LiveWell at Birchwood Lake Estates (LiveWell Assisted Living) in Chapel Hill, North Carolina received its first review on in October 2012. It was 5 stars (the highest possible rating) from a daughter-in-law who was helping select the community for her spouse’s mother. By the end of 2012, the community had received 5 more positive consumer reviews, and people were calling and visiting the community with mention of the reviews they’d read online.

“I realized that was quickly going to become the Yelp of senior care,” said Zack Fraley, Vice President of LiveWell Care, Inc., a family owned and operated business representing over 20 years of healthcare management. “I made the decision early on to focus on reviews, and on Caring’s reviews site specifically, and it hasn’t failed us.”

When Zack first began working on LiveWell’s search engine optimization (SEO) in 2012, he noticed the quality of’s content and found the site to be well indexed and search optimized — ranking high on page 1 results for many of the keyword searches he did. Zack wanted to concentrate his organization’s marketing efforts, recognizing the SEO “barnacle strategy” of attaching to a reputable and relevant partner site, and found to be a perfect match for growing awareness and affinity with his brand online.

“No one is a stranger to Google,” Zack says, “and when they go to Google, they’ll find our listing and read what everybody else is saying about us. Even when prospective residents and their family members call our number directly, they’ll say, ‘Hey, we saw your reviews on We see that other families have had a great experience with you all.’ At LiveWell, we’ve taken note of that, and have increased our efforts on because it’s working for us.”

LiveWell’s Diane Beckett (Chief Care Officer) and Zack Fraley

LiveWell is the only operator of both in-home care and care home or “micro-communites” for older adults in North Carolina. LiveWell now operates 6 properties in North Carolina’s “research triangle” of Raleigh–Durham–Chapel Hill, and has 23 reviews total on their listings. The original location at Birchwood Lake Estates earned so many positive reviews that they became a Caring Stars award-winning community three years in a row — earning the title of “Caring Super Star” and the only one who earned that coveted distinction in North Carolina in 2015.

“These awards that we’ve received have distinguished us among the top assisted living communities in the country,” Zack said. “The reviews on have been a phenomenal marketing asset for us, helping us to widely get exposure that would have been difficult to get otherwise.”

To sustain its outstanding online reputation, LiveWell incorporated its reviews focus in staff orientation and training, and circulates new reviews among the entire team — to help reinforce the positive impact these caregivers are having for those they serve. The initial success of the Birchwood Lake Estates location has helped set a high-bar standard for their other locations, creating a culture that reflects their commitment to service excellence.

Beyond achieving Caring Stars, the LiveWell team was also recognized by The Department on Aging in Orange County, North Carolina, receiving multiple awards for excellence in caregiving. Pictured left to right: Marriettie Morris (Care Home Manager), Anita Aiken (Care Home Manager), and Diane Beckett.

“The reviews we’ve received show how much focus we have on the details of the services we provide, and in turn, lead to employee satisfaction as well,” Zack said. “Our caregivers are able to see how great they’re doing, and say to themselves, ‘Yes, I’m actually going to be able to have an impact here based on how LiveWell operates’.”

LiveWell is also using the consumer reviews in their community sales process.

“If the prospective resident or family member hasn’t already mentioned that they’ve read our reviews online, it’s one of the first things we direct them to,” Zack says. “We’ve been doing this since the beginning when we only had the one Caring Stars listing, and now we do it for all of our locations.”

LiveWell definitely shines in search results on — few other assisted living communities in its area have exceeded or matched the quantity and quality of reviews Zack’s team has earned from families and older adults on (the closest assisted living community with 20+ positive reviews on is about 25 miles away, and there are less than a dozen total in the entire state that currently have that review volume). For Chapel Hill and Durham, LiveWell listings rank at or near the top of assisted living and care home search results — the review volume attracting clicks and listing visits from senior care searchers.

“Our partnership with is a very important aspect of our marketing for all of our communities,” Zack says. “The positive reviews we’ve received for the flagship location reflect a level of service that families can expect at any of our locations, and helps us share those feedback stories widely and strengthen our reputation of having happy customers and great employees.”

Well done, LiveWell! You successfully seized this digital marketing opportunity — years before many of your competitors, and have since clearly demonstrated the multiple benefits of building your online reputation through reviews on!

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Denise Graab

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