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Expert SEO Tactics to Improve Your Senior Living Website

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Expert SEO Tactics to Improve Your Senior Living Website

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is key to your marketing success, but did you know there are different layers to your SEO that you need to consider when creating your website?

Technical SEO involves optimizing a website to meet the technical standards of contemporary search engines, aiming to boost organic search rankings. In this blog, we’ll teach you:

  • 5 factors of technical SEO 
  • Why these factors are important
  • How to improve these 5 areas of your website

1. Site Speed Optimization

Site speed refers to the time it takes for a web browser to display the content of a webpage after a user has clicked on it. Again, we know inherently that a fast-loading website is better for your website’s performance, but why does it matter? Some key findings about site speed include:

  • User Experience: Users expect quick, responsive web experiences. A delay of even a few seconds can lead to frustration and abandonment of the site.
  • SEO Rankings: Search engines like Google consider site speed as a ranking factor. Faster sites are likely to rank higher in search results, leading to increased visibility.
  • Conversion Rates: Site speed impacts conversion rates. Faster websites are more effective at converting visitors into qualified leads.

Additionally, your website should take no longer than 2 seconds to load according to Google. Some factors that can affect your site speed include:

  • Web Hosting: The quality of web hosting services affects site speed. High-performance servers can significantly reduce loading times.
  • Large Files & Images: Large, unoptimized images and files can slow down a website. Optimizing these elements can lead to significant speed improvements.
  • Code Density: Bulky, unoptimized code (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) can increase load times. Minimizing and compressing code can enhance speed.
  • Too Many Redirects: Excessive redirects can create unnecessary HTTP requests, leading to delays.
  • Plugins & Widgets: Too many plugins or poorly coded widgets can slow down a website.

Fortunately, there are strategies you can implement to address these issues, such as:

  • Optimize Images: Compress images and use modern formats like WebP to reduce their size without compromising quality.
  • Minify & Combine Files: Reduce the size of CSS, JavaScript, and HTML files through minification and combine them where possible to reduce the number of server requests.
  • Leverage Browser Caching: Store parts of your site locally in users’ browsers to speed up loading times for repeat visitors.
  • Improve Server Response Time: Optimize your web server’s configuration and consider upgrading your hosting if necessary.
  • Reduce Redirects: Minimize the use of redirects to decrease the number of HTTP requests.
  • Use Asynchronous Loading for CSS and JavaScript: Load some scripts asynchronously to speed up page rendering.

2. Mobile Responsiveness

Mobile responsiveness refers to the ability of a website to adapt its layout and content to fit the screens of mobile devices, like your smartphone or tablet. In 2024, nearly 60% of all web traffic is through a mobile device. It is crucial to ensure your website is adapted for mobile devices as it provides the following:

  • Enhanced User Experience: A mobile-responsive website automatically adjusts to the user’s device, offering an optimized browsing experience without the need for zooming or horizontal scrolling.
  • SEO Benefits: Search engines like Google prioritize mobile-friendly websites in their search results, especially for searches conducted on mobile devices.
  • Increased Reach: With the growing number of users accessing the internet via mobile devices, having a mobile-responsive website expands your audience reach.
  • Higher Conversion Rates: A user-friendly mobile experience can lead to increased engagement and higher conversion rates, as users are more likely to interact with a website that functions well on their device.

But understanding the importance of mobile responsiveness is only half the battle. To implement mobile responsiveness for your community websites, you must consider the following:

  • Fluid Grid Layouts: Uses relative units like percentages, rather than fixed units like pixels, for layout components, allowing them to resize relative to the screen size.
  • Flexible Images & Media: Ensures that images and other media types scale correctly within their containing elements to avoid breaking the layout on smaller screens.
  • Media Queries: CSS technology that allows web content to adapt to different conditions, such as screen resolutions. Media queries apply different styles based on device characteristics.
  • Readable Text Without Zoom: Text size adjusts to be readable on small screens without requiring zooming.
  • Accessible Menus: Navigation menus are converted into dropdowns or toggle menus that are easier to use on small screens.
  • Touch-Friendly Interfaces: Design elements such as buttons and links are sized and spaced to accommodate touch interactions.
  • Responsive Web Design (RWD): Incorporates fluid grids, flexible images, and media queries to build websites that adapt their layout to the viewing environment.
  • Mobile-First Design: A design strategy that starts by designing for the smallest mobile device first and then progressively enhances the design for larger screens.

3. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate

Security is a top priority for Google. A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate is a digital certificate that provides encryption for data transmitted between a web browser and a web server. 

It plays a critical role in securing online communications and transactions by ensuring that sensitive information (such as credit card numbers, personal data, and login credentials) sent over the internet is encrypted and remains confidential. 

The benefits of SSL Certificates for your website include:

  • Enhanced Security: Protects data integrity and confidentiality.
  • SEO Advantages: Google and other search engines give preference to HTTPS-enabled websites.
  • Increased Trust & Conversion Rates: A visible indicator of security can improve user trust and potentially increase conversion rates.

Implementing an SSL Certificate for your website is easy. Follow these steps to secure an SSL Certificate: 

  • Purchase & Verification: Obtain an SSL certificate from a reputable Certificate Authority. The level of verification and documentation required varies with the type of certificate.
  • Installation: Once issued, the SSL certificate must be installed on the web server hosting the website. This process can differ depending on the server type and hosting provider.
  • Configuration: Ensure that the website is configured to use HTTPS (instead of HTTP) for all pages, redirecting all traffic securely.

And remember: your SSL Certificate has an expiry date, so it’s important to renew your SSL Certification when necessary. 

4. Improve Internal Linking

Internal linking is simply the practice of creating links that go from one page on your website to another page on that same website. These links are used to navigate a website, structure information in the most accessible way possible, and distribute page authority and ranking power throughout the site. Internal linking matters because it affects these factors:

  • Navigation: Helps users navigate the website easily, leading them from one piece of content to another in a logical manner.
  • Website Hierarchy: Establishes an information hierarchy on the site, making it easier for search engines to crawl and understand the site’s structure.
  • Page Authority Distribution: Distributes page authority and ranking power across pages, helping improve the visibility of important but less linked-to pages.
  • User Engagement: Encourages users to spend more time on the site by providing them with easy access to related content, thus reducing bounce rates and improving the user experience.

Now, internal linking doesn’t mean you should go onto your website and hyperlink every single word or phrase that’s remotely related to another page. You want to be intentional. For effective internal linking, consider the following:

  • Use Descriptive Anchor Texts: Anchor texts should be relevant and descriptive of the content they link to, aiding both users and search engines in understanding the context of the linked page.
  • Link Deep: Avoid over-linking to top-level pages like the homepage or contact page. Instead, focus on linking to deep, content-rich pages to distribute link equity more evenly.
  • Create Content Hubs: Organize related content into hubs, using a main “pillar” page that links to more detailed “cluster” pages on specific topics. This structure supports topic relevance and authority.
  • Link Relevantly: Ensure that internal links are contextually relevant to the content of the page. Relevant links are more useful to users and are valued higher by search engines.
  • Use a Reasonable Number of Links: Don’t overload a page with too many internal links. Keep the number of links on a page to a reasonable amount to avoid diluting link value and overwhelming users.
  • Ensure Links Are Crawlable: Use standard HTML links (a tags with href attributes) to ensure that search engines can crawl and follow the links. Avoid using JavaScript for critical internal links as it can hinder search engine discoverability.

You probably noticed this blog has internal links to our CITIZEN website. You also may have noticed that those links don’t overwhelm the content and are placed strategically to ensure you, the reader, can get to the information you need without bombarding you or losing the key message of the blog. The same principle applies to your web content.  

5. Website Navigation

Website navigation refers to how a user moves through your website. Your website’s navigation should be intuitive and accessible. Your goal is to make your website both easy to navigate and limit the amount of clicking around unnecessarily. If users are struggling to find the information they’re looking for, there’s a higher chance they will leave your website.

Follow these best practices when designing your website’s navigation:

  • Simplicity: Navigation should be straightforward, avoiding complex or confusing structures that can lead to user frustration.
  • Consistency: Maintaining consistent navigation across the entire website helps users learn and remember how to navigate your site, improving usability.
  • Accessibility: Navigation elements should be accessible to all users, including those with disabilities, ensuring compliance with web accessibility standards.
  • Visibility: Important navigation elements should be prominently displayed and easy to find, typically placed in the header or at the top of web pages.
  • User-Centric Design: Understand your audience and design the site architecture and navigation to meet their needs and expectations.
  • Scalability: Plan for future growth by creating a flexible structure that can accommodate new content or sections without requiring a complete redesign.

Use Advanced Analytics Tracking

Utilize tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console for insights on user behavior and website performance to guide your SEO strategy. 

Implementing these technical SEO tactics requires a blend of technical know-how and marketing acumen. Remember, the goal is to create a seamless, secure, and efficient online experience that not only pleases search engines but also provides immense value to your potential residents and their families. 

Next Steps

As you begin to implement changes to your SEO strategies, it’s important to monitor and adapt your approach on an ongoing basis. The digital world is continuously changing, and staying ahead means being agile and informed.

Check your SEO health with our free SEO checklist, or contact us for a free consultation. We’re always happy to help!

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