The Q3 2023 benchmarking report for UK live-in care providers has just been published. Learn how the top 8 UK live-in care providers perform across the digital space.
The latest Q3 2023 benchmarking report for UK live-in care providers has just been published. It covers the largest 8 national live-in care providers, including Home Instead, Bluebird Care, Elder, Cavendish Homecare Professionals, The Good Care Group, Consultus Care, Abbots Care, and Helping Hands.
The research gives an inside track on who is winning the biggest share of voice online, and quantifies the gaps, risks and missed opportunities for other live-in care providers to win brand exposure locally, improve organic visibility, and generate online enquiries. The report highlights quick wins that will improve enquiries from your online strategy and identifies the barriers that may be reducing your site’s ability to optimise digital performance.
To see a preview and contents page of the Q3 report, click here. To get a copy of the full report and the key takeaways, please complete the enquiry form or schedule a call.
What The Industry Research Report Covers
The 70+ pages of research benchmarks each brand based on 50+ metrics and indicators of successful digital strategy, including organic visibility, domain authority, paid media ads, conversion performance, technical performance, site speed, universal search, content, social ads, accessibility, and mobile performance.
Driving Optimal ROAS from Paid Media Channels
Some of the leading players in the space are high spenders on paid media channels such as Google, Bing & Facebook - but have a poor or sub-optimal conversion improvement strategy. Without an optimised, sophisticated conversion strategy that maximises the conversion rate, the return on investment is unsustainable or will underperform. Scaling spend on paid media is not achievable unless the conversion rate delivers optimal performance in the sector. Some in the space have paid media spend levels from 30k+ per month but dedicate minimal resources and budgets to conversion testing. Given the cost per clicks on ad networks will continue to rise, we recommend spending at least 10% of your paid media budget on ongoing conversion optimisation testing schedules to ensure your paid media ROI maintains long-term viability, competitive advantage, and sustainability.
Technical Website Compliance,
Savvy digital marketers know that having a technically sound website is an essential component of a successful fully integrated digital strategy - plus a site capable of maximising conversion performance. For live-in care providers, they'll want to ensure that potential clients and their families can easily get the information they need to feel comfortable in their care decisions. Live-in care providers should therefore be ensuring they have clear pathways to key informational pages, such as locations, fees and funding.
We reported in Q2 that Elder had reduced its 4xx errors from 257 to 191 - Elder is obviously still working on improving this as it has now dropped this figure down to 130. This reduction in dead ends and good site management will continue to improve user experience and reduce the potential negative impact of 404 errors on the site’s SEO. Helping Hands has gone the other way with 172 4xx errors in Q2 and 275 in Q3. Helping Hands should consider implementing custom 404 pages that help users navigate back to an alternate, relevant page on the site. Cavendish Home Care is still showing the fewest amount of error codes with only 9 being flagged in our crawls.
Site Speed & Conversion Rate Performance
When 62% of consumers are less likely to convert if they have a negative mobile site experience, ensuring that your site is quick and easy to load makes a significant improvement on your overall conversion rates. As with ensuring key pages are easy to find, live-in care providers will want to ensure their sites are quick and simple to use, to help potential clients make decisions faster.
The mobile page speed scores have been up and down for the live-in care sector in the last few reports we have produced. We reported an improvement for Home Instead in our Q2 report of 17 to 45 but this score has fallen back down to just 5 in Q3. This could be due to large amounts of images and video files, too many redirects, or even some plug-ins that are slowing things down. Either way, it needs looking at as it will really be affecting their user experience.
Helping Hands has taken the top spot being the fastest within the report, though still only holding a speed of 49, up from 28 in Q2, which is one point off an ‘okay’ score. All live-in care providers will want to be working on their page speeds, as a score of 90 or above is optimum.
Building Competitive Advantage with Domain Authority
Domain authority is an essential metric for measuring the effectiveness of SEO performance and helps create a reliable overall gauge of how effective your site is at achieving organic traffic, i.e. ‘free’ traffic that isn’t gained through sponsored ads. Live-in care providers can look to improve their domain authority with a comprehensive digital PR strategy, that targets relevant publications (such as local press or partner vendors) to gain authoritative backlinks.
A ‘good’ DA really comes down to how your competitors are performing, however it’s generally considered average between 40 and 50, good between 50 and 60, and excellent above 60. Domain authorities for live-in care providers have remained consistent throughout our reports, still ranging between 65 and 11.
Organic Performance – Mobile & Desktop
A strong organic performance is strategically important as it ensures your site ranks above competitors for key, transactional keywords. When 93% of your customers won’t go past the first page of Google, your absence or lack of targeting for essential keywords will cost you conversions. Live-in care providers may be impacted by the cost-of-living crisis, as families could be looking to alternative care routes in order to save money. Therefore, our providers could be battling for a smaller pool of organic visitors.
