Are Google Ads Right For Your Funeral Home?
Every industry has faced an upheaval in the decades since the Internet became a common tool for the general public. Funeral homes have, perhaps, faced more of a shake-up than most – while the traditional tools for marketing have changed, so too has the funeral market. People want more options, lower prices, and non-traditional funerals more than ever before.
One thing hasn’t changed, however, and that thing is the core of funeral home marketing: everyone will need a funeral home eventually, so your only competition is with the other funeral homes in your area.
Search engine marketing (SEM) is a great way to compete. Back in the day, when people weren’t sure what funeral home to pick, they’d look in the Yellow Pages – nowadays, they use Google. Google Ads, along with SEO and other tools, are a core part of SEM.
In this piece, we’re going to look at some of the reasons that Google Ads (and, more broadly, SEM) are useful for funeral homes. We’ll also look at corner cases in which Google Ads might not be the best strategy. Finally, we’ll look at some of the dos and don’ts for Google Ads, and one of the ways that you can start advertising today.
What are Google Ads?
Google Ads are Google’s paid advertisement program. There are a lot of different types of Google Ads – Shopping Ads, Video Ads, Display Ads, and more – but what we’ll be focusing on is Google Search Ads, advertisements that appear, primarily, when people use Google to search for funeral homes (or related topics).
Google Search Ads are displayed above organic results, like so:
That’s a huge advantage – if your funeral home comes up in search results before your competitors, it’s that much more likely that Google users will click on your result and choose your funeral home.
Google Search Ads are pay-per-click (PPC); that means you’ll only pay for what you use. You can set a monthly budget for your ads, so you’ll never spend more money than you’ve budgeted for. Google Ad auctioning is a bit complicated to cover in this article – all you need to know is that Google can automate ad placements for you, and you’ll never pay in excess of the amount you set up.
Why Google Ads for your funeral home?
We’ve already covered two of the most important reasons you should consider Google Ads: your results will be displayed before your competitors (unless they’re running ads, too), and you’ll find customers who are actively searching for funeral homes.
You can also tailor these ads to a wide variety of keywords by using keyword research. You might, for example, want to focus on targeting people who are interested in funeral pre-planning. You could find keywords associated with funeral pre-planning, using Google’s Keyword Planner tool, then craft copy for an ad targeted at pre-planners. The same technique can work for cremations, non-traditional funerals – you name it.
Another major advantage of Google Ads is how much information Google will give you about your ads. You’ll get insights on who is clicking on your ads, what keywords are bringing them there, and how effective your ads have been.
Which funeral homes should get Google Ads?
Google Ads can be useful for almost any funeral home. The advertising budget is completely customizable, so no matter how much you have budgeted for marketing, you can use some of that amount toward Google Ads.
If your funeral home:
- Has a lot of regional competition
- Wants to expand awareness
- Wants to channel clicks toward a particular service
- Wants to advertise while collecting data about how Google users find them
…then Google Ads might be right for you.
Now, this isn’t to say that funeral homes should exclusively focus on Google Ads – SEO and other SEM strategies are absolutely essential to getting more clicks from search engine users. Nonetheless, experimenting with Google Ads is simple enough: you can get a free $150 credit from Google.
Some guidelines for advertising
First, make sure not to remarket when advertising for your funeral home. Remarketing is when you advertise to clients who have already interacted with you – remarketing to people in emotional distress is against Google’s guidelines. While this may not apply for remarketing involving pre-planning, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Opting for generic copy may not be your best bet – choose a headline that will catch people’s eye, not simply “Your Funeral Home Name”. Tailor your ad to the keyword you’re trying to match – you might take a more formal tone for ads targeting “funeral home” than you would for ads targeting “pre-planning”.
There’s a lot more to Google Search Ads than we’ve covered here – it’s a pretty deep service with a lot of options. It’s a key part of any SEM strategy, and it’s a great option for funeral homes.