By Managing Editor Courtney Gould Miller & Contributor Adrienne Granados

If there ever was a time to make sure you are executing search engine marketing effectively, it is now.

Thanks to the pandemic, there is a rising demand for virtual solutions in every industry, including our own. You may have risen to the challenge and provided a way through this year for your community.

Consider also that everyone in our industry is scrambling to communicate value in their markets to an increasingly virtual audience — meaning you’re not the only one trying to catch the attention of families.

But despite all of your efforts, is your firm at the top of the list when customers search for services like yours?

Search is the number one driver of traffic to websites, and the leads generated on websites are 14 times more likely to result in a sale than outbound marketing efforts like direct mail.

In an MKJ Marketing case study, traffic increased by 97.6% on one firm’s website through successful SEO, leading to 93 verified at-need/pre-need leads in just three months.

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is simply the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of online traffic to your website through organic search engine results. To be successful, it requires a refined understanding of how all the pieces of your firm’s digital presence — from domains to web pages and social media metrics — complement each other to produce results.

Why Does It Matter?

“I’m always shocked when a funeral home owner comes to us, and they have left out some very important aspects of their digital marketing. We had a client come to us and said that their competitor had changed the phone number on their Google My Business listing … all of the calls were going to that competitor,” said Kevin Bultemeier, who is a Google-certified SEO expert.

While this is a very dramatic example of what can happen, many deathcare businesses are likely to make common mistakes that end up hurting their business in the long run. With 70% of internet users making purchasing decisions online, it’s imperative to not only establish your brand but also for consumers to be able to find you easily.

The task of doing so leaves many wondering:

  • “How am I doing in this area?”
  • “What is SEO and why do I need it?”
  • “How do we compare to similar firms in other markets?”
  • “Is my firm ranked among top search results? How do I make that happen?”

If you are asking any of these questions, your firm may be making one (or more) of these four critical mistakes:

1. Not claiming important listings, like Google.

As in the aforementioned example, part of a successful SEO strategy includes protecting your firm’s hard work and community presence in key ways online.

2. Having generic, unfocused pay-per-click ads.

Ads that are not focused on your brand or specific to your message limit your ability to get in front of the community you are trying to serve. When this happens, firms lose out on calls.

3. Your website doesn’t work for your firm.

Search engines, such as Google, penalize websites for stagnant content. Website rankings drop immensely when websites are not effectively supplied with meaningful keywords. It is a matter of keeping up and keeping current.

4. Not tracking your results.

Understanding your return on investment is critical. It is possible to pinpoint exactly what’s working — and what’s not working — by tracking the results of your SEO efforts. Armed with the knowledge of what is most effective for your firm, you can invest wisely and affordably.

Why Prioritize SEO?

You have prioritized your community and how you hope to serve them; perfecting your expertise of SEO will enable them to prioritize you in return as you become more visible in their online searches. You believe your firm is worth finding, and through successful search engine marketing, you can ensure it will be.

Want to learn more about how your funeral home, crematory, or cemetery can specifically benefit from search engine marketing? Contact MKJ Marketing for a FREE one-on-one consultation by calling (888) 655-1566 or by filling out this short form.

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