1. Mobile is the way to go.
In the past year alone, traffic coming from mobile devices to funeral home websites has increased by 600%
Not surprising when you consider people are now spending more time on their mobile devices than their computers. The convenience and portability of these devices has changed consumer expectations. They want instant access to information from any device and 79% say they will search for a competitor’s site if they have a bad mobile experience.
So, how do you provide a great mobile experience? Make sure you are delivering the most important information in a seamless way. To keep visitors on your mobile site and away from the competition, be sure to provide information that is easy to access, easy to read and easy to use.
2. Connect with Social Media
Social media has gone from being a trend to a way of life for billions of people around the world and many of the families in your community.
With over 60 million people actively posting and reading obituary information on Facebook-and traffic to funeral home websites from social media increasing by 90°/o in the last 4 years-this “trend” has gotten too big to ignore.
Having a digital strategy for your business that includes web, mobile and social is where you need to be to stay competitive in the long-term. The social conversation is happening with or without you. Joining it gives you the opportunity to share information and connect with your community in a new way.
3. Know what your clients are looking for
On July 8, 2006 Google became a verb and it’s continued to earn that status with over 100 billion searches performed every month.
For you, this means very few people ever come directly to your website anymore. In fact, about 38% of traffic to funeral home websites comes from online search and if you’re not listed in the top five search results your business is becoming invisible.
How do you stay at the top? Provide fresh, relevant, easy-to-find content. Over 80% of your website visitors are likely looking for obituaries, so cater to this audience by posting all of your obituaries right away and providing one-click access from your homepage.
Also, think about the words and phrases someone would type into Google if they were looking for your services and then make sure that your content and navigation focuses on these keywords. Common search terms in the funeral industry include: your funeral home’s name, city, state, funeral, cremation, funeral planning, funeral costs, funeral packages, funeral pre-planning and funeral options.
4. Make the Website an experience
Technology is changing the way consumers research and make purchasing decisions, even in the funeral industry.
In a recent survey, 49% of consumers said they considered two or more funeral homes and they are going online to help make that decision. It’s now common for a family to visit your website before they ever pick up the phone and make that first call. This means to win their business the online experience you deliver should be just as engaging and reflective of your brand as when they walk into your funeral home.
Think of your website as your new digital front door. The static website templates of the past are out, in favor of interactive obits, flexible content, compelling calls-to-action and dynamic visuals that can all be configured to reflect your brand.
Your website should convey how you want families to think and feel about your business and differentiate you from the competition. Your goal is for families to describe your website the same way they would describe your funeral home: helpful, compassionate, professional, etc… choose your own words and incorporate them into everything you do.
5. Integrating your website with your business system
Let’s face it—you’re busy and your families come first. There’s no time for duplicate data entry, inaccurate information or complicated processes.
The answer is to integrate all your systems and move to a single source of truth. Leveraging a single connected database allows you to save time, limit mistakes and gain efficiency. You’ll also serve families better by creating seamless consumer experiences before, during and after the service.
Progressive funeral homes are implementing systems that connect their website to their case management, arrangement and stationery personalization software to gain a competitive advantage. These new integrated systems allow you to connect every aspect of your business and bring information to your fingertips.