by Alan Rabinowitz
Marketing a drug and alcohol treatment center is a delicate issue. You don’t want to be too aggressive or intrusive in your advertising methods, but you still need to reach a wide audience of potential clients in need of your rehab services. There are many strategies you can use to generate leads for your treatment center without appearing overly aggressive including social media marketing, SEO, PPC, Reputation Management, and email marketing just to mention a few.
However, we believe that the right combination of search engine optimization for your website and paid search or PPC (Pay Per Click) will provide the most cost-effective and natural way of generating quality leads. With organic traffic, you’ll reach more people who are actively seeking for assistance to overcome alcohol and substance addiction for themselves or their loved ones.
A large majority of individuals seeking help for their addictions prefer to do it discreetly for obvious reasons. Most addicts will look for treatment through search engines such as Google and Bing. A recent survey showed that 49% of searches for alcohol and drug rehab facilities on Google are done on mobile devices. Over 33% of patients searching for addiction treatment via mobile devices will schedule an appointment. This makes Pay Per Call an effective option.
SEO: Why Your Treatment Center Needs It
Conventional marketing and advertising methods such as TV and newspaper ads are no longer as effective as they used to be. They are not only more expensive, but they’re gradually losing popularity as the world becomes more digital, especially in the mobile sector.
It makes no sense for a rehab facility to spend thousands of dollars on advertising when that money could have been used for more useful purposes such as improving the facility and treating patients. Digital marketing techniques such as SEO and Pay Per Call provide a more cost-effective way of generating rehab leads than traditional advertising.
Google and Compete did a comprehensive study on September 2012 titled Treatment Center Study to determine what influences people suffering from addiction to seek treatment and how they choose a rehab facility.
Some of the key findings of the report showed that:
- 86% of individuals seeking drug or alcohol treatment used Google search before scheduling their appointment.
- 76% of these patients checked websites of treatment centers while researching for the best facility.
- 53% of them had visited more than two treatment centers before they made up their minds.
- Leads generated from online search are two times more likely to convert.
- Online research matters a lot to potential leads. So does Reputation.
The numbers mentioned above show how effective SEO is in marketing your treatment center. If you don’t have a performing SEO strategy in your marketing efforts, you could be losing as much as 80% of potential leads actively searching for rehab services. Not all SEO’s can be effective in the recovery industry, it’s extremely competitive, and most sites ranking aren’t even treatment centers, but rather portals that sell leads only after they fill their beds.
Benefits of SEO to Treatment and Rehab Centers
The goal of SEO for your treatment center’s marketing is to increase website traffic, reach a wider audience of people in need of help, have more people filling your contact forms and calling your center for assistance. Instead of spending a fortune on untargeted advertising, or PPC for reputable recovery centers, you can rely on SEO to rank high on search engine results for keywords that are relevant to your services so you can reach a highly targeted audience.
Here are a few more benefits of SEO for drug treatment and rehab centers:
• Better rankings and increased visibility
One of the key benefits of SEO is increased visibility of your website. With better rankings, you’ll benefit from increased organic traffic, leads, and more conversions. Many in-house SEO’s hired by recovery centers cannot perform at the same level as an experienced agency.
• Higher authority through link building
Your site’s authority is one of the key ranking factors. Authority is determined by the number and quality of backlinks pointing to your site from other authority sites on the Internet. For instance, if your website has links from news and other high authority websites, Google considers your site as another authoritative source and will reward you with better rankings. However, in the face of recent Google updates, the quality of backlinks that you have matters more than quantity. For instance, 10 high-quality links have a higher backlink value than 100 links from low-quality websites.
• SEO helps to improve your site’s user experience.
Improving your website’s content is a key SEO factor in your marketing plan. Your content strategy should include relevant graphics and a high-quality design with faster and more efficient page loads. Great content benefits you in two ways. It gives your visitors a better user experience with faster page loads and valuable, relevant information, and secondly, it makes search engines rank your website higher in SERPs.
Popular search engines such as Google have complex algorithms that can detect the visitor’s behavior on your addiction treatment and rehab site. If potential clients are leaving immediately after they land on your site, Google will drop your ranking on search results, but if your site is delivering valuable content and better user experience, you’ll be rewarded with higher rankings. When you improve your website’s content, you’ll make it rank higher in search results and generate more leads from organic traffic.
