Senior Living Marketing: How to Optimize Your Local Search Engine Results

An important marketing strategy for senior living providers today is Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. It is a proven best practice for building awareness of your community and attracting attention to your website, your key benefits and points of differentiation, and your social media outlets.

Special Challenges for Multi-site Providers

Google’s number one consideration in local searches is the physical address of a business. This provides most communities with great rankings in their local markets. However, for senior living providers that have an extended service area, it can prove problematic.

For specific location local searches, there is an inherent bias towards businesses that physically operate within that location. Therefore, competitors from other towns and cities often get excluded from the results. This is particularly true in densely competitive markets, since the high number of biased location-specific results push out any neighboring competitors. In less competitive locations, a strong Local SEO strategy will often be sufficient to break into the rankings, but not with rankings as high as those businesses that are physically located in that market.

Recent Changes in Local Search Functioning

Google has made a number of algorithm changes in recent months regarding local searches. The focus of local searches has now been placed more on directory site listings and the integrated Google+ Local results. Data since May of 2012 has indicated a major increase in traffic to the major directories, e.g. Yellow Pages, presumably at the expense of “local business” sites. The Google algorithm is constantly changing, so this may be a temporary condition. Ultimately, Google wants to provide the highest quality results to users, so whatever type of site they feel provides the best information for the user will usually win in the search rankings.

Strategies You Can Use to Compensate for Local Search Bias

There are not many options to get around Google’s imbedded algorithm preferences for search activities. However, despite the limitations implemented by Google’s algorithm, there are still ways for providers with extended service areas to improve their visibility in local searches. These include:


Google’s social network, Google+ is highly integrated with local search. Maintaining your business on Google+ Local will likely improve rankings in the specific local market, as well as less competitive neighboring markets. Google+ Local listings are the profiles that display in Google Places results and the map on local search results.


Write articles about what the community does for residents of the areas you want to be ranked for. Optimize your blog posts for relevant keywords and try to incorporate references to nearby businesses or addresses that will help search engines relate your business to that area. Keep in mind that Google’s main concern regarding rankings is the usefulness of content to users.


As previously mentioned, much emphasis in local search is now being placed on directory sites. Ensuring that your business has good listings in the main directories, i.e. Yelp, Yellow Pages, Super Pages, as well as any specific directories that rank well for the searches in question, can improve your website traffic and leads without directly improving your rankings.


Having a strong Facebook presence boosts brand awareness and frequently increases SEO results across the board. Facebook ads also have the ability to target specific demographics, allowing you to reach your audience without them having to specifically search for services.

Pay Per Click (PPC)

A “PPC” campaign can target keywords in neighboring markets that might be impossible to reach organically, especially in competitive markets. The benefits of using PPC in this manner are that the results happen relatively quickly and the listings display above the actual search results. The downsides are that PPC campaigns cost money to run and users often trust ad results less than organic results. PPC campaigns also don’t have permanent effects on search rankings (i.e. the results stop when the campaign is stopped).

Service Area Page

Including a service area page on the website that explicitly states the targeted counties/cities could potentially boost rankings for less competitive markets. However, this technique will rarely penetrate a densely competitive market.

Senior Living Social Media 101

There’s a lot to know about senior living social media. From choosing a community’s social media platforms to implementing content marketing strategies and more, it can feel overwhelming to even the most seasoned social media gurus. What’s more, according to the Pew...

How To Develop a Senior Living Marketing Plan

What Is a Senior Living Marketing Plan? A marketing plan is also regarded as an advertising strategy that a company, in this case a retirement community, will implement to help them achieve (or exceed) their operational goals and marketing initiatives for a set period...

40 Years and 40 Pieces of Sage Advice

2023 has been a year full of new ideas, growth, and planning for the future. At SageAge, 2023 brings a significant milestone for our company – our 40th anniversary. In honor of our 40 years of delivering strategic marketing and business growth strategies to the senior...

The Best Senior Living CRM: Three Experts Weigh In

Looking to end your days of manually entering customer data in Excel? If so, a customer relationship management (CRM) tool is the perfect choice. Three of our senior living industry experts are weighing in on everything you need to know about CRM. Meet the SageAge...

How To Generate Leads for Senior Living Communities

Are you looking for ways to spark robust lead generation through your senior living marketing strategy? With the right team on your side and the right approach, it might be easier than you think. Check out some of these top ways to generate senior living leads through...

Senior Living SEO: 7 Tactics That Work

Want to discover a cost-effective way to provide value to others while enhancing your senior living strategy? Through Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, you can do just that.  What Is SEO? SEO is about improving your website’s visibility to search engines, increasing...

The Importance of Responding to Online Reviews

Did you know: 95% of people consult reviews before purchasing products or services. 88% of consumers are likely to use a business if they can see the business owner responds to all reviews, whether positive or negative. 87% of consumers used Google to evaluate local...

What Are the Housing Restrictions for Facebook and PPC?

As we know, technology is always changing and adapting. It’s something many of those in the senior housing and marketing fields are used to. One of the most recent changes is making a larger impact on how we target ad audiences on Facebook and through pay-per-click...

The Rise of Senior Living Occupancy

As COVID-19 created a landscape of uncertainty in senior living facilities, experts knew there would be challenges and effects that lasted long after. Although the pandemic continues, many types of senior living communities and care facilities, like continuing care...

4 Ways TikTok Is Redefining Senior Living Social Media

Whether you’ve heard about it, tried it out, or use it regularly, TikTok is taking the world by storm. This social media platform, which focuses on short-form video, is seemingly on everyone’s mind in one sense or another, and more often than not, people are following...
Share This