This is a replay from our live class in our Home Care Marketing Online Public Group. Join the group! https://www.facebook.com/groups/homecaremarketingonline

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Oh, my goodness. I think we’re going live. Hey, everybody. We are live. Whoa ho. Let’s see here. Okay. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Oh, no, no, no. Cancel. We don’t want to do that. We want to show our video. We’re going to do this, right? Right? Hey, everybody. This is Valerie. We are live for the first time and you are seeing my screen, which is awesome. So, that is very cool. I am going to look at my phone and see if I can tell that we are live because that’s weird. So, if you hear dogs barking or if you hear something crazy, it’s that I’m in the house, of course, in my home office, and I am live. So, that is always going to be weird. Let’s see if I can… Okay. So, I’m going to go to my phone and I’m going to type in home care marketing online and see if I can tell if we’re live. Oh, I can. Hey, everybody. I see four viewers. Woo hoo. And I can see captions. Oh my goodness. Are we good or what?

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

So, the object of the game is to teach you all how to do some online marketing and that comes in a lot of different forms.

I think today what we’re going to start with is talking about your websites and social media a little bit, and we’ll get more specific about how we’re going to talk about marketing and what we’re going to do. I’m actually going to see if I can change this because why not fool around here? See if I can change this to show you me instead of my screen. Oh my goodness. Look at that. Yee haw. Let’s see. Graphics, video clipping, polls, questions, feature length stream set up. Let’s see. Oh, it isn’t going to let me do nothing now. Stop sharing screen. Oh no. Once you’re sharing your screen, baby, you are sharing your screen. Let’s see. Fine. Okay. Oh, use camera. Okay. I’m going to use the camera so you can see me. Maybe I’m not going to use a camera. Use camera. Well, maybe it’s a little bit of a delay, but if you can see me, hello.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Let’s go back to our website for a minute so you can see our website. Okay.

I’m Valerie VanBooven and I am the co-owner of Approved Senior Network, which is a consumer-facing website. But for the last 13 years, we have also done online marketing for senior care businesses and home care businesses. And we decided to ditch our 2000 member group because they were not interacting except for ads and things like that for their own business and we decided to create a new group. This is a public group. We are choosy about who we let in, but everyone is welcome if you’re in the senior care business, if you’re in the home care business, if you are wanting to know more about how to market your business online.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

I think that’s important, especially now after COVID. We’ve all learned a few things about some best practices about managing our businesses in the senior care space.

It’s been a rough year in the past 12 or 14 months, and now we’re back on track hopefully. Everybody should be getting it all back together.

Let me make sure… Let’s see what… Oh, you still can’t see anything but my screen. So, if I say use camera, it’s just not going to do it. It’s just not going to do it. It’s not going to do it. It’s going to show you my screen. So, I’m going to go back here. All right. Let’s see what this is. Okay. Also, I want to let you know that I’ve learned a lot from all of you.

So, if you were to go to our website at asnmarketingplan.com and you go to our About page, we have a blog there that has all of our news on it, all the things that we love to talk about, all of our new website clients and everything.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

But one of the things that we do on a regular basis is we interview professionals just like you across the country. This is one of the latest. This is not the latest interview, but it’s one of the latest that we’ve posted, and we will get all of them up, if you are a person that we’ve interviewed. This is the link to all of them. So, you can see these wonderful interviews with amazing professionals all across the country who do have a senior care business. Some of these names you might recognize.

I would encourage you to go to ASN Marketing Plan and go to our blog and see those posts. They are also available on every single podcast station that you can imagine. If you go to About and then go to Connect, Listen and Watch, you can see right here all the different links to Apple, Spotify, Google, iHeartRadio, Stitcher. You can see us on YouTube. If you click on the YouTube channel, you’ll see, let me make sure that stops, you can see all of the Senior Care Industry Netcast stuff here.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Sometimes I throw in a video that is about something new that you should know that has nothing to do with an interview. But you can see all of our interviews here, all of our testimonials, all of our past live streams, and then some really old stuff, which is fine. It’s still pretty much evergreen.

