google.

Let’s explore this further—

If you search for “Senior Living Philadelphia,” two of the three top results are professional referral services. They appear at the top of the search results because they’ve invested in SEO to help them rank for local intent searches. 

Search for “Senior Living Philadelphia”

You could use these SEO and PPC marketing strategies to dominate the search results, and you would control the messaging and absorb the organic traffic from your efforts. 

How to Get My Own High-Quality Senior Living Facility Leads?

Let’s dig into two cost-effective ways to overhaul your digital marketing efforts and generate your own high-quality senior living facility leads: 

SEO and PPC (pay-per-click) advertising through Google Ads

PPC can have near-instant results, while SEO takes some time and patience to see your investment pay off. Also, PPC stops working as soon as you turn your ads off, but the lead generation opportunities from SEO are evergreen.

Which is better? Well, both SEO and PPC work well together in a comprehensive senior living digital marketing strategy. 

Let’s look at both in a bit more detail.

Google Ads for Senior Living Communities

PPC is a marketing channel where companies pay a small fee every time their advertisements are clicked on. If the click cost is $20, but the click leads to a lease deal lasting several years, the profit yield for just one year can be extremely high.

When it comes to PPC services for senior living communities, Google Ads is the way to go.

How Does Google Ads Work? 

Google Ads is a PPC platform that streamlines the PPC system and allows advertisers to get their business ads in front of customers. Businesses bid on keywords so that when customers enter searches into Google using these keywords, the top results are advertisements for that business.

Google considers the advertiser’s Ad Rank, which is a metric based on data pulled from the advertiser’s website, the quality of the advertisement (in terms of relevance, keyword optimization, etc.), and how much money an advertiser was willing to pay for the ad space.

The winners appear at the top of any search results page before the actual search results. When you see “Ad” or “Sponsored” to the left of the top few search results, now you know!

How is PPC different than paying for leads through a referral service?

PPC advertising takes potential residents or children of residents who are searching for a senior living community or related services directly to your website, not to the third-party website. When they click on your name, they come directly to you, not A Place For Mom or Caring.com.

Plus, if these leads visit your senior living community’s website but don’t contact you, you can “retarget” them with ads on Facebook, YouTube, and other websites. You’ve probably seen this practice in the past; you viewed a product, then were “followed around” for a few days, seeing ads for this product or service on other websites.

How much is the average cost-per-lead for senior living facilities using Google Ads?

Sagapixel runs Google Ads campaigns for several CCRCs and independent living communities, and the cost-per-lead usually ranges between $20 and $60 dollars. Our lowest cost-per-lead for one of our senior living community clients was $12.

How much should I pay for PPC management?

Unlike SEO, a strong PPC campaign can show results almost instantly. A keyword-targeted PPC campaign can potentially bring in new leads as soon as it launches. The challenge comes from actually doing the keyword research and optimizing your ads for Google’s search algorithms.

If you have the time and resources to learn the intricacies of Google Ads and how best to construct and implement winning advertising campaigns, then you definitely should. However, many senior living facilities do not have the time or the resources to do so without compromising the well-being of their business.

This is where hiring senior living digital marketing specialists can help your community run the best advertisement campaigns possible and generate tons of leads as a result. 

Check out this blog post if you want a breakdown of how PPC agencies charge for PPC management services.

Insights From PPC Leads

There’s a lot you can learn from the types of leads that come in through PPC. Due to the nature of PPC ads appearing at the top of the search results page, you can infer a greater sense of urgency for the person who clicked through. They may be looking to sign a lease sooner rather than later and aren’t as likely to be shopping around.

Whereas a lead that comes in through a directory or another channel might be a bit pickier. They may be comparative shoppers who are exploring many different options. For these types of leads, you may be up against more competition than leads that come in through Google Ads.

This is why it’s essential to track and analyze where your leads come from. 

SEO for Senior Living Communities

SEO is another marketing channel you can use to drive more residents to your senior community’s website without having to pay directly for them. SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of optimizing your website so that it appears in Google search results when people search for a particular product or service in a specific location.

Let’s get a bit more specific about senior living SEO. There are three main objectives of any senior living SEO strategy:

  • Technical SEO: Making sure the website is optimally crawled and indexed by Google
  • On-Page and Local SEO: Optimizing the relevance of the website’s content so that Google sees the content as valuable for addressing the keywords people use when searching for senior living facilities or the services offered by senior living facilities
  • Link building: Improving the authority and trustworthiness of your senior living facility’s website through link acquisition via digital PR and linkable asset creation.

Perhaps the most attractive reason to invest in SEO services is the work you do will continue to bring in leads long after you do it. For example, if a piece of content costs you $300 to produce from start to finish, but that post alone brings in ten residents over the course of several years, it was well worth it from an ROI perspective.

What is the difference between SEO and paying third-party referral agencies?

Well-executed SEO can replace the need for third-party lead providers because what they do for you is essentially SEO. However, the SEO they perform mostly benefits their business interests and only helps you indirectly.

Let’s explain:

When you pay to join senior living referral networks, these placement agencies do all the hard work of local SEO and keyword research to drive organic traffic back to their site instead of yours. They’ve convinced many in the senior living business that their services are necessary for success.

But, you can put work in to position your website so that it is the first that appears for local searches. Your senior living community’s website can appear at the top of the search results instead of A Place For Mom or Caring.com.

How Long Does SEO Take to Get Results?

A successful SEO campaign will take several months to bear fruit—anywhere from 6 to 12 months. This is for several reasons, but the primary reason is that Google needs to learn that your website is authoritative, relevant, and trustworthy regarding the targeted keywords you want to rank for.

Building an accessible site architecture and optimizing location pages, services pages, and content takes time, as does building up valuable and logical internal links and external links. However, the results of expertly executed SEO are proven.

Rank for Niche Senior Living Services To Attract More Residents

If you offer unique or niche senior living services, you can take advantage of these services to target searches related to these niche services. Developing localized service pages for specific senior living amenities, activities, and features adds authority and relevance to your site.

Ready To Generate Your Own Senior Living Leads?

Sagapixel has partnered with several senior living communities to help them grow their businesses and drive qualified leads organically through PPC and SEO services. Check out the long-term, sustained growth experienced by one of our long-term senior living facility clients over two years:

Take lead generation matters into your own hands and speak with one of our senior care marketers today

Check out some of our other Senior Living marketing articles

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