Seniors are increasingly embracing more technology in their everyday lives. 75% of Americans 65 and over are online and a majority of online seniors spend at least 6 hours a day online and own an average of 5 devices. Additionally, 82% use their smartphone every day.

Seniors go online for a variety of reasons, from staying in touch with friends and family (91%) to organizing their finances (87%) to improving their health and wellness (73%).

How Seniors Use Video in Their Decision-Making Process

Time spent watching YouTube videos among adults 55 and over grew by 10% from May 2020 to May 2021. According to Google’s research, seniors are increasingly using video to learn new things and make key decisions about a product or service: 

  • Seniors are 30% more likely to prefer watching a YouTube tutorial video than reading instructions.
  • 1 in 3 seniors say they use YouTube to learn about a product or service.

In a 2020 study by Google, we hear from Marla, 73, who was scheduled to have knee surgery and wanted to research pre-rehab exercises. Imagine if Marla found a video from a local senior living community that offered rehabilitation services near her, and how that would have made her interested in contacting them for post-surgical rehabilitation services.

What Does SEO Have to Do with Video?

When people hear about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), they often think only of the page of links they get after they put something into Google. Search is more than just what you type into Google; it’s in all parts of our online lives, from how you use Pinterest or find your next podcast to looking up your favorite recipes or a how-to video. Optimization for search spans text, audio and visual content. 

What Kind of Optimized Video Content Should Senior Living Communities Be Creating?

Just as with creating text content (like blog posts) senior living communities should create video content that hits these 3 key areas of SEO:

  • Search volume: How many people are looking for this?
  • Ranking: How easy is it for this video content to show up on the top of a search results page?
  • Relevancy to the community: Is this something the community is known for/would like to be known for?

Examples of video content senior living communities could be making:

  • Exercise/virtual fitness classes
  • Videos explaining costs or contracts
  • Walk-through of popular/most-searched properties, such as individual independent living homes
  • Educational videos giving answers to the most searched questions, such as:
  • How to Talk to Children About a Grandparent’s Dementia Condition
  • How to Talk to an Aging Sibling About Assisted Living
  • Educational videos showcasing unique selling points of your community, such as:
  • How to Use [senior living community app] to  Stay in Touch with Family
  • How Our Dementia-Friendly Design Helps Manage Wandering in People with Memory Loss
  • What Does Practicing Your Faith Look Like When You Move to Our Retirement Community?
  • Videos on the latest senior trends, such as:
  • Solo Agers: Everything You Need to Plan for Now
  • The Must-Visit Travel List for Seniors: 10 Places in the U.S. That Feel Like You’re in Europe

How to Optimize the Video Content 

When you’re trying to think of the perfectly optimized title and description, there are two free, easy ways to come up with the keywords and phrases you need:

  • Go to Google Trends – YouTube to see what’s trending on YouTube and what related keywords are searched.
  • Search for the topic on YouTube. Write down what’s similar about the titles and descriptions of the most-watched videos and use those phrases.

Optimized Title

The title must both be optimized and attractive, just like a title of a website page in a search result. It must clearly and concisely explain what the content is and hook someone so they want to learn more. Remember, your title should be for search; let your thumbnail be visually attractive and more fun. A title should be:

  • Around 70 characters (it can fit 100, but anything after 70 might be truncated)
  • Have a descriptive and attractive title
  • Place your keywords earlier in the title

Optimized Description

The description should be optimized and have a call to action leading to the link to your website or a landing page. A description should have:

  • Around 1,000 characters
  • Keywords that are searched for on Google and YouTube
  • Relevant hashtags
  • Timestamps so people can jump to sections of your video if you have a longer video with different sections
  • Links to your website or landing page (short URLs or direct URLs preferred – hide those long UTM codes!)