Many funeral homes mistakenly underestimate the importance of their funeral home website, assuming that families will turn a blind eye to its outdated design, disorganized layout, or unhelpful content because the service they provide in-house should be enough to make up for their lackluster web presence.
Unfortunately, that is not the case.
Today’s consumer is quick to judge and you better believe that they will leave your funeral home website if they don’t like what they see. In fact, 80% of consumers say they will leave outdated websites, which makes it crucial that you optimize the experience for potential client families. We live in an age where appearance is everything, and, unfortunately, if your website is not up to snuff, families will turn to your local competitor that has a newer, more helpful, and more user-friendly website.
We recently read this article by ProsarInbound, an agency that specializes in digital marketing, titled “6 Things Your Website Says About You and Your Business,” and couldn’t help but think about how relevant it is to the funeral profession. Adapted from the six items discussed in this article, please read below for six things your funeral home website says about your business.
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1. Modern or Outdated
“People will make a snap judgment within seconds of viewing your website. They’ll quickly decide if you’re current and if not, they may question the relevancy of the content on your site and write you off.”
We agree this sounds harsh, but unfortunately, this scenario is the reality that businesses face on a daily basis. Your funeral home could be the best in the community, but if your website is outdated, families who have never used your services in the past might immediately write your entire business off as being out of touch and detached from the modern age.
Think of your website as a modern-day storefront. For many families, especially those that are helping arrange a service from afar, your website is the first impression they have of your funeral home. Make sure it is a true reflection of your business.
Look for a website provider that can build your funeral home a fully custom, modern website that works FOR you, not against you.
2. Organized or Disorganized
“Getting fed up with a website takes much less time than you may realize. Online prospects are understandably fickle because they’ve invested little time or effort and can easily click away and move on without a second thought.”
If a person can’t find exactly what they’re looking for, and fast, they will immediately leave your website and find another that can more readily provide the information for which they are searching.
Make sure your website is optimized with intuitive site navigation, such as a top-of-page navigation bar that is consistent from page to page with obvious section headers that clearly explain what lies behind them. And don’t overwhelm your site visitors with too many navigation buttons or menus—stick to the mantra, “less is more,” and utilize sub-navigation menus for additional content.
Organized communication online will set a good precedent for what a family can expect when they come to your home. If your website feels organized and intuitive, they will associate those same qualities with your business.
3. Detail-Oriented or Lazy
“This can say a lot about your products and business. If your website is vague about something technical people will often attach negative traits to your business and products or services such as: lazy, unknowledgeable, or even untrustworthy.”
Families looking to plan a funeral, whether at-need or pre-need, will have a lot of questions. They may also have very little idea of the options available to them, prices associated with different funeral packages, or even how to start the process. It is your duty to help make the process easier for grieving families or individuals looking to preplan their funeral by providing as detailed of information as possible. That way, families won’t feel you are intentionally keeping information from them or being purposefully vague.
Explaining everything in detail will also help lessen the burden on families who are faced with having to plan a funeral service on top of grieving the loss of a loved one. As many families may be planning a funeral service for the first time, it is important you help them understand the difference between the services you offer and any other funeral jargon of which they may not be familiar, such as, “direct cremation,” “immediate burial,” “embalming,” “arrangement conference,” “pre-need vs. at-need,” and more.
Not sure where to start? Frazer Consultants provides our funeral home website customers with over 45 pages of detailed and professionally-written content so you can focus less time on writing and more time serving your families.
4. Helpful or Uncaring
“Be helpful. There is nothing worse than when you have a question that you desperately want answered and there is no one to help you or they seem disinterested. It’s the equivalent of watching sales associates gossip in a corner at a retail store when you’re waiting at the cash register and running late.
Take a look at your funeral home website and ask yourself the following questions:
‘Do we list our website prices in clear sight?’
‘Does our website effectively communicate our list of services?’
‘Is all necessary and relevant information easily accessible to visitors?’
‘Do we offer additional resources for families seeking more information?’
‘Do we go above and beyond by offering grief support resources or aftercare support?’
‘Is our website equipped with a live chat feature?’
‘Does the information we provide give families an idea of what to expect when they meet with our staff?’
If your answer to any of these questions is no, it is very possible you are losing business to your competitors whose websites are more helpful and supportive than yours.
The good news is that it is never too late to begin taking the necessary steps to improving your site and ensuring a more helpful experience for potential client families. Go the extra mile by being more helpful online and families will be much more likely to entrust your firm with their or a loved one’s funeral.
5. Generous or Uncharitable
“Most people’s ears perk up when they hear the word “free.” Of course, what comes to mind first when one thinks of “generosity” is the monetary meaning. A brand’s generosity can sometimes be measured by taking into account discounts and offers. But, what about other types of generosity? Think of a friend who is generous with their time or with their knowledge or advice.”
There are many ways a funeral home can be considered “charitable.” Charitable can be taken in the literal sense, as in volunteering your time or money to help a deserving cause. Alternatively, your home can show its generosity by providing exceptional value to the families you serve. Think of all the value-added services you provide that would make a family choose your home over another local firm. Do you provide personalized keepsakes, tribute videos, or modern technology such as webcasting or digital registry free of charge or as part of an affordable funeral package? Do you host annual remembrance services to help the community heal after facing a loss?
No matter what value-added services your funeral home provides, or in what other ways your funeral home shows its generosity, be sure to communicate it online. Also on your website, be sure to showcase testimonials written by families you’ve served in the past as 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. As they read stories of how others have personally experienced your staff’s generosity, families may be more willing to select your funeral home.
6. Friendly or Aloof
“Never underestimate the power of making someone feel like they belong. Remember, you don’t have the benefit of a friendly employee who can greet your customers with a warm, personalized greeting. By welcoming your prospects and customers to your site with the right tone and messaging, you’ll be well on your way to encouraging your customers to stay awhile.”
When you walk into a store, would you rather be welcomed by a warm smile and inviting “hello!”, or ignored by sales associates that are indifferent about your shopping experience? Remember that you don’t have the luxury of a friendly employee greeting potential client families to your website as they visit, but the messaging you use throughout the site can make a huge difference.
Use friendly words such as “welcome,” “community,” or “trust,” to greet site visitors, and continue your compassionate messaging throughout the site.
Consider adding photos of your funeral home or staff members to the front page so families are immediately “greeted” by those that would welcome them in real life.
Friendly reassurance about how families can expect to be treated at your funeral home is also a great addition to your website.
Your website is a truly powerful and unique opportunity for your funeral home to make a great first impression with potential client families. How it looks, what it says, and how it’s organized can say a great deal about your funeral home; don’t underestimate its power as one of the most important marketing tools you own!