Many funeral homes do not realize how crucial it is to get their obituaries online as soon as possible. The online memorial website has quickly become the go-to spot after people hear of a passing. There are major benefits for both the funeral home and family if the publishing process is expedited.
Let’s take a look at the major reasons why you want to publish obituaries sooner rather than later.
Outside of the home page, tribute web pages are by far the most visited pages on funeral home websites. When you forget or delay the publishing of a tribute web page, you are missing out on a large amount of website visitors. In general, many people first come to know of a funeral home when one of their friends passes away. So each tribute web page is potentially the first interaction or touch point you will have with new prospective families.
Whichever website publishes the obituary first has a much better chance of ranking higher on Google and on other search engines. If the obit is being sent to other sources, then you need to be mindful and get your obit published before they do. Google makes it a priority to rank the original version of web content higher. What’s considered the original piece has a lot to do with timing. Which web page existed longer is often considered the ‘original version’.
Many memorial websites including FrontRunner’s allow for online flower orders. This is a convenient feature for families, and a nice source of revenue for funeral homes and local florists. Each day you wait to publish a tribute web page is another day of revenue you miss out on.
The news of a death is very time sensitive. A person can pass away one day, and two days later some families want to hold the visitation and funeral service. That’s why waiting to publish obits even for a few hours is not recommended. Sending the memorial web page live quickly allows everyone to be informed about service details. There have been a few occasions where my parents missed the chance to attend a funeral because the obituary was published well after the service was held and they didn’t even know the individual passed away.
As mentioned in #1, a visit to a memorial website can be the first time a person hears of your funeral home. You don’t want to be viewed as lazy or unorganized. Try to avoid a scenario where people hear of a passing and immediately try to find the obituary online only to be left disappointed when they can’t find it. This situation does not leave the greatest impression with the community. When it comes to a passing, people want the info and details as soon as possible. Avoid confusion and frustration, and let people know your funeral home is handling the service.
When you don’t publish an obit right away, people will go elsewhere to share their condolences and heartfelt messages. You want those interactions on your memorial web page. Make your memorial website the central location for condolences to be uploaded and stories to be shared. If this hub does not exist, then people will share their condolences through another medium. They will turn to Facebook, email, phone, text message to connect with the family.
In January 2020, FrontRunner built a new feature connected to our memorial websites to help funeral professionals get their obituaries online faster. Many funeral professionals are concerned about publishing obits because they are missing info or feel the case is incomplete. Quick Record Entry does not require all of a death record’s info for a memorial web page to be published. With Quick Record Entry you enter as little or as much info as you have and can publish the obituary in less than a minute. The best part is that you can update and edit the obituary as you get more information.
Jeff works as a Digital Marketing Specialist at FrontRunner. He has a degree in Business Administration from Laurentian University and a Graduate Certificate in Integrated Marketing Communications from St. Lawrence College. Jeff specializes in search engine marketing, data analysis, and content creation.