By Welton Hong, founder of Ring Ring Marketing

Almost 90% of consumers say they won’t come back to a website after having a bad experience. Poor navigation, hard-to-follow pages, or dark blue font on a black background are just a few examples of things that can negatively impact user experience and boost your bounce rate — some for more obvious reasons than others.

You probably work hard on SEO and other content marketing to drive traffic to your death-care or funeral home website. You certainly don’t want 90% of that traffic leaving your site before engaging with content because the experience is too annoying or otherwise bad. Yet many small businesses don’t know much about website user experience and how to foster it.

What Is User Experience?

User experience is exactly what it sounds like: It’s the overall nature of the experience that a person has when they come to your website. User experience, or UX, can include:

  • Functional experience. How much time does something take? If a person clicks on a link, does it work? These are factors of function that have objective measures.
  • Goal-oriented experience. Does the website meet the user’s needs? If someone lands on your page after searching “average cost of funeral vs. cremation,” for example, does the content on the page meet the intent of that search?
  • Emotional experience. How does the person feel when interacting with your website and after they leave it? Do they experience frustration, or does your website make them feel calm? The emotional experience can be important in bringing someone back to your site later once they’re ready to learn more or make a purchase decision about death-care services.

Reasons Good User Experience Is Critical to Death-care Website Marketing

Ensuring your website supports a strong user experience isn’t optional. Digital marketing is incredibly competitive, even in the death-care industry. When you don’t take time to ensure your website serves the needs of your target audience well, potential clientele won’t spend their time learning more about your death-care firm.

Some ways that good user experience positively impacts death-care website marketing efforts are summarized below.

It reduces bounce rates.

Poor user experience drives people away from your website fast. Around half of all people will leave a website if the page takes more than six seconds to load, for example.

A bounce occurs when the user has a session on your website that only involves one request to the server — typically because they landed on the page and didn’t do anything else to engage with your site or content. They either closed the tab or browser window almost immediately or clicked on the back button to return to where they came from.

A high bounce rate is bad for death-care website marketing because it means many people don’t get a chance to find out more about your firm or services. You miss out on the opportunity to convert them into clientele.

It leaves the reader with a positive experience.

When user experience is good, the person leaves your website with a positive — or at least neutral — feeling. They didn’t have a reason to become frustrated or annoyed when engaging with content on your site, and that reflects well on your business. These users are likely to return to your site in the future when they have more time to read about your services, are ready to take the next step for preplanning, or have an at-need situation.

 It drives up conversion rates.

An enjoyable user experience keeps people on your pages, which increases the chance of a conversion. A conversion occurs when someone takes the action you want them to — typically moving into the next step in your sales funnel. Some examples relevant to death-care websites include:

  • Signing up for a newsletter or marketing emails.
  • Signing up for a preplanning webinar or luncheon.
  • Making an appointment to discuss services.
  • Downloading a guide or checklist about services.
  • Purchasing death-care services.

It helps support the authority of your content.

No matter how good your content is, when the experience surrounding it is bad, the audience is unlikely to think of the content as trustworthy or having authority.

Consider it like this: If you walked into a doctor’s office and the place was dirty, the staff were surly, and the chairs were very uncomfortable, what would you think of the doctor? They might be the most qualified specialist in their niche, but you are less likely to think them credible due to the experience you had in their office overall.

What Can Negatively Impact User Experience on Your Site?

Anything that impacts a user’s ability to interact easily with your site drives down their experience. Here are some common issues that can lead to poor user experience:

  • Pages load slowly. Page load speed is important. Google says to aim for less than three seconds, and if you can get your page to load even faster, better. Otherwise, people may become frustrated, bored, or simply inconvenienced and leave your page to find the information somewhere else. To find out about the speed performance of your pages, you can use the free tool.
  • The site has a bad design. Bad design makes a page visually unpleasant and hard to engage with. A site that looks old or clunky gives users a poor impression, and the fonts, images, and colors you use all matter. You must also ensure there’s enough white space on a page so users can easily scan content but not so much that scrolling becomes a chore. Working with a web developer and designer to ensure your death-care site looks professional and has a pleasing design can be important to supporting a good user experience.
  • There are pop-ups or ads. Anything that blocks the page or causes the person to have to click or submit forms unnecessarily can be frustrating. You probably want to avoid running ads on your death-care site in general, and you should limit pop-ups to those that serve an important purpose for the consumer.
  • The site isn’t mobile-friendly. Your site must be mobile-friendly. For a few years now, Google has prioritized the mobile version of sites when indexing and ranking pages, so a site that isn’t mobile-friendly won’t perform well when it comes to SEO. Plus, more than half of all consumers access the internet primarily from smartphones. If your pages don’t work on smaller screens, you’re alienating a large portion of your audience.
  • The navigation isn’t logical. Consumers don’t want to click 17 — or even seven — times to find what they are looking for. Ensure that information about all your major services can be located in one or two clicks for optimal user experience. You should also use well-known navigation menu options, such as drop-down menus or hamburger menus. These are familiar to most internet users, so it reduces the time consumers have to spend looking for information on your page.
  • CTAs are confusing. If you don’t make it clear what people should do next, they are unlikely to stick around and figure it out for themselves. Ensure you have calls to action in appropriate places on your blog posts and landing pages, and use short copy, images, and button elements to make it obvious how to proceed. For example, “Sign up for the webinar,” “Make an appointment,” and “Learn more about preplanning packages” are all easy-to-follow CTAs — especially when you combine them with obvious visual links or buttons to click.
  • Content doesn’t meet the searcher’s intent. If someone finds your page in the search engine after typing “low-cost preplanning packages,” they expect that your page will address this topic. If your page includes content exclusively about caskets, that’s not helpful. If your page does include some mentions of low-cost preplanning packages but doesn’t include enough content to address the person’s potential questions, that’s also not helpful. To support a good user experience, ensure that the content on your pages is comprehensive, valuable, and relevant to the keywords you’re targeting.

Working to improve user experience on your death-care website means providing better service and value to potential clientele. It also usually leads to better business metrics, including more conversions and sales and a higher revenue.

Welton Hong is the founder/CEO of Ring Ring Marketing, which specializes in helping funeral homes and cemeteries grow and protect their market share.

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