How to Grow Your Funeral Home In 2022
It’s no secret that digital has become a crucial part of any business’s strategy due to the value and reach that online channels provide. Search engines are the #1 source people use for information on virtually every topic, including finding the best funeral home to lay their loved ones to rest. In fact, nearly 92% of all web traffic comes from Google. By not having a funeral home digital marketing strategy, you’re risking missing out on a gigantic amount of online traffic that converts to funeral services.
So, how do you grow your funeral home’s online visibility? We’ll cover 7 of the most important funeral home digital marketing strategies to activate. These strategies implemented alone can be very effective, and you’ll notice significant growth in the area each strategy targets. But when all 7 of these strategies are done together, the impact is magnified and can lead to your funeral home’s online visibility and phone calls increasing.
1. Well-Designed & Responsive Funeral Home Website
A business’s website is one of its most valuable assets. Your funeral home’s website is often the first impression your potential users will have of you. You want to make sure that you take care of your website just as you would your physical location. There are many tactics you can use to increase your website’s credibility. But two of the most important are making sure your website is well designed and responsive on all devices (computers, tablets, and phones).
How Does Your Website Look?
A well-designed funeral home website says a lot about your brand. It’s proven that people correlate the quality of your website with the quality of your service and your funeral home business as a whole. So the question is, what is your current website saying about your funeral home?
For the best results, you want to make sure that your home page radiates a trustworthy aesthetic that instills comfort and empathy in those viewing it. After all, those who choose to use your funeral home are trusting you with one of the biggest decisions of their life, the final moments they get to share with their loved ones. You also need to make sure that your funeral home website design has individual pages (About Us, Contact, etc.) that detail what your funeral service is all about.
Another way to improve the quality of your website is to include a dynamic obituary feature that includes high-resolution pictures of recent funeral viewings. This allows those who are still in the research phase of their funeral home decision-making process to have a better understanding of the love and care that goes into each service, as well as the information provided to those who will be in attendance.
Responsive Website Design
With a responsive website design, your website (and all of its pages) can adapt and provide the best experience to users, whether they’re on their desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Have you ever visited a website on your phone, and the text is too big, images aren’t loading, or links and buttons not working correctly? The chances are you have, and the reason for the website performing that way is simple; it was never optimized to be responsive on devices other than computers. The need to have a responsive website is so critical because of the surging number of users who access websites on their smartphones. In 2021, 63% of all Google searches came from a mobile device. More importantly, over half of mobile users admit to switching to another website after a bad experience on a nonresponsive mobile website.
For an example of a mobile responsive website, copy the address of this webpage and paste it into your phone or computer internet browser, whichever one you’re not currently using to read this. Pay close attention to how the website adapts to the device and provides different user experiences that best complement the device being used. You can view some more examples of responsive and engaging websites that I’ve designed in my portfolio.
2. Optimize Your Google My Business
First things first, if you haven’t claimed a Google My Business (GMB) for your funeral home yet, do so immediately. I can’t stress enough how important this asset is for any business and the benefits of optimizing your GMB. Google My Business is a completely free and easy-to-use tool for your funeral home to manage your online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. To help clients find your business, and to tell them your story, you can verify your business and edit your information. Besides providing searchers more information about your funeral home, your GMB also shares the reviews people have left about your funeral home. Reviews, particularly positive reviews, are used heavily by Google’s algorithm when ranking local businesses in Maps. In fact, some of the best real estate to have in search engine results is in the local 3-pack displayed for almost all non-branded searches like “funeral home in Philadelphia, PA”.
Google’s Local 3-Pack
We’ll talk more about the value of local SEO in the next funeral home digital marketing strategy, but Google’s local 3-pack is a game-changer. When searching for any kind of local business or service Google’s search algorithm will display the top 3 results in your area based on the reviews and optimization from your funeral home’s Google My Business. The local 3 pack is so valuable because it displays at the top of the page before any of the organic results. A new study found that searchers click on one of the businesses in the local 3-pack almost 50% of the time.
So, how do you get your funeral home to appear in the local 3-pack? Ensure all information fields in your GMB are filled out and utilize the optimal keywords in the funeral home service industry. Keyword research is a great idea to find out what terms your clients are most often searching for so that your funeral home has a better chance of appearing as a result. Lastly, and most importantly, 5-star reviews are as good as gold in local SEO. Google uses various ranking factors for local businesses, but none are valued as highly as client reviews. Be sure to take every opportunity to not only ask for positive reviews from previous clients but also respond to reviews that have already been given. We’ll talk more about review generation techniques in one of the next funeral home digital marketing strategies.
3. Invest in Local SEO
Local search engine optimization is a category of SEO that focuses on optimizing a website to be found in the local search results. For funeral homes, local SEO will help you appear for terms like “funeral home near me” or “funeral home [city, state].” Essentially, local SEO is an online growth strategy that focuses on emphasizing the optimization efforts of local businesses. Need more convincing? Over 50% of ‘near me’ searches result in a physical store visit. Through content creation, on-page optimizations, and local citations, you can improve your local SEO for your funeral home.
Top Local SEO Ranking Factors
Google My Business
As I mentioned above, your Google My Business is one of your most valuable assets as a business. Google relies heavily on the optimization, information, and reviews on your GMB when its algorithm determines where your website should be ranking for local searches. Google is adding new features to Google My Business all the time, so it’s vital to keep your GMB updated as often as possible. A few things in your GMB you can improve right now are adding keywords into your GMB description, listing all services you offer at your funeral home, enabling GMB messaging, and regularly posting updates or promotions to your GMB. Enhancing these will help strengthen your funeral home digital marketing strategy and improve your online visibility.
