What Are Visitors REALLY Doing On Your Funeral Home Website?


The other day, I decided to treat myself to a five dollar cup of coffee (a Nutella latte, to be exact) at one of the best coffee shops in Austin. I was on a mission to plan a 2-week vacation to Thailand in one sitting, and I figured what better way to get started than on a nice caffeine buzz?

Somewhere in between my first sip and licking every last drop of Nutella from the bottom of the coffee mug, I had looked up more than 40 reviews, compared pricing for dozens of hotels, downloaded two travel guides, booked two tours and read hours worth of discussion forums to find the best places to travel in Thailand.

The reason behind my coffee shop story is that when anyone makes any sort of purchasing decision, they are going to actively consume information before they do so.

So how do you, as a funeral professional, offer families exactly what they’re looking for? It all starts with finding out what they’re doing on your website already. Let’s take a look at the different ways people find, browse and access your website, and how you can optimize your site to fit each type of user’s needs.

What are visitors looking for on your website?

Through our data, here are the top four things visitors are looking for in your funeral home’s website, and how you can offer them.


1) Read obituaries and service times

We analyzed more than 7,000 funeral home websites and found that the first place nearly 60 percent of visitors go is to an obituary page. This one should come as no surprise to you. Once they have that information, they’ll write it down to save for later, or even share it with family and friends online via email or social networking sites like Facebook. But is that really the only information website visitors want? What if you could offer them something more than just the standard obituary… something that exceeds their expectations?

How to offer it

Instead of just offering families a standard obituary, why not offer them a socially-powered, interactive memorial website? One where friends and family to gather to share stories, memories, and honor the life lived for generations to come. Not only does a social memorial website help your family feel comfort during a tough time, but it also shows your community that you’ve helped that family celebrate their loved one’s life in many more ways than one.

While many funeral home website providers offer social memorial websites, it’s important to make sure you choose one that maximizes engagement on your website. A good social memorial website will be integrated with Facebook, and will allow your community to share memories, photos, light a candle in honor of the loved one or even create a family tree.

Here is an example of an f1Connect social memorial website on O’Connor Mortuary’s website.

Here is an example of an f1Connect social memorial website on O’Connor Mortuary’s website.


2) Send flowers and gifts

Turns out, the second most popular action people take when visiting a funeral home website is purchasing flowers or gifts. Since 93 percent of consumers purchase flowers or gifts for the bereaved, this shouldn’t come to a surprise to you either. But, after taking a deep dive into our website data, we find some interesting statistics on how people are purchasing flowers and gifts. We found that:

1 in 10 people who purchased gifts or flowers for the bereaved did so through the “best sellers” page. In other words, they need some help figuring out what to send your families.
– Nearly 25 percent of visitors purchasing flowers and gifts purchased them on a smartphone or tablet.
80 percent of online sympathy gift purchases are from out-of-town friends and family.

These findings are important to know when deciding how to offer your visitors a way to purchase flowers and gifts, which brings me to my next point…

Here is an example of a Sympathy Store on Wasik Funeral Home’s website.

Here is an example of a Sympathy Store on Wasik Funeral Home’s website.

How to offer it

 As we can see from the research above, people in your community are busier and more mobile than ever before. That means they want you to eliminate all the guesswork involved in purchasing flowers and gifts. So, instead of just providing links to your favorite local florists on your website, why not just allow families to purchase them directly on your site? You can achieve this by adding an eCommerce sympathy store on your website. And not just any eCommerce Sympathy store. Keeping the data above in mind, we already know you’ll want a store that:

Offers lots options with a “best seller” page so shoppers can quickly choose a product that they know is guaranteed to comfort.

– Is mobile optimized for smartphones and tablets.

– Lastly, it will need to eliminate all the guesswork for out-of-town friends and family by providing information they’ll need such as the services times and dates, local florist information, etc.


3) How to contact your firm

When a death occurs, the first piece of information families will be looking for is a way to contact your firm. If I took a look at your website right now,  how easy would it be for me to contact you? Hopefully very easy. If not, you could be losing some valuable business from your website.

