The world of marketing your business online can sometimes seem like a daunting one, and as 2015 rolls around it is one area that many small business owners resolve to do better this year…for real this time.
The truth is, there are some very simple steps that every website owner or small business should do to ensure that they are being found when their potential customers are looking for them. In the case of marketing your funeral home on Google, here are 5 steps that are simple and make a tremendous impact if they have been ignored for too long.
Some of these tips may require some outside consult to get implemented but all are considered basic implementation and should NOT require any great monetary expenditure. Others are as simple as signing up. Let’s start with the simple:
Step #1 – Sign up with Google My Business
As a business, it is important that people can find accurate information about you no matter where they’re looking. The key here is that you are going to want to ensure that you business name, address, and phone number are accurate in Google. Google My Business is a tool that will help you make sure your funeral home information is consistent across Google search, Google maps or Google+.
This step is the starting point and centers around consistency, a relevant theme as we go along. Consistency in your NAP (name, address, phone) is simple fix that goes along way when getting Google to rank your site.
Step #2 – Claim your Listings
There are many factors that determine search engine rankings across common searches for funeral homes. One of these factors is your presence in a local directory. There are numerous local directories like Yelp, YP, Dex, Yellowbook, and the Legacy.com Funeral Home Directory that in many cases already has a listing for your business.
If you do a search on Google and you see these directories popping up, make sure you go there and claim your listing. Update as much information as you can and remember consistency is key. For a one stop shop to updating your listing information, check out Moz.com and their local submission tool.
Step #3 – Verify your site in Google Webmaster Tools
This one may be a bit advanced but could be as easy as a couple clicks if your site is already using Google Analytics or if you know your login for your hosting provider. In Webmaster Tools, click on “Add a New Site.” Type in the URL of your homepage and you will be presented with options to verify. If you are using Google Analytics or if the recommended method is “Domain Name Provider” just follow the login steps and you are good to go! If these two methods don’t work, explore the alternate methods of verification listed on the same page. Find out more.
Step #4 – Include City/State in your Title Tags
The title tag is a very important element in terms of SEO. The title tag is contains the text that shows up when Google lists your site in its search results. It is also the same text that shows on the top of the browser when someone is on your site.
By including your City/State in your title tag you are optimizing for local relevancy. For example, if I owned a funeral home located in Geneva, IL, I would make my title tag “Tom Brems Funeral Home – Geneva, IL.” That way, if someone does a search for “Geneva, IL Funeral Homes,” my website have a much better chance of ranking highly.
Step #5 – Build Easy Local Links
Links are still the biggest determiner of rank in Google and the better quality links you can get the better off your site will do in search. Building links can be a difficult process but there are some easy ways to get some high power links pointing back to you site. Setting up a social media account for your business is an easy way to do both social media outreach and build links. Be sure to create a Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube, Twitter, Google+ account for your funeral home when it makes sense.
Legacy’s Funeral Home Directory also gives you the opportunity to increase the number of high power links pointing back to your site. You can get up to 7 “follow” links with the Funeral Home Directory that point directly to your website. Learn more.
These simple steps will help you get started down the path of marketing your business online. You may find that you actually enjoy doing the work to drive more traffic. If that’s the case, there are numerous online forums and sites to guide you along the way. Check out moz.com and searchengineland.com for some of the best expert guides and tips.