So, your Adwords account is spending 40-60 percent less now, and the phone just isn't ringing. What should you do? Well, you came to the right place. This blog will take you through the changes with Google and provide you with alternative methods of generating leads that produce better results than Google Adwords.
HUGE changes came down on the 1st of July for treatment centers in the state of Florida. First, we want to go on record that we agree with what has been done in Florida. For a long time, we have all known about the patient brokering happening down there. However, with the new legislation being VERY broad, treatment centers trying to market the right way are also suffering.
So, what can you do? What does this law mean for your center in terms of online and offline marketing? First, let me be clear, we are NOT a legal resource and we highly recommend contacting a local Florida attorney to understand exactly what you can and can not do. However, we had our attorney review things and here is what you need to know.
- STOP BUYING LEADS. If you are in Florida, you can no longer buy phone calls.
- You must update the way you answer the phone when potential clients call you. You MUST mention that you are in Florida. "Thank you for calling XYZ a Florida recovery center, how can we help you?". But don't use that, its horrible.
- You must review everything on your website to ensure it is 100% factual. Any mention of "best" or "voted number 1" or anything like that needs to be verifiable.
- When you are using Adwords to target areas outside of Florida, you need to mention that you are a Florida based treatment center in the ad.
- You must work with a Florida licensed marketing agency. Yes, that is a real thing and we are currently going through the process.
Okay, so catch your breath for a minute. This is actually a good thing for a lot of the better centers in Florida. I agree, the law is a HUGE overreach and is very vague. And, you KNOW, they are going to be looking for those that step out of line to use as an example. So, here is what you can do.
Branded is Your New Best Friend
Your pay per call campaigns are gone, but you can still generate leads the good old fashioned way. The use of SEO, Paid Search, Social, TV and Radio are still 100% okay as long as it is branded to your center. This means, your TV commercial that generates callers must be about your center, specifically. Your paid search campaigns must go to your centers website. You can no longer buy those $40 calls (but lets be honest, that was a crap shoot anyway). We have seen clients do much better when they purchase the TV themselves and generate interest in their business. People are tired of the same old fake doctor telling them that addiction is a disease. They want something more. With a branded TV or radio spot, you not only get the direct response calls, but your organic and paid search will increase as well. Built a great commercial and they will come. Calls that is.
You have held out long enough. It is time for SEO
The day is finally here. You MUST do SEO now. Local rankings drive a lot of traffic for centers, and can be a large intake machine for your center. Now, I know, it takes a long time, and costs a lot, but in the end, it is worth it. We have clients that get just 110 calls a month and generate 10+ intakes at a $300 cost per admit. So, jump on it. The sooner you start, the sooner you get the results you want. Plust there will be a lot of centers shutting down over this new rule, and those that are positioned well, organically, will be able to rise to the top.
Your New Immediate is Paid Search Marketing
Update your PPC campaigns, or begin one. You can target anywhere in the country you want and a good PPC managment company can hyper target for better cost per admit goals. (Yes, we do that). Yes, placement services have made the cost of Adwords go up, however, they will quickly run from Florida as patient brokering is a serious offense now. This leaves it open to centers that can move quickly and have quality landing pages to drive visitors towards. Estimate about $15,000/month in budget directly with Google and a 15% managment fee to see a quality cost per intake.
Hope Is Not Lost
As I said, hope is not lost. In fact, if you own a center that offers quality treatment and doesn't play the "game", you will do well with this new law. Just reset your prospective and expectations. If you are interested in our services, we are not able to work within the state of Florida as of yet, as we are awaiting our licensing approval. However, if you give us a call, we will update you as soon as it is approved.
At The Drug Rehab Agency, we speak to roughly 10 centers a week. Many of them smaller, non-profits trying to compete in our competitive market. They don't have the budget that is needed to spread the word and help people. This is why The Drug Rehab Agency is excited to announce that starting in April, we will "scholarship" two non-profit treatment centers that are trying to help the less fortunate, and can prove it.
Our addiction marketing services for these selected two non-profits may include:
Although we understand there are many other methods to generate leads in our space, these five areas of marketing produce great ROI and once implemented correctly, can generate intakes for the foreseeable future, without our help.
If you would like to have your non-profit rehab center considered, please fill out the following form. We will reach out to you shortly after to speak about the opportunity.
Have you tried everything available to generate leads and intakes for your center? Bought those phone calls that everyone says, “You will close 2-3 per 100 you buy”, only to be sent phone calls for people looking for other centers, free treatment, or hang-ups? How about Google Adwords? Have you gone down that path and spent $10’s of thousands of dollars and maybe received one intake? Here is what to do when the calls stop coming in and you are in need of intakes.
