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A few simple steps can set your business’s blog apart.

At our recent Digital Marketing Academy webinar on creating a lead-generating website, my guest Hendrik De Vries, creator of the Cyber Guide to building a great website, offered three suggestions:

  1. Add a call to action like “Call Now” with your phone number at the top of the homepage (and all other pages).
  2. Showcase and link to third-party review sites, because that’s what your website visitors want to do next, and you don’t want them hitting the “Back” button to return to Google to find them (thereby tanking your SEO mojo).
  3. Set up a blog and post regularly (to make sure Google notices you and ranks you high in their search results).

According to our poll during the webcast, 85% of senior care providers already have “Call Now” on their homepage. But most of you still don’t believe us when it comes to consumer reviews. And the most common feedback you gave me at the end of the webinar was that while people got the value of having a blog, they weren’t sure how to set one up, and what to post once they did so.

So, for those of you looking for more information, or for those who didn’t get a chance to attend the webinar, here’s my step-by-step blog action plan.

Step 1: Sign Up With a Blog Provider. There are a number of good options. We use WordPress. It takes about two minutes to set up an account with them, and then you need to get your website person to set up a sub-domain and link it from your corporate site (like our URL), which takes about 10 minutes.

Step 2: Start Writing. About what, you ask? I wouldn’t invest time writing about things like “how to pay for assisted living” because companies like Caring.com, Bankrate (our parent company), and ALFA.org already provide robust content around that, as well as teams of people whose jobs depend on us ranking high for those so-called root terms. And I wouldn’t bother with topics like “signs of dementia” because then you’re competing with The Mayo Clinic and WebMD, who also have teams of experts at their disposal.

Instead, you could write about events of interest to people who might eventually need your services, such as

  • An event being hosted at your town’s Senior Center
  • The local library purchasing additional large-type books
  • Position papers for city council candidates on things like handicapped parking spaces
  • A quick guide to senior discount hours at your local movie theater
  • Reviews of local restaurants with “Early Bird” specials
  • Your clients’ or residents’ memories of your town, 50 years ago, and how it has changed
  • Commentary or op-ed pieces on aging issues in your community
  • Q&A with your staff or executive team

You can also post updates about your community (if you’re a senior housing company) that validate your marketing promises, such as:

  • Your chef’s new meatloaf recipe (showcases your dining services)
  • Your latest guest speaker (establishes your expertise)
  • The Scout troop that came to play games with the residents
  • The activities your residents are enjoying this week (reinforces socialization message)
  • The most recent nice review you got on Caring.com (see, you knew I’d slip that in)

If you’re a home care provider, how about featuring:

  • Profiles of your caregivers (pick those with long service history)
  • Stories of services you provided for your clients (names removed, of course, to protect privacy)
  • Your clients’ stories of where they were for certain historical events
  • A funny thing that happened in your office (especially if it illustrates how caring your employees are)
  • The latest nice review you got on Caring.com

How about asking partners to guest post for you? A smart GCM might be happy to do this, in exchange for a link to her own website.

Here are a few links to partners of Caring.com who are using these tactics with their own blogs (since now that you’ve heard the idea, you’d like to see it in action, and I just kept you from hitting the “Back” button to find blog content)

Step 3: Market Your Blog. Don’t forget this step, it’s important. Cross-post to your blog from your Facebook page to drive traffic to your blog (plus, you’re probably looking for content there, too). Put a link to your blog in your email footer. Request links to relevant blog posts from the local companies and partners you write about. All these things signal to search engines that you’ve got great content with which people are engaged, which then causes your site to rank higher.

Have other ideas? Tweet them to me @CaringKatie.

For more of Hendrik’s great suggestions, here’s the recording of our webinar. He’s also offering a free Cyber Guide analysis of Caring.com partner company web sites. Click here for more information. And for a great summary of the webinar, check out this article in Home Health Care News.

Katie Roper

This article was written when Katie Roper was Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Caring.com. She's now a contributing author on this blog, as principal at Catenary Consulting.

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