Am I really suggesting that Funeral Directors Should Forget About SEO (search engine optimisation) which is all about being found online?
Yes, whether you manage your own website or it’s done for you, it’s a fact that search engines have developed in your favour. The online landscape has altered significantly and the good news is that you can successfully create content that helps you to be found online without getting hung up on meta data.
Year after year Google introduces new factors which can seem to make the task of getting your website found more and more complex.
Google Wants You to be Found
Funeral Directors however should be reassured that Google wants your business to be found and a lot of the changes are designed to make that happen. Why does Google want you to be found? To improve their service and retain their position as market leader. Google recognised long ago that expecting you to be an SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) expert will not help.
Results Relevant to Search Terms
Of the technical changes introduced the most significant change has been a drive towards more simplicity, promoting ‘relevance’, and a move to filter out the ‘experts’ in favour of authentic search results. From a funeral directors point of view this is good news, it’s important that your service can be found in searches based upon your local area ahead of less relevant results.
These Google changes don’t ignore the fact that your website will be more effective if it is up to date with modern standards such as SSL, which gives you the https ‘secure’ badge on your website, or being mobile responsive.
Technical standards aside, we can be reassured that the ‘relevance’ factor will work for you if you include plenty of high quality content for your website, keeping people in mind as opposed to search engines. If you can also post the same standard of information on your businesses social media accounts then you really will be doing well.
What is ‘high quality content’?
The depth of information on your website is key to attracting visitors and converting them into customers. If you provide valuable information and lots of it you will find favour with search engines and prospective customers alike. SEO can improve results but it will not trump good quality information. If your website content is thoughtful and informed then Google will find you through naturally occurring ‘keywords’.
Relevant Page Headings and Text Content
This point does actually relate to SEO but could just as well be considered to be good writing practice. Make it obvious to people what this page is about by mentioning the subject in your page heading and also within the text, by doing this you’ve also applied a fundamental rule of SEO and helped Google to help you.
How Much Content Does Your Website Need?
It isn’t unusual to hear “We’re just a small business and don’t need to have a lot of information”. This approach will not help your website rank well in search results, the direct effect of lots of helpful content is that you will increase the amount of time spent on your web pages therefore reducing ‘bounce rate’, a major factor in ranking your website.
Apart from helpful content here are some other ‘non-techy’ ideas that can help your website stand out from the crowd.
- Consistent posting on social media
- Links to your website from respected websites such as trade organisations
- Links to podcasts or video interviews
- Podcasts or video interviews embedded on your website
- Content from or links to industry surveys such as those from trade bodies or major suppliers
- Relevant government statistics
- Free content such as funeral notices, ebooks
- Funeral cost calculators are proven to be popular with visitors therefore keeping them engaged and more likely to contact you
Funeral Directors Should Forget About SEO – Is SEO is now redundant?
There is still a place for expert optimisation of web content in a competitive market place, particularly if your competitors are being found ahead of you for your main search term i.e. ‘funeral director mytown’ as long as we recognise the change in perspective for more wide ranging (and less competitive) content.
The point is, you shouldn’t be daunted by the prospect of dabbling in this somewhat mystical art nor should you be reluctant to broach the subject with your Web Design company. You don’t need to get all techy, you are positioned to speak and write authoritatively about our profession and if you can speak or write well about something, it can go on your website and it can be found by search engines regardless of SEO technicalities.
If you’re not achieving the results you want it’s worth having a conversation with a respected expert, but not before making sure you have populated your website with plenty of good stuff, do that and you will be pleasantly surprised at the results.