SEO (also known as Search Engine Optimization) may sound daunting at first, but it’s actually not as complicated as it seems, and it can be hugely beneficial to help you succeed and grow your adult family home (AFH) business in the long run.
Let’s examine what SEO does and how it can benefit your AFH business.
First Things First
Now, before we get started with an SEO tutorial, we first need to take care of the basic steps:
Create a website for your AFH business
Install Google Analytics, which gives you free tools to analyze data for your business
Go to Search Console and confirm that Google has your website indexed: in the Coverage section, check the valid number of pages - it should be roughly equal to the number of pages on your site, which means that Google has all of your website pages indexed
Claim or create a Google My Business listing, a free service that lets businesses establish a profile with a brief overview, location, contact information, products and services, business hours, customer reviews, link to your website, and other relevant information
Make sure your website is mobile-friendly by using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test
Now that the basics are out of the way, we can move on to SEO.
What Is SEO?
Simply put, SEO is a way to improve a website in order to increase its visibility to people searching for products or services. In other words, it’s about making small changes to a website or a piece of content that will rank it higher in Google searches.
The purpose, of course, is to get more potential clients to quickly and easily find your AFH on Google.
How to Improve Your Website’s SEO
Here are some steps you can take right now to improve your AFH business website’s SEO:
Make Your Website Easy to Navigate
Your website should have a logical structure and be easy to navigate. To be specific, your website’s homepage should link to other important pages in the header and/or footer. Typically those should include the following pages:
“Home” - include a button that conveniently returns users to your home page
“About Us” - offer basic information about your AFH, your team of caregivers, as well as your mission and vision statements.
“Our Services” - list services your AFH offers, such as meal preparation, medication management, housekeeping and laundry, personal care, furniture, and basic supplies, etc.
“Gallery” - showcase your facility with professional photos that will entice potential clients
“FAQs” - answer questions a potential client may have in a clear and concise way, for example what is an AFH, who qualifies for it, etc.
”Locations” (if more than one) - include photos, addresses and contact information for each of your AFH locations
“Contact Us” - provide your address, phone number(s), email, visiting hours, and preferably include a simple form to allow users to request information or arrange a tour
The key is to start at your homepage, then find out how quickly and easily you can navigate to all of your important pages. Try having someone else with no knowledge of your AFH take a look at it and see how easily they find all the information they might need.
Fix Broken Pages and Links
Broken pages and links (also known as 404 not found pages) do not instill confidence in a website visitor because they suggest the website is neglected and poorly maintained. That can be because of links to other sites which have since been deleted, misspelled URLs, or URLs to pages that no longer exist on your website.
Check each page and link on your website to confirm they are all functional, then fix, direct or reinstate those that are not. We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to keep your site up to date.
Polish Your Content
Google analyzes the content on your website to determine whether that page is an appropriate result for a user’s query. That means that each of your pages has to include relevant and well-optimized content. Include content on each page - 100-200 words will suffice.
Use one Heading 1 on each page to serve as the title, for example “Our Services at [name of your AHF]” or “Welcome Home to [name of your AHF].” You can also use Heading 2 to Heading 6 subheadings, if necessary. For example, on the “Our Services” page, each of your services should appear as a subheading.
Be descriptive and complete. Use targeted keywords such as “quality care” and “core values,” but don’t overdo them. And finally, ensure that your spelling and grammar are flawless. Nobody is going to trust a business whose website is riddled with mistakes. It may be worth the investment to hire a professional copywriter to revise it.
Improve Your Site Speed
According to Google, 53% of all users abandon a mobile site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Things like plugins, popups, and bloated HTML can slow down your website.
You can use Google’s Pagespeed Insights Tool to check how fast your website loads. If it reports a slow website, consider hiring a professional to improve your site speed.
Have your website mentioned in useful places online. Try and get a mention in local online news sites, magazines or sites targeting the members of the AARP or other appropriate resources.
Google My Business is a must, but you can also list your AHF in other industry-specific directories that may send potential clients your way.
Create a Blog
Your website may also benefit from a blog page that could deal with a variety of issues affecting the elderly population.
One study found that businesses that have a blog have 55% more website visitors than those without one. In another study, 70% of consumers said they would rather learn about a business through content rather than traditional advertising.
Business blogging helps you build credibility with your audience, targets specific clients, improves your SEO, increases web traffic and your brand awareness.
Now that you know the basics of SEO and how it can benefit your adult family home business, you have some proven tools and steps that will increase your website visibility and attract more potential clients than ever before. Good luck!