Everyone wants more traffic to their website and many senior living communities and their ad agencies have relied on Google Ads to target consumers who are likely to be interested in senior care. “Target” is the key word in that previous sentence. Think of it like you would a billboard you see along the side of the highway. A local diner in Philadelphia wouldn’t advertise their Saturday morning blue plate special along a road in Boise, Idaho. It’s a waste of money!
Google Ads were designed to help you advertise to the people who are most likely to be interested in your business, but it comes with rules which Google updates on occasion. In case you missed it, last fall was one of those occasions and the changes are having an impact on the senior care industry.
Google is regularly evaluating and reiterating their policies to ensure they are protecting users from behaviors like unlawful discrimination which is good thing! However, their latest update to their personalization advertising makes target marketing for senior housing more challenging than ever. For more than a decade, the Google rules understandably have prohibited advertisers from targeting users based on race, religion, ethnicity and sexual orientation. Their newest set of rules impacts the housing industry and that includes senior living. Now advertisers are not allowed to target market consumers based on gender, age, parental status, marital status and zip codes. National origin and disability have been added to the list too. Google Ads has worked closely with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on these rule changes for some time.
What does this mean to senior living digital ad abilities? It’s a little early to tell but what digital marketing experts believe is that we can all expect to see costs to rise. Communities that have refined their Google Ad spend over the years will likely see higher costs across the board: per lead, per contacted lead, per tour scheduled, per tour completed and per move-in. Negative spend which is wasted spend or spend without a conversion, is expected to go up too, and it’s believed we will see lower click-through-rates (CTR). One small shining moment is that it will increase your employment leads.
So, what’s a community to do, besides suck it up and deal with it? SeniorVu has a solid solution but before we go there (we don’t want this to feel like a sales pitch) we have a list of important questions we think you should ask the agency in charge of your digital marketing and Google Ads.
- Do they know about the new personalization advertiser policy for Google Ads?
- How have those rules affected your ad spend?
- How are they targeting on Google Ads?
- How many leads, contacted leads, tours, completed tours and move-ins have they generated for you?
- How many leads are coming from branded vs non-branded keywords?
Now, back to that solid solution that’s actually been a part of SeniorVu’s platform the whole time we’ve been in business – our 84-million person database. Yes, you read that correctly. SeniorVu has a database that tracks 254 datapoints on 84- million people over the age of 45 across every nook and cranny of the country! That database provides us with a solid “loophole” to the newest Google Ad rules. When SeniorVu has an accurate persona of a resident who lives in your community, our platform can search that gigantic database with all of those people and all their datapoints to find other people who are just like them, then market directly to them! Bada Boom!
There’s another way to get better results under the new Google Ad rules. It is another “solid solution” tool we keep in our back pockets at SeniorVu that we share with our clients only. It’s something our digital marketing team is incredibly good at and something they have been doing for our clients for years. If you don’t like the answers, you’re getting from your ad agency, want to get a second opinion about your ad spend and most importantly want better results, then give Cole a call at 913-284-4226. He’ll connect you with the smarty pants on the SeniorVu team who are pulling the digital marketing levers and producing results for SeniorVu clients.