By Welton Hong
Funeral home directors should know exactly how to measure the success of their firms. For example, you know your staff is doing a good job when families are satisfied, and your funeral home is consistently booked. Financial reports, sales numbers, and customer reviews are all common ways to measure the success of your business.
But how do you know if your funeral home website content is doing its job?
Most marketers use a series of metrics to help them understand whether on-page content is succeeding:
• About 75 percent look at organic traffic—the number of page views that come from organic links in SERPs.
• More than 60 percent look at the number of leads they get related to content—how many people who visit a page sign up to find out more or make an appointment?
• Approximately 60 percent look at engagement statistics—metrics for how long people stay on pages and whether they click through to other areas of the site.
• Just under 50 percent look at conversion rates—the number of people who come to your site and eventually make a purchase or contact you to schedule service.
Choosing just one of these metrics and using it to determine whether your funeral home content is doing its job can be a mistake.
For example, you wouldn’t assume your staff was exceeding expectations simply because people were scheduling funerals at your location. You dig deeper to understand whether clientele is satisfied. You also look at your sales numbers to understand whether business is trending up or down—among many other things.
Take a similar comprehensive approach to evaluating your website content marketing efforts. Look at all the metrics above and other factors to understand whether your funeral home content is getting these five key jobs done.
Here’s the what, why, and how to know for each objective:
1. Perform in Search Results
What? The first task of your website content is to help your deathcare firm show up in search results. Specifically, you want to rank on page one of results for the relevant keywords—even better if you can rank in one of the top three organic spots on the page.
Why? It’s true that Google has muddied the waters with answer boxes, map results, and other on-page properties. But the first five organic links still get the bulk of the clicks—something like 68 percent of them.
Position one, which is the first organic link, gets over 30 percent of the clicks, and positions two and three garner close to 25 percent of the clicks on average.
If you’re not showing up in one of these spots, you’re not connecting with the vast majority of people who begin looking for deathcare services via the search engines.
How? Do keyword research to understand what potential clientele is searching for. Then create high-quality content that includes those keywords and also answers the intent of the search.
2. Inspire Backlinks
What? Backlinks occur when a page that isn’t on your domain links to one of your pages. That can include links from blog posts, industry association pages, and social media.
Why? Backlinks are important for two reasons. First, they provide a path for potential clientele to discover your website. Second, high-quality backlinks can help increase your page’s performance in SERPs.
That’s because Google considers your page more likely to be authoritative if other high-quality pages are linking to it. Think of it like this: A backlink is like the digital version of a recommendation.
How? Black hat SEO tactics of the past involved buying backlinks, but Google is much more sophisticated today. It wants to see high-quality, organic backlinks. The best way to garner those is by creating helpful, informative copy that people, organizations, and businesses are likely to link to.
3. Engage Page Visitors
What? Engaged visitors stay on your site longer. They read more of your content, click through to other pages, and are more likely to sign up for newsletters or contact you for additional information.
Why? The more someone engages with your funeral home online, the greater the chance they’ll think of you during their family’s time of need. Plus, content that keeps them reading has a greater chance of persuading them that preplanning (and specifically preplanning with you) is a good idea.
How? Again, high-quality content that truly speaks to the needs of the reader is critical. You also want to ensure your content addresses searcher intent for the keywords. If your page promises one thing in search results and doesn’t deliver that when the person clicks through, they’ll bounce quickly.
It’s worth noting here that engagement depends on more than copy. Content that’s formatted for easy reading on computers and devices, site architecture that’s user friendly, and pages that load quickly work together to help increase engagement.
4. Encourage Trust in the Reader
What? Content that demonstrates authority and expertise helps generate trust in site visitors. Other elements that drive trust include transparency, integrity, and compassion.
Why? Consumer trust is always important, but it’s a critical aspect of funeral home marketing and sales. People need to feel able to trust in your firm and staff before they can decide to place their own final arrangements or those of a loved one in your hands.
How? I know I’m playing the same turn repeatedly here, but there’s a reason this one is a metaphorical chart-topper: High-quality, relevant content is a must for building trust.
Some tips for creating authoritative content include interviewing experts on your staff, creating video content that demonstrates your knowledge, and linking to reputable organizations or pages to back up any statistics or facts you state.
5. Provide Instruction for Next Steps
What? Once you capture visitor attention, let them know what the next steps are in a clear call to action (CTA).
Why? CTAs are extremely powerful. Adding just one CTA to a marketing email can increase click-through by as much as 370 percent. Using CTA language with anchor text links can increase on-page conversions by more than 120 percent.
How? Create short, concise (but compelling) instructions that let readers know where to go from here. Experiment with CTAs in different locations and formats, including buttons for contacting you, making an appointment, downloading information, or making a purchase. FBA
Welton Hong is the founder and marketing director of Ring Ring Marketing (FuneralHomeProfits.com), which specializes in helping funeral homes convert leads from online directly to the phone line. Welton also is a speaker at funeral home conferences and the author of Making Your Phone Ring with Internet Marketing for Funeral Homes. Reach him by email at [email protected] or call toll-free at 888-383-2848.