UK Funeral and Cremation Services - Digital Marketing Benchmark Report, Q1 2024

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The Q1 2024 benchmarking report for UK funeral and cremation services has just been published. Learn how the top 10 UK funeral and cremation services perform across the digital space.

The latest Q1 2024 benchmarking report for UK funeral and cremation services has just been published.  It covers the 10 largest national funeral and cremation services, including Co-Op Funeralcare, Simplicity Cremations, Distinct Cremations, Avalon Funeral Plans, Dignity Funerals, Pure Cremation, Celebration of Life, Golden Charter, Golden Leaves, and Affordable Funerals.Funerals - LOGOS-1

The research gives an inside track on who is winning the biggest share of voice online, and quantifies the gaps, risks and missed opportunities for other funeral and cremation services to win brand exposure locally, drive online views, and generate enquiries. The report highlights quick wins that will improve enquiries from your online strategy and identifies the barriers that may be reducing your site’s ability to optimise digital performance.

To see a preview and contents page of the Q1 report, click here. To get a copy of the full report and the key takeaways, please complete the enquiry form or schedule a call. Funerals - COVER2


For a glance into just six of the metrics we evaluated these top 10 funeral and cremation services on, check out our quick-look table below;

Funerals W&L Mar24

Continue reading for further detail on this quarter's best and poorest-performing UK funeral and cremation suppliers, or request a copy of the report for the full review.

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What The Industry Research Report Covers

The 70+ pages of research benchmarks each brand based on 50+ metrics and indicators of a successful digital strategy, including organic visibility, domain authority, paid media ads, conversion performance, technical performance, site speed, universal search, content, social ads, accessibility, and mobile performance.  

Driving Optimal ROAS from Paid Media Channels

Some of the leading players in the space are high spenders on paid media channels such as Google, Bing and Facebook - but have a poor or sub-optimal conversion improvement strategy. Without an optimised, sophisticated conversion strategy that maximises the conversion rate, the return on investment is unsustainable or will underperform. Scaling spend on paid media is not achievable unless the conversion rate delivers optimal performance in the sector. Some in the space have paid media spend levels from £30k+ per month but dedicate minimal resources and budgets to conversion testing.  Given the cost per clicks on ad networks will continue to rise, we recommend spending at least 10% of your paid media budget on ongoing conversion optimisation testing schedules to ensure your paid media ROI maintains long-term viability, competitive advantage, and sustainability.

Technical Website Compliance

Savvy digital marketers know that having a technically sound website is an essential component of a successful fully integrated digital strategy - plus a site capable of maximising conversion performance. During times of stress and grief, cognitive abilities are often impaired, so it's essential that funeral and cremation services maintain straightforward, easy-to-navigate websites that meet clients' needs. Particular care should be taken of the pathways to key pages, such as contact pages, pricing options, and FAQs.

Co-Op Funeralcare has increased its number of 4xx errors to 196, putting itself at the top of the leaderboard. It must assess its internal linking structure to check that it’s not sending customers down a dead end, which could cause them to resort to competitors

Site Speed & Conversion Rate Performance

When 62% of consumers are less likely to convert if they have a negative mobile site experience, ensuring that your site is quick and easy to load will see a significant improvement on your overall conversion rates. No one wants to be researching funeral providers, so funeral and cremation services need to ensure their customers have as positive an experience as possible on their mobile site, providing answers quickly with minimal frustration.

For Q1 2024, the mobile site speed ranged between 66 and 21, with Simplicity Cremations reporting the slowest site speed. It should favour minimalism and create a simple navigation to help increase this score by the next quarter.

Building Competitive Advantage with Domain Authority

Domain authority is an essential metric for measuring the effectiveness of SEO performance, and helps create a reliable overall gauge of how effective your site is at achieving organic traffic, i.e. ‘free’ traffic that isn’t gained through sponsored ads. Funeral and cremation services should be continually pushing to improve their DA - though it may be a challenging sector to build authority in, they can do this by exchanging content with vendors they frequently use, or by using a good PR strategy in building new links (and claiming existing ones).