Generating Leads from Pay Per Click and Pay Per Call Ads
The fastest way to generate leads for your alcohol and drug treatment center is through paid search or paid calls. With paid search, your site will appear at the top of SERPs for relevant keywords in just a few days. PPC ads are very effective for most industries but using them to drive rehab center leads presents a few challenges. For instance, Google Adwords prohibits advertisements for drugs or alcohol which means, even though you are not promoting the use of drugs or alcohol, you’ll have to be very careful on how you use the two terms in your ads.
With Pay Per Call, you get instant calls from our ads, so assuring you’re targeting good, relative terms is important, especially if you only take PPO insurance or out-of-pocket payments. This make it a harder target as it requires that your addict has one of the better insurance plans, or that he or his family will cover the costs out of pocket, and not all addicts are wealthy.
The sensitive nature of addiction treatment services means that you cannot use remarketing strategies to follow people who’d previously visited your site as you would in other industries. Understandably, potential clients would not want to see your rehab ads everywhere they go online. Another key challenge you expect to encounter with rehab PPC ads are the high cost of ads in this category. Drug abuse treatment and rehab terms are in one of the most competitive industries with high bids for the best keywords. It’s common to pay $30 to $80 per click for most keywords. However, high competition proves that PPC not only works but delivers qualified leads as well. Using Pay Per Call can help turn these clicks to instant calls to your admissions or help center.
Here are a few ways to ensure that your clicks convert to leads for the best return on investment (ROI):
Build a mobile friendly site
Research shows that 49% of drug and alcohol rehab center searches are done via mobile devices. 33% of mobile searches result in an appointment. So make sure you give them the ability to click to call from your mobile site.
These statistics go to show how important it’s to make your website mobile friendly. Due to the sensitive nature of drug and alcohol abuse treatment, most patients find it easier to schedule an appointment on their mobile devices than desktop platforms. This means that mobile ads convert better but does your website provide good mobile experience? Is it easy for potential clients to click and call your facility straight from their smartphones or tablets?
Ensure that prospects can click to call straight from the mobile advertisement. More importantly, keep track of your mobile PPC stats and analytics to determine your ads performance.
Create relevant and compelling ads
Ad relevancy is critical in PPC, especially with Google Adwords. You need to pay special attention to the keywords you use and ensure that they are both relevant and compelling to the visitors. Have the keywords in your ad’s title and body. If you analyze most rehab ads, you’ll notice that they include words like “rehab” and “drugs” in the ad copy to ensure relevancy. Strive to look for better keywords than the rest to reach an even wider audience at a lower rate.
It is often difficult to create compelling ads with the tight character limit allowed by Adwords and other PPC companies. The trick is to be as concise as possible. You can also use Google Ad Extensions to get more online real estate to promote your treatment center. Take advantage of other options such as Call Extensions, Sitelink Extensions, and Location Extensions to get the most out of your PPC campaigns. All these elements can help to give you lower costs for each click and higher click through rates.
Create Direct Landing Pages
Attention spans are naturally short, and people easily get distracted. If an internet user searches for a specific topic and lands on a page that is too generalized or is not related to the keyword they searched for, then they’ll naturally disconnect, click the back button and probably go to your competitor’s page. Ensure that your landing page has information relevant to what the user is searching for. If your ad is targeting people seeking for alcohol addiction treatment, create a landing page specifically for alcohol abuse treatment rather than a page with generalized substance abuse treatment. Create specific pages for specific groups such as teenagers, men or women. Create relevant landing pages to avoid disconnects which could potentially hurt your ROI.
Ensure that your ads are geo-targeted. People will always want to check into a rehab facility in their locality. Your ad copy should be designed to reach out to your local traffic for the best results. You can include the location in your ad copy or use location extensions. Geotargeting improves your ads relevancy and visibility to potential clients searching for treatment services with a local keyword. The more people who’ll see your ad, the more leads you are likely to generate.
When done properly, Pay Per Call, SEO and PPC will provide effective ways of reaching out to potential clients seeking for drug and alcohol treatment services. However, to ensure that you are generating qualified leads instead of throwing money down the drain, you need to work on your landing pages. If considering Pay Per Call, then you will get instant calls to your center.
Pay close attention to your Call to Actions (CTAs). Put your contact phone numbers in multiple locations and ensure that you have contact forms on each page. Include Live Chat in your pages with active staff ready to handle any question that the potential clients may have. All these lead generation elements can be monitored and tracked to determine how good or poorly your campaign is doing.
With the help of a good digital marketing agency, you can monitor the ROI of each campaign and make the necessary adjustments to drive more leads to your treatment facility.