From a customer service perspective, adding a blog to your funeral home is a no-brainer. The more helpful content you can add to your site in the form of blog posts, the more consumers in your area will come to rely on your business as an authoritative source of information on funeral services and funeral planning.
But your customers aren’t the only ones that benefit when you build a funeral home blog. Blogging offers a number of different SEO advantages that can help improve your funeral home’s position in the natural search engine results — leading to more website traffic and more calls from website visitors!
Here are a few of the different ways this happens.
Higher keyword inclusion incidence
At its core, SEO is based on the idea of the keyword — that is, the phrase that search users type into the engines in order to find information. Think of it this way: If a customer enters “Dallas funeral home” into Google, “Dallas funeral home” is the keyword that represents user intent and that will — hopefully — turn up your funeral home at the top of the search results.
Google and the other search engines use a number of complex algorithms to figure out which websites to rank at the top of their search results, but the presence of these keywords factors in heavily. For example, a few of the specific factors the search engines look for are whether the exact keyword that was searched for appears in your site’s title tags, page headers or body content. If you have the phrase “Dallas funeral home” in these locations, your odds of ranking at the top of the search results improves (although, keep in mind that Google’s algorithms take more than 200 of these factors into consideration in their ranking systems).
When you blog, you’re constantly adding new content to your website — and that means that you’re also adding more keywords. Since it’s impossible to identify every possible keyword that visitors could be searching for in order to find your business, writing new blog posts increases the number of keyword inclusions on your site — potentially helping your site to be found in the search results by even more customers.
Increased backlink opportunities
Another important factor when it comes to your funeral home’s position in the search results is the number and quality of the links that are pointing back to each page on your site.
Back in the early days of search engine optimization, Google and the other engines had to figure out a way to prioritize one page over another in their results. One of the first things they thought was that any link pointing back to a website could be counted as a sort of “editorial vote” — as if the site linking back to the original page was vouching for its quality through its willingness to send readers there. As a result, both the number of links pointing at a site and the relative quality of each link
These ranking signals aren’t as strong today as they once were, as the complexity of the algorithms has grown and as manipulative spammers abused the system by creating false backlinks in order to artificially improve their search results rankings. However, they still form the foundation of the algorithms and are still important considerations for funeral home owners who are interested in improving their visibility in the search results.
Blogging gives you one venue for acquiring natural backlinks. If your funeral home publishes interesting content on its blog that consumers want to read and share with others, you stand to increase your backlinks as they disseminate your content across the web. The more blog posts you create, the more opportunities you have to catch your community’s attention and create these valuable inbound links.
Back in 2009, Google rolled out an update referred to as “QDF” — “query deserves freshness.” In simple terms, this update meant that — for most keywords — Google preferred to put at least one recently updated piece of content in its Top 10 search results.
At first, many people were frustrated by this update, as many webmasters spent time focusing on their SEO to have their pages rank well — only to have them displaced by a newer listing with less time invested in it. However, this update made sense if you think about Google’s ultimate goal of providing users with the best possible search experience. From a user’s perspective, updated content often represents a better fit than web pages that might be strong in terms of SEO, but haven’t been updated in many years.
All of that is to say that, if your funeral home runs a business blog that’s updated on a regular basis, you stand to benefit from Google’s preference to promote “fresher,” more recently added content. The more you post, the more opportunities you have for your funeral home’s website to appear in the organic search results — even if your more established competitors might be slightly stronger from a pure SEO perspective.
Running a funeral home blog might seem like an unnecessary expenditure of time and energy, but the results can be startling. Given that an estimated 38% of a funeral home’s website traffic comes from the search results, anything you can do to increase your visibility here — including blogging — can make a major difference in your bottom line.