So, we’ve got a lot of different places where you can learn a lot of things. This particular video will stay on Facebook. I might download it and put it on our YouTube channel as well. I don’t know if I’m going to put it on the podcast stations. Let’s see.

Oh, here you can see, if you want to listen to it right on the website, you can listen to them here. Anyway, having said all of that, I will tell you that one of the greatest things that we’ve done for online marketing, and it’s not really about me, it’s about all of you, but one of the greatest things we’ve done are these little videos.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

I know that sounds crazy, but these little interviews are six questions. They last anywhere from nine minutes to 30 minutes, depending on how talkative we are together. I used to say it had to be under nine minutes. Well, that went out the door in two seconds. So, these interviews sometimes go on for about 30 minutes. It just depends on who it is and what we’re talking about. They don’t have to go be under nine minutes. So, I have learned a lot about the needs of the senior care market. I have learned a lot about these amazing professionals that serve seniors every single day. And it has also become a lesson in content. And I know there are a lot of you out there who will never in a million years get on a camera and talk to somebody the way I do. I have no problem doing this. I’ve been doing it for a long time and that’s okay.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

But even doing it in an audio recording format where your face is not on the camera is an okay thing to do. So, just having it on a podcast. Let’s see if this works. Oh, explore YouTube music. I was like, “Oh, dang.” Okay, well, we get to update our little link there. Let’s see what happens if we go here. It’s probably all wrong now. They’ve probably all changed 30 times. Oh no, there it is. Okay. Even if you just do it in a podcast format, it’s totally worth it. Because what happens is, when we do something like this, we take this content that we’ve talked about for the last, whether it’s nine minutes or 30 minutes, and we’ve created an entire blog post. So, this is what I call repurposing. And I will tell you that everything you do for your website, for SEO, for all those things is about long-form content. So, if you look at this interview and any of the interviews we have here, this probably is, I don’t know, a 2000 word, I don’t know, a 1000 to 2000 word article on our website. And it’s really not about me.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

It’s about Shelly Hartley and her business, which is great. But to get that kind of content, what I did was, once this video was edited… And really for editing, all we do is add the bumper music on the front end and the back end. We don’t have to do a whole lot of middle edits. But once it’s edited and we’re ready to put it on YouTube, I just send it over to a company, and I’m going to show you here right on my screen, called rev.com. And I’ll even log in and show you what we do. Rev.com is really great place to get your videos transcribed. So, if you look at these videos here, these are all of our interviews, and you can just see that we have them all transcribed. It does cost. You can do a lot of different things here. We do a human transcription at $1.25 a minute. So, if you have a 10 minute video, you can do the math. If you do a machine-generated transcript, it’s 25 cents a minute, which is super cheap.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

But then I guarantee you, if you’re not a clear speaker, like if I had this video rough-drafted or machine-transcript done, it would be really cheap but I would have to spend 20 minutes going through it and correcting all the words. Not every word is incorrect, but it won’t pick up everything. It’ll also put periods where they don’t belong. So, you have to do a lot of editing, but if you want to do it on the cheap, that’s okay. So, we do this one to get a more accurate transcription. Occasionally you still need to do a little editing for complicated topics. It will also do captions and they will do live captions for Zoom, speech-to-text APIs. They’ll do a lot of things. So, for a short video, this isn’t too hard. And then they just send you, basically, a Word document. You can download it. You can copy and paste it into your blog and then you have a really long blog post.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

So, any time you do a video or an audio transcription. So, if you’re just doing audio and you’re not doing video, by the way, all of these are done with Zoom, if you just want to use the audio portion, they’ll transcribe just the audio. It doesn’t have to be a video. So, this works really well for us. I highly recommend that you take this format and interview all of your marketing partners. It’s been really hard for us to get together. Some states like Florida are open wide, you could do whatever you want basically, and some states are super closed down still. I think California is about to open up in June and most states will be fairly open, but there’s still going to be a lot of restrictions about who you can visit in assisted living facilities and rehab centers and how you can visit and all those things, I’m sure, for a long time.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

