Search engine traffic remains one of the biggest drivers to home care websites.

Targeted search traffic is also one of the highest converting sources of traffic (right there with social media) for homecare companies.

If you want more visitors finding your site you need a search optimized website.

OK, so that is obvious! But over the last year, SEO has changed in significant ways, and will continue to change over the next year. In the past, you could optimize a few page titles, add some keywords in your URL, stuff keywords into content, build a few links and … better rankings. Today, that’s not necessarily the case.  Let’s take a closer look at SEO.

SEO: 3 Things You Must Do to Rank Well in 2016 and 2017

The search algorithms take into account hundreds of different ranking factors. But for the purposes of this post, we will key in on three of the biggest factors driving search rankings today that will carry through 2016 and 2017:

1. Add quality content. Don’t just keyword everything

As mentioned above, you used to be able to stuff a page with the keywords you wanted to rank well for and in many cases do pretty well. That no longer works. Sites that rank well have placed a strong emphasis on creating a deep library of valuable content. Instead of focusing on filling your website with keywords, focus on consistently filling it with great content. Google has a sophisticated search-ranking algorithm that looks at the semantics of your content to infer value for the end searcher.

Also, Google looks closely at related search terms and overall topics–not just individual keywords.  So for your company, if you want to rank well for a phrase like “Home Care Services in Orlando,” you need to cast a wider net.  It’s no longer enough to just focus on that one sole keyword phrase. While Google may still search your site and see that phrase, it’s also looking at related terms to judge your relevancy.  So a site that includes “Home Care Services in Orlando” in their content, along with other terms like assisted home care agency, senior care, in-home elderly care, caregiving care, non medical care services, in home senior care, senior companionship, senior care services, home care services, elder care services (you get the point!) will have a better chance of ranking well.

So, instead of focusing on a small set of keywords, expand your reach.  On your web pages (services pages, about us, etc.), include your “core” keywords, then use blog content, brochures,and other resources to surround those core keywords with complimentary terms.  Our clients who have employed this strategy over the last several years continue to see strong growth in organic search traffic.  While those that get lazy and don’t add new content to their website continue to see their share of search engine traffic decline (and it will get worse for them in 2017).

2. Make sure you have a good user experience

High-ranking sites tend to be very easy to use and provide a great user experience. Here are some key components of the user experience that ALL home healthcare companies need to examine:

Have a job board / career portal on your domain. One key elements of user experience that search engines examine is “bounce rate.”  A bounce is someone that lands on your site and leaves after only visiting one page.  Sites with high bounce rates show Google that maybe your site isn’t relevant for the user–after all they left after visiting only one page. The problem in the home care industry is that many companies use a job board for hiring caregivers that is on someone else’s domain! That means when someone visits your site and immediately clicks to search jobs, they leave the site (counting as a bounce because they are no longer on your domain). When choosing a job board, choose one that allows you to keep everything on your site. To check this on your site, just act like a job seeker, visit your jobs and look at the URL.

Build a responsive website. Responsive websites are designed to automatically adjust to fit the screen size of the device you’re on. From desktop to tablet to mobile, the site conforms to provide the best possible user experience. If your desktop site loads on your mobile device, fix it! Google now claims that “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.”

Use bullets, large text and buttons. Sites that are user-friendly organize content in an easy-to-read way and provide users with a simple way to get more information.  Make sure that your copy is presented in a nice way by using bullets, headlines and subheadings. Make sure that your calls to action and other complimentary navigation buttons are easy to use on desktop and mobile.

Look at analytics reports. Take a close look at site analytics and determine where visitors are falling off. Fix those pages by adjusting copy, adding calls to action, or eliminating the page if it’s unnecessary. Pages with high Exit and Bounce rates could hurt your overall user experience.
Add more valuable content. Sites that offer valuable content, beyond just your services and contact info, provide a better user experience. Visitors don’t bounce as frequently, they visit more pages and stay on your site longer — all indicators that you should rank higher in search results! Take the time to build out a library of great content.

3. Focus on content and organic links

Instead of buying backlinks, create good content that people want to share and engage with. Once you write a good article, share that on industry association sites, referral source sites, community center sites, Chamber of Commerce sites, etc. Look for other organizations that would see value from your content and allow them to freely post it (as long as they provide a link back to your website). This strategy will help you build not only more links, but more valuable links that drive SEO value .

When a person is searching for care for a family member or a loved one, you want them finding your website. These strategies will help.

Need help with SEO for your website?

Contact Home Care Marketing Pros today. We will provide an in-depth analysis of your current website and offer suggestions for improving search rankings and converting more visitors. You can learn more about our SEO for home care websites here.