Stop Buying from Different Vendors
One of the largest problems that we see as consultants in the treatment space is that centers (or the executives) want to divide up the marketing expenses by vendor. Stop doing that! What if you marketing team didn’t communicate with your intake team? Your medical and executive staff didn’t communicate new modalities with your marketing team? It would fall short. So why think it wouldn’t when it comes to driving leads? Hire a company or two companies that either own everything in that space, or are willing to communicate with another company to drive the best result for your center.
Look To Social Media
Social media has been a HUGE driver for leads and intakes for many centers. Like anything else, you need to do some quality targeting to ensure you are approaching the right people. A large issue we see is that people are using Google Adwords to heavily when Facebook and other social platforms can produce a similar result for less. On average, the cost per click on Facebook is just $8.00 versus Adwords which is over $20.00 if now over $50.00 a click.
Review Your Local SEO
Everyone in treatment will agree that when it comes to online marketing, the best leads come from organic search. Depending on your centers geographical location, this may be more difficult to achieve, however, it is the center piece for all successful marketing programs. Google “Drug rehab (city name)” if you don’t see yourself, no one else does either. It is time to focus on Organic Search to generate long term results and a continues flow of leads.
A long lost advertising platform, the display ad may seem an older form of marketing, however, it is inexpensive and, when done correctly, can generate the type of calls and leads you want. The key here is to ensure you are advertising on sites that make sense. If you are trying to generate intakes for your luxury treatment center, you won’t want your ads on Buzzfeed. Remember, demographics are still targetable online, and should be used in any display purchase. Also, if you are a new center, look into Rehab.com and recovery.org. They rank well for just about any state keyword, and you can purchase the rights to be name a top center in that state.
Paid Search Through Google, Yahoo, and Bing
In the last year, this mode of generating leads has gotten very expensive. With more and more placement/lead generation companies entering the market, the demand has increased, while supply has stayed the same. (see, Econ 101 wasn't a waste of time). Although it has gotten more and more expensive, there are still small tweaks you can make to your paid search platforms to make sure that click matters. One way is to focus on the wealthy areas of your market. You can look up home prices and find the areas of the country with the most expensive homes and target them through your platform. You can also run a click to call campaign for mobile search, allowing the searcher to simply call you from the Google homepage.
Television and Radio
Let’s get this out of the way first. Buying phone calls from a generic commercial on the TV or radio is not what we are suggesting. Most likely, you have tried this and, as I mentioned in the opening paragraph, its garbage. I am suggesting you do a branded TV advertisement and/or branded radio ad. Based on your budget and target marketing, we are seeing Cost Per Admits under $4,000 through both radio and television. The key is that the ads are branded to your specific center. Not the general, “Do you or someone you love suffer from addiction?” stuff you see during day time television.
The Drug Rehab Agency Offering
The key to success in the marketing space is hiring the right agency to manage this process. The Drug Rehab Agency is able to manage each of the above platforms with over 20 years of combined experience. As an agency, we have buying power that you may not get on your own, as well as the true experience in the treatment space to make your ad spend return an ROI.
How we Do It:
Not all advertising works 100% of the time. There are times when your paid search will not return a positive ROI. Or the cost of TV and radio has increased like it did in the election. This could be because more people entered the market, or the cost is simply to high. Working with The Drug Rehab Agency allows us to manage this for you. Allowing us to pivot away from Adwords and reallocate that budget to more radio or TV spots, or increase quantity of display ads we are showing on selected websites. Our job is to deliver as many phone calls as possible for the budget you have provided. On average, our clients see a Cost Per Admit below $5,500 in the first month and below $4,500 the second. Select clients are below the $3,500 cost per admit mark after 3 months.
If you are interested in learning how our marketing programs can generate intakes quickly and cost effectively, contact us today!
We get a lot of calls from treatment centers asking for help with SEO. We also work with a lot of new centers that are starting out and really don’t know much about the space. An issue we have seen over and over again is that SEO companies are promising the world to these centers in order to close the deal. Too often, we come across a company after they have already been taken advantage of by a dishonest SEO firm, and we have to help dig them out of the quagmire. I want to discuss this issue and give you the information you need to make a smart, safe decision when it comes to selecting an SEO firm.
There are two types of SEO that can be done to your site: Quick or correct (Risky or True). Not both. If a firm says they can get you first page rankings in two months, they are either lying to you, or are using risky SEO practices.
What are These “Risky” SEO Practices?
An estimated 70% of what determines a website’s ranking increase in Google are the links pointing to the site. We have discussed this before – links are like votes for your site. The more websites that link to your site, the more authority you have in Google’s eyes, and hence, the higher your site will rank for keywords.