A ‘good’ DA really comes down to how your competitors are performing, however, it’s generally considered average between 40 and 50, good between 50 and 60, and excellent above 60. The DA range for this quarter ranged between 80 and 23, with Celebration of Life reporting the lowest DA score. This provider also had the least backlinks, which it should look to increase by collaborating with high-authoritative site and writing guest posts to help its DA rating.

Organic Performance – Mobile & Desktop

A strong organic performance is strategically important as it ensures your site ranks above competitors for key, transactional keywords. When 93% of your customers won’t go past the first page of Google, your absence or lack of targeting for essential keywords will cost you conversions. While funerals and cremations are in a niche group where the ‘popularity’ of the service never changes, without an effective organic search strategy, they can quickly lose ground to competitors. Care should be taken to monitor any fluctuations in rank, along with regular reviews of changing search terms, so they can optimise for topical, popular keywords.

Nine of the ten providers saw a loss in both organic mobile and desktop traffic year on year, implying that there’s a universal issue. However, for all providers, desktop traffic was higher than mobile traffic year on year.

Universal Search Opportunity

Google Universal Search Results is an evolving opportunity to make your pages visible on a SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Universal results often appear before traditional listings and are eye-catching for users. Universal search results refer to rankings on a SERP that are not the traditional ‘blue line’ Google link, and a site can appear for universal search results without being strong in standard rankings. Funeral and cremation services should be utilising all universal search features as potential customers will want to see how previous customers have found their experience via 'reviews', 'FAQs' and 'people also ask'. This is also an opportunity to provide useful, quick content for commonly asked questions that show high potential for conversions.

Dignity funerals continues to hold the top spot for the most Universal Search results, with the majority of these appearances coming from the ‘people also ask’ category. Many providers scored zero for ‘reviews’, which they should look to increase to improve their overall score.

The Longtail Keyword Opportunity

Longtail keywords are often considered high intent and potentially more likely to convert as a searcher is being more specific. Optimising for longtail keywords also puts your content strategy in a strong position to rank for brand-new search terms as they enter Google’s index. There are many longtail keyword options that funeral and cremation services could be optimising their content for such as ‘funeral prices in Birmingham’ and ‘cremation services with payment plans’.

Dignity Funerals holds the top spot for the most longtail keyword appearances across all positions. Having plenty of appearances in positions 4–10 is an effective keyword strategy because it’s the quickest to optimise and boost visibility in the top 3 positions.

Facebook Adverts

With the number of Facebook users in the United Kingdom (UK) hitting over 44 million users in 2023, it is not surprising that companies have jumped at the opportunity to advertise on the social media platform. Facebook’s UK digital advertising revenue has been estimated to have breached 2.6b GB pounds in 2019.


Top Social Shares & Content

When it comes to social media and on-site content strategies, it is important to release content that has a longer shelf life. An article is considered 'Evergreen' if it has maintained its relevancy to an audience for longer. It's great for your brand engagement, but great for Google too, who will recognise content which achieves traffic over a long period of time. Social media could be especially useful for sharing information about different financing and buying options.

Most providers favour Facebook, and Simplicity Cremations favours Pinterest — a platform that’s effective at driving back traffic to a website. Golden Charter has the largest Facebook page with 18,200 followers, and most providers have a larger Facebook following than on Instagram.

Website Readability & Accessibility

20% of people in the UK have a disability – 2 million of which are people living with sight loss. In addition, 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women have some degree of colour vision deficiency. When websites are not designed to meet these needs, brands lose customer interest as they turn elsewhere. As all funeral and cremation service providers know, death does not discriminate, so they will therefore need to ensure their website is accessible for all customers looking at funeral and cremation options.

Simplicity Cremations reported 77 contrast errors, and it must reassess its website design to improve readability for those with a colour deficiency. Additionally, all providers reported accessibility issues, and they must assess issues like redundant title text, missing meta descriptions and adopt a clean layout and an easy-to-use navigation system to assist those with motor issues.


To get a copy of the full report, please complete the enquiry form. If you want to talk to us about accelerating your digital performance, please call us on 01543 410014 or schedule a call with Mike Movassaghi.

Photo by adrianna geo on Unsplash

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