Google Reviews: Critical for Funeral Home Search Engine Rankings

Are you ignoring online review opportunities for your funeral home? You might be dragging down your webpages in search engine results, which can lead to fewer site traffic and conversions.

Local funeral homes know the value of word-of-mouth marketing. Trust is essential for families seeking services during their time of need, and marketing surveys repeatedly show consumers trust one another more than brand messaging.

Consumer reviews are equally important to online funeral home marketing efforts. In fact, a 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors Survey noted that reviews were likely a measurable factor in Google algorithms for calculating both organic page rank (where you appear in the search results) and Local Pack (whether you appear in the top box or map results).

Here’s what you need to know about how Google reviews impact where you land in the search results pages:

  • You want reviews on multiple sites: Google mostly looks at reviews on your Google My Business page, but review diversity is important too. Businesses that also have reviews on other major sites, such as Facebook, perform better in search results.
  • The number of reviews is important: Google likes to see companies with plenty of reviews, but what it considers enough varies by industry. Some business types, such as restaurants, lend easily to reviews. Others, such as criminal attorneys, don’t have many clients who feel comfortable leaving public reviews.
    Search for funeral homes in your region to get an idea of an adequate number of reviews. For example, as of October 2018, funeral homes in the Roanoke, VA, area have between zero and 15 reviews, while providers in Los Angeles have between five and 70.
  • Positive reviews drive page traffic and rank: The overall sentiment of your Google reviews — whether they’re mostly positive or not — does play a role in where you rank in the search results. But it’s not necessarily a direct Google calculation. Instead, positive reviews tend to lead to higher click-through rates and more time on your page by visitors. That drives up metrics that help improve your placement in search engine results.

Now that you know Google reviews can impact your funeral home internet marketing, how do you obtain those reviews?

Google doesn’t have rules against asking for reviews, but funeral homes do need to be circumspect in doing so at the time of service. If family members are so thankful for professional services they ask how they can help you, consider sharing your review link.

Otherwise, you might include a tactfully placed review link on your website or in later follow-up communication with loved ones.

(Note: Monitoring your business’s online reputation is a requirement for success in the digital age. Try our free  now for an instant reputation report on your business. It takes less than a minute!)

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