10 Commandments of a Funeral Home WebsiteMarch 8th, 2012
I hope those 25 thought-provoking stats about today’s families inspired you to embrace the digital families of today, and adapt your funeral marketing plan to better meet their needs. Your funeral home website should be your #1 marketing tool. And when optimized correctly, it will be the most effective way for you to attract and engage prospective families before they ever walk in your door.
For those of you who don’t know where to start, here’s a list of the 10 commandments of a successful funeral home website.
Thou Shalt Not…
1. Thou shalt not fill your homepage with information about YOU.
If 75% of the people visiting your funeral home website aren’t contacting you, maybe it’s time to look at what’s driving them away. Is your homepage filled with photos of your staff/facilities, and content about the history of your funeral firm? Families visit your website to find out how you can help them memorialize the life of a loved one. Your homepage content needs to focus on their needs first—not your firm’s history.
2. Thou shalt not neglect your online presence.
With statistics showing people spend twice as much time on the Internet as they do watching TV, and 8 times as much time on the Internet as they spend reading the newspaper, I think it’s clear where you need to focus your funeral marketing efforts. Families are already forming opinions about you and your funeral firm, long before they ever step foot in your door. Make sure you don’t make the wrong first impression with an outdated website. The colors, fonts and photos don’t have to be drab, dreary and depressing. Use colorful photos and engaging videos that inspire families to celebrate the life lived.
3. Thou shalt not disregard social media.
Social media is the #1 web activity. It’s no longer just a fad among the younger generations—60% of adults maintain a profile on a social networking site. Traditional obituaries and online guestbooks that don’t encourage social interaction do very little to help your families heal. But with social memorial websites, you connect your families to their network of supporters through a permanent online memorial that allows them all to share memories, photos, videos and more. Social memorial websites integrate with popular social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, giving your families the ability to expand their community of supports while driving more traffic to your website.
4. Thou shalt not assume your families aren’t online.
With 76 million baby boomers passing through the funeral profession in the next 20 years, this post-World War II generation creates a huge window of opportunity for increased business. However, contrary to popular belief, baby boomers are online. In fact, they spend more time and money online than any other generation in the US. So no more excuses—your families are online, and they’re looking for you!
5. Thou shalt not be hard to find.
The term “funeral home” is searched over 6 million times a month on Google. Search engines are now families’ best source for finding information during their time of need. And since 75% of Internet users never scroll past the first page of search results, you need to make sure your funeral home website can be easily found through search engine optimization and by including relevant keywords and phrases within your content
6. Thou shalt offer sympathy gifts & flowers.
93% of consumers send sympathy gifts or flowers to show their support for friends and family suffering the loss of a loved one. When families visit your website to read an obituary or find our service time and information, offer them the convenience of purchasing sympathy gifts and flowers directly from your website. Not only is this a service your website visitors will appreciate, but it also generates additional revenue for your funeral home.
7. Thou shalt help families through their grief journey.
Your families’ needs extend beyond the funeral service. Establish long-term relationships with your families by offering services such as grief support groups, access to grief counseling, daily affirmation emails and interactive videos. You’ll not only be providing them with valuable resources, you’ll be allowing them the convenience of managing their grief and healing effectively from the comfort of their own home.
8. Thou shalt answer questions and educate.
Let’s face it, your families are information-seekers, and they want answers to their questions immediately. Your funeral home website needs to answer their questions about what to do when death occurs and the types of services offered, as well as educate them on the value of a funeral service.
9. Thou shalt show families unique ways to celebrate the life lived.
Pushing tradition aside, families continue to seek out unique and memorable ways to honor the life lived. Differentiate your firm from the competition by showcasing the unique and personalized services you offer, such as customized ceremonies, funeral webcasting, personalized printing, memorial tribute videos, and social memorial websites.
10. Thou shalt increase revenue.
If eCommerce is going to be a $279 billion industry by 2015, now is probably a good time to jump onboard that train and start selling sympathy gifts and flowers online. Another way to increase revenue is by integrating a pre-planning tool on your funeral home website so families can easily arrange funeral services completely online, from the comfort of their own home.
I think it’s obvious that having a strong online presence should be the focus of your funeral marketing plan. Follow these 10 commandments and start optimizing your funeral home website today!
Are there any other rules your funeral firm lives by that you’re willing to share with the rest of us? Please share your comments below
Are you in need of a full funeral home website makeover and don’t know where to start? The f1Connect funeral website platform is an all-in-one solution, built from the ground up, exclusively to attract and engage families. Click here to learn more!