There is a growing push in the funeral industry to create websites for firms, no matter their size.

And while this trend is being fueled by website companies large and small (including our current sponsors, there are a few things you need to remember when starting or re-designing a website:

Remember who will use it.  A website is not a vanity site to make you feel better about yourself.  Potential clients and their friends will be using it.

Put the most important information on the front page.  Don’t “bury” the important stuff in three layers of webdesign.  People don’t want to search and, if they can’t find the info, they’ll go somewhere else.

Provide answers to frequent questions.  The best part of a website is that it can stop some of the repetitive phone calls asking about your location, your office hours, how to get a death certificate.

Keep the person being memorialized in mind.  Your website is not, actually, about you; it’s about the person who has passed away.  Make sure you “Obituary” link is easily recognizable.  And make sure you list current services with dates and times on the front page or just one page away.  I’m guessing that 50% or more of your visitors are there to find out when “Aunt Jane’s” funeral will be held.

Sell flowers.  Since many of your visitors are there for a specific service, make sure you have a link to your local florist or one of the big delivery services that can pay you a commission.  Funeral homes like Anderson-McQueen and Baldwin-Fairchild have flowers for sale right on their front pages.

Put your contact information everywhere.  Some people will “Google” your name simply to find a phone number.  Make sure your phone number is on every page and is noticeable.

And while I’ve discussed these very issues with Spencer and Ryan from Hilltop, this article was not written with their immediate input.  Still, if you need a website, you could do worse than to visit our sponsor.