Risky SEO is not playing by the rules Google has outlined for SEO. This means BUYING links, not earning links. You can buy 10,000 links to your site for about $250. This method worked great in 2006, however not so much in 2015. The draw here is that it is much cheaper to do link building this way, which is why risky SEO companies can offer you such a low rate for services.
The benefit of Risky SEO practices is that it, sadly, still works but only for a short period of time. You can get rankings in 2 to 3 months, but in 6 to 9 months, Google will penalize you and you will not rank for ANYTHING. Imagine what that would do to your business.
What is “True” SEO?
True SEO is what The Drug Rehab Agency and a few other firms in the space do. This is based around providing Google with what it wants – lots of top level content. Then we use this content to approach websites and ask for a link to the content. Another form we use is writing knowledgeable content to host on publishers’ websites in the treatment space. This content then links back to your site. As long as the content quality is there and there is not exchange for services, this is 100% above the board with Google.
SEO is not instant. Period. No matter what you are told; there is no way for SEO to give you instant results. That is what your paid search budget is for. We have found that it takes 5 to 7 months for a new website’s rankings to reach the first page of Google’s search results, and about 3 to 4 months for a currently live site. Be very careful when selecting your SEO partner as their “work” may leave your site worse than before they started. SEO takes time, and can be a HUGE ROI driver for your treatment center, so ensure you select the right company for the job. Or, you can just call us…
We often get a lot of emails about our work here. We help real centers increase their intakes, which helps those battling addiction. However, none were as funny as this one. A New Mexico client has had an amazing Q1 thanks to our work with their website. And he wanted to tell you about it. :) Enjoy.
John runs an amazing facility, and our addiction marketing program has helped this facility bring that level of care to more people in New Mexico than ever before.
So it begs the question. " Do you feel this way about your SEO?" If not, give us a ring. We would be happy to review your site, and provide you with affordable options to the level of Johns facility.
I have spoken to a lot of treatment centers, some of which are very large and have multiple locations. The most interesting part of these conversation is that some of them don't believe that search plays a big role in the decision making process. When I heard this I was shocked because the data just simply disagrees.
In a study by Compete and Google, the evidence as to the value of search is VERY clear. Have a look below.
We read the entire study, and here are the key points they make:
- 86% of patients used search prior to scheduling appointments
- 57% of people search for treatment (Detox, Equine Therapy)
- 25% of people search conditions (Drug addiction, alcoholism)
- Patients who converted did over 3x as many searches than those who didn't. 4.0 VS 13.8
- 30% of patients who watched an online video booked an appointment
- What users look for in a treatment center
- Accepts Healthcare Plan - 91%
- REPUTATION of FACILITY - 87%
- Uses latest technology - 77%
Did you read those? 86% of people who actually convert, use the internet. Not only to find treatment, but to learn about treatment. We talk about the consumer journey on our content page, and this simply enforces what we have been doing for clients.
People want to know:
- Do I have an addiction
- What that addiction?
- How it is treated?
- Where can I get help?
- Do they have a good reputation?
87% of patients are going to check up on your online reputation. Have you Googled your center lately?
If you would like to know what SEO and paid search would cost in your area, give us a call, or complete the form. We will get in touch with you and review your options.
Content – it’s king. I am sure you have heard this phrase for some time now, however, it rings true now more than ever. Especially in the drug treatment space. With more and more lead generation sites going up, Google is looking to crack down on low value content with backlinks pointing to it.
Think of it this way, if you look at your site, and honestly assess where you are, how do you rank your content? I review websites all day, and reviewing the content is a large piece of that. I can tell you, 80% or so treatment websites have very thin content. “Thin” means it was built for SEO and is not providing information or value for the visitor. Some rehabs use an old school SEO company that stuffs in keywords for ranking purposes. Others have great Local pages, but lack the depth of true reference content. Both of these methods are no longer effective due to Google’s updated algorithm. Below I will outline what you should be writing about and how content directly affects your search results ranking.
What Content to Write:
Here are the categories of content that we build out for our clients:
1) Local Pages – If you want to rank highly in Google for local search terms, you need to build your content to speak to the local market. Use your city and state for these pages. City and State should be in your Title Tag, H1 Tag, alt Image tags, and of course, the actual body copy. Have no idea what that means? Contact us; we can help you.
a. Local pages can also mean going outside of your facility’s exact geography. Trying to rank for surrounding cities or states is a great way to expand your reach. A lot of our clients will look to gain patients from around the country, starting close to home and branching out. Some facilities even offer to pay for the patient’s flight out. Build these local pages as you would the original. Remember, do NOT say you are in a location that you clearly are not. That is just bad business. Let the reader know that you are located out of state, and give the reasons your facility is worth the travel. Many facilities will discuss how “moving away from the environment and things that started you down this path” is important for learning how to live a new life.
