I may be sounding like a broken record, preaching that funeral homes and cemeteries need to be as “Google-Friendly” as possible. Calls are being won and lost on the 1st page of Google results – just take a quick look at these stats. Google says that 20% of all searches are local (40% on mobile devices) and there are over 5 million Google searches for the term “funeral homes” per month.
Since people are looking for funeral homes on Google, how do you increase the chances that your funeral home gets clicked over your competitors? You want to want to rank as high as possible and you want to make your listing as visually appealing as possible. And now Google has made it a lot easier to increase the eye appeal of your firm with its Google Business Virtual Tours initiative. This is an extension of the Google Street View project where online visitors can virtually walk through your front doors and tour your facilities.
I connected with an approved Google Business Virtual Tours photographer, Frank Clark, to find out how this could be brought to funeral homes and he filled me in on the process. The first thing that I wanted to know was how is this tour is different than others offered by YellowPages, etc. Price, quality and ownership of are the main differences. You can have a virtual tour of your facility created for under $1,000 and there are no ongoing fees. This includes the photography, production and submission to Google. The tour will appear on your Google+ Local page (formerly Google Places). The quality of the photos are very professional and the team of photographers are aware of the sensitive nature of our business. At the end of the process, you will have a professional virtual tour uploaded to Google, plus you will receive 10 to 15 still images of your facilities that you own, not the photographer, not Google, and you can use those photos in any way you want.
Since I still wanted to see an example of a Google Business Virtual Tour for a funeral home, I wanted to see if a non-technical funeral home owner would see the benefits of this Google initiative. I chose Ernie Heffner, Mr. Non-Techie. Although there was some slight resistance at first, Ernie accepted, schedule a time with Frank, and the outcome was an amazing walk through of Ernie’s facility.
Here is the tour: http://goo.gl/maps/zESl4
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Click the arrow above to enter the funeral home
After seeing the final product and know the benefits of making your online presence as appealing as possible, I told Frank that I would recommend the Google Tours to the funeral industry, but I wanted to make sure that you would get preferential treatment. So I have negotiated a $100 discount for you off of the $950 investment fee. To receive the $100 discount coupon, register by filling out the form below. Also by registering you will be moved to the “front of the line” as Google’s Trusted Photographers are dealing with every type of business.