It takes a lot to run a successful home care business in today’s environment of shrinking reimbursements, rising product costs and increased competition. You have to be an expert at patient care, finances, leadership, sales and marketing and much more just to keep pace. So much of any type of marketing nowadays, involves understanding online search and social media, which includes familiar names like Google, Yelp and Facebook. Many businesses make common mistakes when it comes to online marketing. Here are 5 simple tips to help grow your home care business online.
1) Put your phone number in a prominent place on your website – starting with your home page
Digital media specialists vSplash estimate that nearly half of small to medium size business websites fail to display their phone number on their website home page. Customers seeking information about your business may want to simply pick up the phone after finding your website and learn more about you, schedule an appointment or just see if someone picks up the phone. Along the same line, display an email address or “contact us” form. Also found by vSplash, 9 out of 10 websites failed to display an email address or contact form. While some customers may wish to reach out to your business over the phone, others will prefer a digital mode and would rather type out an email.
2) Increase your Google Page Rank to Show Up in Search Results
26% of local businesses do not show up in Google search results because their sites do not have a Google page rank. This means that Google is unaware that your website exists. Page rank is a ranking system developed by Google founders Larry Page and Sergi Brinn. To increase your page rank, you need to convince other websites to link to your website. When another site links to your site, it passes some of its page rank to your website. The more popular the site linking to your website, the more page rank passed to your site. The first step in showing up in Google is getting other sites to link back to your site. Look for local resource websites for senior care; email them with your business information and ask them to link to your website. Or, host an event at your facility or someplace locally and submit a press release to the local news stations. Include a link to your website where you provide more information about the event. They will likely publish the information on their websites, linking back to your site to provide their audience more information. Voilà – you have just created back links to your site.
3) Stake your claim on Yelp.com
Yelp.com is an online resource that features business information and reviews and is used by millions each month. It’s likely that you already have a business listing on Yelp.com but in order to take advantage of their site you must “claim” your business. After some validation, you will be able to add additional information about your business making it more likely to show up in local search results on Google. According to Yelp, a business that claims it’s listing averages more than $8,000 in revenue per year over non-claimed businesses.
Create a Facebook page for your home care business. With over 1 billion users, it’s highly likely that your potential customers use Facebook and may make their decision whether or not to use your services based on what they see on your Facebook page. Take the time to create a Facebook page for your business; add an “about us” page, your logo, contact information, a link to your website and a profile pic to represent your business. Once created, post something daily to keep your audience engaged
5) Blog, blog, blog
Create a blog for your business; share your experience and knowledge. Blogs are easy to create and make a great way to publish relevant and interesting information to engage your potential customers. Post informative, helpful information on a regular basis. Be creative and think of topics your audience would want to read. Think about family members considering options for home care vs. skilled nursing; or, senior care homes vs. home care. There are benefits to almost any scenario. Write in an objective way that supports your view. Here’s your first writing assignment: “3 Mistakes People Make Selecting a Homecare Company”.
While the battle ground may be smaller, the war rages on at a local level, to capture the interest and attention of potential home care customers. Armed with knowledge and the right tools, your business can rise above all others and thrive in even the most competitive markets.
Allegro Medical has been selling medical supplies and home health care products online since 1997. Although much has changed since then, many online marketing fundamentals have remained the same. Start with these 5 tips and you are building a solid base that will act as the foundation for more advanced online marketing techniques.
“More than One-Quarter of SMB Websites Cannot Be Found in Online Searches” vSplash’s SMB DigitalScape.
“Facebook Tops Billion-User Mark”. The Wall Street Journal (New York). October 4, 2012. Retrieved October 4, 2012.