2) Drug Names – I was shocked to find that not many treatment centers do this. People are searching like crazy for a specific drug and a treatment term. Give it to them. Your content should speak about the specific drug and how your facility treats that drug. Remember, write to your audience. Find any opportunity to connect with them. You know their drug of choice, so speak to it. Give examples of success stories because of the way YOU treat the patient.
3) Evergreen Content – Evergreen content is content that is simply informative, but will always have value for the user. Cover topics such as “Am I an Alcoholic?” or “Signs of drug use in teens.” These types of search terms drive a large amount of traffic. Evergreen content is considered to be top funnel of the sales cycle, but it is a great way to build a brand and actually help people.
ROI from Content
We have outlined the content you need to write, but you may be asking yourself, “Okay, Marcus, thank you but why does this matter for marketing and lead generation?” Here is why…
1) Google wants content – If you are doing any type of link building, and you have very thin content, you will be penalized. It’s as simple as that. A link is a vote for your firm and the content on the site. If you have very little or thin content, it wouldn’t make sense for people to link to you. Hence, penalty. This has happened in the past to many of our newest clients who have worked with agencies that think SEO is a plug and play, rather than an investment. We stress to them the need for content before we can do anything else. Most of the time, they come to us after the penalty, which increases the repair we need to do to help them, raising their costs. Don’t be that facility. Write good content and save yourself money.
2) Traffic – We all know the name of the game is traffic. Traffic turns into conversions, conversions into intakes, and intakes to dollars. But the types of traffic you’re generating is also important. You need to understand the funnel of your website visitors. Some will enter your site through keywords like “Drug rehab Phoenix” or “heroin treatment Mesa Arizona.” These will convert better. But what about that huge amount of traffic you could get from people searching for help, like, “Am I an Alcoholic?” Those people exist in HUGE numbers out there. Remember, as much as we all want to build our business, giving people helpful information always pays off. Look at you, right now. You are reading a blog that helps you for free from my company. Maybe you’ll be one of the ones who reads this blog and becomes a client.
3) Link Building – This is a piece most marketers forget about when planning content in the treatment space. People link to resources they find online. If all of your copy is sales copy, don’t expect much linking to take place. Build out great pieces of content, and then get people to link to it. It’s a great generator of the number 1 ranking factor in Google.
4) Retargeting – If you are not using retargeting, you are leaving leads on the table. Retargeting allows you to turn those evergreen content readers into phone calls. Retargeting is the use of display advertising based on a site visitor’s actions. Using retargeting, you can serve ad reminders to people who came to your site and left without converting.
Here is how most treatment centers handle visitors to evergreen content:
- Son is showing signs of drug use.
- Mom searches for “Signs of Drug Use.”
- Your website comes up in the top 3, and mom visits your page.
- She gets educated and spends the next few days watching her son and putting to use the information you gave her. The end.
Here is how OUR clients are successful:
- Son is showing signs of drug use.
- Mom searches for “Signs of Drug Use.”
- Our client’s website comes up in the top 3, and mom visits the page.
- She gets educated and spends the next few days watching her son and putting to use the information our client gave her.
- While she is evaluating her son, she is shown simple ads whenever she is online. Ads might say “Need help identifying addiction?” or “Call us now for complementary intervention services.”
- At some point in the future, Mom clicks on your ad and makes the phone call.
- You now have a new lead.
That is the power of retargeting!
We have covered the type of content to write, why you should write it, and what to do with the traffic once you get it. At the Drug Rehab Agency, we cannot stress enough the importance of resourceful, well-written content. It is truly the right way to succeed in organic search.
If you are having a hard time getting started, or just don’t have time to create and execute a content plan, please contact us. We only work with treatment centers, and our copywriters have gone through treatment. Our writers can speak to your users from the addict’s perspective and help you build your business.
Mobile SEO...You don't really need it. Or do you?!
What Do Rankings Really Mean for a Rehab Center?
If you own a rehab facility or run the marketing department for one, you're aware of SEO. You likely know how important and challenging it is to rank highly for specific keywords in an increasingly difficult field. But what you may wonder is how these rankings equal dollars. And how much budget you should spend with an SEO company?
As you look to invest in your rankings, it is important to understand what each position in the search results means for you as a business, so you can invest the right amount to be successful. Not too much, and not too little. Luckily, there is a way to quantify it. In this blog we reveal what your investment in drug treatment marketing with SEO is worth and support our calculations with data.
Setting Up the Example
As all our readers' facilities offer different services for different price points in different locations, we will be using a static set of keywords for our example. Your geographic location will dictate the true numbers, and we will show you how to figure that too. Or you can give us a call. Our SEO services start with a free site review.
Keywords Targeted – These are examples of the keywords for which you might like to rank. Again, these are generic so we can find search volume and extrapolate dollars.
