Coming of Age SEO: How to Rank Content for Older Buyers

Emma Gasko
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Today is National Senior Citizens Day, and whether your products and services focus on this consumer audience, or they simply make up a small yet important demographic, reaching them online with compelling content will help your organization meet its growth goals.  

But in order to reach your older buyers, you will need to take cues from the best digital marketing agencies offering modern SEO services to evolving markets that rely on sales from their senior citizen customers. Creating and initiating digital marketing services that attract and convert older buyers is of in itself a challenging task. Not only must the growth marketing agency have their SEO chops but they must also have a firm grasp of psychology and the maturity not to make assumptions about buyers.

If you want to maximize your online reach to people in their early 60s and up, there are some considerations that need to be made central to the world that defines your SEO strategy. These tips will help.

SEO targeting older people

Kick the Stereotypes to the Curb

In order to market to any consumer audience, you need to understand them. The challenge is to do this through an authentic approach that refuses to embrace stereotypes and assumptions. For example, when we think of “old people”, we may envision some racist old codger sitting on his porch sucking on butterscotch candies, or blue-haired people in South Florida playing shuffleboard in their ridiculously large sunglasses and orthopedic shoes.

In reality, today’s senior citizens are a far cry from the stereotypes that past marketing publications portrayed them as–hunchbacks shuffling around with canes and oxygen tanks. Several current studies show that senior citizens who actively search the Internet for products and services live healthier, happier and more active lives. Taking the time to learn about the characteristics of your buyers and how they relate to your brand, products and the industry as a whole will help you create intimate content capable of resonating with their needs. And when anyone has a deeper connection with content, their chance of converting to a loyal customer increases.

seo for senior customers

Good Content for SEO Begins with Buyer Personas

Today’s 65 year-olds were born in 1953. This means that when these people were teens transitioning into young adults, the Vietnam War was a hot item to debate, hippie-spread messages of peace and love were in the air, civil rights movements were rolling strong and bands like The Doors, The Beatles and Jefferson Airplane were on everyone’s record player.

But at the same time you had conservatives who were angry at the changes being made in America’s progression during the rise of its modern conservatism.

Guess what; whether your buyers spent 1967 shouting, “Hey, hey LBJ, how many kids did you kill today”, or they were busy kneeling in church, neither side of the coin matters. Just because these are accurate representations of how people were then, these identifiers do not reflect how those people are today nor do these traits have anything to do directly with how people make purchasing decisions.

Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your actual buyers that include high-level information such as age, gender, income level, job, job role and hobbies. We have buyer personas that reflect senior citizen groups where most are retired, family-focused, and driven to their hobbies and causes. To avoid making any assumptions, here are three great ways for collecting data that will help craft your buyer personas:

Talk to the Sales Team – Be sure to interview members of the sale team; ask them to reveal some of the similarities senior citizens showcase when engaged in sales calls. What are their common pain points? What were the deciding factors that made them view the product as the best solution to their problem? If they didn’t buy, why not?

Emails – Go through your email database and segment senior citizen buyers into their own category. Review these emails and notice the questions being asked. Make a list of all the common needs and pain points, and how these buyers view potential solutions as expressed in their email queries.

Send Out Surveys – Send surveys to current clients, as well as leads that dropped off. Find out what they value, why they bought, why they went with a competitor, or why they severed communication. Let them know that you rely on their feedback to make improvements for your customers, and you will get some responses. Just be sure to ask the right questions that give valuable insight relevant to your business and your customer’s needs.

seo blogging strategy

Use a Custom Approach, Tone & Verbiage

Rather than write content that focuses on a senior’s limitations, write in a way that focuses on their abilities. For example, if you own a travel agency that specializes in international trips for seniors, don’t try to reach them with content that reminds them they are too weak to climb the steps of Machu Picchu and therefore need the aid of a specialty tour group. Instead, use their willingness and desire to get active and see the world. Nobody want to be reminded of what they can’t do. People will engage with content if it makes them happy, and longer engagement metrics lead to better SEO results that convert.

Pay attention to tone and verbiage. There is lots of research out there showing that seniors don’t want to be referred to as “elderly”; they prefer to be addressed as “seniors” or “older adults”. And think about it; if they are savvy enough to engage businesses online, they probably have more dance in their pants than you think! Older adults often experience societal treatment suggesting they offer little value, so be sure your messaging honors them for the value they bring. Again, it comes to the marketing approach of addressing the senior audience through their abilities as opposed to their weakness. Otherwise, you are devaluing their importance.

web design for older buyers

Use Larger Font and Keep the Navigation Clean

Many older adults have difficulties in reading standard-sized print. Multiple A/B testing reveals that size 14 or 16 fond garners significantly more time spent on site with improved bounce rates within senior citizen users. Furthermore, this font size converts better. You also want to make sure the website design is clean, simple, and has easy navigation. These are the final touches to providing for SEO empowered content that ranks better with older customers.

Have a Better Vision on How to Reach Your Older Buyers?

If this article gave you some great ideas on how to better target and convert your older buyers, we think you will love our FREE guide on the WEBITMD modern approach to SEO. Learn how we borrow strands from the Inbound marketing methodology to rank content that targets and converts leads into buyers.  Why rank content with no direct purpose? If you think our approach to SEO and a customized strategy could work well for your organization give us a call and let’s talk about your growth goals, customers and products.
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