Which online channel is best for Home Care Marketing

Which online marketing works for home health care agencies?

There are so many options when it comes to online marketing. Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, blogging, Yelp, Google. Then there are literally hundreds of are paid advertising platforms like Google Adwords, Facebook ads. So which one should a home care agency choose?

A true marketer would start with a simple question. Actually, this would have already been scoped out in a marketing plan. That question is

"Who is my customer". I don't mean something as broad as the elderly. This is a topic that can go on for pages so I won't dive in here. The point is, to choose which online channel you should pursue you have to know who your customer is, more importantly, how they behave. Where do they go online to look for home care?

Karen - our fictitious home care prospect

Think about your customers and their behavior. While there are many possible journeys that would lead Karen to need home care, let's take two that are fairly common.

  1. A referral: My mom is being hospitalized and will need post-hospitalization care.
  2. No referral: My parent is elderly and needs care

In the first scenario, Karen would likely get a referral from the institution. So there may not be much you can do in terms of online marketing. Sure, Karen might visit the referral's website. Karen is also likely to wonder if there are other choices. Which could lead to the same research path as scenario 2.

Where will Karen look for Home Care?

In the second case Karen is most likely to do one or more of the following.

  1. Karen may call some friends for a recommendation.
  2. Possibly go ask her friends on Facebook.
  3. Maybe even ask her community Facebook group (I see this happen in our community FB group, although never for home care but for local services) for a recommendation.
  4. Search Google for something like "Home Care in Atlanta, GA"
  5. Speak into her phone's voice assistant - "Home Care Agency near me" or "Home care agency in Atlanta, GA"

There is one that I would venture to say 80% of people like Karen will do. That is search Google.
Note that even the 5th item, triggers a Google search

Notice I did not say Karen would do any of the following:

  1. Go to Pinterest
  2. Go to directly to Yelp
  3. Go to Facebook and search for "home care"
  4. Remember the name of some company that she liked on Facebook six months ago because they put a post or advertisement in her Facebook feed.

There are certain behaviors that are inherent to your customer's journey when looking for home care. Had Karen been looking for makeup, she may very well go to Instagram or Youtube. This is an important distinction. I don't want you to think these other channels don't work for any customer, or that they could not work for home care. It is just that you want to pick the most meaningful channel and work on that first. In home care – and in many, if not most cases – Google is king.

Data that proves Google is king when it comes to home care

Let's look at the traffic going to some big home care company websites. This is a great way to make an objective decision

Griswold Home Care > www.griswoldhomecare.com

The chart below shows where their traffic comes from

  1. 64% of visits are from search engines
  2. 29% of visits are direct (people type the website directly into their browser)
  3. 4% of visits are from referrals (traffic from other websites)
  4. .1% of visits are from social media

Let that sink in for a minute. Through other metrics, I can estimate that this home care agency received about 800,000 visits to their website from Google in a three-month time frame.

64% - or an estimated 800,000 visits from Google

.1% from all social media. That's about 1,500 visits from social

home-care-website-traffic
Source: https://www.similarweb.com/website/griswoldhomecare.com#referrals

Right at Home > www.rightathome.net

The chart below shows where their traffic comes from

  1. 67% of visits are from search engines
  2. 20% of visits are direct (people type the website directly into their browser)
  3. 7% of visits are from referrals (traffic from other websites)
  4. .9% of visits are from social media

Source: https://www.similarweb.com/website/rightathome.net#overview

Right at Home > www.rightathome.net

The chart below shows where their traffic comes from

  1. 67% of visits are from search engines
  2. 20% of visits are direct (people type the website directly into their browser)
  3. 7% of visits are from referrals (traffic from other websites)
  4. .9% of visits are from social media

Source: https://www.similarweb.com/website/rightathome.net#overview

Synergy Home Care > www.synergyhomecare.com

The chart below shows where their traffic comes from

  1. 66% of visits are from search engines
  2. 18% of visits are direct (people type the website directly into their browser)
  3. 3% of visits are from referrals (traffic from other websites)
  4. .2% of visits are from social media

Source: https://www.similarweb.com/website/synergyhomecare.com#overview

Search engines are the winner!

Google holds approximately 70% of search engine traffic followed by Bing at 7%. Then there are others like Yahoo, Duck Duck Go, etc.

Moral of the story: If you want to generate leads online you MUST compete on Google.

What does marketing a home care agency on Google mean?

Sticking with our Karen example. Karen performs a search on Google for "Home Care Atlanta, GA". It's a broad search. Unless her mom lives directly in Atlanta she likely realizes the search is too broad. So she revises her search to "Home Care

Let's look at what Karen finds when searching for "Home Care Alpharetta, GA"

Searching for "Home Care Alpharetta, GA"

homecare-googleresults

  1. The first section is ads
  2. The second is what's referred to as Maps Pack and there is a More Maps link.
  3. The next area is organic or regular Google results.

Google Maps makes the phone ring

As you can see in the picture above, the local map pack takes up the majority of the screen. On mobile devices it is even more prominent - and there is a CALL feature. Do you want to increase client calls? Do you want to stop relying entirely on referral sources?

So how does one get their business into Google Maps?

The short answer is Search Engine Optimization (SEO for short). The long answer is too long for this post. Since I wouldn't leave you hanging, here are the main three components that will get your home care agency into Google Maps.

  1. Google My Business: You'll need a well crafted and optimized Google Business Profile
  2. Your Home Care Agency Website: Your website is the hub of your online activity. It MUST be properly coded – optimized – so Google can understand your business, services and geographic service area
  3. Off-Site Proof: Google depends on what it finds off your website to evaluate your businesses authority. Think things like directories, an article written about you, social profiles, etc, etc, etc.

A properly made home care agency website really matters

One part of your ability to get into Google Maps is your own website. After working on dozens of dozens of home care agency website, only 10% were created in such a way that Google would value them enough to put them into maps. It is sad. When we get hired, we often have to say – "We have to do a lot of work on your website".

In other cases, we met home care agency owners who built their websites themselves on something like Wix, Weebly or other website building tools. We ended up completely rebuilding those sites. Here is more information on why you should not use GoDaddy, Weebly, or Wix if you plan to build your own website.

There is just too much at stake when these sites are built from day one to not perform well. So we built a home care agency website builder. You can do it your self or we'll do it for you.

Will Karen hire your home health care agency or your competitor?

It is up to you. It is your home care business. You control the marketing strategy. When you evaluate your plan think about which channel (online or off) can produce more leads for you. Traditional referrals are critical. Online leads present a huge potential for you.

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