· Drug rehab facility
· Drug treatment facility
· Alcohol rehab
· Alcohol treatment
Geography – As our readers do not live in the same area, we will be using Google’s data at a nationwide level. To find your local search volume, use the Google Keyword Planner or give us a call for a free review.
Entrance Cost – Most of our current clients charge between $6,000 and $22,000/month for in-patient/residential treatment. We will use $10,000/month for our example. Additionally, we will calculate the numbers as if a patient stays with a facility for a single month. If you own a long term treatment center, adjust accordingly.
Click Through Rates – The click through rate (CTR) is the percentage of people who click on your Google listing, based on your position. We will be using industry standards, which were just updated from Marketingland.com.
Understanding the Data
Monthly Search Volume – Discovered through Google’s Keyword Planning Tool.
Current Rank – Where are you now? 80% of our current clients came to us in the middle of the second page. 15% where beyond the 3rd page, and 5% needed to go from number 10 to number 1.
Estimated Traffic – Given the rank on the second page (15th), this is the estimated traffic for the given keyword.
Future Rank – Where SEO can get you. With our clients, we aim for top 5 nationally, and number 1 locally.
Estimated Future Traffic – Given the ranking increase, and the CTR from the given position, this how much traffic that keyword will send you.
Conversion Rate – The conversion rate of your site. We have clients who convert 10% or greater, so we took the more conservative number.
Total Leads – Of the traffic that came from a keyword, and the conversion rate of the site, this is the estimated number of phone calls or form fills the site would generate per keywords.
Qualified – This is where working with a Rehab SEO company makes sense. Not all leads are good leads. Actually, we have found that only 20% of leads from these keywords are qualified (Have funds, insurance, ability to get a loan, etc).
Intakes – Of the 20% that are qualified, only 20% (on average) will sign with a given facility. This is heavily dependent on your sales staff and the competition in the area.
Value – The total number of dollars that keyword will provide each month.
With just four keywords, a national firm simply ranking in the top 5, could possibly make more than $75,000/month. And, as you see from our standards above, this is a conservative estimate. This is why you see so many large firms battling it out in the top 5. There is a lot of money to be made there. They are willing to spend the $25,000+/month to rank for these four terms.
There's some good news. Most treatment centers operate locally. This changes the numbers, as local business typically converts better than national, although the search volume is much lower. Here is the data using an average of our current clients, and their search volume (factoring the same entrance cost).
The question: Would you be willing to invest $1,200-$4,500/month to make more than $40,000?
I am sure most of you reading this work with an SEO firm. We are certainly not the only game in town. However, ask yourself, “Are we ranking in the top 3 for our terms?” If the answer is no, we should talk. Taking you from page 2 to page 1 is a nice increase. But taking you from Position 10 to position 1 will make your year!
**A point I would like to make here is that this is ONLY 4 keywords. There are more than 100 keywords that are searched every month. Keywords vary by location, and your search volume may differ. To find out what type of results you could get from SEO, CONTACT US, or fill out the form.
Previously in our Addiction Marketing 101 series, we discussed the basics of On-Page SEO for treatment facilities (and all websites for that matter). You learned the use of Title Tags, keywords within content, and general site structure...the simple stuff.
Haven't seen a HUGE jump in your organic traffic? Well, that is because you have just handled the first 20-30 percent of what Google looks for. Now its time for the hard part. The part that most firms pay companies (oh oh! pick me! pick me!) to do for them. I am talking about link building.
Link building takes several forms. The two most noted out there, and that you will read about are "Spam" and "White-hat". There has been a debate on these two for years, and still, the debate rages on. What we can not argue with is why people link to us. The reason? Google told us. Within the Google Webmaster Guidelines, you can read:
"If your pages contain useful information, their content will attract many visitors and entice webmasters to link to your site."
If you would like to get links to your site, therefor completing the remaining, LARGE, piece of SEO, you will to start the content development piece of your marketing plan. Although, if writing content made it rain links, we wouldn't have a company. No field of dreams here, folks. So, lets take a quick look into link building.
So, you have created great content that people can relate to. It is a reference, it speaks to the user perfectly, but alas...no backlinks. Well, the reason for not having backlinks is the same as why you don't have visitors...they can't find you. You need to go get them! Here is how we approach our link building through Content Marketing. (We don't give the farm away here, but its enough to get your started)
- Your content must be a reference point. Like this blog. It gives a writer a reason to link to you.
- Understand who should be linking to your site. Do some Google Searches for "Drug Treatment Blog" or "Inpatient Drug rehab blog". Perhaps you have a way that you want your content linked to. Simply search for a sentence and see what you get. You won't knock it out of the park, but you will get ideas.
