What Do 76% of Families Want From Your Funeral Home Website?

Spice girls

“So tell me what you want, what you really, really want.”

– Spice Girls

The well known lyrics by 90s pop sensations the Spice Girls may have been the first to deliver these well known lyrics, but we’re willing to bet that it’s something funeral professionals would love to sing to client families… especially when it comes to your funeral home website.

According to our research, most funeral directors use their website to list services and obituaries (77%), show directions and phone number (47%) and educate on the value of our services (45%).

 

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But is that what client families want? And how would you find out? The good news is, you don’t have to because marketing company Hubspot has done the research to find out what most people want from a website – and it’s simpler than you think. According to Hubspot’s data, 76% of people want a website that “makes it easy for them to find what they need.” 

So how can your website make it easy for families to find what they need? Here are six areas your funeral home website must address:

1. Ease of use  – pass the granny test

The best way to make sure people can find what they need on any website is to make your site easy to use.

You can improve your website’s ease-of-use by:

– Providing clear, consistent navigation in the same place on every page that lets people know exactly what’s on the site and where to find it.

– Including a prominent link to your sitemap and an easy-to-see search box so people can find what they need.

– Having a simple website structure where similar kinds of products and services are grouped together.

– Has legible text – remember that your Baby Boomer audience may be more comfortable with larger, clearer type.

Having a website with impeccable ease-of-use means you should avoid:

– A bland design.
– Automatically loading audio or video clips.
– Too many promotional banners and ads (especially those that lead to third-party sites).

In the end, easy-of-use is all about simplicity and purpose. A website will never be easy to use if its design and structure doesn’t support its purpose!

2. Amazing usability

Usability may sound similar to ease-of-use, but it’s more about how people interact with the content on your site – and how you can make this a better experience for potential client families. Did you know that 50% of online sales are lost because people can’t find the information they need? That means that improving your website’s usability can have a positive impact on your funeral home’s bottom line.

Here are some key usability areas you can address to make your site better for client families:

  • – Make content scannable by using headlines and subheads to identify what’s important. Try using bullets for lists and bold text where it’s needed.

  • – Break text into multiple paragraphs – a single block of text is hard to read (and looks terrible too).

  • – Clear the clutter – lose the Flash animations and leave plenty of white space.

  • – Keep the most important content above the fold (at the top of the page).

  • – Use common web conventions, like blue text for links or buttons for  your calls-to-action, so people feel comfortable on your site.

  • – Lose the ads that direct users to third party sites – most people don’t look at them anyway and research shows that 84% of users leave sites when ads are too intrusive or irrelevant.

3) A social way to share memories

Social media is everywhere. Facebook has more than a billion users and more than 55 million status updates are sent each day. That’s why upgrading your traditional online guest book to a socially powered memorial website could offer a great service to client families AND put your funeral home on the map.

While a standard guestbook is soon forgotten, a social memorial website offers friends and family a way to have a social conversation about the loved one, even long after the service is over. Visitors can even light candles, leave a message of sympathy, share photos and videos or buy flowers and gifts.

Recently, Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Homes published an obituary for Harry Stamps (written by his daughter) on their social memorial website and it went viral as people worldwide responded to his heartfelt and humorous tribute. His social memorial website received 6,420 Facebook likes, 1,422 condolence messages, 1,436 candles lit in memory of him, and 46 virtual gifts!

Through the power of this one social memorial, Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home received national news attention and positioned themselves as the funeral home who embraces the technologies and social habits of the families of today.

 

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This is Harry Stamps social memorial website. To view it, click on this image.

 

4) Service option comparison

Comparing product and service options is now a way of life for many consumers. In fact, research shows that when people can compare items on a site they are more likely to buy. When you shop online, what do you find most useful – clicking among dozens of pages or having all the relevant options neatly displayed on one page? I’m willing to bet it’s the second option, and it’s the same for client families. When they visit your funeral home’s website they need to know what you offer.

To better understand this, let’s look at O’Connor Mortuary’s pricing page:

July_1_oconnor_pricing_page_1

 

The first thing O’Connor’s pricing page does well is it customizes the pricing page based on the customer. This is important because a typical pricing page can be long and overwhelming, so narrowing down the options for client families can help you avoid giving them the common “paralysis by analysis” syndrome.

 

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The next thing their pricing page does well is it presents “up-sells” in an engaging way. Instead of simply listing the prices, they tailor their message in a way that makes these upgrades benefit the consumer rather than the funeral director’s pocket.

pricing_page_3

 

The last thing that makes O’Connor’s pricing page amazing is that they lay all doubts to rest by answering any questions the user may have through testimonials and FAQ’s.

 

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As you can see, structuring your GPL in a scientific way helps potential families compare options at a glance and find what they need in the fastest, easiest way possible. The ability to do that speaks volumes to your firm’s value and level of service in your community.

 

5) A way to conveniently send flowers and gifts online

When it comes to funeral service, eCommerce is the perfect way to offer an additional service to client families. Instead of having to run to the store before closing, figure out the funeral service location, and stress about the flowers or gifts getting to the service in time, eCommerce offers a convenient way for people to send flowers and gifts online, 24/7.

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By offering an eCommerce sympathy store on your website, visitors can browse, select, purchase and send flowers and gifts, right from the funeral home’s website. This not only offers friends and family of the loved one convenience, but it also makes your website a one-stop resource that your community can count on for all of their funeral service needs.

6) An easy way to pre-plan a funeral

New research shows that most people would prefer to pre-plan their funeral, but nearly 33% of people don’t plan in advance because there aren’t any convenient pre-planning resources. And when there is information online, it’s not from a trusted resource. Pre-planning advice is another service client families need and your funeral home website is the perfect place to provide it.

People are hungry for good educational content – and you can give it to them. Start by thinking about what resources you would need if you were planning a funeral, then give your potential client families exactly that. Take Schoedinger Funeral Service & Cremation as an example.

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They took their pre-planning page to the next level by offering:

– Guides to different types of funerals and memorials

– Pre-planning checklists

– Information on the importance of planning ahead

– Online pre-planning forms

As a result of implementing their pre-planning page, Schoedinger saw a 2,000% increase in online pre-need leads. Imagine how your funeral home business would blossom if you could do the same!

The bottom line

As you can see, it’s easier than you think to give your clients what they want and need with your funeral home website. All you have to do is find out what they’re looking for, and make it easy for them to find it.  By incorporating the tips above, they will have no reason to go anywhere else! For more advice and tools on improving your website’s usability, check out the resources below:

– Five Second Test

– Check My Colors

– BrowserShots

– Pingdom Website Speed Test

– Useful Web Usability Testing Tools

– 22 Essential Tools for Testing Your Website’s Usability

 

PS. Want a website built for your client families’ needs? Get a demo of funeralOne’s all-in-one website platform, f1Connect, by clicking here or calling us at 800-798-2575 extension 5!

 

Joe JoachimABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joe Joachim is the CEO and Founder of funeralOne, the first global solutions firm leading a movement of change for the funeral profession. For the past 11 years, he’s developed game-changing solutions that help funeral professionals increase the value of their service offerings, connect with the families of today, and become more profitable. funeralOne’s solutions include: website design, aftercare, funeral eCommerce, and personalization software.

 


Joe Joachim

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  1. Amy Pritchard

    Great content

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