Funeral One Website Review

After the webinar the FuneralOne’s Joe Joachim held at the beginning of September, I was bombarded with requests about my opinion of the their new funeral website platform. Now usually I would answer those requests in private, but Joe (or his team) started to promote the webinar on my Facebook Fan Page. So since they started the dialog on my turf and coupled with all of the requests for my opinion, I felt that this would be the best way to handle it.

Note: I have a lot of respect for Joe and they have always introduced new solutions on the technology side, but in this instance, I think they have taken the tech too far.  Also, this video isn’t an analysis of the operations of the Schoedinger family, just the website that was created for them by FuneralOne.

If you want more information about funeral home website design, visit www.FuneralWebsiteSecrets.com and learn what the 7 Costly Mistakes Other Funeral Home Owners Make When Hiring a Web Development Firm.

Please comment or rate this video here: Funeral Home Web Site Design Review

Comments

  1. Todd Drobot says

    Hi Robin,

    I liked your review, it seemed very balanced. I just wanted to point out two small mistakes:
    1. You mentioned it was hard to get to the Obituaries but the top menu on the right has a direct link to them called “Obituaries & Tributes”, this appears on every page.

    2. I went to the Schoedinger site to find out what city they were in and then did a Google search for: Columbus funeral homes, they hold the #1 spots for both the map and the listing. It’s hard to criticize the SEO quality of a site achieving the best results possible.

    Other than that I found it to be very even handed in discussing the pro’s and cons.

    Todd

  2. Robin Heppell says

    Todd…

    Thanks for your comments. I what to clarify my position on the 2 items that you pointed out:

    I have created 2 video responses for you – you can see both here:
    http://www.youtube.com/video_response_view_all?v=LtjK7uiNHRg

    My response for #1:
    Don’t make visitors have to click to often to find the information that they are looking for. Since 80+% of visitors to a funeral home website are looking for obits, I recommend having a listing of the 10 most recent obits on your home page. Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lW59WNre3w

    My response for #2:
    Funeral Home Website SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Every funeral home website should include a XML Sitemap. This is the recommendation from Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft as the preferred way to update the search engines about your site. Also, every page should be titled separately so that when visitors are searching for more specific terms, your site’s pages will have a better chance to be at the top. Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_Yj0MYPM8E

    Todd, I hope that the videos shed some light on your comments. Thanks for asking!

    …Hepp

  3. Todd Drobot says

    Hello again Robin

    Thank you for taking the time to personally respond to my questions.

    I watched the videos and was honestly a bit confused. I have never done a “site search” when using Google, I just search for what I want to find. I do like how the titles of the Amos family funeral homes come up, but when I searched for: “kansas city funeral homes” they were 8th on the page and when I searched for “kansas funeral planning” they weren’t even on the first page. On the other end of the spectrum when I searched for “columbus funeral planning” or “funeral planning in columbus”, Schoedingers came up #2 with both. There’s really no comparing the two sites as the results speak for themselves.
    That aside, my question is, how do you combine the Amos titles with rankings that Schoedinger’s new site gets? Is it possible to get both results at the same time?

    As a follow-up to your second response to my question. Initially I agreed with you 100%, I always want to go directly to the obituary, but then I started to go through the Schoedinger site.
    http://schoedinger.com/obituaries/SusanKerber%28neeGriffin%29/
    This is amazing, look at the wall and the family tree. You mentioned in your original review that this was new technology for everyone, including the families. If the visitors were taken directly to the obituary then they would may not know of everything else the site could do and sites like that would never be created. That extra click seems to be well placed.

    Thank you again for responding to my questions, I enjoy that opinions are valued and discussed here for it causes us all to become better.

    Todd

  4. Robin Heppell says

    Todd…

    Just a quick response to the first part of your comment. Amos is in Shawnee KS, which is a suburb of KC. Try Shawnee KS funeral homes. Also, remember that Schoedingers has a lot of other things going for it like its length on time on the web, number of backlinks, even before the new site came around.

    As for the second part, all that I can say is that I am still not sold that the “Facebook Style” is going to be a long term winner, especially with things like this coming to Facebook. http://news.websitegear.com/view/143107

    Any way, thanks for the dialogue, comments always foster deeper learning for both sides, plus all of the spectators as well.

    …Hepp

  5. alan creedy says

    Rob, i really liked the way you did this although i have mixed feelings about the last 30 or so seconds. but that is beside the point. very well thought out with good insight and commentary. helpful and thought provoking without throwing dirt. thanks for helping me with some of my own concerns about the funeral one initiative. of course in the world of technology the learning curve is ongoing so let’s see what they do with version 2.0

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