WPO is one of the best projects a any small business, including funeral homes and cremation societies, should undertake to ensure your business is coming up first when prospective customers search for your product or service. It involves acting as a consumer and researching your website, social media showing and Internet presence. Sound exciting? It really is. Here are a few things you can do to get started that should take less than ten hours.
In addition to spending time on each page of your website looking for typos, poor grammar and missing links, take a look at the top of your browser window. This is your web page title and it is SUPER important. If yours don’t include the service you offer and your town name, stop reading this right now and call your webmaster. In most cases, this is something you can adjust yourself in your web content management system. If you are using a web provider, they can fix it for you… and should have years ago.
Also on your website, the meta description tells searchers what that specific page of your website is about and this is a great place to put keywords like your town name, neighboring town name, services provided and area code/zip.
SEO stops at the website, but WPO adds a few off-site steps for maximum exposure to search engines and consumers.
Is Facebook going to bring hundreds of new prospects to your funeral home? Probably not. But it’s free, so if it brings one, you’re doing pretty well. Some mortuaries publish obituaries. Others don’t. That’s a personal choice, but if you only have one or two services a week, I say publish. You can also announce events (yours and others in the community), offer grief support information and preplanning advice. It doesn’t have to be a daily thing. Just having a credible presence with a few ‘Likes’ on Facebook is a great step in the right direction.
Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ are others your funeral home should set up, but again, more for the link back to your website than promotion. All of these social media sites PLUS the SEO adjustments you’ve made to your website will help families find you faster. And you can use free tools like Hootsuite to help you manage your posts across ALL of your social sites.
What do I mean by Internet presence? Open another tab in your browser. Type in your town name and business type. For example, “Clearwater funeral home”. If your name doesn’t show up on the first page, you have a pretty poor Internet presence. But, you have data to sort through. Who IS first? Where in their title and meta description do they have the keywords you want? Is it just their website that is showing or are they listed on Angieslist, MerchantCircle or Google Maps? If you aren’t listed on the same sites (and many more) your competition is, you’ll never move to the top of the listings.
Add yourself to every local directory you can. If you contact adfinity, we can give you a list of the top 25 websites you should have a presence on, including Bing, Yelp, Yahoo!, MerchantCircle and others. There are hundreds, but you might as well start with the biggest.
There are other things like pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, directory listings, article writing and guest blogging that can increase your web presence, but taking a hard look at your web site, expanding your social media reach and checking your online presence are steps toward getting your business on the first page of Google.
If you would prefer to have someone else focus on your WPO or have questions about social media, advertising or marketing for your funeral home, contact adfinity today!
(Originally published in April 2013; updated July 2017)