My husband’s mother is in a nursing home. And although we have been able to have nice visits with her, very scheduled visits, we have been turned away the last two or three weeks because they do have an active COVID case in the building. As long as they’re COVID-free, they will let us schedule visits. If they have COVID in the building, no. And yes, everyone’s been vaccinated, but they still… I get it. They’re being very careful. I understand and I appreciate that. So, there still may be times when you can’t get in to see a marketing partner. However, if you do this via Zoom, you don’t have to worry about that so much. So, go to your marketing partners, ask them if they would be willing to be interviewed and just do a little six question interview. If you want to see the questions that I send out to people…

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

And by the way, for any of you who see this, either now or later, if you would like to be interviewed, this is the website address. I put it in every newsletter that we send out. So, if you go to seniorcareindustrynetcast.com/netcast, that’s important to have the netcast on, here are the questions. This is super easy. If your business model doesn’t support these questions or these questions don’t support your business model, We can change them. That is not a big deal either. “In a few sentences, tell me who you are and what you do. What’s the best thing about serving aging adults? What other successful leaders or organizations have made an impact on you? I hear from other senior service providers that marketing online is challenging. What has been your experience? What piece of advice would you give to other senior care providers? And when you have a win in life or business, how do you like to celebrate?”

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

You pick six questions or copy off of me or do something like this. Those are easy. Send them to them in advance. They know what the questions are. I have some people who are very nervous and they read the answers. And some people who are very relaxed, they get it and they just go with it. And yes, I do stick to the questions, except we try to make it conversational. If they talk about something that’s really interesting that’s a sidebar about what they do, then yeah, we’re going to go off and talk about that a little bit, because I know other people are going to want to know. And this also gets easier as you go through these questions and as you get used to interviewing people, you get better at it. If you watch the first time I did this format versus the last one I did, huge difference in how spazzed I was versus how spazzed I am now, which is pretty much zero on the spazz level.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

So, please take advantage of this kind of a format.

All you have to do is reach out to people, whether it’s in your newsletter or it’s via direct email and say, “Hey, I would love to interview you.”

It’s still not going to do it. “I would love to interview you for my audio podcast or my netcast,” or whatever, and people will do it. So, if you would like to be interviewed, please, please, please go to seniorcareindustrynetcast.com/netcast and you can just schedule your netcast.

We are usually booked up pretty far out, so you can go out six months. You can go out as far as you want. So, if you think you don’t want to do it right away, you want to think about it, you can always schedule yourself way out there. Totally fine with me. We have enough netcasts to last us 10 years right now.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

So, that is the whole marketing strategy that has helped us tremendously over the last year, is doing these interviews. This is not our business of interviewing people. Our business is websites and SEO and content. But if you need content for your website, which you do, by the way, this is really great. All right. So, let’s talk about what makes a website rank. We have recently launched a lot of websites and I am going to show you something really interesting. We have really, I guess, upped our game on the SEO and have had a lot of clients who came to us with either really… Okay. Here’s what I want you to do. Look at your own website. And I want you to look at your services page. Most of you out there, and this is not uncommon, you’re not alone, you’re not the only one, have a paragraph that describes your home care services. And I will tell you that I understand that you can only slice, let’s say, home care in so many ways. You can only say so much about home care.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

So, when you look at a services page like dementia home care or home care for dementia clients, you can only say so much about dementia care, right? But actually you can say a lot about it if you know what you’re looking for. First of all, you have to know, what are people really typing in? Do they know what to type in? Do they know what they’re saying? There are two keyword phrases that go really well with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. People will type in, in home Alzheimer’s care and dementia home care. Those are the two top ones when it comes to dementia services at home. Those are the two keyword phrases that people type in the most. So, making sure this entire page revolves around one of those keyword phrases is super important. And then using that keyword word phrase in different formats across the board is also important. So, dementia home care, dementia in-home caregivers. And you’ll see that we answer a lot of frequently asked questions.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