- So, you have found relevant sites that you can help. Perfect. Now, you have to reach out to them. Here is a trick I use to find content that is relevant on a large site.
- Go to Google.com
- Type the following: site: www.blogswebsite "key phrase you want to link to you"
- What this does is tell google to search a specific site, for a specific term. You now have your link acquisition plan.
- Reach out to the webmaster. More and more, you will see an author listed for the blog. This is the way a site gives credit for the writing of content. FYI - If you are not doing this, you are missing out. Click on the author name and it will bring up a bio. If not, look at the source code of the page. CTL+U. Search for REL=author, that will provide you the author information you need, if the site is using it correctly.
- Focus on what you do for a living, and let us focus on what we do. You have a business to run, let us run your content marketing and link building. It is, after all, kind of our thing.
That wraps up this Drug rehab Marketing 101 session. I hope you enjoyed learning about link building. Should you have any questions on our content marketing services, or general online marketing for treatment centers, please let us know. We are happy to help!
First, yes, this is an addiction marketing blog. We take our dedication to the treatment industry very seriously.
September is National Recovery Month. At our agency, it is a month we look forward to as an opportunity to get the word out about addiction, and how recovery changes lives. All through the month of September, we will be posting stories of recovery to show that recovery is possible. If you have a story you would like to share, please, email me at Marcus@drugrehab.agency.
It is this month that reminds me of my best friend, Jason, and the hell he went through battling the addiction that ultimately took his life. In his memory and in support of those who still strive to recover and survive, The Drug Rehab Agency will double its charitable donation from the normal 10% of revenues during the month of September. These funds will be used to place those without funding or insurance into treatment facilities. We don't just market to drug rehab agencies; we take a stand for addicts who so badly want to get clean.
Finally, we would like to share the following video. This video shows, perfectly, the struggle of addiction. I was so touched by this dance, that I want to share it with you all.
How SEO Will Lower your Online Marketing Costs
The internet has truly changed the way treatment centers market their businesses. However, it has also added additional cost to your marketing budget.
Through the use of Paid Search, lead generation companies are taking over the market with huge budgets. More likely than not, you have seen your cost per click increase in your AdWords account because of this. Your Cost Per Lead (CPL) has gone up, and your annual budget for the paid search space MUST increase to remain competitive.
I can already hear you saying, "Great, thanks Marcus, now I am all depressed about the state of my online marketing." But don't fret, this post will teach you what you need to know about SEO for your rehab facility, specifically keyword selection for content and on-page factors for your drug treatment facility.
Why SEO? Simply put, its long term cost of ownership is the lowest, especially in the treatment business. With a month stay in your facility running $10,000-$40,000/month, a conversion is well worth the investment. Over time, you will be able to eliminate your Paid search budget and allow SEO to do the work.
For example, we work with a treatment facility that has organic traffic drive about 360 site visitors a month. The cost for a single click in AdWords is around $40 for these keywords.
360 Visits/day X $40 (average CPC in AdWords)= $14,000 Per Day
You read that correctly. If our client were to drive their daily traffic via AdWords, they would spend over $14,000/day! That is insane! By implementing proper SEO techniques, excellent content creation and a lot of hard work, we deliver high traffic numbers, without the incredibly high cost. That is why SEO matters, and how it can help you.
The benefit of organic search rankings is that they are not a pay per click, like Adwords. So, if you can rank in the top 5 of Google for specific search terms, you will receive traffic, like I talked about above, which you don't pay for. Here is the first part of the strategy that The Drug Rehab Agency uses to help our clients rank for top keywords in 3-6 months.
Phase 1 - Keyword Research and Site Audit
Just like any marketing initiative, you need to have quality, data-driven strategies in place.
This involves understanding the keywords your future residents are searching each month. We use the Google Keyword Planner to understand these terms and the monthly search volume for each. For example, let’s say you are targeting the Arizona market. You would want to target each city on separate pages. You would have:
- Drug rehab/treatment Tucson
- Drug rehab/treatment Flagstaff
- Drug rehab/treatment Phoenix
- Drug rehab/treatment Tempe
So on and so on. This will set you up to have a specific page targeting residents of that specific city. When you do this, you will also see this page start to rank in Google for the given keywords.
Final phase of Keyword research is understanding your demographic. What keywords do they search when they or a loved one thinks there is a problem? The Drug Rehab Agency works directly off the AIDA model. Attention, Interest, Decision and Action. Build your keyword groups around these types of search terms. A great tool for this would be the Google Keyword Planner, found in Google Adwords. This tool will give you ideas of keywords and will provide you with the average monthly search volume. Obviously, the higher the search volume, the more valuable the keyword will be to your site.
