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Are you ready for tomorrow’s service users today?

Have you considered the implications of technology in care homes?

Whether you run a small home in the local area or have a group of homes with a national focus, it is time to start considering the implications technology may have on your care home, before you fall behind. Many care homes have outdated websites and this may be a good time to start thinking about an update, or even a complete redesign.  In this article we talk to Scott Sanderson, Healthcare Partner at Hawsons, to discuss what makes a good care home website and how homes can stand out from the competition.

Q&A – what makes a good care home website?

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How important is a good website for a care home?

“The importance of a well thought-out and carefully designed website should not be overlooked in any sector, and it is becoming particularly important for care homes. Choosing a care home for a loved one is a huge decision and this is a decision which is increasingly – at least initially – being made online. A care home’s website is central to new enquiries and provides operators with an opportunity to attract private fee payers – first impressions count! Care homes must therefore ensure that their websites are up to scratch, both from a technical standpoint and prospective service user’s point of view.”

What makes a good care home website?

“There are a number of things that make a good care home website. In particular, I would look at it from a prospective service user’s viewpoint – what do they want to see? Testimonials from current residents, latest CQC reports, accreditations and awards, pictures of the interior and exterior of the care home, a list of key features the home has e.g. lifts, en-suites and activity areas and contact information should be included on all care homes’ websites.”

What makes a care home website stand out?

“Testimonials should really not be overlooked. Now, as many as 78% of people trust online reviews as much as recommendations from friends – that is an amazing statistic. Going beyond that, I would like to see more care homes include videos on their websites – either providing a tour of the home or further information from the owner or carers – as seeing the people behind the home really can make that vital difference. I would also like to see more websites include a FAQ section. Many people who are looking for a care home have never done so before, so it’s understandable they have so many questions. Make the process as simple and as reassuring for them as possible.”

What do owners need to know from a technical standpoint?

“The technical elements of a website need to also be considered. In this day-and-age your website simply has to be mobile-friendly. By that I mean that your website should work responsively on a mobile or tablet with no sideways swiping to read a page. Google recently confirmed that there are more mobile search queries than desktop – and have recently made changes to their complex algorithms to align with that. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly you won’t rank as well on Google. There are a number of other technical SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) considerations you will also have to make which determine how well you rank on Google. If you outsource the production of your website, the developer will help with these.”

More from our care sector experts

You can also find all of our latest care sector news and newsletters here.

If you are looking for advice in a particular area, please get in touch with your usual Hawsons contact.

Alternatively, we offer all new clients a free initial meeting to have a discussion about their own personal circumstances – find out more or book your free initial meeting here. We have offices in Sheffield, Doncaster and Northampton.

Scott Sanderson began his career with Hawsons and trained as a Chartered Accountant, becoming a partner in 2015, specialising in the healthcare sector and small businesses. For more details and advice, please contact Scott on [email protected] or 0114 266 7141.

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