Inbound Marketing Case Study: Highgate Senior Living

Highgate Senior Living, an assisted living and memory care provider (with independent living in select communities), has nine locations spanning four states on the West Coast with a total of 703 total apartments.

From the start, Highgate Senior Living communicated two primary goals: improve search engine ranking results and increase lead generation of qualified leads companywide.

Elite conducted an inbound marketing gap analysis that assessed Highgate’s ability to attract qualified prospects, convert them to leads, and provide more qualified opportunities to the sales team.

This assessment evaluated Highgate Senior Living’s website, content marketing strategy, conversion path capabilities, and lead nurturing strategies.

“Our extensive knowledge of the senior living industry coupled with our knowledge of inbound marketing best practices that attract, engage, and convert qualified leads allowed us to take a holistic view of what key areas would improve visibility of Highgate’s website and content,” says Michelle Nessman, Elite’s founder and lead strategist. “The end result was an increase in the quantity and quality of leads generated through the website. The result was a comprehensive plan that allowed us to optimize the website for search and create a cohesive inbound marketing strategy.”

Growth Strategy and Execution

To improve search, as well as lead quantity and quality, Elite recommended a multifaceted approach to optimizing for on-page and off-page SEO.  The growth strategy also included implementation of content marketing. Customer research and development of buyer personas created a solid foundation with which to develop a content marketing strategy. 

Buyer personas were developed from 27 customer interviews and nine sales director interviews. Buyer personas outlined the research and consumption methods, motivations, values and fears, goals, and challenges for three targeted buyer personas. 

By optimizing local directories, search visibility dramatically improved. Optimizing for local search included claiming unclaimed business listings, correcting errors in business listing information, and removing duplicate listings. Overall listing scores improved on average by 25% after eight months.


Following development of buyer personas and development of a targeted keyword strategy, 21 website pages were optimized for search including URLs, page titles, meta descriptions, image alt text, and page copy based on the targeted keyword strategy. 

Elite also implemented HubSpot, an all-in-one marketing platform developed to leverage content marketing efforts and optimize lead generation.

“You really can’t build a good inbound marketing program without the right tools and strategy in place,” Nessman says. “With the HubSpot tool, we can measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns by tying together the analytics of blogging, email marketing, social media publishing, and landing pages.”

Lead generation included development of over 200 pieces of content including eBooks, videos, blog articles, infographics, slideshows, and quizzes. Social channels were utilized to promote and expand the reach of content and improve search engine rankings.   

Inbound Marketing Results


Organic Traffic

42% increase

Lead Generation

37% increase in leads


8x investment


Highgate Senior Living wished to improve lead quality and quantity through SEO and content marketing efforts. Elite developed a comprehensive inbound marketing strategy to help achieve this goal. In eight months, Highgate saw a 42% increase in organic website traffic, as compared to the prior year.

Results from lead nurturing email marketing campaigns exceeded expectations and were a testament to the strength in developing a customer-centric marketing strategy. Email open rates averaged 35% with an average click-through rate of 18.7%, as compared to an industry average 19.18% open rate and 6.69% click-through rate. Blog content generated 4,597 views, and lead generation improved 37%. 

Marketing ROI

Marketing can be a large and costly investment.  Marketing ROI is a way of measuring the return on investment from the amount a company spends on marketing. While some traditional methods of marketing are difficult to calculate ROI for (such as billboards, community signs, newspaper and radio advertisements, etc.) inbound marketing ROI in contrast is very simple.

A formula was created to calculate ROI for Highgate Senior Living. The formula used average length of stay based on level of care (assisted living/memory care), current monthly rental rate, and rate for care services. Assuming residents will progress to a higher level of care as they age, ROI was calculated conservatively based on factual information. 

ROI for Highgate Senior Living measured at 8x the total investment for services rendered by Elite in 2017. For every $1 spent on services, $8 of additional revenue was generated from increased occupancy.  

Future Growth Plan

Elite utilizes HubSpot’s three-step methodology for client success with inbound marketing. In the build phase, our initial focus was on-page and off-page SEO, buyer persona development, keyword research, implementation of a blog, and a distribution strategy for content reach.

Moving into the grow phase of inbound marketing, the priority was the development of strategies that engage and convert marketing qualified leads. Content offers such as eBooks and quizzes were implemented, and conversion paths were created using email marketing triggered by online buyer behavior.

Elite will continue to focus on build and growth strategies while also focusing on strategies to accelerate the reach of content to generate bottom-of-funnel leads.

Pillar pages will make top-of-funnel content easily accessible for website visitors while indexing thousands of keywords for the Highgate Senior Living website and creating additional conversion opportunities. 

Content marketing strategies will incorporate content pieces providing social proof from existing customers, social media advertising to expand the reach of valuable content, implementation of lead scoring, and integration with a new CRM scheduled to be implemented at Highgate Senior Living near the end of March 2018. 

Ready to learn more about how Elite can partner with you to increase qualified website traffic? Click the link below to schedule a free 30-minute consultation. 

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