So you have done some keyword research. You know the top keywords you would like to rank for in each section of the AIDA model. Now, check if you are ranking for those terms. If so, which URL is ranking and at which position?
More often than not, The Drug Rehab Agency writes 10-20 pages of addiction based content each month for our clients. Not because they have weak or thin content, but because their previous SEO company was cheap and tried to rank a single page for every keyword possible. A quality site audit will address these areas of weakness and turn them into opportunities. Ask yourself this question. Does this page focus on the keywords I want it to rank for? If not, then it's time to write some quality content, and build a new page.
Step 2 - On-Page Optimization
So, you have your keywords, and the associated URLS for these keywords. What now?
This is where SEO gets technical. With over 300 factors in SEO, I would have to write a dissertation to identify all the areas, and even then, no one knows ALL the factors. However, we do know the big ones that can be made for increased visibly in the search engines.
- Title Tag - The title tag of your page is what shows up in your browser. If you hover over the tab in your browser, the Title Tag will show. Or you can hit "CTRL U" and see the source code. From here, press "CTRL F" and search "Title". That is your title tag. The title tag tells Google what the page is about, and is where you want to enter your top keywords. Here are some rules for titles:
- No more than 68 Character, including spaces.
- Your most valuable keyword should be first.
- Split keywords with a "|". Not an "L", but hit shift and the backslash button.
- End your title tag with your website or business name.
- Example: "Drug Rehab Phoenix | www.xxxxx.com"
- Do NOT stuff every keyword in the Title tag; this will hurt you.
- Header Tags "H1-H3" - These should be used to identify the section of your page. Unlike your top keywords in the Title Tag, this should be used for your secondary or tertiary term.
- Example: Drug Treatment Phoenix or Alcohol Treatment Phoenix
- On-Page Content - This is the content you write for your website visitor. This should be targeted around what you said your page is about in the Title Tag and Header Tag. You do NOT want to use your keywords more than 3 times in the copy. Remember, this copy is for your visitor, but is a factor used by Google. So, write to your audience.
- Example of a page Titled "Alcohol Treatment"
- "ABC company has been working with people seeking treatment for their alcoholism for more than 15 years. At ABC company we take your rehabilitation seriously by offering different therapy options for your inpatient alcohol treatment. "
- Example of a page Titled "Alcohol Treatment"
Each one of these steps should be used for every page on your site. This includes pages built out for the Attention and Interest sections of your keyword research. Here is a free one, "Am I an Alcoholic?" The term gets massive search volume each month and can position your facility as a resource.
This ends this edition of Addiction Marketing 101. Use these simple steps to set up your site for success online. SEO for addiction treatment facilities is a lot of work; heck, we built a business around it. So, if you take a look, and feel your time could be spent better elsewhere, please give us a call or fill out the form below. We will do a quick review of your current site, and let you know how we can help.
Until the next Addiction Marketing 101, continue to help those in need. We will continue to "Help Those, who Help Others."
There is no doubt that more and more marketing companies and investors are entering the drug rehab industry. You have probably seen these companies crowding your facility out of the top search engine results pages (SERPS). Just search “Drug Rehab” and a city. You will see the same sites. Most are lead generation sites that sell their leads off to real treatment facilities. We have worked with these firms, and we can tell you, they have a very large marketing budget. So, how do you compete from the get go?
Before we dive into how you can use your budget wisely, let's cover what AdWords (Paid Search) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are.
AdWords (Paid Search) – Pay Per Click (PPC) is an instant gratification method of online marketing. With PPC, you pay the search engine for each click you receive. You bid on a spot within the search results. The more you bid, the higher the position. Below is an example of the paid results within Google.
The biggest issue that our clients have with AdWords is the cost per click within Google can be very high in this space. Google estimates the average CPC price at around $40/click. This makes treatment center keywords one of the highest priced industries within AdWords.
Search Engine Optimization – SEO is the process of optimizating a website to increase its visibility in the search engines, mainly Google. Google uses a proprietary algorithm to identify websites, then ranks them from best to worst within its results. The best site for each keyword searched will rank in the first position within Google. This placement gets about 30% of all the clicks within Google, and is highly valuable to the owner of the site.
So, now you have the foundation for what we are going to talk about next, which is using these two strategies to drive short and long term results.
PPC is a plug and play option, meaning, you can be on the first page of Google within 30 minutes, if you would like. The Drug Rehab Agency uses PPC as a bridge to help the client see some return while SEO strategies take effect.
The Mistakes Drug Rehabs Make in PPC
Most of our clients have used PPC before working with us. Either they have done it themselves, or have hired another firm to manage it for them. Now, it is important to note that PPC can be run by the site owner successfully, or there are a lot of quality agencies out there that can manage it. The issues are:
1) Do you know how to manage AdWords for the lowest CPC?
