The Internet As An Extension of Your Company Transcript

with admin

Episode #2

Tyler Fraser – Hello, this is Tyler Fraser, recording the second episode of Funeral Services and the Web. Where I seek out internet related concepts and explain them to funeral professionals. This show I internet Manny Rivas of AimClear, where he discusses the meaning of the internet for funeral homes, how to get seen on the internet, and how should you update your funeral home’s website. He leaves some great information like the importance of claiming your funeral home’s name on Facebook and Twitter. I met Manny in San Francisco and I can remember it like it was yesterday, walking down Market St with my phone out taking lots of notes, when he talked about the internet. He really is a knowledgeable person, a cornucopia of knowledge when it comes to the internet. So without further adieu, my interview with Manny Rivas of AimClear. I’d like to welcome Manny Rivas from Aim Clear. Hi Manny, it’s nice to have you on the show.

Manual Rivas – Hi, Tyler. Thanks for having me.

Tyler Fraser – Can you tell the listeners about Aim Clear?

Manual Rivas – Sure, well Aim Clear is a twenty-two to – last time I checked; it might be twenty four now – we’re growing quite rapidly – but we’re a Minnesota based online marketing agency, highly respected for very very focused social and search demographic targeting. And we test advertising messages. We also are in the game of making sure that purchase funnels or acquiring leads, that whole process, the funnel, is optimized and basically building online marketing strategies for companies. We work from iconic multinational brands to just really cool start up’s as well.

Tyler Fraser – Mm hm. We actually met at a conversion conference in San Francisco.

Manual Rivas – Yeah, yeah, that was a good conference. I remember that. I believe that was SES, that we met, Search Engine Strategies.

Tyler Fraser – Oh. Ok, yeah, yeah that’s right. Manny, what does the internet mean for a funeral home?

Manual Rivas – Well, I think that internet marketing, and online itself, serves to enhance the marketing initiatives, the traditional marketing initiatives, that you already have going on. So it doesn’t serve to replace anything. It only serves to tell the story a little bit more and gain visibility where you otherwise didn’t have visibility before, because the numbers are out there and the users are out there in new areas looking for information, um, hanging out. They’re on the internet, so you may as well, you know, have a presence there, so that if people are looking for the answer in that venue you appear there as well and have that answer for them.

Tyler Fraser – So, internet or not, the story of the business is what’s really important?

Manual Rivas – Yeah. So, I mean, a funeral home is not something that you can simply just, you know, you market to anybody that’s, you know, on Facebook. You wouldn’t just serve an add that was for a funeral home. It’s really, I mean, when somebody needs the service, that’s when they’re looking for their answer and that’s when they’re thinking about what resources they already know. They may be doing some research, but I think, before that, prior to that, it’s important for the brand to be active in the community, to be out there and genuinely emotionally connected to the community, so that when the event does happen, you know, they turn to you. Because you were engaged with them, you’re top of mind and they know that you will treat them well in their time of need.

Tyler Fraser – So let’s say a funeral home is active in the community and they sponsor events, and they are part of the chamber. How can they use the internet to tell the local community about this?

Manual Rivas – Well, so I think the – like I said – the avenues that you have online only serve to enhance what you’re doing offline, so it’s just a channel of communication. It’s a way for you to communicate to others in your community online and for others to see what you’re doing by sharing. Be it on a blog that you run, a Facebook page, um, Twitter; tweeting that stuff is all very helpful for a brand.

Tyler Fraser – So, maintaining a part of your website that would tell about your efforts in the community.

Manual Rivas – Mm hm. I think that’s extremely important. I also think that, you know, something like a blog, or something where you have a recurrent feed; it’s not necessarily static. I think that’s also important in, you know, showing up in searches that may be relevant when people are looking for answers in their time of need. Like, maybe it’s, people are searching locally on how do you plan for a funeral or tips for coping with unexpected deaths or different stages of grief. I mean, if you run a blog you can provide these answers for individuals. And it’s not, you’re not promoting brand at all, you’re just providing an answer when they need it the most. It’s a very helpful thing to do for anybody in that situation.

Tyler Fraser – So you’d say that that’s a good approach for actually getting clients, is to answer questions before they are actually in need.

Manual Rivas – Correct. Because those types of, you know, that type of information is something that you can spend a lot of time developing upfront, that lives on your site and is accessible, easily accessible, at all times to anybody searching the web in your area, or that’s just searching the web in general.

Tyler Fraser – So let’s say a funeral home hasn’t really done too much marketing before the need and now there’s a family that has the need. And let’s say they search, they’re searching the internet. How would a funeral home get in front of that possible client?

