How To Steal Your Competitor’s Funeral Home Website Traffic

January 27, 2015
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Article by Joe Joachim, FuneralOne

With more than a billion websites online and many different ways for this generation’s tech-savvy, research-first consumers to find new businesses, competition is fierce in nearly every profession. And the funeral profession is no exception.

Getting potential families to your website (rather than your competitors’) can make a huge difference to your bottom line. And sure, trying out clever ways to market your funeral home can make a big difference. But, what if you could also take a simple, fool-proof shortcut to make sure your website is attracting more visitors than your competitors’?

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You can.  And it’s actually pretty easy, too. Here’s a guide to doing just that:

Set Goals
funeralgrader

Before you get started, you first need to decide what you’re trying to improve. That means understanding what statistics and influences relate to the current health of your website. As a starting point, check out FuneralGrader.com which will analyze your website for free and tell you how well your current site is connecting with today’s families. It will even provide you with some helpful tips on how to get your site ahead of your competition.

Next, check out Google Analytics and see how many people are visiting your website each day, where they are coming from on the web, and what words and phrases they are using to find your website online. These are broad statistics, but you’ll get more detail in the next step.

Compare and Contrast

If you\’re going to steal your competitors\’ traffic, you need to understand it. It’s time to see how your funeral home stacks up compared to the rest. Every tool I\’m going to share can be used both to check out your own site and your competitors’ sites:

1. Alexa
alexa

When you search for something online, how likely is it that you will click on the first few links that show up on Google, rather than 2 or 3 pages deep? Probably pretty likely, and the same goes for your families and nearly everyone else that searches the web. Therefore, having your website ranked high in search engine results is very important when it comes to families discovering your website.

To find out the web ranking of your competitors (and where you are related to them), plug their URL into the Alexa search box. You will get a ranking for their site, both in local searches and in worldwide searches. You will also find important data on who is visiting their site, previously visited sites and what search terms families are using to find their site. Other tools you can use for this kind of analysis include Compete (for how consumers are behaving on websites) andSimilar Web (for web, search and social traffic). These tools let you see the most important factors that are sending your families to your competitors\’ websites instead of yours.

Questions to ask from this data:

  • What search terms are sending traffic to your competitors\’ site?
  • What is the demographic breakdown of who is visiting their website, and does this match your target audience?

2. Open Site Explorer
moz

Use Open Site Explorer, an excellent free tool from Moz, to look at multiple funeral home websites at the same time. Though there\’s a limit to what you can do with a free account, this tool lets you see how your funeral home stacks up against up to four of your biggest competitors, looking at the following important website factors:

  • Domain authority – How well your entire website performs in search engines
  • Page authority – How well a particular website page performs in search engines
  • Inbound links – Other websites that are sending links to your website
  • Top pages – Pages on your website that are performing the best
  • Anchor text – Clickable text that links to your website

 

Analyzing these important website factors gives you a behind-the-scenes look at what other funeral homes are doing differently to get attention from families.

Questions to ask from this data:

  • Who is linking to your competitors\’ sites?
  • What pages on their website are getting the most views and links?

 

Monitor Mentions
talkwalker

 

When people talk about you on their website and on social media, it brings more people to your funeral home website. Therefore, it’s beneficial to find out where your competitors are being talked about online and what families are saying about them. The easiest way to do this is to set up alerts online for key search terms and the name of your competitor’s funeral home. (Psst, you should already be doing this for your own funeral home.)

Tools to use include: Google AlertsTalkwalker Alerts and Mention. Each of these send you email notifications as little or as often as you want (including in real time) that alert you to what people are saying about you and your competitors online.

Questions to ask from this data:

  • How often are people talking about your competitors?
  • What words and phrases are they using?
  • Are there any notable individuals or companies talking about your competitors?

 

Assess Social Engagement

Sure, your competitors may have a lot of Facebook likes, or even a lot of people that are sharing their posts on Twitter. But it’s important look past these numbers and see how your competitors are talking to their fans on social media. After all, this impacts the number of people that visit their website and, more importantly, how much business their social media pages are bringing them. There are a few tools that you can use to track social engagement and influence, including Commun.itFollowerwonkFanpage Karma and Twitonomy.

Questions to ask from this data:

  • What are the key topics your competitors talk about on their social media pages?
  • Do they use specific hashtags (#SmithFuneralHome) or types of posts?

 

Analyze Competitors\’ Content Marketing

buzzsumo


Content marketing
﹘the online content that you share with your families on your website and social media﹘is hugely important in bringing traffic to your website, as some of the best funeral blogs already know. How can you mimic the success of your competitors? By taking a look at the successful content that they are sharing to get tips for your own success.

A great tool for doing this is BuzzSumoCrazyEgg has a guide on how to use this tool to look at popular content and find influential people that will share this content to help make your content marketing successful.

Questions to ask from this data:

  • What are the topics and headlines of your competitors’ most shared content?
  • Who are the influential people sharing that content?

 

How to Steal Competitors’ Traffic Through Reverse Engineering

By the time you have finished uncovering the good and bad behind your funeral home website, you will be the James Bond of the web. The information that you gather about every element of your competitors’ web and social strategy will help to make your own website that much better for families who are on the hunt for a funeral service provider. To complete the puzzle, it’s time to use that information to create your own website plan.

How do you do that? Through what Traffic Generation Cafe calls “reverse engineering.” Basically, this means working backwards from the information you have collected to devise an online marketing strategy that works for you.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Fill your website with the search terms that your competitors are using to bring traffic to their website. While keywords are less important than they used to be, families still type key terms into search boxes to find services (for example, “funeral home near ‘location’ or “local funeral home”). The more relevant your site is to what they are looking for, the more traffic you will get from search.
  2. Find the social media communities and chats your competitors take part in and the hashtags they use. Join in, focusing on sharing useful and helpful information, rather than heavy promotional strategies. (Your posts shouldn’t look like an advertisement for your business.) Make sure that your social media profiles help lead people back to your website because if you are helpful, potential families will want to check you out.
  3. Use the headline, content and social media analysis you have done to come up withshareable topics for your own blog and social profiles. Share these selectively with the helpful influencers and websites you identified earlier.
  4. Create a social media and content marketing strategy. Offer yourself as an expert source to some of the websites that are already linking to your competitors. You can also create helpful articles exclusively for them to showcase your expertise and earn attention for your website.

 

And lastly, remember those goals you set at the start?

Track the effect of the above tactics at different times throughout the upcoming weeks and months and see how your website has changed. You can also perform regular competitive analyses using the steps outlined above so you always stay ahead of the competition.

Ryan Thogmartin

CEO at DISRUPT Media and ConnectingDirector.com
Ryan Thogmartin is the Owner and CEO of DISRUPT Media.

DISRUPT Media is a full-service creative agency built for the now. We partner with death care companies to drive deep-rooted brand loyalty and measurable leads through social media.

More Fans. More Conversations. More Leads.

Ryan is also the founder of ConnectingDirectors.com. ConnectingDirectors.com is the leading online daily publication for funeral professionals with a reader base of over 45,000 of the most elite and forward-thinking professionals in the profession. With ConnectingDirectors.com Ryan has created a global community through an online platform allowing funeral professionals to Stay Current. Stay Informed and Stay Elite.
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