Someone's hand using a phone.

 

Written by Jenny Goldade

 

Is your funeral home’s website being found by potential client families? There are many factors that contribute to your search engine results page (SERP) ranking, but these 8 things may be hurting your website’s search engine optimization, or SEO. Luckily, they’re easy to fix.

 

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Bad Metadata

To put it simply, metadata is the data that describes other data on your website. It refers to things like a title tag and meta description for your website, which are what appears to searchers on a SERP. Having low-quality metadata or no metadata hurts your SEO and makes the user experience more difficult. Make sure to add your own unique metadata to your website.

 

For example, this is the title tag and meta description for the Frazer Consultants website. When a searcher sees this title and description on a SERP, they know exactly what they will find when they click on the search result and visit that website.

 

Frazer Consultants search engine results

 

Bad Keywords

Keywords tell search engines what your content is about. Your website content should have relevant keywords that summarize the information.

 

There are a few best practices to follow for keywords:

  1. Aim to use your keywords a few times within your content, but don’t overstuff your content with them.
  2. You want your keyword to sound naturally-placed in your content. First, write your content naturally using the keyword. Then, go through a second time and add the keyword additional times if needed, in places where it flows naturally.
  3. Keep your potential client families in mind when choosing your keywords. Consider what words and phrases they would use when searching for the topic related to your keyword.
  4. Make sure your keyword isn’t too vague. For example, “Funeral Register Book” is more specific than just “Register Book” and will avoid any confusion with register books for things like weddings or baby showers.
  5. Make sure your keyword isn’t too specific. Keep it to three words or less, so that you don’t prevent yourself from being found in a SERP.

Broken Links

Check and fix any broken links in your content — whether the URL is misspelled or the page doesn’t exist anymore. These are bad for your SEO and overall user experience if potential customers come across them. There are several tools, like this Online Broken Link Checker, that find the broken links for you.

 

If you’ve moved pages around on your website, then you may want to create redirects to let search engines know the page moved. To learn about these and how they affect SEO, check out this Moz article.

 

Non-Mobile-Friendly Website

Not having a mobile-friendly website will cause your SERP ranking to take a hit and cause potential client families to look for services elsewhere. Users shouldn’t have to pinch and drag your website around on their mobile device to view everything. Your website needs to respond to all types of devices that people are viewing your website on — from desktop computers to mobile phones and tablets. If your website isn’t responsive, it’s time to find a new website provider.

 

No SSL Certificate

Your website should have a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate, which encrypts and protects users’ personal information and online data to ensure a secure connection. It protects information like credit card numbers, social security numbers, and other personal information that users may enter on your website to make funeral payments or apply for funeral financing programs.

 

Slow Website Speed

If your website doesn’t load in three seconds or less, then your SERP ranking may be lower. It’s also a turnoff to many potential customers if a website doesn’t load quickly. For example, some factors that can affect your website speed are large images and video files, such as embedded YouTube videos. You can check your website’s speed with free online tools, such as Pingdom.

 

Spam Comments and Links

Spam comments on your blog and links to spam pages can hurt your SEO — even if users don’t click on them. By only linking to reliable sources and monitoring your comments and only approving those relevant to your content, you can prevent spam from affecting your SERP ranking.

 

Spelling and Grammar Errors

Although it may seem minor, spelling and grammar errors can damage your SEO. It also affects your funeral home’s brand and makes you look less professional and reliable. Make sure you have multiple people read and edit your website content for errors. Plus, you can install free grammar and spell checking tools on your computer or mobile device, such as Grammarly, to help make sure you have error-free content.