As 2015 comes to an end, we look back and reflect on things that have happened over the course of a year – and my what a year it has been! If someone were to ask our strategy team some of the biggest things that came to light this past year in the funeral profession and what funeral homes should be aware of in the online world, they’d probably say that the online world has opened a funeral homes door to more than just those in their community – they’ve been exposed to the web. While that is a great thing for their business and they get more business from this, it is also a scary thing if a funeral home isn’t on it’s A-game, knowing how their firm looks online. It’s time for Funeral Homes to watch their obituaries online and know who, what, when and why companies take their obituaries and treat them like their own. It’s a practice that has surfaced in 2015 and is only going to get worse. Continue reading
When a death occurs, a funeral director has to spring into action. There are countless tasks to be done and each one is as important as the next. The slightest detail missed can mean one very upset family. One of these many important tasks is creating an obituary with the family that will honor the life of the deceased, inform friends and family of the death, and notify those interested of the possible upcoming service. An obituary is a powerful message to the public and is not something that should be rushed. However, getting an obituary online quickly can have huge implications on your funeral home’s business. Continue reading
In a time where it seems like a new digital tool is popping up every month it’s tough to know which ones will have an impact, especially when each can be used for personal or business purposes. However, one of the tools that has been around for a while and continues to prove its worth, is the blog. It’s likely a familiar term these days, but most funeral homes don’t blog and those that do may not be blogging properly.
Perhaps you’ve been curious about the hype surrounding blogs, dabbled with them a bit yourself, or see the value in blogs but just can’t dedicate the time to them. This guide is designed to help you see how powerful blogging can be if done right, and how to confidently blog with a purpose.
Next month marks FrontRunner’s one-year anniversary in our brand new offices. It is hard to believe that we have already been at our new location for almost one year, but where it has come is truly unbelievable.When we first started looking to expand to a larger location, it was a task that seemed next to impossible. At the time, our team was split between two offices and it lost it’s “FrontRunner team” feel. We knew that we had to bring everyone back under one roof. So, we looked and looked and looked. Finally, a beautiful 6,500 square foot commercial condo right on Kingston’s waterfront came on the market and we saw the perfect opportunity to not only have the best office space, but also to build a Technology Center for clients and funeral professionals to be able to come and learn about using technology and marketing to truly grow their business. Continue reading
In the age of the internet, an online presence can make or break a business. Having an engaging and user-friendly funeral home website is the right place to start, but these days just having a website isn’t good enough. You need to think a step ahead in the process and ask yourself “how are people finding my website in the first place?” One of the most common answers will undoubtedly be “search engines”. If someone is searching for a business within their area (chances are this is the case with funeral homes) then the results will likely come up as a “local listings” or Google Places page, such as the one below.
Facebook marketing for Funeral Homes is definitely one area of marketing that is being adopted more and more each and every day in our profession. While many Funeral Homes struggle to see the value in social media marketing, others are quickly realizing what a great tool social media has become for their business.
I spend many, probably too many, hours each week watching funeral homes on Facebook and I will tell you one thing that I see them doing all wrong: they are posting their obituaries to Facebook and only obituaries to Facebook. Don’t get me wrong – posting obituaries to Facebook is absolutely huge for getting more exposure, more revenue and staying top of mind with consumers, but every marketing strategy needs just that: a strategy, and just posting obituaries completely misses the boat on what Facebook is used for.
At the Funeral Directors Association of Kentucky Mid-Winter Conference I recently attended, one of the speakers talked about obituaries as part of a presentation on funeral websites and social media as they relate to funeral homes. One point that was made numerous times in the presentation was the importance of obituaries as a link to your funeral home’s website, and the profit potential they represent. The presenter (Ashley Montroy, of FrontRunner Professional) pointed out that often times the obituary that you write in conjunction with the family you are serving, can end up on another company’s website.
So what’s the big deal, you ask? Well, if someone from out of town (or even someone from your town) Google’s the deceased person’s name looking for his or her obituary and ends up on a website that has taken the obituary from your funeral home, a few things can happen:
Google has announced some big changes to their search algorithms happening April 21, 2015. When you look at the sheer number of searches that come through Google’s search engine each and every month – it is something every business needs to be aware of.
According to Digital Marketing Ramblings, there are close to 12 billion searches on Google each month – this is desktop and mobile searches. Google’s Matt Cutts recently stated that he “wouldn’t be surprised if mobile search exceeded desktop queries this year”. That combined with this important Google algorithm change is two huge reasons to take the mobile-friendliness of your website very seriously.
Technology is often feared in our profession because it is unfamiliar territory. As a result, it is not implemented despite the absolutely incredible things it can for your business. It can provide newfound conveniences and services for your community to drive long-term loyalty. It can streamline your business with a single point of data entry for every call, eliminating hours of tedious work. It can give you the portability to work wherever your families need you to be. And, it can give you new ways to attract more families to your firm.
Unfortunately, it can also cost your company everything if not taken seriously. There are companies out there trying to access your valuable data, obituaries, visitor traffic, and online revenues. Putting your technology and data in the hands of the wrong company or simply
avoiding technology altogether can have serious repercussions.
Having a website is now one of the most hotly debated topics in funeral service, yet very few know what it is, how it works, or how to truly use it to one’s advantage. In this post, I hope that I can help you understand more about websites and what you need to consider to truly succeed online.
Let’s start by understanding that your website is simply your space on the Internet – your teeny, tiny little spec in a vast space that has had a profound impact on every business around the world. It has changed virtually every market, toppled dictatorships, and has become the single source for people around the globe to rapidly find out anything they want to know when they want to know it. This vast new space can become your biggest friend or it can become your worst enemy. It’s entirely up to you.