Google has said that “high-quality, positive reviews from your clients will improve your business’s visibility and increase the likelihood that a person viewing your website will choose your funeral home to say goodbye to a loved one. You can encourage past clients to leave feedback by creating a link they can click to write reviews. So how do you get more reviews from happy clients? It’s as simple as asking. It was found that 67% of consumers that are asked to leave reviews go on to do so. Be sure to incorporate a review generation strategy for your funeral home.
On-Page SEO Signals
On-page ranking signals come from the content on your website. For example, don’t just optimize your website content for “funeral home” optimize it for “Philadelphia funeral home” or wherever you’re funeral home is located. Similarly updating your meta titles and descriptions of your webpages with locational keywords. Using specific keywords in your content and metas is a great combination and can quickly boost your website’s rank. Optimizing your funeral home’s website for search engines remains a prime practice and can maximize your performance both organically and locally.
4. Get Listed in Local Directories
Local citations are online mentions of the name, address, and phone number (also known as NAP) of your funeral home. Citations typically appear on local business directories, other websites and apps, and social media platforms. Local citations help Internet users to discover local businesses and can also impact local search engine rankings. Local citations also work as a trust signal for Google’s algorithm. The more credible citations that your funeral home is listed on, the more trust Google has in your business and is more likely to recommend your funeral home to its searchers. Some excellent places to claim local citations and boost your funeral home’s online credibility are Yext, Bing Maps, Facebook, Yellowpages, Foursquare, Angie’s List, Yelp, and many more.
A citation does not need a link back to your funeral home website for it to be valuable. The value in a citation is the mention of your funeral home online. Google uses these mentions as signals that reward your website with more online credibility. The more mentions of your funeral home online, the higher your funeral home appears in the Google search results.
Local citation consistency is also crucial for local SEO performance. Ensure that all citation listings you’re filling out for your funeral home have the same name, address, operating hours, and phone number. Conflicting information online can hurt you when Google is crawling these citation pages and determining where your funeral home ranks online. Remember, it’s all about trust. Having a holistic approach to your local citations and search engine optimization, in general, is paramount for your funeral home digital marketing success.
5. Build a Strong & Interactive Social Media Following
The importance of social media in business is growing at warp speed with no end in sight. According to a 2019 study, 90.4% of millennials and 77.5% of Gen X are active on social media. Social media is everywhere. For many people, social media is used daily for entertainment, socialization, shopping, and news consumption. Failing to utilize social media platforms to your funeral home’s advantage is a massive opportunity missed. The reach and access social media provide for business owners are next to none. Start forming your social media strategy to build your brand in the community you serve.
6. Run Facebook & Instagram Ads
Social media advertising is a must if you’re looking to reach your target audience immediately. Although search engine optimization is organic and free, success doesn’t come overnight. But when you run social media ads, you can automatically reach potential clients in your area. Captivate your audience with well-designed and relatable advertisements that resonate with them. By running ads on the biggest social media platforms in the world, you have the opportunity to build your funeral home’s brand awareness and be the first service people think of when they need a proper send-off for a loved one. And with the cost of social media ads being so low relative to the number of people you can reach with them, it’s a no-brainer when adding to your funeral home digital marketing strategy.
Facebook is still the king of social media, although Instagram has been making up a lot of ground lately. Home to an active user base and a diverse platform, Facebook is an attractive option for advertisers to increase their visibility. The platform continues to grow with a 33% increase in advertisement impressions in 2019. Facebook is a fantastic choice for your funeral home if you’re hoping to increase foot traffic to your business, web traffic to your site, and maximize brand exposure.
Remember, Instagram is all about visuals. People are looking to follow businesses on Instagram to get a better idea of your brand. 92% of Instagram users say they’ve followed a brand, clicked on their website, and made a purchase after seeing a product or service on the platform. When running Instagram ads, be sure to share high-quality images or short videos of your funeral home services that help people trust you as a business. Instagram has two options for ad placement, ads in the content feed and the stories section. Both are effective and can reach thousands of potential clients instantly.
7. Measure, Measure, Measure!
The final funeral home digital marketing strategy is to measure your data and growth as often as possible. I’d highly recommend integrating Google Analytics and Google Search Console on your website; it’s not as hard as it sounds. These free-to-use tools provide valuable information from your website and the users who have visited. Did I mention it’s free? Tracking your data not only lets you see the progress your website has made but areas of opportunity that could be improved. You’ll be able to know where your funeral home website is ranking for specific keywords and any increase or decrease in organic traffic to your website.
When measuring the user engagement on your funeral home website, it’s essential to pay close attention to the bounce rate and dwell time of users who visit your site. This is an excellent insight into what visitors think of your website without them actually telling you. A high bounce rate on specific pages indicates that whatever users were hoping to find on that page isn’t there. Causing them to bounce from your website to another one, likely a competitor who was able to better answer their question. Be sure to use this information to reexamine your content. Ask yourself, is my website answering visitors’ questions? Does it clearly state the funeral home’s operating hours? Is the mission statement clear and worded correctly? Are my funeral services easily found and accessible? To put it simply, it’s all about user intent. Put yourself in your client’s shoes, and be sure to include everything you’d be looking for if it were you.
Ready to Start Growing Your Funeral Home? Let’s Do It Together
I’ve found my niche in the digital marketing industry by working with funeral homes. I love taking a small-town funeral home and helping turn them into the funeral home that everyone in town trusts with their loved ones’ final goodbye. The secret is simple, online visibility. By utilizing these steps, I’ve helped small businesses like funeral homes exceed their own goals and expectations for their business. Having an effective digital presence for your business in 2022 is critical for success. Let’s start forming your funeral home digital marketing strategy today and turn your funeral home into the #1 in town.