Silly woman with crown“I’m just like everyone else …Nothing special.”

If someone said that at a party, would you want to have a longer conversation or to head over to the punch bowl as quickly as possible? Taking the next step, if you started reading a bland blog, wouldn’t you click off the page?

Just like with individuals, organizations have personalities that can make in how people respond to them. Just like meeting someone in person, it’s takes very little time to form a first impression. Researchers have found that when people arrive at a website, at least 50% of them will leave that website within 8 seconds. Having a website that isn’t engaging and lacks personality can be a missed opportunity to generate assisted living leads on the internet.

I recently spoke with Mike, an assisted living communications manager who was interested in updating his website. In our first phone conversation he launched very quickly into what pages needed updates and improvements. As one might expect he talked about things like needing to update the list of accommodations and amenities. For example, they had just expanded the fitness center, added a walking track, and upgraded the cardio equipment.  Another selling point Mike wanted to expand upon was their extensive list of activities for residents of different interests and abilities.

What’s special about your assisted living community?

I asked him if there were any special types of activities that set them apart from nearby competitors.  After a moment he said, “Our activities are wonderful, and how we plan our calendar also makes a difference.” Mike shared that they had recently taken a number of steps to increase the  the level of participation in activities. For example, they do more community outreach to plan a wider variety of events. They started an “Residents Activities Committee” facilitated by staff. Plus, upon request, they email activity calendars to family members, who can ask that a patient receive a “reminder call” about specific event. These efforts were just part of a larger activity program to create a more vital community.

I asked, “So how’s it working?” Mike responded that he was very excited about the results.  “It’s been positive for residents and families, and even for staff. Activities are better attended, residents have more interaction, and it encourages us to create more special programs.  We think it leads to a better quality of life here. It’s something we’re proud of and mention in our tours and open houses.”

Don’t be afraid to show your personality.

After this conversation, I reviewed the activities section of the website and was disappointed to just see a very bland description about “a broad range of activities,” followed by bullet points. If the web page could talk it would say,  “I’m pretty much like everyone else. I have a lot of good points, but I’m not all that interesting.” As a visitor I basically saw blah, blah, blah and a list of items. There was not much to inspire me to look at another page, make a call, or request a tour. Instead, I’d go to the punchbowl, or rather the next website on the search page.

I knew that visitors would have a much better response if the website showed the personality I saw in Mike: someone who is excited to go the extra mile to help residents thrive. When I talked to Mike about it, he said he thought of those efforts as more of an internal process, and not really relevant to way activities are presented on the website. He added that their activity page was a pretty typical set-up for an assisted website.  “But that’s the whole point,” I said. “You just told me that your activities program adds value and creates a more positive experience. By only providing a list, you’re missing the opportunity to differentiate yourself from your competitors. ”

It only to a moment for him to agree that this important part their organizational personality was worth sharing.

Illustrate your uniqueness in a personal way.

In developing new content, we found look ways to be more engaging and  illustrate the positive results of our participatory approach. We wanted to keep residents and their families front and center in providing evidence for how well the program works. of the program.  We agreed to look beyond the activities page for opportunities to bring out their personality. Some of the elements we added include:

  • Testimonials from families
  •  Quotes from residents about activities they enjoy
  • Photos from events
  • A case study on successful activities

The results can be surprising.

Blogging Tips Infographic - DownloadBlog Infographic Main Image croppedInfusing personality into your website can help an organization differentiate itself and generate assisted living leads on the Internet. Use your unique character to make a great first impression, and then consistently carry it throughout your entire website.  With a more distinctive voice, visitors may stay on your site longer, look at more pages, and request information more frequently.

Start writing better blogs today. Download this practical infographic developed just for assisted living audiences.