Imagine you are presented with five separate websites, all reflecting the same area of expertise. How long do you think it would take for you to choose your favorite? A few minutes? Seconds? Your brain processes this kind of information within milliseconds. Milliseconds! What does that mean for your aging services organization? It means that your prospective residents may be judging your organization instantly based on just your website homepage. Can beautiful graphics and professional images prove to be enough of a competitive edge for communities looking to stand out?
Not likely. You may feel intimidated by your competitors’ new flashy website and begin talks with your team to initiate a re-design. Pursuing this refresh may help your community become more competitive within the senior living market. However, when a refresh is completed in haste or out of feelings of intimidation, it is more likely your website will be lacking a real strategy.
So where should you start when exploring website redevelopment opportunities? Work with your team to identify your competitive advantage through resident surveys or focus groups and put that message to market. Ask your favorite residents and their families what their deciding factor was in choosing your community. What do they love most about you? What are you offering that others aren’t? Once you’ve gathered that data, it will be clear what needs to be front and center on a new website. Images, graphics and buttons are critical pieces of a website but strategic storytelling and brand messaging that resonates with your target audience is arguably the most important success factor.
Consider working with an outside agency to fine-tune details. Professional designers will offer a unique perspective to your challenges and offer new strategies to craft a beautiful, functional and sales-oriented website that is as unique as your community. Starting with strategy and moving to professional development will allow the organization’s website to reflect its core essence and value proposition. This unique messaging will resonate with your prospects on a deeper level regardless of how flashy or interactive other websites may be.