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Answering Digital Questions #9 and #10 from AAHSA

This is the final blog in the 5-week series. Read the original post with all 10 questions. Or read answers to Questions #1 and #2, Questions #3 and #4, Questions #5 and #6, or Questions #7 and #8.

Q9) We have 4 to 5 community web sites and a corporate web site as well. They all need updates and I want them to have some consistencies. How would you recommend we create a strategy for this? 
(Answered by Carrie Peterson, Digital Experience Architect)

Start by thinking about your brand and how you are known in the marketplace. How is the corporate brand connected to the individual community brand?

Some organizations have a corporate infrastructure with brand recognition at the community level. In this case one web site can be built or maintained on the same platform utilizing the same architecture and look and feel while customizing each community with content, photos or events that uniquely describe their local offering and culture.

Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America (PMMA) is a well recognized brand on the corporate level but also at the community level. The target audience knows each community by the PMMA name (Presbyterian Manor of Salina, Presbyterian Manor of Clay Center, etc.) so it makes sense for this organization to maintain a single web site. To see this example in action, visit http://www.presbyterianmanors.org/. PMMA has approximately 17 active living and wellness communities in Kansas and Missouri. They include multiple search tools on their web site so the user can easily locate their community of choice.

Other communities are structured with a parent company that provides a strong foundation and reputation for senior living at the community level. In this case the parent company most likely has a unique brand, as do the individual communities. Christian Living Communities (CLC) based in Denver, Colo., is a nonprofit organization that has a mission to provide senior adults with a continuum of services and care. They have several retirement communities under their umbrella but each has a unique brand and maintains their own identity. In this case, multiple web sites with a unique look and feel and messaging are appropriate. To see this example, visit http://www.christianlivingcommunities.org/. They provide links to the various communities from their site. A couple of CLC community sites include http://www.hollycreekretirementcommunity.org/ and http://www.clermontpark.org/.

Regardless of which approach you take, it’s important to have a plan in place for regular site updates. Be sure to keep content fresh with items such as photos, news, promotions and events. Incorporate graphic or text-based callouts to help drive the user to key areas of the web site. Integrate interactive elements that encourage repeat visits and increase time spent on your web site.

Q10) I saw your example of an interactive site plan. Why do you recommend we invest in something like this?
(Answered by Carrie Peterson, Digital Experience Architect)

The interactive site plans make a huge impact in a digital environment. It provides a dynamic way to help bring the community to life by painting a more descriptive picture of various areas throughout the community. This community might be the prospect’s future home, so the more familiar he or she can get with the community the better. Interactive elements such as the site plan help intrigue visitors and entice them to schedule a tour or come for lunch.

To see examples of interactive site plans, visit the following web sites:
• http://www.aberdeenseniorliving.com/
• http://www.holycrossvillage.com/

In addition, interactive site plans engage the user, which helps increase time spent on the web site, interacting with the community brand and increasing lead generation. It is also important to promote interactive elements through the use of graphic or text-based callouts on the web site. This type of promotion ensures the user won’t miss key elements on the site; it also helps with site conversion.

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