You know the cliche – a retired man or woman sits in front of a computer and barely understands how to switch it on – let alone how to use it for shopping, booking appointments or making video calls. It is often assumed that this generation think that Tweeting is something that happens in their budgie’s birdcage and that TikTok is the sound they hear during their daily Countdown fix.
Well, it’s time to reconsider these lazy and outdated stereotypes because the truth is, the statistics don’t reflect this picture of today’s seniors at all. Supplier of SEO for healthcare companies, Geoff Meakin, takes a closer look at how older people today are engaging with technology to ensure your company can better target the senior market.
Seniors and technology: the real picture
In 2000, only 14% of over 65s used the internet, but by 2019 that figure had increased to 73% . 81% of people in their 60s now own a smartphone , whilst a considerable number of over 60s spend 6 hours a day online, and own an average of 5 devices .
The over 60s also appear to be increasing their engagement with social media platforms. Surprisingly, this includes TikTok, a platform favoured by Gen Zers .
Total content created by over 60s has been viewed more than 3.5bn times, and some older influencers have even amassed up to 5.3 million followers .
Healthcare, technology and seniors
73% of people 55+ are now turning to technology for improving their health and wellness . Since the 2020 pandemic, seniors have had little choice but to become more comfortable and familiar with virtual health technologies in order to access healthcare. With in-person consultations harder to access, combined with the risk of contracting Covid-19, older people (particularly those with chronic health conditions or mobility issues) are becoming less reluctant to try out virtual health services and products. This is a trend that is predicted to continue into the future , so it makes sense for healthcare companies to consider targeting the ageing population for virtual products and features.
What should my clinic do to target tech savvy seniors?
In light of these changes, companies whose marketing messaging maintains the stereotype of technologically clueless seniors will likely drive them to competitors. Their experience and perspective should be acknowledged and considered in marketing campaigns through appropriate messaging signals. These should reflect the social and health benefits of being connected online, as well as the support technology can provide in helping people maintain their independence and autonomy. 
Websites or web pages targeted at older people should have a simple interface, be easy to use and inspire connectivity. The pandemic has isolated people for long enough, therefore the most appealing technology will be designed to promote connection. Ideally, an older person will be able to connect with a health coach or medical professional at the touch of a button, or follow an exercise routine on a PC, phone or tablet, all backed up by a virtual support team to turn to for advice or assistance when things don’t run as smoothly as planned.
Websites should be formatted to look simple and familiar, and designed to be easily navigated. One of the most important aspects here is to ensure that the buttons on your website are large enough to be clearly visible and easily clicked. They should also have enough space between them to ensure no button is ‘accidentally’ clicked.
On the left-hand side you’ll see ‘Mobile Usability’
Simply click on this to see what issues may be problematic for older users:
👉Being specialist providers of SEO services for private clinics, we can quickly and accurately advise you on these and many other issues. Why not contact Healthcare SEO to book a free, no obligation video review of your website or feel free to book a call at a time convenient to you.
Author: Geoff Meakin
SEO Consultant for Healthcare and Private Clinics