Knowing this, as a home care business owner, don’t assume that potential clients will only rely on word-of-mouth for information about your business. These potential clients will be searching the internet to find and compare home care businesses—and even if a friend recommends your services, they may turn to your website first for information before giving you a call. Your business should have a website that is well-designed, informative, and easy-to-access, and you should take advantage of online marketing tools to promote your business. Ultimately, your website should be easy for a potential client to find and enticing enough to turn that potential client into an actual client.
In addition to your website, there are many online marketing tools your business can use to increase your chances of being seen by a potential client. Here are details about some of the online methods other home care businesses are using:
1. Corporate Web Leads
Some businesses are part of a larger franchise, and they are able to use the franchise website to list their business information and gather referrals. Many franchise websites have an easy-to-access database where potential clients can search for a home care provider in their area. If your business is a member of a franchise, be sure to keep your contact information up to date on the franchise website.
Another option for gathering corporate web leads, especially if your business is not part of a franchise, is to join an association, such as the Home Care Association of America (HCAOA). Associations serve as a gathering place for agency owners and provide various services to members. Many associations provide a referral service where members can be listed under a database of home care providers. In addition, you can include the association’s logo on your website, which shows potential clients that you are an established home care business.
2. Lead Generating Sites
Only 4.1% of home care businesses interviewed by Home Care Pulse use internet lead generating sites as marketing sources, but for those businesses, this method brings in 11.5% of their annual revenue. Businesses must pay to join these sites and access their services, for example to be listed on the site’s database.
Some lead generating sites are offered by businesses as a service for their clients. An example of this type of site is BestofHomeCare.com and Caring.com. Home care businesses that are certified through our Satisfaction Management Program can be listed on BestofHomeCare.com, and your client reviews can be sent to Caring.com for potential clients to see.
3. Google AdWords/Pay-Per-Click
Some home care businesses are finding success using Google AdWords. As shown by the image above, 7.5% of businesses using this marketing method reported pay-per-click bringing in at least 24.6% of their annual revenue in 2015.
Many people turn to internet search engines, such as Google, to find information online. Knowing potential clients may use Google to search for a home care provider, businesses pay to ensure their ad appears in Google search results, with the goal of appearing first or second.
4. Search Engine Optimization
Whether or not you pay to use Google AdWords, your business should be using search engine optimization (SEO) to utilize the free marketing services Google and other search engines offer. Google has an army of search engine “robots” that quickly scan every page on the web, making note of the topics each website covers. Once they determine what you do, they show your site to people looking for your services based on how relevant they feel your site is.
Many home care businesses are already using this free option. SEO is the number one marketing method, with 15.1% of businesses surveyed taking advantage of this opportunity. Our survey results show that these businesses aren’t making as much revenue from SEO as they are from other marketing sources—but this can be hard to track. And often businesses attempt to use SEO, but don’t really know how the process works.
There are many ways you can utilize online marketing to grow your home care business. From traditional to online, it is ultimately up to you to decide what will work best for your budget and your business. You don’t need to commit large amounts of money to see your marketing efforts pay off. Start off with small amounts of money and energy. If it’s successful, invest more. By keeping track of your successes and failures, you will learn what works best for you.