Behind the curve: deathcare industry lagging with internet marketing

Vendors in the deathcare industry, and specifically funeral homes, are generally laggards when it comes to marketing on the internet. And you can bet that the wired generation – who plan and purchase travel online, "google" first dates and even buy cars online – will increasingly turn to the internet when researching funeral service providers.

As a 40-something myself, I have attended plenty of funerals but have never planned one. With parents in their 80s and increasingly frail it won?t be long before I will need to arrange their services. With no historical ties to funeral homes in our community you can bet I will be doing some googling myself.

So here are three basic things that funeral homes can do to start using the internet as an integral component of their overall marketing strategy:

Web Site Basics

You do have a web site – right? Make sure it has a professional look, provides information that generate leads through email or inbound calls, and is search engine friendly.

Ask people who will give you honest opinions about the look and feel of your site. If it needs help you should be able to hire a professional site developer to bring it up to speed for a modest expenditure. Likewise, a professional writer should be able to improve your content for a small fee.

Speaking of content, you should try to provide a variety of useful articles and checklists that will help inform site visitors. If you have someone on staff who is a good writer use their talents to add an article or two every month to the site. Otherwise hire a professional writer to ghost write articles around your industry knowledge. You may also syndicate articles that are appropriate for your site.

You may want to hire a search engine optimizer (SEO) company to help you make your site search engine friendly so your site is listed in the first results returned by search engines. Additionally, they can assist you with paid advertising listings on the major engines.

Start a Blog

Blog?s are like public diaries (see for more information.) Write one about your company and services, incorporating your unique capabilities and your industry knowledge. Write a group blog if there are multiple staff members who can contribute. Entries can be short or long and should be added weekly at a minimum. Use the RSS capabilities ( built into your blog service to allow interested parties to get ?feeds? of your entries. A blog can be a great showcase for your services, will generate leads, and will personalize your services.

Expose Yourself Within Your Community

Make sure your web site has good exposure on other web sites that address your geographical market. Look at inexpensive online ads in your local paper?s website. Advertise in search engines like Google and Yahoo using their ?local? targeting capabilities. If you blog get listed with services like ( List your web site address on your Yellow Page ads and get listed in the local services of Goolge and Yahoo.

A small investment of time and money can take your website from brochureware to an active, lead-generating marketing tool. Can you afford to ignore the new generation of internet savvy deathcare consumers?

David is a partner in ( a lead generation source for funeral homes and suppliers to the deathcare industry. He has extensive experience in the content publishing and high tech industries. He may be contacted at