How do search engines like Google determine the top ranked websites?
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process of improving search engine rankings without paying for ads. Simply put, the goal of SEO is to be one of the top results when potential clients are researching funeral homes in your local area.
So how does Google pick which website is listed first? While Google does look for keywords that you have searched, it does a citation-based search rather than how many times the keywords are used.
For example, someone may do a Google search for “Macbeth” looking for information on the book by William Shakespeare. We know that the most relevant result would be the book itself. But if a search engine were to only look for a site where “Macbeth” is written the most, it could give less reliable results.
But Google and other search engines do not look for where a term is written the most. Instead, Google searches for the places that are cited the most. If a research paper on Macbeth has the actual book cited, Google would then find that the book itself is more relevant. Since most pages discussing Macbeth would cite the actual book, Google then knows that the book itself is the most relevant to that search.
The video below was created by Google to explain how a Google search works.
Having other places on the Internet pointing back to your website is very important. For funeral homes, regularly posting obituaries is the best way to create these backlinks. Many families will share obituaries through Facebook.
In a survey conducted by CFS in May and June of 2017, we collected web traffic from 500 of our websites. We found that the majority of indirect traffic to funeral home websites, visitors that did not directly type in the address of the website, came from Facebook. While Google ranked as a close second, Facebook was a key source of web traffic and generated higher Google rankings for the websites which shared obituaries.
CFS has built-in SEO in all of our websites. Our sites are smart enough to manage their own SEO by sending data to Google and other search engines every time a change is made to a website. This includes obituaries, blog postings, staff listings, and any other adjustment made. We also integrate Google Analytics into our websites, allowing you to easily track web traffic.