Manual Rivas – There’s a few, well there’s two different ways that you’ll …to answer that question. There is what’s called the organic side, which is what most people know as SEO, or search engine optimization. And that, primarily, is optimizing a website in a way that tells search engines like Google what the site is about and where it should be placed in the index, in their index. And so, there’s a lot of different things that factor in to where you are placed in the index, things like links to the site, things like, how long it takes for Google to actually crawl your site and figure out what’s going on under the hood. And then there is the paid side of things, Paperclick or PPC; this is where you pay for certain keywords that are important to you and they show in search results. So, in very competitive spaces, PPC allows you to just buy your way right to the top. With SEO, it’s a matter of the age of the site, it’s how many links and the authority of those links. Like, how prominent are the sites that are linking to you and how well your site is put together and how well Google can actually read and follow the different networks that you’ve created with the links within your site.

Tyler Fraser – So for a funeral home that wanted to build out their rankings organically, and also be present in paid search, would you recommend that they hire a company or maybe an internet savvy employee?

Manual Rivas – You certainly could. The issue becomes how…what are the resources, or how much time are they going to be dedicated and into what? Because, you could certainly separate out SEO and focus on that for a large portion of the time. And PPC itself can be a process in itself to build up and manage. So with an agency, it allows you to build something up a lot quicker. And if you think about it, at an agency, you have a lot of individuals who specialize in a lot different things. So, you are able to get the most out of the time spent on the project, whereas, if you have one person dedicated to it they might be very very good at it, but, I mean, let’s face it, they are one person. They can only do so much. But, you know, if you deem that what you have and the efforts that you’re, that you need going forward can be handled by one person, you know, I think that’s a fine thing to do as well.
Tyler Fraser – Mm hm. What are some mistakes that funeral homes might make when they’re trying to build up their presence on line?

Manual Rivas – Um, well, online it’s easy – if you’re doing Paperclick – I think, to ask for the sale too soon Asking for the sale too soon in paid search can just not get the sale at the end of the day. What I like to think about with paid searches is that there’s a continual process from the time that they start doing their search ‘till the time that they decide to pick up the phone and call. There’s a lot of stuff that happens in between there. And at the beginning of it, I would like my brand to be there, guiding them to the answer that they’re looking for. Maybe they haven’t decided to go with a particular funeral home at this point, but right now they’re just really grieving and they want the answer to a particular question. I would still like to have my brand there. But the ultimate goal for me is to provide an answer, or to be in the background just kind of letting them know that we’re there to help all the way up until they reach the time that they want to pick up the phone and call or submit a form to get more information.

Tyler Fraser – Mm hm.

Manual Rivas – So it’s about being there along that discovery for that person.

Tyler Fraser – Mm hm. So, to sum it up, what can a funeral home do right now to build their online presence and get more clients online?

Manual Rivas – Well, I think the first thing to do…I don’t think you should let your brand name sit out there if, even if you’re not doing any type of social media. Go out there and grab your brand name for these social profiles, even if they end up collect dust. It’s good to have them on your side. I would also look at creating recurrent content or creating a blog on your website to write about the things that you’re doing in the community, and also to write about um, different, resourceful topics. And also, one really great thing to do when trying to figure out what your site needs to rank for, or what it should rank for and how competitive the space and what’s the likelihood of you ranking for certain search terms are, do some keyword research and look at the volume of searches. What’s important, as defined by search data? And you can do that by going to, or searching for Google’s external keyword research tool and imputing keywords that you think are important. But I think that’s…it gives you a good idea of how you should be optimizing your site, what types of keywords to use and where to use them in your site.
Tyler Fraser – Ok. So, understanding what your funeral home should be going after. And, I think, you know, spending time in the community and doing things for the community is gonna get your brand out there, not just in person, but other local websites. Like the chamber is going to link to you and that’s gonna be building up your brand to rank for these terms that people are searching for after losing a loved one.

Manual Rivas – And of course, these other local businesses in the community that may interact with you and give you a citation in a post or recognition, they most likely will have these social channels themselves. So if you don’t have something in place, where, you know, the chamber creates a tweet and sends it out to you, thanking you for being a part of a certain event, then you can’t be the one to respond back in that medium, you know. They might only be able to recognize you without you being able to join that conversation and fully leverage it.

Tyler Fraser – Great. I think the listeners got some excellent information.

Manual Rivas – Great. Well, thank you very much for having me, Tyler.

Tyler Fraser – Thank you, Manny. That was an excellent interview. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. The take away message of this show: The internet is an extension of your funeral home and your story. A Fraser Fact: 53% of bloggers are between the ages of 21 and 35. And finally the recommended reading are two blog posts from Search Engine Land: What is SEO and What is Paid Search. Thank you for listening. Until next time.

Close Bitnami banner