4 Website Tips Your Funeral Home Should Take Advantage Of Today
Posted March 28, 2018
8 min read
So you want a reliable, proven way to better reach and start to build relationships with your families?
There are proven strategies that can help you better market to your families with—you guessed it—your website!
Your website is one of the first ways many families interact with your firm. But consider this:
- 44 percent of website visitors will leave a company’s website if there’s no contact information or phone number (1)
- Once on a company’s homepage, 86 percent of visitors want to see information about that company’s products/services (1)
- Content marketing generates 3 times the amount of leads compared with “traditional” marketing (such as, but not limited to, outbound activities, broadcast advertisements like TV and radio, and many printed forms of advertising) (2)
If you want to improve your existing website—and you want to be sure you have content that’s appealing to your families—but you’re not sure where to begin, keep reading. We sat down with Peter Richardson who leads the technical and design teams at Consolidated Funeral Services (CFS), a CRäKN partner, to talk about this critical topic.
1. Re-examine how you showcase obituaries
When it comes to almost every funeral home website, obituaries are king! “Averaging across our network of funeral home websites, obituaries bring in over 200 visitors per day, with approximately 37 visits per day to non-obituary pages, many of which are probably obituary viewers,” explains Richardson.
This kind of website traffic serves the family, first and foremost. It also helps people know about upcoming services, and it provides a way for people to pay their respects.
But also consider how your obituaries are another way that prospective families are interacting with your funeral home. You may not think of it as a marketing opportunity, but you should, says Richardson. “It provides a valuable ‘marketing impression’ for the funeral home.”
To be sure you’re taking advantage of this website traffic that’s already coming to your site, consider the following action steps:
Make sure your website design is intuitive, easy to navigate, and visually appealing. Since visitors are going to see this when they visit your site, be sure it’s user-friendly and updated.
Ensure all new obituaries are being added to the website as soon as possible. Put simply, you want to be sure you’re set up to capture all possible traffic, from the get-go.
Make sure obituaries are being added to your website’s sitemap by your hosting company, and quickly. “This ensures that people find the obituary soon after it is posted,” says Richardson. It also will help you follow search engine optimization best practices so that when people search for someone’s obituary, your website will be positioned to show up.
Give your website visitors what they want! Consider all the visitors who will be looking at the obituaries. Many of them will want to send flowers, so it’s appropriate to include easy flower ordering right on the obituary page.
2. Start putting your website analytics to use
Many funeral homes may be aware of their website analytics, or part of their website analytics, but aren’t sure of the “why” behind the data itself. Still others aren’t using any data and would love to learn more.
Here are 4 places to start so you can start to improve your website over time:
1. Visitor volume. Think of this as a baseline that you want to watch over time. It doesn’t help to answer the “why” behind the data necessarily, but it can help you better track trends, and how your marketing activities are impacting overall visitor volume.
2. See where your traffic is coming from. To learn more about the data, look at where people are coming from when they come to your website. Are they searching in Google, and finding you that way? Are they finding you on Facebook, and other social channels? Are they seeing your website on a partner’s website? How does that compare to prior months?
For example, you may notice that more visitors come to your site from Facebook, rather than Google. That may be happening because the obituary pages encourage social media sharing, and are most often shared that way today. Having that understanding can help you prioritize your marketing efforts as well. “Understanding how your visitors reach your site will help funeral homes focus on the channels that are underperforming, too,” adds Richardson.
3. See what device your families are using to access your site. As much as 50 percent of visitors viewing funeral home websites are on a mobile device, says Richardson.
Seeing verification about what device (and even what browser) website visitors are using may mean you take steps to ensure your mobile experience is just as good as the experience people see when browsing on their desktop.
4. See the pages that are most often visited. Not only can you see how each type of visitor navigates through your site, but you can also see what pages are the most popular on your site.
That can help you ensure those pages are optimized and are succinctly and clearly delivering your value proposition.
“Most of the time, funeral homes will find that obituary pages draw the most traffic. However, it’s worthwhile looking at the ‘about us’, ‘pre-planning’ and other funeral home-specific content to assess how many people visit them and how those people find the website,” says Richardson.
3. Audit the other content on your site
Obituaries may be the primary source of your traffic today, but spend time thinking about how to grow the other sources of traffic.
On the path to do so, it’s worthwhile to re-evaluate all your current website pages. In general, your website can benefit from the following:
A personalized ‘About Us’ page. Think of this as a place where people are seeking out more information about you; since they’re asking, you want to be sure you “show off” your funeral home in the best light. “This can also put a ‘human face’ on your funeral home. It can help make your funeral home feel approachable and invites visitors to get in touch,” adds Richardson. A staff section is equally important and can be included on the same page or on a separate page in the same section of your website.
An overview of your available services and offerings. Your website should engage visitors, but it also needs to be informative and educational. To inform families of what you offer, be sure you share all your services and offerings! “You can show your options while at the same time emphasize that the most effective way to plan a fitting funeral is to sit down with the caring and experienced funeral home staff.”
A ‘Contact Us’ page…that has all your information. That means your address and your phone number.
If people are looking to get in touch with your firm, you want to be sure that it’s easy for them to do so; Offer ways to communicate via phone, email, or contact form submissions. The more ways, in general, the better, so that all target audiences feel comfortable getting in touch with you the way they prefer. “This page should also include the funeral home address and driving directions and/or a map.”
4. Room for feedback. Ideally, you can allow families to communicate a comment or a concern on your website, rather than somewhere else. You want to gather feedback, so it’s about making that as simple as possible for people to provide.
4. Offer the ability to pay online (if you aren’t already)
Families are increasingly conducting business online. “The wide product selection and fast fulfillment offered by online retailers are capturing a growing percentage of retail sales each year,” says Richardson.
Online convenience is quickly becoming an expectation in the mind of consumers.
“How often have you received a bill in the mail that requires a paper check to be mailed back? As you dig for a stamp and return address label, followed by a trip to the mailbox, I suspect many wonder why they cannot just go online and pay immediately with a credit or debit card.”
Keeping that in mind, consider offering online payment options to your families, right on your site.
Richardson explains you can still keep traditional forms of payments for those who prefer them. “But also offering the ability to pay online provides convenience in a busy world, and it also allows families to spread the cost of a funeral over an extended period using their credit card, should they need to.”
Another potential benefit: being able to pay online shows that your up-to-date, and that you offer modern solutions. “It’s one more element that can help you look more professional than your competitors, helping assure your families that they will be in good hands if they choose your services.”
Optimize Your Entire Funeral Planning Process
“CRäKN is web-based, so we didn’t need to install any software, and visually it is very appealing and intuitive. We are reducing the amount of paperwork per case and we are saving hours per family served.” -Callaway Jones Funeral Home
CRäKN is the simplest way to manage your funeral home, allowing you to:
- Drastically reduce daily admin work, thanks to a single point entry system
- Integrate with your call answering service, website, stationery, and accounting system
- Use a digital Whiteboard that gives you full visibility - anytime, anywhere, from any device
We help funeral professionals save time, prevent duplicate work & reduce errors. Focus on the family, let us focus on helping you. Request a demo today!