Great content is multi-purpose. When the type of content you create is well-thought-out, and the content itself is well-crafted, it can simultaneously:
- Help clients understand what your business stands for
- Let clients know what services you offer
- Help clients find you
- Increase your visibility in search engines
- Develop leads and sales
In other words, your content should inform, attract, and persuade clients to take action, all at once. For funeral homes there are 7 types of content we highly recommend:
- Location Pages
- Resource Pages
- Image Galleries
- The About Us Page
- The Contact Us Page
You’ll note that these types of content consist of various web pages, and not the elements contained within those web pages (like text, infographics, or videos). These elements are essential to crafting compelling content, and we’ll explain how to use them in each of the content types we’re recommending.
Blogs are one of the cornerstones of search engine optimization (SEO). SEO for your funeral home is essential – you’d be amazed how much traffic you can pull from Google and other engines. Search engines check a wide variety of factors to determine how visible your website is to users who look up particular keywords and phrases. These factors include:
- How frequently your website is updated
- How long users stay on your website for
- How relevant the language being used on your website is to your industry (in our case, death care).
- How often other websites with high authority link to your website
Blogs help boost your score in all of these areas. When you blog weekly, your website is constantly being updated. As long as your blog is addressing real questions and concerns (like “How do I pre-plan a funeral?”), users will read them and stay on your website for a longer period of time. You’ll naturally create content that’s relevant to the industry and where you live. This helps search engines understand what you do and why it’s relevant to searchers. What’s more, it can incentivize other websites that search engines trust to link to your website, which improves your ranking with those search engines.
Enough about SEO for now – blogs help your clients. People have questions about funerals, death, and death care, and sometimes the answers can be hard – or even painful – to find. When you answer deep, difficult, or confusing questions with knowledge, expertise, empathy, and care on your blog, the people who find it will be grateful. They’ll know a little more about what makes your funeral home special.
In summary, blogs increase your visibility in search engines, so potential clients find you easily, and then they give clients a reason to appreciate your funeral home. You can include calls-to-action (CTAs) in your blog, and that can generate leads.
Your blogs will mostly be text-based, but if you think a how-to video or an infographic would add to the blog, include it! Videos can even become blog posts pretty easily; just keep the video at the top and transcribe the text of the video as your blog post. You should include at least one image in all of your blogs.
Every funeral home should have a location page; it’s what people use to find you. You should include your name, address, and phone number (NAP) on the location page; you should also have it in the footer of every page on your website.
That might all seem obvious, but did you know it can help to have multiple location pages?
Imagine this – you have a funeral home in Ottawa. Someone in nearby Gatineau looks up “funeral home Gatineau”. When your only location page is in Ottawa, search engines might not recognize that you serve Gatineau. When you have a specific location page for Gatineau, however, you’re more likely to catch more search terms.
Location pages should be extremely simple; the content should usually be text-only, except for a Google Map embedded with your location.
Resource pages are a broad category – they’re kind of like blogs, but more in depth. One of the best resources for funeral homes to provide is a pre-planning guide. These guides should include a detailed explanation of why and how you should pre-plan your funeral, as well as having a fillable form. You might include an entire pre-arrangement form, or a simple contact form so you can get in touch with them to help pre-plan.
Other compelling resource pages include at-need resources for death and grief support. These can be link pages (to grief supports and counselling services in your area), guides on what to do when someone dies, and anything in between.
Videos and infographics can complement these resource pages very nicely, especially in the realm of pre-planning. Consider an infographic about the percentage of people who pre-plan, and the advantages of pre-planning.
You almost certainly know why it’s so important to have a page dedicated to obituaries, so we’ll instead focus on how to format them.
You’ll want a search bar on the page, so users can easily find their loved ones. The page itself should be laid out as a list of obituaries – the deceased’s name and picture. You might also add their date of death and/or a preview of the full obituary. Their name and picture should be linked to the full obituary, and there should be a “View” or “Read Obituary” button. The list should start with the most recent obituary and descend chronologically.
Image galleries might contain photos of your funeral home and any other facilities you operate (cemetery, memorial forest, etc). You might also post examples of memorial services – you can mock up these displays so as to avoid displaying pictures of actual services you’ve held.
When a great deal of browsing and “shopping around” happens online, images can be the most tangible sense of your funeral home a client gets. As such, it really helps to get photos staged and taken professionally.
The “About Us” Page
“About Us” pages are often very underused. They can contain video tours of your funeral home, information about your history, photos and information about the members of your team, and a look at your philosophy. What brought you into the death care industry? What makes you different? What is your mission statement? How do you serve your clients in their times of need? The “About Us” page is a client’s introduction to what makes your funeral home special, so pay extra attention to it.
The “Contact Us” Page
This page should be simple, simple, simple. Let readers know that you’re available 24/7/365 if they’re in urgent need. Display your phone number prominently. Include your name and address. Create a short contact form, asking for the name, e-mail address, and question/concern of your client. You want to avoid complex forms because they’re difficult to fill on mobile – you might even consider allowing your client to leave the “question/concern” field blank, allowing you to contact them at your earliest convenience.
All of these pages help your potential clients address their needs, understand your business, and interact with you, all while boosting your visibility in search engines. That’s powerful, multifaceted content.