[Report]: Why care home marketing depends on organic search

Following a difficult few years for the care homes sector, we decided to do some trend spotting using anonymised data from Mediahawk.

We wanted to see what factors are impacting care home marketing strategy and what you, as a care home marketer, need to do about it.

Our findings were very revealing – in fact, we found six key trends that are impacting the sector right now.

For this blog post, we’re going to focus on one of those trends: the growth of organic search in care home marketing.

Want to discover all six trends from our research? Download the care home trends report.

What’s happening with organic search in care home marketing?

When we analysed data from Mediahawk, we found two key observations regarding organic search and the role it plays in care home marketing:

  1. Organic search is a significant driver of traffic to care home websites.
  2. People visiting your website via organic search are much more likely to pick up the phone and call you than traffic from any other channel.

Let’s dive deeper into these points and give you some actionable takeaways to help you get the most value from organic search.

Organic search drives web traffic

Google organic (which includes Google Business Profile) plays a crucial role in traffic acquisition.

Our data shows that both Google organic and PPC have seen significant year-on-year growth (18% and 19% increases respectively).

This suggests care home marketers are focusing more budget on brand awareness campaigns, driving search traffic towards their websites.

Which is great news. But how do you ensure your organic search traffic converts into enquiries and, ultimately, move-ins?

The answer lies in how well your website and its content can engage with visitors. Now, more than ever, it’s essential to optimise your web content around the needs of your visitors – at every stage of their journey – and give them a clear reason to take action.

Here are three things you can start right now to help get the most from your organic search traffic.

  1. Create content around topics people search for
    Using analytics tools such as Google Search Console and Mediahawk’s speech analytics allows you to see and hear the terms commonly used and searched for by your website visitors. Many of these terms will allude to questions or concerns your web visitors may have. Use these to help you plan useful, informative content that keeps visitors engaged with your brand.
  2. Add an FAQ section to your website
    Following on from point 1, frequently asked questions (FAQ) sections provide quick access to crucial information your website visitors may be looking for. Search engines, by design, will want to serve users with the most useful content in answer to their queries. Having an FAQ means that, if you have a great answer to a commonly asked query, your content will likely be served higher up the search results than your competitors. Mine your keyword and speech analytics data once again to find the most commonly asked questions and build them into a comprehensive FAQ page.
  3. Keep your content fresh
    Appearing consistently in the results of your target audience’s searches depends on having plenty of fresh content on your website. But don’t create content for content’s sake. Use surveys and feedback forms to further understand where web visitors’ needs lie. Track and analyse the performance of your content (Mediahawk can help with this) in driving leads along the customer journey, then adjust your content strategy for optimum results.

Organic search delivers phone calls

Our calls-by-source data shows that many phone calls coming into care homes can be attributed to organic traffic.

In fact, organic traffic still plays the most significant role in generating phone calls via a website.

Organic traffic still plays the most significant role in generating phone calls via a website.

This poses the question: Is your Google organic house admin in good order?

Here are two things you should check today to make sure you can maximise the number of phone calls coming in from your organic search traffic.

  1. Have you linked your Google Business Profile (GBP) and started running UTM tags that feed into your analytics platform? It’s a good idea to run an alternative telephone number within GBP so you can identify how many calls are coming from there.
  2. If you’re a Mediahawk user, you can also run speech analytics on your calls to break down the words and phrases being used by callers and feed these back into your marketing strategy. Use this data to understand the needs and challenges callers have. Then create stand out content for your website to answer those queries directly. This will further drive success in your organic search efforts.

When it comes to the search engines driving traffic, Google is still dominant (as you’d expect).

However, Microsoft’s Bing search engine is a source of traffic that shouldn’t be overlooked – despite the dominance of Google.

In fact, for the care sector, Bing actually plays a pivotal role. Why? Because Bing is the default platform on Microsoft computers. If your ageing demographic tends to prefer Microsoft hardware, you may find they automatically use the search engine that’s recommended by their machine.

This doesn’t mean you should halt your Google ads. But we’d recommend checking your analytics data for Bing traffic and budgeting for Bing ads accordingly.

Our research uncovered further trends around the types of care services most enquired about, the role of PPC in care home marketing, whether Facebook helps drive phone calls and much more.

So if you’re tasked with devising care home marketing strategies, we highly recommend downloading your copy of the free report. Alternatively, you can see all the findings, plus hear expert commentary from Mediahawk, in our on-demand webinar.

About the author - Faye Thomassen

Head of Marketing at Mediahawk. CIM Chartered Marketer with an extensive career covering a wide range of sectors and experience including: driving digital marketing and communications strategies and tactics, managing the development of channels, building brands, and creating and launching digital products.

Mediahawk trends report: Care homes.
Discover six key marketing trends impacting care homes right now

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