So, if I were to go to Google and type in this, “I need dementia home care services,” whatever. What happens is you see what questions people also ask. So, what we’re careful to do is answer these questions on that page. So, this is a big one. Does Medicaid cover in home care? How much does home care cost? This is always something that people are wondering about. And you know that and I know that. If you look at the top websites that are talking about it. So, who is it that shows up first when I type in “dementia home care services”? Visiting Angels is number one. Why are they number one? If I click on that, you’ll find out why. Look at how much content they have on this page. And you also have to remember, Visiting Angels is a huge franchise. So, they have lots and lots of pages with their websites. So, they have giant websites as opposed to your tiny website.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

If I go to, oh, I shouldn’t have closed that, “dementia care services,” let’s look at who’s number two. Now, you got to skip the ads. We don’t care about the ads. Of course, Alzheimer’s Association is number one without an ad. So, you might want to check out what they have to say. And then you might want to look at what Home instead has to say. Again, remember, they are a gigantic organization with a gigantic website behind them. But if you look at all of the things that they have to say, you’ll see that they have a lot of pictures, a lot of words, and they’re not fooling around. They don’t have just a sentence or just a paragraph about this stuff. They really do talk about it. If we do, let’s see, Right at Home, same thing. They’re going to have a lot of text here.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

So, the reason why these folks, they have two videos, they have lots and lots of text, the reason why these folks are ranking at the top of the first page of Google for a generic search for dementia home care services is because they took the time to write it out, and they have writers. So, what we decided to do is this. Instead of giving someone a website that has one paragraph that describes their dementia services, if you want to compete with the big dogs, you have to be like the big dogs. You cannot copy off the big dogs, but you can actually write some content that is similar or answers the same questions. “What is dementia home care? How we help. Types of Alzheimer’s and dementia home care. Non-medical home care for clients with dementia includes.” You can write those things out and you can get a better result.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

So, Inglenook Senior Care just went live yesterday. So, they’re not going to rank for anything today. So, you can search for them all over the place, but they’re brand new. They didn’t have a website before today, so they will not show up in anything. But they’re a great example of how we didn’t just write a paragraph. We wrote an entire guide, pretty much for every single page of their website. “What is 24-hour home care? Is it right for my family member? What it includes. What do they provide?” And sometimes you’ll see that some of this information is a little repetitive, but what we’re trying to do is answer the questions that people ask. What is in-home personal care. And you can see that we can come up with lots of different things that we can say about these services that are way more than just a paragraph, okay?

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

So, we’re trying to answer all the frequently asked questions and you can get that information from Google. You don’t have to guess at it. Okay. I’m going to go back to my little thing here. I know it says we’re live. I’m looking at insights, dashboard, stream health. Everybody’s good. Oh, Lord. Graphics, polls, questions. Okay. So, if you want to ask a question, all you have to do is put a question in the chat. Or not the chat. You can message me if you want to. And I don’t think I have any messages right now. No. But what you can do is also, under the comments under this video, you can write a comment, I believe. And of course, if I’m wrong, then we’ll find that out. We’ll find out later. If you have any questions about what I’m talking about, you’re more than welcome. And if you’re watching this as a replay, if you could comment with the word replay, that’ll help me know how many people are watching it later as opposed to live.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

We want to do these live all the time, but we want to make sure that it’s at the right time for people and that it actually is working. Okay. So, I just talked about content, content, content on your website. I will talk to you also about how we can tell what’s happening with the websites that we have recently had go live. Now, some of these projects and I can show you the websites but I can’t show you everything about them, but some of these clients, this is not everybody we work with, but some of our clients are brand new. They have never had a website before. So, it takes a way longer time to get them to the first page than it does for someone who’s had a website in the past. So, if we were to go to our friends at Apex. Let’s see here. Let’s go to Apex. They have not had a website before. And they’re located in a really competitive part of the world, which most of you are, in Alexandria, Virginia. So, they’re covering Northern Virginia. They’ve never had a website before.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