How to offer it

Making your contact information easy to find involves something us marketers like to call conversion optimization. That means using tested and proven principles to make it more likely to turn your visitors into customers. Here are some conversion optimization tips you can apply to your website to make sure families are contacting you, and not moving on to your competitor:

Think about the different contexts of the users on your site and why they would want to contact you. This will help you decide the placement and copy of your firm’s contact information on your website. For example, someone who just lost a loved one will just want to be able to call your firm within 1 click, while someone who is pre-planning might want to read some information on pre-planning before contacting you via email rather than phone.
– Studies show the human eye naturally notices information on the upper right side of the screen. So, keep your contact info “above the fold” of your website (the area at the top of the page that can be seen without scrolling) and to the right.
A/B test your “contact us” button copy using different phrases such as “click to call”, “contact”, “go” and other options that you think will get them to click.
Consider form length. If you want someone to contact your firm, you most likely have a “Contact us” form on your website. A/B test to find out how removing or adding fields to your form increase or decrease your conversions (or the amount of people who fill out the form and click “submit”).

French Funeral & Cremation keeps their contact information on the top right corner of their website so families in need of immediate services can contact them within seconds of landing on their site.

French Funeral & Cremation keeps their contact information on the top right corner of their website so families in need of immediate services can contact them within seconds of landing on their site.

4) How you can help them celebrate life

There are many decisions needed when planning a funeral: What kind of service should families have? Should they choose cremation? What type of casket should they choose? Do they want to personalize the funeral? But the most important question you should be answering for them is: how will you help them celebrate life?

How to offer it

You can show families different ways to celebrate life by a) providing them with unique service options and b) why each option is valuable. Need help showcasing your service options? Here are some tips:

Don’t focus on disposition methods. Instead, show families what makes your funeral home meaningful—a funeral service. The burial vs. cremation choice comes second.
Keep it simple. Don’t confuse people in their time of grief with too much information.
Educate them on the true meaning and value of your services. By not showing families your value, you’re basically writing them off as your next direct cremation.
Open their mind with unique service options. More than ever, families are interested in celebrating their loved one’s life in a unique way, so make sure your site communicates how you can help them do just that. You could even offer an interactive way for website visitors to browse all of the different funeral service options – from the traditional funeral to sending their ashes into space. Show them the possibilities are endless!

Here is an example of an interactive service selector on Posey Funeral Director’s website.

Here is an example of an interactive service selector on Posey Funeral Director’s website.


How are visitors browsing your website?

Now that you know what visitors are looking for, it’s important to understand how they’ll be accessing that information. We already know visitors are using a desktop computer to browse your site, but here are a couple of other devices to consider:

Mobile phones

Now that 75 percent of Americans own a smartphone, many people are using their phones to browse the web. In fact, in 2014, mobile web usage is expected to surpass desktop web usage. When a loved one passes away, there’s no telling where your website visitors might be – perhaps at work, driving or even grocery shopping.

Is your firm’s website mobile optimized? If not, you’re losing out on some pretty big opportunities for your business. Don’t wait to jump on the mobile bandwagon… check out the article 5 Reasons Why Mobile Is The Future For Your Funeral Home to help you get started going mobile.



Along with smartphones, web usage on tablets is also on a steady rise. In fact, about 90 percent of users will switch back and forth between their smartphones and tablets to do research. With that being said, it’s pretty obvious that making sure your website is optimized for tablets is important.

If you decide that a mobile optimized website isn’t for you (which we don’t recommend), the second best way to make sure your website looks good on any device is to incorporate responsive design into your website. The Huffington Post defines responsive design as being “fluid, meaning the content moves freely across all screen resolutions and all devices.” Either route you choose, the goal is to make sure your website works no matter where it’s being accessed.

So there you have it… now you’ll never have to wonder about what exactly your families are doing on your website. Hopefully now you have the tools you need to create a website that will truly give your families the information they’re looking for.


Getting the right website

Want a website that offers everything families are looking for? Learn more about getting your funeral home online with the all-in-one website platform, f1Connect. Click here or give us a call at 800-798-2575, ext. 5 to get a free demo with our website specialists today!

Joe Joachim


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  1. Natural Death Centre

    Interesting figures,
    you certainly have a large sample, that is most impressive. Maybe it’s a USA
    thing versus us over here in the UK, Would anticipate here people are actually
    looking for information to decide whether to use the funeral director in the
    first place and price lists and certainly not ordering flowers via the FD

  2. Funeral Blog. The official blog for the funeral & cemetery professions. » Blog Archive 10 Pieces of Horrible Funeral Service Advice

    […] If there’s one thing that will frustrate me more than anything, it’s when people tell me that they’re website is great the way it is. If I visited your funeral home’s website right now, would I find the most recent information on your pricing, offerings, contact information, etc? Would it answer all of my questions without me having to dial up your funeral home? Has it been updated in the last year? If not, it’s time to figure out how you can improve your website to better meet the needs of your families. […]

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