Live-in care providers continue to see reductions in year-on-year traffic across the board. However, Abbots Care is bucking this trend and has continued to build on the traffic increase seen in Q2. Abbots Care has had a mobile traffic increase of 32% and desktop increase of 26% in Q3. Home Instead has also tipped into positive figures this quarter with a mobile increase of 1% and desktop of 4% - small gains, but good to see. Other providers must be evaluating their organic strategy, and assessing whether they've been losing ground to Abbots Care on profitable keywords.
Universal Search Opportunity
Google Universal Search Results is an evolving opportunity to make your pages visible on a SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Universal results often appear before traditional listings and are eye-catching for users. Universal search results refer to rankings on a SERP that are not the traditional ‘blue line’ Google link, and a brand can appear for universal search results without being strong in standard rankings. For live-in care providers, 'local pack', 'reviews' and 'people also ask' will be key opportunities in universal search to grow trust in their service, along with provide more information, directly from the SERP.
Live-in care providers are using the full mix of universal search opportunities. Helping Hands is showing for the most results overall, with their favoured result being 'people also ask' and 'reviews'. They have grown both of these SERPS figures in the last quarter from 993 to 1,100 and 930 to 2,000 respectively.
Its also worth noting local pack importance here as families will be looking for care ‘nearby’. Home Instead has a ‘local’ score of 750 but they have 8,200 ‘local opportunities not linking’ to their page appropriately. This could be a big win if optimised correctly.
The Longtail Keyword Opportunity
Longtail keywords are often considered high intent and potentially more likely to convert as a searcher is being more specific. Optimising for longtail keywords also puts your content strategy in a strong position to rank for brand new search terms as they enter Google’s index. For live-in care providers, longtail keywords are an opportunity to rank for more in-depth information that potential clients may have, which can help build much-needed trust from the early consideration stages.
Q3 shows Elder maintained its position as having the most longtail keywords in the top 100 with 18,734. However only 222 are in the crucial top 3 position, unlike Helping Hands which has 1,361 in the top 3 (total of 15,319). Its also worth noting that Home Instead has seen a significant drop of around 3,000 keywords in its top 20 figure - this needs looking at in case there is an indexing or other problem that could affect ranking overall.
The bright side of this is that all three are in a fantastic position to make key optimisations that can improve the rankings of their longtail keywords they are showing for in positions 4-10 (as opposed to starting from scratch with new content)!
With the number of Facebook users in the United Kingdom (UK) forecast to hit over 42 million users by 2022, it is not surprising that companies have jumped at the opportunity to advertise on the social media platform. Facebook’s UK digital advertising revenue has been estimated to have breached 2.6b GB pounds in 2019. For live-in care customers, Facebook presents an opportunity to see 'local' relevant content, build brand awareness and a positive image of their service, and even be used to recruit new carers in key areas.
We've included The Good Care Group Facebook ads below, as we noted that they seem to be AB testing their content. The Good Care Group have used a mix of two image/ video with two pieces of text. We can only assume they are testing audience responses. This is important in a competitive market when you have such limited time to make that genuine customer connection.
Top Social Shares & Content
When it comes to social media and on-site content strategies, it is important to release content that has a longer shelf life. An article is considered 'Evergreen' if it has maintained its relevancy to an audience for longer. It's great for your brand engagement, but great for Google too, who will recognise content which achieves traffic over a long period of time. Content about life as a client would be both interesting and engaging for live-in care providers to share, and also encourage potential clients and their families to make an enquiry.
Facebook is the favoured platform of all live-in care providers, with Elder seeing the highest levels of engagement, with 54,200 likes in Q2 growing this to 62,900 in Q3.
Website Readability & Accessibility
20% of people in the UK have a disability – 2 million of which are people living with sight loss. In addition, 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women have some degree of colour vision deficiency. When websites are not designed to meet these needs, brands lose customer interest as they turn elsewhere. For live-in care providers, accessibility is particularly important as they must ensure everyone is able to engage with their website.
Alerts could indicate unnecessary alt text, or improper heading hierarchies, which could be causing issues for website visitors using screen readers. Elder has reduced their alerts in the last quarter from 257 to 56 which is a huge leap in the right direction.
Unfortunately Consult Us has gone the other way, recording 109 this quarter compared to 52. Most of the brands are still battling accessibility barriers, and must ensure they are taking a considered, impactful approach to improving access to their brand.
Q3 2023 WINNERS LEADERBOARD
For a glance into just 6 of the metrics, we evaluated these top 8 live-in care providers on, check out our quick-look table below;
GET THE FULL 80-PAGE Q3 2023 REPORT
To get a copy of the full report, please complete the enquiry form. If you want to talk to us about accelerating your digital performance, please call us on 01543 410014 or schedule a call with Mike Movassaghi.