How many senior care sites have you been to recently that have the same ‘formula’ – offering quite a bit of ‘teaser’ information about facilities and care, but then, to get to the actual meat and potatoes of the information (if there is any), or to **gasp** contact the facility directly, you are then funneled into a ‘find out more’ form that will then, as many of us know, send your information into the black hole of cyberspace, to be used, re-used, and possibly distributed to who-knows-where.
I see new sites like this every day.
I know I talk about this quite a bit, but it baffles me – really – as to why any visitor or user would find a site like this useful. Unfortunately too, many of our search engines favor these site lately, maybe because they are ‘branded’ sites, or look like a branded site, or as I discussed in my previous post, people stick around on these sites for a long time (because they are confused or looking for information that isn’t there) so they seem like ‘sticky’ or ‘engaging’ sites.
So what are we, Assisted Living Directory, trying to do differently?
We’re working on being completely and proudly transparent about who we are, and about everything we are doing.
We’ve always allowed people to contact our facilities directly. We’ve also offered help and care advisors, if people need them. However, we’ve always separated the two, making it very clear that one is to get help, and the other is to get in touch with the facility. We’ve tried to eliminate confusion.
Another thing I am working on is showcasing the many faces, experts, caregivers, and voices that have added their time and expertise to our site, by adding photos, bios, and links to their personal pages throughout the site. I think and hope that people will get more of a sense of trust, and less of that anonymous ‘who’s behind this site’ feeling that I certainly get with many senior sites.
I think that the last way that our site is ‘innovating’ and also building trust is through our videos. It’s one thing to just slap a bunch of text onto a webpage, but our video tutorials are just another way to put a face behind our content, and to show a little extra effort towards connecting with our visitors. I also think that for those folks that are visually impaired, having something to listen to is a nice option.
The bottom line is that we are trying to be a shining example – one of the few – that offers a straightforward, transparent experience. As of now, it’s not a good short-term strategy, as, from what I can see, so many really anonymous, shallow sites seem to be doing pretty well right now. I hope that for a long-term strategy, it will pay off.
Personally, I appreciate and go back to sites that work hard to earn my trust.
Those are the sites I am trying to emulate.