Yesterday I published an article titled “New Series: Ask The Experts”. In one sentence, the way the series will work is that a group of experts will look at a marketing piece and offer suggestions on how to make it better.
This is always done with the permission of the senior living community and they will have a chance to review the article before it is published. The reason for this is simple. While we hope the series will be a learning experience for the entire readership community, we do not want to turn it into a problem for the community that volunteered their marketing material.
The first community is Chelsea Place, an Anthem Memory Care community in the Denver Colorado Area. I want to commend the Anthem Memory Care team for agreeing to let us offer them our Senior Housing Forum insights in support of their digital marketing efforts. I would also note that Anthem is in the process of migrating their site to a new platform and, by the time you read this evaluation, they will have seen the suggestions, and may have made some of the recommended changes.
The website is laid out well, navigates well, the images are attractive, and the site is informative. I like the way they present their mission statement to clarify their purpose and commitment to serve their residents. The two areas I would address to make their site stand out are:
- Adding reviews . . . instead of or in addition to testimonials.
- Adding a walk-through video of the entire community from the front door and through the entire grounds, inside and out.
I think Internet-savvy searchers from far and near would benefit from the additional research elements.
Jay Reischl & Jeanine Aspen
With so many older adults and Baby Boomers using social media, it’s important, helpful, and convenient to have “stay connected” buttons or widgets on your website linked to your senior living community’s social profiles.
Chelsea Place has two social media buttons — Facebook and LinkedIn — at the bottom of their homepage (and in the footer across their website). The links behind those buttons should be optimized. Ideally, they should take visitors to the Chelsea Place page or to the Anthem company page.
Best practice for social media buttons: Take the user directly to your social profile to make it easy for them to “like” you on Facebook or elsewhere.”
Denise Graab, Director of Social Community
I LOVE the video. As the quintessential “adult child” this would motivate a visit.
The play button should be the “above the fold and obvious as a video” . . . Just the “play” symbol below the fold might not be enough information. It took me three different looks at the site to realize it was there.
I would like to see a call to action at the end of the video.
The calendar is empty. If it belongs there at all, it should be a sub menu item under community.
Lastly, and this is a personal peccadillo, there needs to be more transparency on pricing. No one – the customer or sales rep – wants to waste time these days, and all sides want to pre-qualify. I think at the least, a range of prices should be included.
Bailey Beeken, Executive Director
From a design perspective, the website is nicely done. The typeface superimposed on the home page images seems dated relative to the rest of the site, and may be difficult for older eyes to read given all that is going on behind the words.
Chelsea Place might consider a more modern, bolder font and possibly blurring the portion of the photos where the words appear to create greater contrast.
The online registration form on the Contact Us page should have the label copy outside the fields, as the labels disappear once users begin entering their information. While not a critical flaw, this is an established best practice.
Paul Flowers, President
The design is attractive and is mobile responsive, a must these days. Some additional thoughts:
- Some of the backend resources could be compiled into one resource and the site would then load faster.
- I like the ‘Visit’ arrow on the nav – attractive and noticeable. It’s ok to have the first item the nav the same as the second, something done often in senior living, but you might also make the top-level nav clickable as well.
- The Contact Us form looks good and there’s an attractive Google map beside the form. A message or comments field is good, but you might also consider a couple of additional check boxes: “I am interested in” and “I am inquiring for.” This would give sales people more information and could feed directly into an email service like Mail Chimp for remarketing activities.
- The titles of each page are not optimized for SEO. They do explicitly say what the page is about, which is good, but lack the community name and other keywords that might allow the title to be more descriptive.
- The META description tag could be enhanced with intriguing language that would optimize key words and entice visitors.
- The home page could use at least one Call-To-Action. Some type of suggested next step.
- They should have Google Analytics on the site.
Alex Boyce, Director of Technology and Online Marketing
That’s the first go at this series.
What do you think?
Do you have a website or other marketing piece you would like to have the experts evaluate?