Senior Living SEO: Changes in Senior Care Search Terms
According to recent statistics, the term “nursing home” is quickly being replaced by more current terms that better define the specifics of what an individual or family member is looking for. In recent Google Trends Data trends, Google has noted that keywords assisted living and senior living are quickly replacing terms like nursing homes. In fact, senior living searches have significantly risen in comparison to other searches by three times. Other terms are also being used often, though no where near the growth rate that the term "senior living" has seen in recent years.
The graph below shows Google data reflecting the increase in "senior living" search terms relative to "assisted living" and the declining search term "nursing homes."
Online search for "memory care", "skilled nursing" and "senior housing" have yielded results for many searchers, increasing two-fold over the last couple of years, with memory care seeing a particularly healthy surge. Terms such as "independent living" have actually decreased, suggesting that the trends to senior care searches are a bit more complex than what you might see at first glance.
Often there will also be searches for specialties other than memory care. Baby boomers are looking for a helping hand when caring for their aging parents. Searches for "assisted care", "home care", "helping hands", and "specialty care" as well as "part-time help for aging parents" have been used increasingly often. This last term is especially interesting considering the increase in search interest from adult children of seniors around this topic.
“When Boomers are searching for themselves, they tend to look for things like independent living or 55+ active communities. But when they’re looking for others, they tend to look for things like skilled nursing or assisted living communities.”
- Marc Heneghan of Google
The graph above shows the breakdown of some more specific terms including "skilled nursing". "senior housing", "memory care", "independent living" , and "senior living." It is not easy to see how skilled nursing, senior housing, memory care and independent living are trending since the senior living line spans so much of the graph. The data below is re-pulled without "senior living" to get a better view of the other terms relative to eachother.
This graph shows a few trends in searches around senior living terms:
- The frequency of skilled nursing, senior housing and memory care searches have all increased in the past 10 years. Searches for each of these terms have increased at least 2x in over that period of time.
- Online searches for memory care has really taken off in the past two or three years as shown by the yellow line.
- You could conclude that these terms are increasing simply because more and more people are seeking senior care as the population ages. However, the relatively flat trend of "independent living" search interest suggests that the situation could be more complex as newer terms are being introduced to the industry all the time.
Technology and the Senior Living Industry
According to this article on technology in the senior living industry by Forbes, the tech industry is assisting healthcare facilities in bringing nursing care to the next level. And with the rising costs of healthcare, it only makes sense to make home safer and “user-friendly” via technology.
In a joint effort to make this transition possible, innovative thinkers are bringing real solutions to the table. The list of who's who includes: Sen. Bob Kerry, Apple stores creator Ron Johnson, Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppleman, PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer and a top list of Silicon Valley's best entrepreneurs, investors and “braniacs” These innovators intend to “reinvent” senior care to combat the need for safe, at-home choices.
Within this new and innovative world are the rich keywords that will come along with them. The combined effort of innovators, entrepreneurs, healthcare organizations and caretakers will generate a plethora of search specific terms that will take search engines into the future. New and improved inventions such as the senior-friendly tablet will generate searches for technicians, businesses and healthcare workers attached to them.
In Conclusion: Changing Landscape of Senior Living Search
There is a large uptick in the interest and search volume for keywords surrounding senior living. The interest in terms around assisted living remain high while certain more specific terms such as skilled nursing and memory care have increased greatly. Currently searches are still attached to the senior, care, assistance and nursing and specialty terms however with future inventions and technology solutions come new search terms and terminology to go along with it.
Healthcare is a huge business, for companies for workers and for the patients that need care and assistance. The opportunities that are coming in the future from the brilliant, innovate minds of all individuals involved will bring unqualified promise. Staying on top of search engine optimization for assisted living facilities will always be important; however more important is the need to stay on top of the ever-changing rules and trends that go along with it.