The past two years have seen the fast growth of local SEO. Along with the importance of optimizing a business’ online presence for mobile search is the growing need for them to be optimized for searches performed by local consumers.
The need to optimize for local searches is also very relevant for any funeral website, so that they can be easily found by families looking for funeral homes near them. If a family is looking for a funeral home in Waco, Texas, for example, it makes sense that the search engines show results of funeral homes within the city of Waco. Results for funeral homes in Austin or Dallas aren’t going to be much of a help for them.
How do you optimize your funeral home for local search so you can more easily be in front of families looking for your services? Here are some tips for you:
Proper keyword research
One of the most important aspects of a local SEO process is proper keyword research. You should be able to determine the search terms that will provide the best results in terms of targeting the highest quality visitors to your funeral website.
As an example, the terms “California funeral home” may have a higher search volume than “San Francisco funeral home”, but that doesn’t mean you should use the former. Families looking for a funeral home using search terms specific to their place are most likely to call the ones appearing in local search results, i.e. results from within their city.
You can use Google AdWords’ Keyword Planner for your keyword research.
Proper implementation of onsite optimization
When highly targeted set of keywords have been identified for your funeral home, the next thing to do is to implement them into your funeral website. Use the keywords naturally in title tags, meta description tags, header tags, and site content. One good example of proper title tag optimization is to use the following convention: “Los Angeles Funeral Home | Website URL (ex: www.LAFuneralHome.com).”
Create local pages for your funeral website
Create a page for your funeral website on the top local directories such as Google+ Places, Bing Places, Yahoo Local, and other top online local directories. However, don’t just set them up for the sake of doing so. What’s really important is to properly optimize your local directory pages for your funeral website to increase your chances of getting a higher ranking in local search.
Complete all the information required by these sites. Some of the most important information that you should include are the business name, site URL, email address, physical address, and phone numbers. These information should be consistent in all the local directories you submit to. You should also include images of your funeral home, some videos, and a detailed description that includes the keywords you’re optimizing for.
Avoid listing your funeral website on low quality sites. These days, quality trumps quantity. Focus your efforts on having your site listed on high quality and authoritative directories.
Ask visitors for a review
Reviews are content that get indexed in search engines. Most local directories allow users to leave a review, which you should take advantage of. The more positive reviews you get from visitors, the higher your funeral website will rank in search.
If you’re confident that you’ve provided your website visitors with a good online experience, don’t hesitate to ask them for a review. Most families who have had great experiences with your site and actual funeral home would be happy and willing to share their thoughts and feelings in the form of an online review.
A simple invitation at the bottom of your page’s description that says “If you find this information useful, or if we have served your family in the past, please leave a review” lets your visitors feel that you value their thoughts..
Quality links and social media
Build links that lead visitors to your funeral website. One excellent yet simple way of doing it is to create a blog on your site and to set up social media share buttons. Keep your funeral blog updated with useful, relevant, and engaging content. When you’ve done a good job of providing your audience with useful information, they will be encouraged to share your content with their connection on Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn, leading to more social links that bring in more visitors.
Local SEO is not a campaign that produces results overnight. As with everything else related to marketing a business, implementing a local search campaign for your funeral home needs patience and consistency. Follow the tips above with consistency, and you will see an increase in visit and, most especially, in conversion.
For more information on optimizing your funeral website for local search, visit www.FuneralFuturist.com or call Robin Heppell on (800) 810-3595.