Look, it’s no secret. If you work at a funeral home, you probably didn’t sign on to also be a marketer. Think further though – marketing is a big part of your day-to-day work already:
But there’s one marketing tool that should be your funeral home’s top priority: your website. In one Stanford study, it was found that nearly 75% of people base a business’s credibility on the business’s website.
Verify that your website is set up for success in each of the three areas below.
Your website is truly your first impression for people who are looking for your services. It needs to make an impact.
More than anything, it needs to provide a great experience to users who are visiting your website.
How do you do this? Well, to provide the best user experience possible on your funeral home’s website, focus on optimizing the following areas.
No one wants to visit a website with a painfully slow loading time.
For example, let’s say we have a website visitor, Tami, who is looking for a local funeral home to provide services for their loved one. Tami visits two different websites for two different funeral homes.
Tami is likely going to bounce from Website A immediately. She is looking to get her information as quickly as possible, and Website B provides that for her.
Here are four tactics to follow and ensure that your website speed is optimal:
While website speed is important, website design is just as important. You need to craft a website that is easy for visitors to navigate. Here are a few key components that you should consider in your website design:
40% of website visitors will switch to a different search result if the first website isn’t mobile-friendly. In parallel, this means that your funeral home could be losing out on 40% of potential new business each month.
Ensure that your website is designed for mobile-first. If you ever look into rebuilding your website, check to see what each newly designed page looks like in both desktop and mobile.
Digital content with strong imagery and videos performs much better, getting 94% more views on average. By placing a focus on incorporating powerful images and videos into your website design, you’re giving your funeral home a better shot at standing out.
We all know the classic saying: keep it simple stupid. At the end of the day, you want to avoid creating a website design that is too complicated or stuffed with repetitive, confusing information.
Keep the navigation bar simple, use complementary colors in moderation, and focus on delivering a website for your funeral home that is simple to understand.
You can have a beautiful website, but if you don’t provide calls to action that tell people how they can contact you, then you’re going to have a low conversion rate on your site.
Here are some examples of CTA’s that you can include on your website:
Now that you’ve created a great user experience on your funeral home’s website, it’s time to shift focus to SEO.
SEO is the process of optimizing your website so that it can be found organically on the first results page when someone is searching for your services via Google or Bing.
Arguably the biggest benefit of SEO traffic is that it is essentially free, which differs from paid search advertising where you pay for traffic.
Your website provides signals to online browsers like Google and Bing. Google will index, crawl, and rank your website for relevant search queries.
For example, if you are a funeral home, you’ll want to ensure that your website ranks when local searchers enter ‘funeral homes near me’ into the Google search bar.
But be aware – many competitor websites have the same goal. Because of this, you need to optimize your website in a way that helps it rank in the top search results on a consistent basis. The higher up you are in the search results, the more website traffic you’ll likely earn.
Technical SEO can seem intimidating, but it’s actually simpler than most think. Below are a few ‘quick win’ technical areas of focus that can help your website rank higher in search results.
Education, education, education! Most of the time, families in your community are unaware of how funeral services work. By including a blog page on your website, you can eliminate two birds with one stone:
Keywords are the phrases that online searchers use to find their information when using search engines like Google and Bing. Meta descriptions are small descriptions displayed with each search result that provide more context for searchers and search engines.
Perform keyword research using free tools like Semrush Keyword Generator or WordStream to identify high-traffic, high-intent keywords that are relevant to your business.
Talk to your website provider and see if you can work together to incorporate strong target keywords and meta descriptions for the main pages and each blog post on your website.
Side tip: avoid keyword cannibalization whenever possible – this is when you set the same target keyword for two different pages on your website.
There are some funeral home website providers who practice obituary mirroring. Website providers will mirror the obituaries on your website – these mirrored obituaries are usually hosted on another page that is separate from your website.
This can have a direct impact on your overall website traffic and business. Check to see if your website provider is engaging in this practice, and use this helpful guide from the NFDA to determine the next steps that you can take to address obituary mirroring.
Most funeral home websites include a link on each obituary where people can send flowers. The link likely redirects people to a different storefront where the flowers can be bought and sent.
Do you receive commissions from those flower sales?
This question matters more than you think.
Some website providers will offer you a certain percentage of comission from all flower sales on your custom website. For example, at Gather we offer a 15% flower sales commission to funeral homes who partner with us to build their custom website.
This means that if you sell 20 flower arrangements per month at around $150 per arrangement through the website, your funeral home will bring in an estimated $450 per month just from flower sales.
If your current website provider doesn’t provide you with any flower sales commissions currently, see if you are able to negotiate your commission rate for flower sales. That way, you’re able to maximize flower sales and make it a stronger revenue stream for your business.
Once you address the margins aspect of flower sales on your website, you’ll then want to shift your focus to another area: the checkout process.
When people go through the storefront to send flowers, do they enjoy the checkout process, or do they bounce from the website altogether?
If you ever receive a call to help walk someone through the process of sending flowers, take the time to ask them:
Once you’re able to improve flower sales margins, your funeral home could see an immediate impact on overall revenue per month.
Plus, when you focus on delivering a great experience to families who visit your website, you will get better engagement. And better engagement generally translates to even more commissions.
The quality of your website should match the quality of services that you provide. That way, you’re accurately portraying your funeral home’s story to more of your community.
By focusing on some of the areas above, your website will quickly become one of your most valuable assets for years to come.