There was a time, not too long ago, when having a funeral home website meant that your firm was progressive, approachable and tech-savvy. Unfortunately, having a web page is not what it used to be. Nowadays, families are not so easily impressed by the fact that your funeral home is available online. It’s something they have come to expect; what one might call the bare minimum. As a result, we thought it would be a good idea to share some helpful tips for improving your website and making the absolute most of your online presence. Follow these five steps to help your firm rank better on Google, bring more families to your site and ultimately offer them a better experience once they are there.
If you are truly going to improve, gaining a thorough understanding of what brings people to your website is a great place to start. Now, we do not want to scare you by suggesting tools meant for the experts or inundate you with tireless work. Quite the contrary. Researching and analyzing your online successes has never been easier or more accessible. There have never been more tools or resources available. Currently, the best and most user-friendly way to understand your website, and why families visit, is Google Analytics.
The insights provided through this tool will not only arm you with a dynamic view of where you stand, but will also show you how you can improve your funeral home website and overall marketing. You will be able to see real-time numbers, like how many people visit your site, what they look at, how long they stay and more. If you want to get started, Google offers free crash courses on how to use Analytics or you can contact us to help you set it up. If you are looking for other tools, you should also explore Google Search Console to see what brings people to your site and the Google AdWords Keyword Planner to ensure your page titles and content remain relevant.
The next step is married heavily to the first. Once you have the data, set aside time to really look at what is working, what isn’t and how it can all be improved. For example, if you get the majority of your traffic to pages about pre-need or cremation, it may be fruitful to allocate more time and effort to marketing these services. The trick to making sense of all the data (which will certainly be a overwhelming at first) is tackling numbers that you can easily comprehend. You will find it easier to navigate all the data this way.
After spending some time getting familiar with the analytics of your funeral home website, it is time for an extremely important part of the puzzle. Setting measurable (and realistic) goals for the future. If your funeral home is in a small town, and you do no more than 40 calls per year, it would be unrealistic to expect 34, 000 monthly site visitors. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to goal setting. It is all about what makes sense for your firm, your service area and, in the end, what will bring more people to you. Decide what you want to rank for on Google and identify keywords that are a priority for your business. If you do this, you will have some fantastic direction moving forward and will have made some great strides towards improvement.
Okay, you understand your website analytics, know what brings people to your site and have goals that you want to achieve. Great. However, it is also very important to put some thought into the user experience offered by your funeral home website. This has much to do with keywords and the journey from search result to your website pages. You want to make sure the right pages are ranking for relevant search terms. In addition, you want to make sure that once they are on said pages, that visitors do what you want them to do. For example, things like wanting them to fill out a form for pre-need or click the contact button on the about us page.
If you have no idea what that means, don’t stress, you aren’t alone. Allow us to simplify it for you: design a user experience that makes it easy for families to go from the search bar, to the pages that tell them why they should come to you. Once they hit those pages, make sure they are presented with relevant information and the option to do something about it. Make sure your page titles contain popular, searchable terms and make sure your content is engaging and informative (see #5 for more).
The fourth step requires less action and should be more of a constant reminder that your funeral home website is the main thing connecting you to families. It is the venue for showcasing who you are, what you do and how you can help them when they need it most. When making any adjustment, improvement or overall change to your website, whether it be design or content, put yourself in the shoes of the families in your community. Ensure that what you are doing will add to their ability to find your website and enjoy their experience. In the end, this mentality will strengthen your overall efforts to reach, engage, inform and help the families in your service area, while making your website easy to find and valuable to visit.
Last but certainly not least, the key to improving your funeral home website is having great content. At the end of the day, there is nothing more crucial than the information people can find on your pages. Having a site that technically ranks well on Google is only half the battle if there is little value is offered once people are there. The goal should be to have personalized, quality content that doesn’t just sit there once you put it up. Website content should be changing with decent regularity. In order to keep up, imagine your funeral home website as a living, breathing thing.
Yes, content should be easy to read, accurate and up to date. However, it is far more important that it captures “why people should come to you”. That is the gold standard for search engine rankings, the reputation of your business and gives your firm the best chance of not only reaching, but enticing families to come to you for your services. If you do nothing else, be certain that your funeral home website always has relevant, useful and quality content.
Without a doubt there are many different and more advanced ways to enhance your firm’s website. It can take entire teams of search engine optimization experts, content specialists and creative marketing minds to create a perfect one. However, the five steps we have just outlined are a great starting point for any funeral professional looking to give their firm an online boost.
At FrontRunner, we take great pride in empowering funeral homes around the continent to use technology in the pursuit of building better businesses. We are always here to help. While we encourage that you give these steps a shot, we are also here to help should you need it. Contact us today if you want to improve your funeral home website, and we can be there to help every step of the way. It’s what we do.
Brandon is the Marketing Communications Manager at FrontRunner Professional. He holds a Social Sciences degree from McMaster University and a Graduate Certificate in Integrated Marketing Communications from St. Lawrence College. His creative writing and innovative ideas bring new life to the company, FrontRunner’s clients and funeral directors world-wide.