Millions of People Search for Funeral Related Businesses Every Year. Are they finding you?
In my last article I gave you some insight to what was going on with the internet and the effect it is having on the death care industry. Now its time to start taking advantage of these searches and get your funeral business online immediately.
Relax! You do not have to be an internet expert or a design expert, as a matter of fact you don't even need access to the internet to create a presence online. There are hundreds of companies that will take care of everything for you at reasonable costs as a matter of fact I have seen them for as cheap as $500 for a basic website. The price is all based on what you want contained on your website. I can tell you from experience, less is more, especially considering the nature of the funeral business.
Creating a website. First you need a domain name (the www.YourName.com) that you will advertise and promote with all of your marketing material, so it should be easy to remember and spell. If you name is already taken consider your city/town name (which will help with the search engines) and/or using Funeral(s) or abbreviating Funeral Home with FH, its easy to remember and really easy to spell. As an owner of thousands of domain names I can tell you the ones that are easy to remember and spell get the most amount of traffic. Traffic on the internet is like traffic in front of your business the more you get the more money you make.
Once you have purchased a domain name, its time to create your website. Think of a website as a virtual business card that "can" contain unlimited amounts of information. It doesn't have to have hundreds of pages but at minimum needs the following information: Your Phone Number, Address, Contact Person and Email Address. Consider this, if someone is online looking for your business 9 out of 10 times they would like to email you with questions so definitely provide an email address that you or someone can check often. You can often alleviate the burden of non-essential business calls for directions, obituary requests, or hours of operation by posting this information on your website and focus your time on "At-need" & "Preplanning" calls to your business.
By providing valuable information on your website that you know people are going to call and ask for, you increase your chances of closing a sale with a consumer.
Websites these days can include all sorts of bells and whistles: pictures of your facility; maps & detailed directions from all point (North, East, South, & West); detailed information for services and streaming video to name a few.
Now remember, the average consumer only needs some reinforcement that you are a legitimate business and are credible, the real sale occurs when they speak with your funeral director or preplanning coordinator, actually believe it or not it may even be when they speak with the person that answers the phone something every business owner should consider!
Your website is now built...What next? Start by adding the website address to all of your marketing communications including everything that is printed. If you are using a free email account provided by any of the big companies, STOP! Set up email accounts for everyone that sends or uses email in your company. One: It is more professional. Two: It allows you to track all email sent to and from your company plus you can set it up to check your email from any computer in the world.
How do people find your company online? Aside from seeing or hearing about your website somewhere and typing in the address into their browser they do general searches for a funeral home and often type "New York Funeral Homes"(When looking for a funeral home in New York) or "Boston Funeral Homes" into a popular search engine like Google (try it with your city and see what happens). Over 18 million searches occurred last year online for these terms and that number continues to grow.
Chances are when you perform a search with your state or city you will see some of the companies that allow you to list your funeral business. I suggest contacting one of these companies and get your funeral business listed on their website. One site in particular get 60,000-90,000 consumers every month visiting their website looking for a funeral related services in your area, where else can you find that kind of targeted exposure?
These companies have extensive experience in internet marketing and search engine placement and their costs are extremely low. I would even be willing to bet that it's the lowest form of targeted advertising you participate in and that it creates a higher return on investment than any other form of advertising you currently involved with.
So take advantage of these millions of searches done every year and get your funeral home or business on one of these funeral-related websites, trust me you will thank me after you do.