Yes, there are even more ways your online presence can hurt admissions… just when you thought you had enough work cut out for you!
In Part 1 of this series, we discussed the first three of ten reasons why your online presence may be hurting your census. To recap briefly, we analyzed the impacts of not posting on social media, boring and unappealing pages and negative comments. All these and more can be a massive turnoff for potential residents and patients. You can get all the details on these critical missteps in The Top Ten Ways Your Online Presence is Hurting Admissions (Part 1) – go ahead, read that first!
All caught up? Great, onwards and upwards! Here’s part 2 of the series, where we’ll discuss the next of the top ten reasons you’re literally pushing business away through your online presence.
Remember – TypoDuctions, the premier creative digital marketing agency in the healthcare marketing space, can help turn this sinking ship around, so be sure to give us a call if at any point while reading this piece you begin to get overwhelmed. It’s never too late to improve your online presence – and the best day to start is today!
- Negative reviews on Google, Facebook, Caring.com
- Your Google star rating is low
- Your Google My Business isn’t optimized
- Unanswered questions, comments, Google reviews
- Contact info (or any info) on website is wrong
- Contact info is hard to find
- Your website is dry and unappealing
Negative Reviews on Google, Facebook, Caring.com
We’ve all read a particularly nasty review on the Internet many a time. Often, we’re grateful to the writer for steering us from a bad purchase or experience. But imagine if YOU were the business owner – that’s NOT a great feeling, especially when you didn’t even know someone was disgruntled! Unfortunately, many of those reading this blog will be nodding their heads in recognition. In the Skilled Nursing space, negative reviews are an unfortunate reality and inevitability. Negative reviews on social media platforms, caring.com, aplaceformom.com, and especially Google are toxic to your online image.
So what to do about it? First of all: NEVER ignore it. It will not be magically removed by the Google fairies. It will not go away on its own. Always respond, and attempt to have the review removed. If you’re not sure how to do that, reach out to our team today.
Your Google Star Rating is low
Speaking of negativity on Google, your Google Star Rating is one of the keys to the kingdom of admissions. It seems so unfair that the entire worth of your dedicated staff, thousands of dollars in renovations, and lovely resident body can be whittled down to one little digit, but that’s tough reality in the eyes of the Internet researcher. So what to do? You need to do some online reputation management.
Firstly, address your negative reviews. See above.
Secondly, it’s time to pump that page with positivity! Encourage your staff, residents, and their families to share their positive experiences in a Google review. Avoid “politely” forcing those parties to share their thoughts – it may backfire and result in an even lower star rating. TypoDuctions offers our clients several unique strategies on how to bump that star rating up. We can discuss your options with you today in a short phone call!
Your Google My Business page isn’t optimized.
The pictures are dull and unappealing. The questions are unanswered. The website link is wrong and the reviews are abysmal. Let me ask: are you running to bring your ailing mom to this facility? If the answer is yes, there’s a revenge plot brewing. Cleaning up your Google My Business page is a simple way to capture eyes and hearts.
You may be scoffing – we don’t even HAVE a Google Results page, silly author!
Don’t know how to break this to you – but you can have a Google Results page even if you didn’t make one. And it can be hurting admissions every minute of every day unless you gain access and make it right. Not sure how to do that? TypoDuctions can help!
Unanswered questions, comments, Google reviews
Let’s dive deeper into this point – why is it so bad to have unresponded-to reviews, unanswered questions on Google, and unaddressed comments on social media? The answer is simple: it shows a lack of appreciation for your community. It’s so hard to get engagement of any kind online. By not responding to their interactions with your brand, you’re subconsciously rejecting them and making them appear irrelevant to your brand. NO ONE likes to feel like they don’t matter, especially when they’re already in the vulnerable position of searching for long- or short-term care.
Respond to those reviews, even if they’re terrible. Answer people’s questions, even if they seem silly and you’ve answered their question a million times on your website. And interact with your commenters – they’re the ones boosting your social media presence!
Contact info on the website is wrong
Picture this: You’re starving. You decide to order a pizza. You Google “Pizza Hut near mw” – yes, we know you mistyped in your ravenous haze – and a Google listing comes up. You call the number and – huh? – you get a dial tone. The number is disconnected. You grow unnecessarily furious. How DARE the Pizza Hut give me the wrong number! You proceed to call the other local pizza shop and Pizza Hut loses a customer.
Apply that same scenario to a potential resident or their loved one calling on their behalf. Forget losing a customer – you’ll inadvertently incite their wrath against your facility. Making sure your contact info – phone, email address, physical address – is correct across the internet at every touchpoint is critical to taking a potential resident, and those helping them make a decision, through your pipeline. They can’t “learn more” if you don’t give them the tools to get their questions answered.
Contact info is hard to find
And on that note, make sure it’s simple for potential residents and their loved ones to contact you. You don’t want them searching high and low for a simple phone number – a mistake we’ve seen many SNFs make. We recommend having your best contact phone number for the admissions department displayed prominently on both the top and bottom of your website, as well as on every page.
If you choose to offer a “Contact Us” form, make sure it’s short enough to not scare people away, while still gathering enough information for your admissions team to assess the potentials’ needs.
Your website is dry and unappealing
We’ve made it to the final way your online presence could be hurting admissions. It’s time to talk about your website. Whether you’ve never updated it in years and it’s collecting dust, or you just dropped 10-grand-plus on upgrading it and it can now file your taxes for you, your website is truly a digital storefront for all the world to see. It’s CRITICAL to make sure your website hits these three key goals:
- It’s informative
- It’s easy to read and navigate
- It’s easy on the eyes
If you can’t confidently say your website hits those three targets, it’s time to make a change. Are the photos drab and somewhat depressing? Does the site contain a ton of buzzwords like “better outcomes” and “personalized care” but doesn’t list your actual services? Is it block after block of text that even you wouldn’t bother to sift through? Asking these questions means you’re one step closer to having an optimized website that acts as a tool to reel clients in, vs. pushing them away.
Speaking of websites – the TypoDuctions website team helps conceptualize, create, and upkeep gorgeous sites that reel in potential residents while boosting your SEO. Contact us today to learn more about this service!
With that, we’ve reached the end of this series. Congrats on finishing a crash course in online reputation management 101! We hope you gained some solid takeaways on how to improve your online presence and thereby boost your admissions. It’s a competitive field we’re in, so taking every step to ensure you’re not pushing any potential residents away is crucial to the success of your enterprise.
Your friendly neighborhood digital marketing experts, TypoDuctions, are on-call and excited to help you tackle any of the challenges listed above – just reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and say “Howdy!”