The first installment of our Funeral Home Advertising series covered how standing out from the competition can be difficult. We included things like the revival of traditional advertising, the boom of digital advertising (in general) and how social media is becoming the new hotspot for connecting with today’s consumers. Also, we talked about advertising on Google and how that is becoming increasingly important for funeral homes. In this post, we are going to dive deeper into that topic. We’ll explore how Google ads for funeral homes can help get more families to your website, get you more funeral leads, and help grow your business overall.
Overall, search engine marketing (SEM) should be an important part of your marketing strategy. SEM is a broad term that refers to increasing the online visibility of your website on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. SEM is not just one thing, but rather a collection of many different strategies, working in harmony. Some of these tactics focus on ranking in organic search results and can be done for no cost. However, dominating Google search results does not come free. Don’t panic, though, it doesn’t have to be expensive either.
Google has created its advertising platform to fit the needs of large and small businesses alike. What sets it apart from other advertising options is that Google ads for your funeral home are not bought based on how many people will potentially view your ad, like with billboards or newspaper ads. Instead, Google charges you only for when your ad is clicked on. In other words, you are paying for results, not for the possibility of attracting new customers. You just have to be creative and calculated when putting together your campaigns.
There are many benefits of using Google ads for your funeral home. In addition to being cost-effective, the platform also allows you to target consumers more strategically. You can create ads based on specific (or general) keywords, meaning that your ads show up when people are conducting searches related to the funeral industry. The same goes for location, you can control what people see when they search from specific places. With this kind of control, you can make sure that only your target audience sees your ads. Overall, these features allow you to have more control over your search engine strategy and help with the effective (and efficient) use of your marketing budget.
Google ads help your funeral home get in front of consumers. However, they also help you stand out from the competition. Right now, paid search ads generally occupy the first 2-3 Google search results – showing up before you see any organic results. For example, when I Google new york funeral homes, I receive the search engine results page that is pictured below. The first three results are all Google ads. This is where you want your funeral home website listing to appear – at the top of search results where clicks are more likely to happen. This has an even more significant impact on mobile devices. When using most smartphones, only paid search ads are shown on the first screen that loads. This may not bode well for those relying strictly on organic search strategies. Yet, for those using funeral home Google ads, it is a sure-fire way to be seen on page one by consumers.
I won’t lie. Advertising on Google is not the easiest thing to do. Sure, the company makes every effort to make the Google AdWords platform as user-friendly as possible. But you will need to do some initial learning and then work to stay up to date. Even experts, like our SEO team, work to keep up with the world of search. That being said, there are some foundational steps that can help get you started.
The best place to start is with some keyword research. Find out what funeral and death care keywords, terms, and phrases people are looking for. What questions are people asking? What are people most commonly interested in? Some simple phrases to consider right away would be terms like “funeral homes” and “funeral services” along with the city you are located in. For example, for someone living in Chicago who just lost a parent and is in need of immediate funeral services, a likely Google search would be “funeral homes in Chicago”. To help brainstorm good keywords, there are tools and software that are SEO team utilizes such as Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz. Keyword research comes down to determining which phrases get searched a lot, for what terms do you want to be associated with, and which terms best apply to what you do and offer. It is also a balancing act. Some Keywords that get high search volumes will also be harder to rank for because lots of ads are trying to rank for those terms. Therefore, a keyword with less search volume but also that has less competition might be a better bet. If you are in a smaller city or a more rural area, you may have less difficulty.
After we have settled on which keywords we want our ads to rank for, make sure to group the keywords that are associated. For example, you may have keywords that are all related to burial or keywords that are all related to flowers.
Once you have grouped the keywords, it is time to actually create the ads for each group. A basic Google ad appearing in results will look like the one below.
Try to make the ad text as compelling and relevant to the keywords as possible so that searchers are enticed to click on the ads. A couple tips on writing ad text:
So we briefly touched on how you pay for Google ads, but let’s take a closer look. The most standard way you can pay for Google ads is by click – often referred to as the pay-per-click (PPC) method. With PPC you only pay when someone clicks on your funeral home Google ads and is directed to your website. There are other methods of payment such as paying per impression or per conversion, but just those are more advanced techniques.
So how exactly is the cost for each click determined? Essentially you set a bid on each keyword you want to rank for in an auction style sale. You can set the bids either manually for each keyword, but for beginners it is best to let Google automate the bids for you. Google will automate your bids to bring the most amount of clicks based on the daily budget you set. In general the higher the bid you place on a keyword, the higher your ad will rank in search results. However, there are a couple of other factors which will determine your ad’s ranking position.
Along with bid, the quality score of your ads determines where your funeral google ad will get placed. The quality score is determined by an algorithm that factors in landing page experience, the click-through rate, and the overall relevance of the ad. Essentially it is a score on how relevant your ads are in relation to your keywords and the landing page. Google is trying to show ads that will best serve its users. Therefore higher relevancy and a higher quality score will boost an ad’s ranking. Google rewards ads that help users find what they are really looking for. So you could possibly have the highest bid on a keyword, but if your ad is completely irrelevant the rank of the ad will suffer.
Advertising on Google may seem like a sizeable challenge to take on. It can require a commitment of time that some firms just can’t spare. It also may not be in the budget. Either way, you do not need to worry about taking on your funeral home advertising journey alone. At FrontRunner we have seen great success by implementing Google ads for funeral homes. If you have any questions or concerns, we would love to help you find the answer.
Reach out and contact us at any time, we are always happy to talk about advertising and marketing. Also, stay tuned for the next post in this series where we will cover social media advertising and how your funeral homes can benefit.
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.