Who Is Searching For Your Web Site? We previously established that it is most often the adult child of an older adult who searches for a senior living
website, being reactive to a situation that has arisen with the parent(s), most often a health or cognitive concern. When seniors conduct a search
on their own behalf, they fall into one of two categories: the reactive consumer or the proactive consumer. Read prior article.
THE OLDER ADULT AS A CUSTOMER
Some older adult customers think similarly to their children; they are reacting to a recent situation, a cognitive or physical need.If shopping without a spouse, they tend to involve some influential party in the process, although they may not do so in the early stages of exploration. Within this reactive category, if the older adult is shopping as part of a couple, one member of the couple typically feels more urgency than the other. Ironically, the one that seeks the solution is usually the healthier of the pair, perhaps reflecting denial on the part of the less healthy person. At times, both members of the couple have health concerns; but in this situation, the adult child usually assumes the primary role of searching.
Profile of the Reactive Older Adult Consumer:
- Single person with a current health situation
- Couple in which one person has a health concern
- Couple in which both members of couple have health concerns; most often involving adult child
Conversely, some older adults are proactive in their search. These people tend to be planners.Planners relish retaining control over their lives and planning for their future, whatever it may hold in store for them. They search as singles, singles due to a spousal death, and couples.If planners do, in fact, have a health concern, it is not normally acute at the time of their search.
Profile of the Proactive Older Adult Consumer:
- Planners who want to maintain control over their lives and make their own decisions
- Planners who anticipate a health concern in the future and want a strategy for the future (such health concerns may include early cognitive impairment, Parkinson’s diagnosis, Post-Polio Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy)
- Planners within a couple when one member has health concerns, but the other remains healthy
APPEALING TO THE OLDER ADULT – what are they seeking?
The reactive older adult, like their children, seeks a solution to a problem, so your web site should provide similar types of material: a solution to a problem and direct information. Once again, provide as much detail as you can in an easily navigated hierarchy. The older adult tends to be concerned with costs, so be sure that you stress the value to be received from moving into your community.
On the other hand, proactive older adults tend to be vital and active. Therefore, they seek hospitality and lifestyle. Your messaging should emphasize the robust life enrichment program, fitness program, and the freedom to enjoy life as they choose without home ownership worries. Web site copy and images should reflect a dynamic, vital community with engaged residents. Even though access to levels of care is not the central focus, be sure that visitors to your site realize the safety net that levels of health care provide, should they need it.
Choosing your copy and your images for the web site is not dissimilar to that same task in your printed material. The significant differences involve creating easy navigation to locate information and portable designs that resize page content to fit other devices. The simpler the navigation, the more successful the consumer will be in locating what is needed. Attempt to divide your funnels into a main bar and a secondary bar above the main menu bar. Subjects such as Residence Options, Lifestyle, About Us and Health Services may reside in the main menu bar, whereas Employment, Resident Calendar, and Gifting may appear on a secondary bar above the main menu.
Creating a website that engages customers with differing priorities is challenge enough, but we must go one step further. Our true goal is to satisfy Google while attracting and engaging customers. Can we balance 500 words of copy with the need to create an attractive site? Next week’s blog will explore that dilemma.
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About the Author
Patty Scotten is a consultant with Retirement DYNAMICS® and serves as their marketing manager. Patty has over twenty five years’ experience in the senior living industry and has led several communities in preselling expansions or increasing occupancy levels. She graduated from Elon University and holds a Masters Degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Patty is licensed as both an assisted living and nursing home administrator.