Gain insight into how people are searching for your services, and you will have a better understanding of how to find them and how to sell to them. It’s a common misconception in our industry that people searching for non-medical home care online will type “home care” in a search engine and that people searching for medical home care online will search for “home health.” While people who need home care are going to Google in droves, at least half of them do not know our favorite industry terms.

Here’s how we gained the insight we are about to share. Brazzell Marketing Agency’s Search Results Now puts carefully crafted ads in search results on sites such as Google. Detailed reporting shows exactly what customers were typing when they clicked the ads. Unlike SEO, with Search Results Now, we can target as many keywords as we like, all at once. We research what people are actually typing in each client’s region, but we can never fully predict all the different ways people will tell Google they need home care. Fortunately, machine learning broadens the keywords we specify to include similar phrases. In a single report produced for a non-medical home care client yesterday, here are some of the non-standard ways people told Google they wanted home care before clicking on a home care ad.

Non-Standard Keywords Used by Actual Home Care Customers

June 2020

  • Granny nannies
  • Senior sitters, “Sitters cost for elderly,” Nursing and sitter services, “People to sit with elderly,” Sitter services elder care, Overnight elderly sitting, A sitter for mom, Adult sitter, sitter for adults, home health sitters
  • Personal care taker, 24-hour caretaker
  • “How much you pay a certified home assistance”
  • Home assistant
  • “in home part time health aid”
  • Senior concierge services
  • “24 hours live-in agencies”
  • Home care domestic
  • Live-in help
  • Care givers
  • In home health care
  • “Adult day care helpers in home”
  • Private duty care
  • HH aide
  • Care for me

Of course, some people searching on Google are using the same terms that we use in the home care industry. Here are examples from the same report.

Standard Terms Actual Customers Use to Search for Home Care

  • CNA services, “need cna near” [city] [state], Live-in CNA, Private-duty CNA
  • In-home care services, “in-home healthcare night rates,” Private in-home care,
  • Home care, Home care assistance, Home care agencies
  • Live-in caregivers, Caregivers, Private caregiver
  • Home health, Home health aides, Home health care, Home healthcare
  • Companion care, Senior companion
  • Personal care assistance
  • Respite services

Selling to Customers Who Don’t Know Your Lingo

The non-standard list above demonstrates how many potential customers may not know what you mean by the terms “home care” and “home health.” It’s a common shortcoming in home care ads and websites to use too much industry lingo to describe the services. Terms such as home care, home health, CNA, PCA, companion care, and senior care all could mean anything or nothing to half of your customer base or more. To make more effective pages and ads, lead with terms and descriptions that would be self-explanatory to anyone. For instance, “We send highly-trained, nurse-supervised aides to the homes of our clients to help with daily life.”(© 2020) Another example, “We send nurses and therapists to the homes of our clients to extend the medical care of your personal doctors.” (© 2020)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Another reason these keywords matter is SEO strategy. In part, Google decides to put your website in search results based on whether the words a user types match the words you use repeatedly in your website. Everyone optimizes for “home care,” making home care extremely competitive and unprofitable to win. The term “home care” is not monolithic in actual customer searches. Often, you can get more bang for your SEO efforts by optimizing for some of the other things people type.

The Impossibility of Complete SEO

With such a diversity of keywords in play, you can imagine how difficult, if not impossible, it would be to use each one repeatedly on pages of your website and have Google present you to all the possible customers. Using an incognito window / in-private window search for “home care” in Google. You may find that you appear well. Now start trying all the other standard and non-standard searches people used in June. You’ll find that you appear in a handful but disappear for most of the different ways people search for home care. This is why SEO should not be used alone. It should be used in concert with search advertising. With SEO, you will appear all the time, 24-hours per day for the handful of choice keywords you are winning. That’s good. With search advertising, your presence will expand to all the ways people search for home care, sharing space with the other advertisers, for as long as your budget holds out each day.