Let’s be honest. Between one funeral home and the next, there will only be a small variance in the kind of information that is published on a website. The funeral services and arrangements you provide are important, but other funeral homes probably offer similar services.

Why bother optimizing your website, then?

The answer is that by optimizing your site for search engines, you’re giving yourself the best chance for a position at the top of search results page. Many people don’t click past the first few pages of results, so if you don’t optimize, you’ll miss out on the chance to connect with them.

Graph of Google Search Results click-through rates.

As the above graph shows, the number one position on Google’s search results page receives 18.2% of all click-through traffic. It drops to 10.1% for the second position, 7.2% for the third position and 4.8% for the fourth position. Positions beneath that receive only 2% of clicks.

If you’re not paying attention to SEO, you are guaranteeing that your website will miss the lion’s share of page views from the people who matter to you. The good news is that there are factors that can give your funeral home website a leg up, helping get the most benefit from Googlebot’s functionality.

Strategies to Improve Your SEO:

      1. Submit your site to Google through Google Webmaster Tools
      2. Get Google Analytics set up and running
        • Establish a baseline of traffic and discover what keywords your site is showing up for in Google. This way, you can track your progress over time.
      3. Create social profiles for your business and make sure information is consistent across all of them. Include links back to your site. Be sure to link to your social profiles on your website.
      4. Make sure Top Level Elements include the key terms you are looking to attract
        • One page can attract up to three key phrases if the key terms are closely related.
        • Individual pages should be created for differing elements of your business. E.g. www.fh.com/beloit-funeral-homes/ and www.fh.com/beloit-obituaries/
      5. Start a blog to add relevant content and timely updates to your site.
      6. Get involved in your community and ask for links back from local businesses and organizations that you work with.
      7. Join all relevant directories from authoritative websites. For example, Legacy.com’s Funeral Home Directory is linked to from obituary pages of major newspapers.
      8. Remember, focus on the user!

For more tips, check out 5 Simple Steps to Getting Ranked on Google.

In this 3-part series, we examined why search is important, how search engines operate and strategies that can improve your website’s rank. Interested in learning more? Moz’s Beginners Guide to SEO is a great resource for those who want further information.