And if you look at their services, they’re pretty much the same as most people, but they have this one that a lot of you don’t have on your website. And some of you do, but most of you don’t. And they are on the first page of Google already for new mother and new mom and pregnancy home care or something like that. So, new mom support services in Alexandria, Virginia, new mother home care services. They are on the first page already for this because it’s different. So, if you have something that you specialize in that you do that’s different from other people, it’s really good to have a full page that supports and describes that. Because now they’re not on the first page for all these other competitive terms, but boy oh boy did they pop to the first page for this one. Because not everybody provides it. So, it gets them started. It’s not everything they want, but it takes a long time.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

So, SEO or content or getting your website to actually pop and be on the first page of Google, it’s sort of like planting tomatoes. You put the little tomato plants in the pot and you don’t have tomatoes the next day, right? You have tomatoes in a couple of months or in a month or however long it takes your tomatoes to grow, as long as you water them and feed them and you add content. So, as you’ll see in this case, if you go to their news page, they have supportive content. So, they have these two that we provided. Well, we actually provide all of their content services. But when their website went live, we were sure to have two really nice blog posts here, “Top Guide to Demential Home Care in Alexandria,” because we wanted to just try and get them to go for that.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

“A Quick Guide to Popular Senior Care Services in Alexandria.” And then we blog posts twice a month for them. “Memory Games to Play after an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis, What Home Health Care Nurses Can Do.” And so things like that are really important to keep that content moving. If you don’t continue with content, then what will happen is this website will stagnate. It won’t move because Google doesn’t have anything else to see about it. It’s not going to re-index this. It will re-index the same pages, but it’s not going to come by as often. Google’s only going to come by if you have something new to share with it. So, we make sure that twice a month at a minimum, that these folks have new content to share with Google, which makes Google say, “Okay, let’s re-index that website.” So, content is really important. If you are not a writer, which I completely understand, then someone like us, we are writers.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

We have writers. We have writers on staff. We write all the content for these websites, all these pages. They’re all written by us. And that way you don’t have to worry about writing all this stuff. You do not have to write, in our case, all these long-form pages about companion care, because we know how hard that is. We have professional writers that can take that content and they can do all of that for you. So, I just wanted to let you know that when you want to rank and when you want to be on the first page of Google, the first piece of that is always about content. It’s about content in every single way. It’s about good quality content. It’s not about having just jibberish on your website. There are other things that go into this. It’s not just the content that matters.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Your Google My Business page is also super important. We’ll talk about that another day. The schema code, which is a complicated nerdy term, is also important. And most website developers only put a little bit of schema code. In our case, when we create a website now we put about seven to 10 pages, like Word .doc pages, of schema code behind the scenes. It’s not something you’ll ever see, but it’s what Google reads. If you want your website to rank, you have to tell Google more about your website than other people are telling it. You have to give Google what it wants. Google doesn’t see all this pretty stuff. It only sees a code on the backside of your website, the stuff that we don’t see. So, if you give Google the right information and tell them about you and tell them a whole lot about you, then Google will say, “This is what I need. This is what I want to know. This is how I can easily and quickly classify this website and put it where it needs to be.” And a lot of folks will rely on these plugins.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yoast is a plugin on WordPress websites that a lot of people use. There is all-in-one SEO. Those are fine, but they’re so basic. They will never, even at the pro level, they will never give you the kind of schema code that we write. And it works brilliantly. And there’s a lot more to this story. So, we are at the 30-minute mark for our live video. I want to thank everybody for tuning in live or tuning in for the replay. Thank you so much. We’re going to continue to do this and I would love your participation. I want you to comment. I want you to ask questions. Of course, I’m going to come back in and answer your questions. Let me know if you’re watching this as a replay by typing in the word replay, or anything else that you would like to talk about would be fine. We really want to know more about you and about what it is that you want to learn. So, today was our very, very first live. Thank you everybody, and we’ll talk to you again soon. Bye.