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.

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. Ask.com. 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.

Promotion: The Fourth P of Your Deathcare Marketing Mix

For the past month, we’ve looked at what a marketing mix is and defined three of the 4 Ps of marketing: product, price, and place. Take a few minutes to skim back through those blog posts as a refresher or to catch up if you’ve missed the series.

Because in this post, we’re bringing it all together with the final P of marketing: promotion.

 

What Is Promotion in a Marketing Mix?

Once you know what you’re selling, how much it is (and who is likely to pay for it), and where you’re selling it, it’s time to think about how you should promote it. Promotion refers to how you advertise a product.

In most cases, you’ll have numerous answers. That’s good, because multichannel marketing approaches are usually more successful than single-channel approaches. If you only let people know about your new preplanning option on Facebook, for example, you’re seriously limiting who finds out about the service.

Some questions to ponder when defining promotion in your marketing mix include:

  • What channels are best for promoting this specific service to the right target audience? Options might include your website/blog, social media, email, direct mail, and local advertising such as radio, TV, and billboards.
  • When should you reach out to your target audience?
  • What messaging is most likely to resonate? Affordability is a core message when you’re marketing budget cremations, but it wouldn’t be a good message to include if you’re marketing luxury memorial and burial options.

Now that you’ve defined all 4 Ps of your marketing mix, you can create a fleshed-out marketing strategy and execute it. Done the work to define the 4 Ps but not sure what to do next? Working with a partner like Ring Ring Marketing can help!

Place: The Third P of Your Deathcare Marketing Mix

Over the past few weeks, we’ve delved into the 4 Ps of marketing on Tuesdays. Click back to check out our introduction to marketing mix at the beginning of the month and catch up with our blog posts on product and price if you haven’t read them yet.

This week, we’ll cover what you need to know about defining the third P of marketing: place.

 

What Is Place in a Marketing Mix?

Place covers all the locations (physical and digital) involved in selling and marketing your product.

It starts with the obvious: Where do you provide your product? For deathcare firms, this might mean a funeral home or crematory location. Cemeteries provide services on their properties, and death doulas or grief counselors might provide services in offices or even in people’s homes.

Next, consider the scope of that location and who might be interested in and able to use your services. Should you market mostly to local consumers? Do your services have a regional or national reach? The answers to these questions change your entire marketing strategy.

Finally, consider where you should advertise and market. What channels are most likely to reach your target audience and support an engaging connection. Options can range from your deathcare website and social media to local radio or neighborhood events.

Defining place is critical to all your marketing efforts and is a great bridge to the next P of marketing: promotion. Read the blog for the final Tuesday of the month to find out more about promotion’s place in the marketing mix.

Price: The Second P of Your Deathcare Marketing Mix

On Tuesdays this month, we’re covering the 4 Ps of marketing. You can read the first blog post in this series to find out more about what the 4 Ps are and why marketing mix is important. Check out last week’s post to learn about the first P, which is product.

Then continue below to learn how to define the second P, price, to inform your deathcare marketing efforts.

 

What Is Price in a Marketing Mix?

Price is how much you charge for a product or service. Sounds simple, but you must dig deeper than a single number to inform high-quality marketing campaigns.

When defining price for deathcare marketing, think about each specific product and service you offer. Answer the following questions:

  • What is your current price range for this good or service?
  • What do your competitors charge for similar goods or services?
  • What type of budget or price expectations does your target audience have?
  • How do you plan to collect the cost? What payment methods do you offer, and are there options for credit or payment plans?

If you’re charging $3,000, your competitors are charging $2,000, and your target audience has an expectation or budget that ranges from $1,800 to $2,500, you have a potential problem. You can solve it in one of two ways: lower your price or find a way to market your product so it stands apart from the competition and changes the expectation of consumers.

When you think about price as part of your marketing mix, you can better define the goals and needs of your marketing campaigns. You can also more appropriately align marketing for certain products with the target audiences that are most likely to pay for them.

Come back next week to read about the third P of marketing, which is place.

Product: The First P of Your Deathcare Marketing Mix

Last week on this blog, we introduced the concept of marketing mix and the 4 Ps of marketing. This week we’re digging into the first P, which is product.

What Is Product in a Marketing Mix?

Product is, perhaps, the simplest of the 4 Ps of marketing. It refers to whatever you’re selling, whether that’s services, goods, or intangibles.

Some common products for deathcare firms might include:

  • At-need services, including cremation, funeral, memorial, or burial services
  • Preplanning services, which can include consultations and guidance, preplanning packages, burial plots, and other optional add-ons
  • Physical goods, such as urns, caskets, guest books, and grave markers or headstones

Defining your product in detail ensures you can create marketing campaigns full of rich features, benefits, and facts. Some things you should know about your product before you create a marketing strategy include:

  • Its exact nature. It’s not enough to know you provide preplanning services. You must know that you provide preplanning options for cremation or that your product is a package that lets people preplan their entire funeral and memorial service in detail.
  • Features and benefits. What is included in your services or products? How do those things solve specific problems or meet specific needs for potential clientele?
  • Who is the target audience? Who wants or needs this service? The target audience for budget cremation services is likely different from the target audience for luxury preplanning services.
  • Unique value proposition. What makes this product different from others or unique from what the competition offers?

Many deathcare firms offer multiple products. Make sure to define each one as you create marketing strategies for them.

Check back next week to learn more about the next P in the marketing mix concept.

What Are the 4 Ps of Deathcare Marketing and Why Should You Care?

Let’s be honest: Some marketing strategies that work well for ecommerce or retail businesses aren’t that relevant to deathcare firms. Funeral homes are unlikely to walk away with a huge revenue uptick because they held a flash sale, for example. “BOGO final arrangements through Thursday” is morbidly pressuring, even if you’re talking preplanning.

But plenty of marketing concepts are relevant to deathcare, including the common marketing mix. A marketing mix refers to the collaboration between the four main pillars of any marketing strategy.

 

What Are the 4 Ps of Marketing?

The four Ps are essential components of marketing campaigns. If you don’t know the details behind them, your marketing strategy is likely to fall flat. They are:

  • Product: What you sell to potential clientele
  • Price: How much the product costs
  • Place: Where you sell, provide, or promote the product
  • Promotion: How you advertise or get the word out about your services

 

Benefits of the Marketing Mix Concept

The 4 Ps date back to the mid-20th century when E. Jerome McCarthy drew on a variety of influences to create a streamlined approach to strategic marketing. Marketing mix is such a powerful concept, it’s still used more than 50 years later.

Some benefits of starting with a marketing mix include:

  • It helps you understand all the products and services you can offer and how to position those offers to solve consumer problems.
  • It helps businesses execute consistent marketing strategies that speak directly to the target audience in a meaningful way.
  • It reduces unnecessary marketing spend by aligning messaging across the right channels.

Marketing mix isn’t a magic formula, but it is a solid foundation. Deathcare marketers who start by defining their 4 Ps have a much better chance at success with all types of marketing efforts.

Check back next week and throughout the month for a deep dive into each of the 4 Ps!