SEO Image Blog

Rehab Marketing After the Google Adwords Drug & Alcohol Addiction Keywords Ban

Rehab Marketing
by Alan Rabinowitz

Now That Google Is Limiting PPC Keywords, How Do You Market Your Rehab Center?

Advertising avenues for drug treatment and rehab centers seem to be growing narrower with time. The powers that be at Google recently implemented new restrictions targeting PPC advertisements for addiction and rehab centers after seeing rising cases of “misleading experiences” in treatment centers. The restrictions have been implemented as a preventive measure against drug treatment and rehab centers with aggressive paid search marketing strategies yet don’t provide the promised services.

The soaring rates of drug and alcohol addiction in the US have led to a mushrooming of rehab centers. Addiction treatment has become a booming business with cut-throat competition for patients seeking for help. Addicts or their families always turn to Google and other search engines when looking for help in a rather discreet way. Unfortunately, some of these online searches lead the unsuspecting addicts or their loved ones to rehab facilities that don’t live up to their promises. Google recently acknowledged this problem and began limiting ads that show up when a user searches for addiction treatment and rehab centers on its search engine.

According to Elisa Green, Google’s spokeswoman, the decision to restrict rehab PPC ads was reached after they found “misleading experiences” in a number of drug treatment centers advertising on their platform. The decision will, however, limit a majority of small-time rehab centers seeking to get a piece of the $35 billion addiction treatment industry. Facing Addiction’s co-founder, Greg Williams says the move by Google is a strong statement on the importance of people’s lives over the pursuit of profit.

Google is now clamping down on any ad that shows up when a user searches for phrases such as “alcohol treatment center” or “drug rehab.” They are not even selling ads related to the phrases or the keywords anymore. So which other marketing options does a rehab center have after the recent Google’s restrictions? Where should rehab centers focus their online marketing efforts now?

SEO is the Way to Go Now

The delicate nature of drug and alcohol treatment centers demands a precautious approach in marketing. You cannot employ all-too-aggressive or intrusive methods in your marketing efforts but you still want to reach as many individuals in your locality and beyond who need the services you provide. It is a delicate balance between maintaining your fine reputation as a center that does not market aggressively and attracting more clients so that you can keep on doing the good work. Search engine optimization (SEO) provides a perfect solution to this marketing conundrum.

SEO is more targeted than other forms of advertising. It helps you rank high for search terms or keywords related to your treatment center, giving you a good opportunity to immediately reach individuals who are actively seeking for your treatment and rehab services. With SEO you can market your rehab services consistently without appearing like you are doing it too aggressively. So far, SEO is still one of the most cost-effective methods of making sure your drug treatment and rehab center is found by potential clients via search engines.

SEO Strategies for Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centers

Due to the embarrassing nature of addiction, most people seeking for rehab facilities prefer to do it discreetly via Google and other search engines. It is therefore important to ensure that your website appears in the first few results that come up when a person searches for related key terms such as “rehab centers in [your city or region]. SEO provides the easiest way to get there. SEO is completely unobtrusive but ensures that your treatment center is easily found by people in need of your services.

So how do you employ SEO strategies effectively to rank your center’s website on top search engine results? Well, SEO is a broad concept involving numerous on-page and off-page strategies to not only ensure that your site ranks well but to have an edge over your competitors too. However, some of the best SEO practices include optimizing for specific keywords that are related to your rehab treatment center. The strategies you use in optimizing for specific keywords depend on the services you provide. For instance, do you treat addiction to drugs, alcohol or both? Does your center have a holistic or 12-step approach of treatment? Where are you located and which words or phrases do people in your city or region use when referring to the region? The answers to these questions will determine the SEO strategy you employ, especially the keywords you need to rank for.

Your Content Strategy

Another key factor in SEO is the content you have on your website. Google ranks websites primarily on the relevance, value, and usefulness of the content they publish. It actually makes no sense to spend time and resources to rank a site that does not provide enough value to convert visitors into clients. In as much as your goal is to make people seeking for addiction help fill your contact form or call your center, it is important to have useful content that is convincing enough to make someone take the desired action. Publish different types of content targeting different types of addiction patients or their loved ones. Having a different page for each service that you provide is always helpful.

Register With Google My Business

Lastly, make sure your rehab center is registered with Google My Business. This helps you to reach users searching for rehab services in your area. Most people seeking addiction treatment for themselves or their loved ones are likely to use location-based searches for treatment centers close to them. Google My Business allows you to list your treatment center’s name, physical address, telephone number, and office hours from a single convenient location. Remember to connect your center’s Google+ page with Google My Business.

Another advantage of using Google My Business is mobile search. Your website will easily be found by anyone looking for a rehab center in your neighborhood or city via mobile. Keep in mind that close to 50% of searches today are done on mobile devices.


With the right drug and alcohol rehab SEO practices, you’ll soon start seeing more website traffic, more phone calls, and an increased number of contact forms being filled by potential clients. SEO helps you reach more people looking for your help via search engines in a useful and unobtrusive way. When done right, SEO is significantly less expensive than PPC, which is no longer viable given the latest restrictions from Google.


    SEO & Reputation Management Services in NYC & Long Island

    We'll Get You Rankings & Improve Your Reputation
    Get Started - 888-736-2667