Local SEO

Senior living SEO: Assist families in finding the right care

Make it easier for new residents to discover your facility with quality senior living search engine optimization

Quick Summary
  • Senior living SEO requires a different approach than other local services due to the sensitive nature of the transition into assisted living.
  • Appearing at the top of Google’s Local Pack can set you apart from other retirement homes, as can a strong review profile.
  • For nursing homes handling their own local SEO, Semrush’s Listing Management is a powerful tool that greatly reduces the workload.

The search for an assisted living facility, whether for oneself or a loved one, can be a trying time that often becomes overwhelming for those involved.

But assisted living facilities that invest in quality senior living SEO can help put the minds of potential residents and their families at ease.

Offering valuable information in business listings, generating reviews so they can learn from residents’ experiences and creating the right website content can seriously help them as they make one of life’s biggest decisions.

Making the process of discovering the right nursing home simple and reassuring is the least we can do for our senior citizens, and fortunately, it can all be done with just one suite of tools.

How to approach senior living SEO

While senior living search engine optimization shares a lot of the same techniques applied generally in local SEO, there are some things that set it apart.

The focus in senior living SEO should be on the qualities of the facility that convey safety and care, meaning testimonials from other residents and families are especially valuable.

Reviews are visible from the outset of a local search for an assisted living facility, because they’re displayed in the Local Pack on the first page of Google results.

Screenshot 2023-09-11 at 01.54.35.png

In the example above, the top result is likely to get the most attention. Colonial Assisted Living has significantly more reviews than the second and third results, plus a particularly glowing review in the extract.

But there’s more to getting this kind of search exposure than simply having the highest number of reviews, including smart listings distribution and quality online content.

With multiple local options for senior living, working on local SEO so your facility stands out like Colonial Assisted Living can make a huge impact on the number of new residents moving in.

Listings distribution: A good first step for senior living SEO

Before you can climb to the top of Google’s Local Pack like Colonial Assisted Living, you’ll first need to optimize your Google Business Profile (GBP).

Claim and verify your profile (search the name of your assisted living facility to see if one already exists) or create a new one .

Screenshot 2023-09-11 at 01.54.42.png

Go through every section of the GBP editor to make sure you’ve completed everything and added as much value as possible.

Pay special attention to the description, which gives you up to 750 characters to present your assisted living facility in the best light, including relevant keywords.

Choose the category that best describes your nursing home as your primary category and, if relevant, select others as secondary categories:

  • Assisted living facility
  • Retirement community
  • Retirement home
  • Nursing home
  • Senior citizen center

Add photos to give users a clear idea of what the community is like and help them feel confident about paying you a visit and getting the full tour.

Screenshot 2023-09-11 at 01.55.04.png

The questions and answers section is a great place to put any common queries you typically get (you can add your own questions and answer them yourself), so users can quickly determine whether they’ve found the right place.

You should also list if your facility has wheelchair access and disabled toilet accessibility.

Make sure your NAP data (name, address, phone number) is accurate, because when you go on to build more business listings, they’ll need to match your GBP exactly.

Listing on other directories not only maximizes your visibility, but it also sends a signal to search engines like Google that your business has a strong online prominence, which is a ranking factor according to Google itself.

Properly optimized listings with good reviews are more likely to appear in voice search results. With a larger percentage of the senior population suffering from vision impairment, voice search optimization should be included in your overall local SEO strategy.

Helping hand: Listing distribution is an important part of senior living SEO, but it can take a long time to build a strong presence if you’re uploading your details to each directory individually. Use Semrush’s Listing Management to get your nursing home published in 70+ directories and see improvements in your rankings faster.

Five-star reviews: Extra valuable in assisted living search engine optimization

Online reviews are likely the first thing people searching for retirement homes check as part of their decision-making process.

Review generation for senior living SEO needs to be done with more tact than a restaurant, for example, because reviewers will be giving feedback on the care of their loved one, if not their own experience with assisted living.

While sending an SMS with a link to your Google reviews link to your Google reviews is usually the best strategy, nursing homes might benefit from approaching residents and family members for reviews face-to-face.

Screenshot 2023-09-11 at 01.55.20.png

The right time might be at the end of a scheduled meeting after everyone is in agreement that all is well and the resident is happy.

