This is a common question that new clients ask me. They’ve read about blogging, their website vendor recommends having a blog, and they are wondering whether it is worth the effort.
The short answer is yes if it’s done correctly and no in all other cases.
Adding a blog to your funeral home website serves multiple purposes.
Purpose #1 – Connect with local families
Blogging can be a great way to connect with local families. You can write about current events in the community, answer common funeral questions, or highlight your most creative service of the week. There is a long list of potential topics.
Each blog post can be shared to your Facebook page and the rest of your social media channels. Over time you will pick up more followers and increase traffic to your website.
Purpose #2 – Improve your search engine rankings
Google is constantly scanning every page on the internet, looking for fresh content. When they find new content, they try to match it up to the 3.5 billion searches made on Google every day.
If you write a blog post about how to make funeral plans, and someone searches “funeral planning,” there is a chance that your blog post will show up in the search results.
Also, Google rewards websites that have answers to questions and are updated regularly. The technical term for it is “Domain Authority.” If you have a high domain authority score, every page on your website will rank higher than your competition.
But creating a successful blog is relatively rare in the funeral industry. Here are the most common mistakes I’ve seen over the years.
Mistake #1 – Bad content
We recently took over a website blog for a client who had previously signed up for a digital marketing package from a large marketing agency. They had been writing and posting new articles twice a month for a whole year.
When I reviewed the posts, I was very disappointed. All 24 posts were focused on one topic; why you should have a funeral. They kept rephrasing two or three paragraphs but made the same basic point over and over again.
Another common mistake I see in blog content is failing to make it local to your community. When you write a generic blog post without mentioning your town or city, your post is competing with posts from around the world.
But if you add your community name, you are only competing with other funeral homes in your area. Instead of targeting “how to make funeral plans” you should write about “how to make funeral plans in ”.
Mistake #2 – No author persona
A blog works best when it’s writing by a specific person, typically the business owner. It’s a way for the business owner to carry on a conversation with local families. Someone else can do the writing, but the person who is the face of the business should be shown as the author.
But unfortunately, most funeral home blogs are from the business instead of the owner. That’s a huge mistake.
One thing we have done for a couple of clients is to write their blog from the perspective of their therapy dog. The dog gets to “write” about all sorts of interesting topics, and those posts are always popular on Facebook.
Mistake #3 – Bad technology
The third mistake I see all the time has to do with technology. This one is very frustrating because even if you get everything else right if you have bad technology, a blog is a waste of time.
Over the years, I have had clients with websites created by dozens of different vendors. The vast majority of the website vendors have blogs that have major technical flaws. Sometimes it is in how they structure the individual posts, and sometimes it has to do with how someone navigates between posts.
What is frustrating about this issue is that there are some very proven blogging platforms available. WordPress is the most popular, but there are a handful of other solutions.
The funeral home website vendors would have been better off using existing technology rather than trying to create their own blogging solution.
In summary, blogging is just a tool. Like many tools, it can be very effective if it is used correctly. If you are a good writer or have access to someone who can write in your preferred style, blogging can be a great way to connect with local families.
Here’s the link to my blog.
Hopefully, it answers some of your questions.
Until next time,
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