According to Google Trends, the numbers of US searches for phrases like “senior living near me,” “assisted living near me,” and “independent living near me” are near a five-year high and are still steadily increasing. In addition, occupancy levels at multiple types of senior living communities continue to rise, and the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care (NIC) has forecast that they’ll reach pre-pandemic levels between Q2 of 2022 and Q1 of 2023. 


If you’re interested in capturing this growing traffic segment before others do, it’s imperative you make your digital presence more competitive. Two branches of digital marketing that will pair well together to bring these new visitors to your site are Pay-per-Click Google Ads (PPC) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). 


Since it can take up to a year to see the results of even the best SEO implementations, you should direct your marketing team to first create and implement Pay-per-Click Google Ads strategies, as these will generate more immediate results for you. Once the PPC data begins to roll in, you’ll use it to develop long-term SEO plans for your website.


Below are four high level concepts that will help you understand the growth possibilities Google Ads will offer you, your website, and your community. These concepts are meant to start a productive dialogue, whether it is between you and your staff, between you and your peers, or between you and our specialists at SeniorVu. 


Your Current Cost Per Conversion

Is your team monitoring both the total number and the average cost per conversion (tour registrations, phone calls, or web form submissions) for your current digital marketing campaigns? If not, today’s a great day to start. You need benchmarks in order to improve. 


On Google’s search network, for instance, the average desktop conversion cost ranges from $26.17 to $101.40, and the average mobile conversion cost ranges from $19.35 to $140.40. Note that goods and services with longer sales cycles will have conversion costs on the higher end.


Ad Campaign Performance 

The beauty of Google Ads has always been the sheer amount of actionable insights right at your fingertips. Is one keyword suddenly eating up your entire month’s budget without any conversions to show for it? Remove it from its campaign. Do ads perform extraordinarily well during early morning hours? Increase that campaign’s budget for those particular times. Sadly, even with this readily available data, over 40% of Google Ads account managers do not track conversions. When your team spends a little extra time setting up conversion tracking on your website, you’ll have an immediate competitive edge over many of your competitors. 


Users and User Intent

You’ll need to create separate mobile and desktop search ads and ad campaigns for one very important reason: user intent on a mobile phone nearly always differs from desktop user intent. In fact, it’s so different that Google’s 172-page-long Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines (PDF) includes almost 20 pages on how to better understand the needs of the mobile user. Mobile users, according to Google, expect “results right away, at that moment, and may not be able to spend a lot of time to find what they are looking for.” Smartphones, above all else, “should make tasks easy.” 


Keywords and the Art of Ad Creation

A number of tools exist that generate keyword groups for Google Ads campaigns (including Google Ads itself), and they are incredibly useful. The tools do not, however, take into account the knowledge you and your staff have of your community, or the specific qualities that make your community unique. The best performing search ads combine your expertise with the pragmatism of keyword tools and, nine out of ten times, are individually written.

Creating and running successful Google Ad campaigns, then, takes a lot of effort and active maintenance. It is part art and part analysis – and it can also be a little overwhelming. If you would like to have a conversation about how Google Ads could be the key to bringing your move-ins back to pre-pandemic numbers, please contact us. We’d love to learn more about your community and what makes it great for everyone in it.