When you do receive reviews, it’s important to leave a reply. Replying to reviews is beneficial to assisted living search engine optimization for three reasons:

  1. It helps build better relationships with residents and their families.
  2. It shows potential residents that you take feedback seriously.
  3. It can lead to a 12% increase in reviews received (according to a study from Harvard Business Review ).

Negative reviews are especially important to get back to. Even if you’ve only got one bad review, people considering leaving their parents in your care will check it to see if it has any merit. Your reply should acknowledge the complaint and explain what’s been done to make amends. If you’re able to satisfy them with your response, they may decide to take the review down.

Simplify reviews: Residents and their families are free to leave reviews on any platform they choose, and it’s up to you to keep track of them all. To make life easier, use Semrush’s Review Management Semrush’s Review Management to gather all your reviews into one interface so you don’t leave a single review without a response.

Senior living SEO content that puts their minds at ease

Business listings are a big part of a successful senior living search engine optimization strategy, but you can’t ignore your website.

First, you’ll want to do a site audit to make sure your technical SEO is up to scratch. Urgent things you might need to fix include:

  • Broken internal links
  • Duplicate content
  • Pages without titles
  • Redirect loops
  • Pages that load slowly

Once your site health has been given the all clear, it’s time to move on to your senior living SEO content strategy.

Content creation starts with thorough keyword research. Users won’t just be looking for things like “retirement home in [location]”, they’ll also be searching for specific amenities like “assisted living with activities” or have questions about insurance.

Screenshot 2023-09-11 at 01.55.29.png

Potential residents may have specific needs, such as assistance with serious vision or hearing impairment, so content that addresses any doubts about the level of care on offer positions your senior living facility above others that don’t mention it.

It’s often the children of senior citizens that are looking for guidance on the best retirement homes for their mom and dad, so consider the kinds of questions they would have.

Show what life is like in the assisted facility. Both seniors and their families will be looking for evidence that their loved ones will be safe and well cared for.

The transition into assisted living can be an emotional time, so all content must be written with the feelings of those involved in mind.

Senior citizens aren’t always tech-savvy, so nice clear websites and simple navigation can go a long way to getting them to commit to a tour.

Check your
local listings for free

Take your assisted living search engine optimization further with Semrush Local

The key to success with senior living search engine optimization is a lot of hard work, but that doesn’t mean you need to do everything the hard way.

Trust Semrush’s Listing Management to be your guide to better assisted living search engine optimization and get more new residents asking about your facilities.

Cover all the directories seniors use

While Google is the world’s number one search engine, older internet users still use Yahoo because it’s what they’re used to.

However, it’s impossible to submit to Yahoo directly after the company announced that the only way to get published into the directory is via third-party listing managers.

Semrush’s Listing Management can distribute your nursing home’s essential details to Yahoo and 70+ other directories without the hassle of doing it one by one.
The Online Presence interface in Listing Management

Keep your online presence in good health

Distributing your nursing home’s essential details to top directories is one task, but managing them all can be an ongoing struggle.

Listings rarely stay consistent for long, with duplicate profiles popping up, phone numbers changing and seasonal opening hours shifting things out of line.

Semrush’s Listing Management keeps a keen eye on your listings and lets you know the moment it discovers something is amiss, so you can decide what the tool should do to rectify it.
Possible duplicate profiles that may need to be suppressed

Track resident sentiment over time


Reviews are extra important to senior living SEO. No one is going to leave their parents in the hands of carers who have been publicly called out online.

Set clear goals for your review strategy based on your competitor analysis and track your progress as you improve your average rating.

To make the process a lot easier, use Review Management’s handy dashboard to see the bigger picture of how you’ve grown over time.
The Review Progress dashboard in Listing Management

Compare to other local facilities

In a competitive market, keeping an eye on other local retirement homes can give you the edge as you earn more visibility in local search.

The data you gather should serve as the basis of your KPIs for review generation so your path to the top is laid out clearly in front of you.

For the most accurate competitor analysis, use Semrush’s Listing Management to learn exactly where every senior facility is positioned, their review status, and what you have to do to become the go-to option for families who want the best care.
Heatmap, a useful feature for senior living SEO
Still have questions? We’ve got answers!
I agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy