Automated SEO Tools: What Are They, and What are the Pros and Cons for Deathcare Marketing?

Automated SEO tools supposedly take the guesswork out of search engine optimization by providing the skeletons you need to build content that performs. But are these tools worth the cost, and how much do they drive the needle on deathcare marketing?


What Are Automated SEO Tools?

Tools like INK, Surfer SEO, and Clearscope do SEO research for you instantly. You enter your keywords and these tools scour data about top-performing pages, returning information about those pages such as:

  • Average length of existing content or how long competitive content should be
  • Typical subheaders used across content
  • Primary and secondary keywords
  • Semantic keywords and topics other pages seem to cover
  • Potential People Also Ask questions you may want to answer

You can use that information to create pages that are supposedly more likely to perform in search results. Most SEO tools have a scoring mechanism, and the higher your content scores, the more likely it is (according to the tool) to rank higher.


The Pros of SEO Tools for Deathcare Marketing

One of the biggest benefits of these types of tools is time savings. The tools don’t do anything you can’t do yourself—you could review the top pages in Google for keywords to see how long they are, what phrases they use, and what header structures seem to work best, and you can also do your own keyword research. With an SEO tool, that work is done for you in seconds or minutes.

Another benefit is that the depth of information provided supports the creative process. Your marketing or writing teams may not have to come up with ideas from scratch all the time, because the SEO tool’s content suggestions often translate easily into outlines for posts and pages.


The Cons of SEO Tools for Deathcare Marketing

These tools aren’t perfect, though, and disadvantages include:

  • Many come with a hefty price tag. Semrush’s version, for example, starts at more than $200 per month for some projects.
  • Everyone else can use these tools, too, which means content in each niche may start to look the same across competitors’ pages.
  • AI still doesn’t trump human. SEO tools might suggest 2,000 words on a topic, but your audience might be better served with 1,000 words. Or, a tool could suggest repetitive headers that would annoy your readers. Taking the suggestions straight from an SEO tool without any thought can make your content machine-like and less human—not something you want in deathcare marketing.


The Bottom Line

SEO tools can be valuable, but they’re best when paired with content marketing and writing know-how. They’re a starting point you can work from, but shouldn’t be treated as the end-all expert on the content you create.

Check back on our blog next week for a deep dive on SEO tool suggestions and which ones you can ignore.

How Funeral Homes Can Survive After the Pandemic

Post-Covid Calls and Market Share are Dropping. What Should Funeral Homes Do?

The Covid “pull-through” effect is real. Calls and market share are dropping across the nation for funeral homes.

Everyone experienced greater call volume over the pandemic, but now, those numbers are returning to pre-pandemic levels. What should you do to maintain marketing share and boost your bottom line?

In this free workshop, he’ll break down the strategies and goals you should be focused on for the rest of this year and the next to improve your bottom line.

Why You Might Want to Publish Content That Isn’t Quite Perfect

Did you know how long you’ve had open credit accounts drives between 10 and 15 percent of your credit score? It’s called credit age, and the reason it’s important to your score is that lenders want to know you have an established and responsible relationship with credit.

A similar truth occurs with search engine optimization. Google likes to see content that’s been around a while and is performing well with users. That means people who end up on the page actually read it, click through on links, or otherwise engage with the content.

On top of that, it can take a while for search engine bots to crawl your content and index it in the search results—which is the first step to getting ranked and showing up for searchers on those pages.

You can see that sitting on content until it’s just right can mean lost time for important SEO.

Is Google the Only Search Engine You Should Worry About?

Google. Bing. Yahoo. DuckDuckGo. Baidu.

That’s not a string of random nonsense words. It’s the beginning of a very long list of available search engines.

That’s right—Google isn’t the only search game in town. But should deathcare marketers spend time worrying about how the other search engines might index and rank content?

Not really.

Google has more than 92 percent of search market share. In other words, more than 9 out of 10 search queries are entered via Google.

In second place is Bing, with around 3 percent of search market share. Everyone else has 1 percent or less. Given these figures, optimizing content for any search engine other than Google doesn’t make sense. You might create a page that only ranks well on one search engine with a 0.05 percent market share—which means you have content targeted to only a few potential searchers.

Another reason you don’t have to worry that much about all the other search engines is that what’s good for Google is typically mostly good for other search engines. Which is to say, if your content is ranking well in Google, it’s likely ranking well in other search engines too.

The one caveat to all of this is that you may want to optimize for specific search engines when you’re creating content for a segment of your audience that is likely to use those search engines first.

For example, DuckDuckGo attracted a lot of searchers with its strict stance on privacy a few years ago. Because it didn’t have a public policy on misinformation, DuckDuckGo was also seen initially as a free-speech search engine, drawing a lot of searchers who identified as conservative politically.

This type of information can be helpful to know when you’re optimizing content. In cases where your content is targeting a specific type of potential clientele, you may want to optimize for the search engines they’re using in addition to optimizing for Google.

How to Recover if You Lose Traffic Due to a Google Update

Last week we introduced the topic of Google updates and discussed when deathcare firms should pay attention to them. If your organic search traffic takes a sudden nosedive, you need to find out if there was a recent Google update and what might have impacted your pages.

In these cases, take the steps below to regain traffic on your site.


Find Out What Google Might Have Targeted

Search for information on recent Google updates. Sites like Search Engine Journal and Search Engine Land tend to do a good job of summarizing major Google updates and how they might impact traffic.

If you’re working with a marketing partner like Ring Ring Marketing, you can also reach out to your partner. Let them know you see concerning trends with your page traffic and want to dig into root causes. Your marketing company probably already knows about major Google updates and can tell you if that’s behind your drop in search traffic.


Audit and Refresh Existing Content on Your Site

Once you know what Google targeted in its most recent update, you can audit existing content for those issues. For example, if most experts believe a recent Google update downgraded pages with high keyword densities, you can look for blog posts and landing pages on your site that use keywords too many times.

Refresh the offending content by editing it or replacing it with updated information. It can take a few weeks for this updated content to get indexed in the search engines and help increase your traffic, so be patient.


Make Necessary Changes to Your Editorial Calendar

If you have content planned for your funeral home blog or deathcare webpage already, go through those plans and make tweaks as needed to match any new Google requirements.

We’ve talked a lot about Google updates and planning content to help increase traffic for Google. Check next week’s RRM blog to find out whether you should worry about search engines other than Google.

What Is a Google Update and Why Does It Matter?

Google, and other search engines, run on algorithms. These are complex programs and models that help determine which pages rise to the top of the search results.

It’s a fair logical conclusion that you can help increase your website’s standing in the search results if you know what the algorithms are doing. Then you can create content that pushes the right buttons for those models.

Except Google tweaks its algorithms thousands of times a year, constantly making slight changes to ensure search results are the best they can be. It’s not something deathcare firms can hope to keep up with, so it’s better to concentrate on publishing high-quality content that is valuable to the reader.


What Are Major Google Updates?

That being said, deathcare firms should pay attention to major Google updates. A few times a year, Google makes more sweeping changes to its algorithms. It typically announces these changes so websites can react accordingly to address content needs.

These major updates can have a significant impact on how a site ranks in search results. They tend to target specific things and can penalize sites engaging in activity Google has deemed low-quality.

For example, a core update in May 2022 included changes that would downgrade content Google could tell was created by AI. Low-quality AI content isn’t what Google wants to serve people in the search results.

In 2021 and early 2022, Google rolled out a page experience update that applied Core Web Vitals to search algorithms. That meant that pages that didn’t meet Google thresholds for experience metrics like page load times might be downgraded. (Google likes to see page load times less than 1.5 seconds, by the way.)


How Do You Find Out About Major Google Changes?

You can follow search engine news on sites such as Search Engine Journal. Reading or even skimming a few articles a week on such sites helps you understand which way the search engine winds are blowing.

And if you work with funeral home marketing professionals like those at Ring Ring Marketing, you can trust that someone is keeping an eye on search engine changes for you and can let you know if major overhauls to your content may be required.