The Funeral Home’s Beginner Guide to Google+



When Google+ began offering business pages in 2011, it only took SIX months for ONE million businesses and brands to jump on board.

Now, with over 500 million users, it’s necessary for every business owner – globally or locally – to jump on the Google+ bandwagon.

In this post, we’re going to look at what Google+ is, why you should care about it, and how to use it to amp up your funeral marketing efforts!

But first, let’s wrap our heads around what exactly Google+ is…


What is Google+?

Google+ is Google’s (rapidly) growing social network. While Google has made several attempts at social networking, Google+ is the one that will be here to stay.


5 Reasons Why You Should Care About Google+

I could continue to go on and on about the many reasons why you should care about Google+, but here are 5 key reasons:

1. It’s hard to ignore. As with all of it’s other products, Google has made it pretty hard to ignore Google+. They’ve done this by integrating it with all of their other products including email (Gmail), Google Search, and videos (YouTube) – resulting in a beautiful, connected experience if you ask me. Let’s not forget that Google is the #1 visited website in the world, and any social network that’s connected with the most powerful search engine in the world is a good enough reason to join, gosh darn it!

2. Google+ is exploding right now. The amount of Google+ users has quickly doubled the amount of Twitter users, and is catching up with Facebook quickly (in fact, I wrote this post one month ago and since then the amount of users has jumped by 100 million!).

3. You’ll start ranking higher on search engines. Google is a search engine giant, so of course they’re going to reward those who use their products and services (in a relevant manner, of course). We’ll learn more about this later.

4. Extend your funeral home’s reach on social media. Usually if you want to market your funeral home on social media, your efforts were confined to that social network. With Google+, your audience expands to everyone using Google (which is pretty much everyone).

5. Add a layer of personalization in search results. That means when people search for you on Google+, they’ll be able to quickly find your funeral home’s website, blog, address, phone number, and most recent posts.

 google plus search results


What makes Google+ different from other social networks?

In order to help you truly wrap your head around Google+, here are a few key features that set it apart from it’s competitors like Facebook and Twitter:

1. Circles

Instead of just following people and businesses you care about, Google+ gives you the ability to organize them into circles. By organizing those you follow into circles, you have a better way to target the updates you post on Google+ to people with specific interests, needs, and concerns. For example, when families who have already used your services follow your Google+ page, you can add them to a families circle that you share content about grieving the loss of a loved one.



2. Communities

Communities are public or private groups you can set up to have deeper discussions between you and your families. You can also use your personal profile to find local communities to participate in, bringing more awareness to your funeral home.

google plus community


3. Hangouts

Google+ is the only social network where you can go beyond just text based interactions to having live interactions. Hangouts are essentially video chats with up to 10 people on camera having a live discussion. You can hold it just for the people on camera or broadcast it live to reach even more people as well as record the broadcasts for replays at a later date.



6 steps to the ultimate Google+ page

Follow these 6 easy steps and you’ll be well on your way to creating an amazing Google+ profile!


1. Create your personal profile.

In order to create your Google+ page and claim authorship, you will need a Google+ personal profile. If you already use Google’s other products like Google Analytics, Gmail, and YouTube, you can use this same Google account to create your profile so you have one login for everything.

When you create your profile, be sure to include a link to your funeral home in the “About” section. If you create content for your funeral home’s blog, be sure to include a link to the blog in the “Contributor” section of your profile’s links (as shown below).



Here is an example of our community manager’s G+ profile, complete with all of the blogs she contributes to.


2. Create your business page.

Next, you will create your funeral home’s Google+ business page. To get started, use the “Local Business or Place” option to set your page up as a local business that your families can review and recommend to their friends (see below).


Also, be sure to utilize each portion of your page including the About section, business hours, photos, and a cover image.

Once completed, your page should look something like this:


Check out O’Connor Mortuary’s page for some Google+ inspiration!


Please note that your first round of edits on your profile may not be made public until you confirm your business details with Google. They’ll ask you to verify your business details by using a unique PIN number that Google will send to you by phone or by email.

Take it to the next level: Need help setting up your funeral home’s Google+ page? Then check out this helpful guide Google put together.


3. Add the +1 button and Google+ official badge to your website.

One of the best features you can use to grow your Google+ audience is the “+1” button and official badge (shown below).


The +1 button will allow people to essentially “like” your website and your blog posts, while giving them the option to share your link with their circles. Another great tool that helps you build your audience is the official Google+ badge (shown below).

 blog 2

By integrating the Google+ badge into your website, you’ll provide your website visitors with an easy way to follow your funeral home without ever leaving your website. In fact, businesses on Google+ have reported an average follower increase of 38% by adding the Google+ badge to their site!


Take it to the next level: For more help integrating the +1 button on your website or blog, check out this easy-to-follow guide Google created.


4. Claim Google Authorship.

Claiming your Google Authorship can be tricky, but trust me when I say it’s well worth  the time. Establishing Google Authorship is important because it helps your funeral home stand out in search results. You’ll know you’ve established Google Authorship when your photo appears next to your content in search results (see below). Having Google Authorship allows you to put a face with your content, which will make people want to click on your site (even if you’re not ranking first).

blog 3

In order to claim authorship, you’ve got to start publishing fresh content on your website (such as a blog) on a regular basis. Once you’ve done that, make sure each of your content writers have a Google+ personal profile with a link to your blog (or website that your posting content from) in it. Once you’ve done that, follow these directions to successfully claim your Google Authorship!

5. Host hangouts.

Google+ hangouts can help you connect with your families and community on a deeper level. They provide a technologically cool way for you to humanize your brand and show your community how personable and friendly you are.

You can use Google+ hangouts to….

– bring family members living far away from each other together to plan funeral arrangements
– hold online grief counseling sessions (even with family members worldwide)
– hold a live chat session with potential families who have questions about your services
–  host Q&A sessions or webinars about planning a funeral to help make the process a little less intimidating for families

As you can see, there are tons of ways to use Google+ Hangouts to connect with your families and community, so get creative!

6. Build a Google+ community.

Last, but not least, you can build a community on Google+ that allows members of your community to talk privately or publicly about a specific topic. A Google+ community, in simple terms, is a chat room where people who are interested in a certain topic can easily stay in touch.

blog 4

Your funeral home could tap into Google+ communities by creating several of them  based on the type of loss a family is dealing with, and encourage every family you serve to join one. Make sure you’re an active participant in your community so you really demonstrate how devoted you are to helping others in their time of need.

Now get on Google+ already!

Now that you know why you should be on Google+, how to get started with it, and some ways you can use it to boost your marketing efforts, get on it already! And when you do, be sure to tell us about how it’s helped your funeral home’s marketing efforts.

P.S. Be sure to stop by our Funeral Service Chat community and start engaging with us today!

Do you think Google+ can be valuable for the funeral profession? Share your thoughts in the comments below!




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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