2) Do those agencies understand the treatment industry?
Here are the mistakes we see people make most often:
1) No Geo-targeting – If you are lucky enough to gain qualified leads nationwide, congratulations. National campaigns are not easily done. The reason? These national terms are the most expensive, and you are competing with those huge firms we talked about earlier.
2) Set it and Forget it – Look, even I bought that infomercial product at 3:00am. But this is not cooking a pot roast; this is spending large dollars to increase your business’s bottom line. So, you have to carefully track of what you are spending and when.
3) Lack of Optimization – This piggybacks off of the “set it and forget it” issue. Most people who are new to AdWords see traffic coming to the site, but do nothing after that. Obviously, driving site traffic is key to the success of your site, but if it doesn't convert, you just spent $40 on a meet and greet with no results. You must monitor which keywords send what type of traffic. Start broad, and then narrow it down based on their actions on the site.
EXAMPLE: The term “Drug Rehab” will send a lot of traffic to you, with of course, a large cost. But that traffic bounces and doesn't convert. Where as a search term like “Alcohol addiction treatment Phoenix” sends less traffic, but your conversion rate is 5%. Which of these would you want to spend money on? If you answered “Drug Rehab,” please call us, we can help you with your AdWords confusion.
SEO – The Bad and Ugly (Good is Soon)
SEO is the core of our business. We have been working in SEO since 2006 and have seen the game change. Unfortunately, we've watched clients make mistakes without us. Then they call us for help and have to increase their monthly cost because of the cleanup we need to do. SEO is constantly evolving. We're the experts, so it's our job to stay abreast of the changes; it's your job to do what you do best: help people.
Here is the short list of the mistakes we see most:
1) On-Page Optimization – As I said before, Google uses an algorithm to rank your site. This algorithm analyzes how relevant a page is for the given search term. So, if you don’t have the term on your page, then you most likely won’t rank well. You should work to use the keywords for each page in the body content, but also the Title Tag, and H1 and H2 tags.
2) Over Optimization – Okay, I just said use the keyword in your page copy and Meta Data. But, everything in moderation (except leads). We see more and more companies coming to us with overly optimized page copy that doesn't read well. It’s obvious that it was written for the search engines, not the user. This is a violation of Google’s guidelines, and you will actually fall in rankings with this strategy. Remember, you are writing to your user, not Google. Keywords must be integrated naturally into the content, which is easily achieved if you have an expert content strategy in place.
3) Patience – When it comes to SEO, you have to understand that it takes time. This is the biggest mistake people make. They want to see instant results from SEO. That is not possible, if done correctly. You can have quick increases or long term success. You can’t have both. So, estimate that you won’t see much for about three months from SEO. You have to make the edits to the pages, and give Google time to see those changes. Getting links to your site to show Google you are the best site for keywords take a lot of work and time. So, when you don’t see first page rankings and huge SEO traffic in analytics in the first two months, don’t stop. Keep going! You will get there. We tell all of our clients that it takes three to five months to see a real increase in rankings and traffic.
Playing Well In the Sandbox
Okay, so now you know if you are doing anything that is bad. We have shown you the ugly. So…what is the good you ask? Well there is a solution to this problem. Become a client…
Kidding (well kind of).
The best way to use these two highly valuable resources is to use them together, and slowly pull away from what is costing you the most: Paid Search.
You have made the decision to use the internet for your treatment facility. It’s time to fill the beds and build a brand. So you begin with SEO. Build out a strategy using keywords, allocating keywords and building pages to address each search term group. This is step one.
You then want to use those keywords within Google AdWords, focusing on the pages you have built for each page. Whatever Google suggests as a Cost Per Click, bid 50%. Again, AdWords is all about optimization and daily management at first. So, track this cost. Play with it. Move it up, move it down and see the results. Then repeat. Boom! On to step two.
Now that you have your strategy in place for both SEO and PPC, its time to get started.
Turn on your PPC campaigns and start your outreach for links. Again, LOOK AT YOUR PPC AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. We can’t stress that enough. Make sure what you are paying for is at least driving quality traffic. If it isn’t, turn that section off.
Now we wait. Continue to use AdWords and optimize. As you see your organic rankings increase for terms, you should see an increase in your ranking within Google. As you see this happening, you can lower your daily budget within AdWords for those pages. Slowly do this, you don’t want to cut it out completely and lose leads. When a page comes to rank in the top three, cut your budget in AdWords in half for that page. Your hard work has paid off, and SEO is giving you organic, free traffic! If you are good enough to rank in the first position, turn off AdWords for that URL, and see what happens. If you don’t lose conversions, then you can eliminate that line item in your budget. If you do drop in conversions, turn it back on at 25% of the original spend. Again, optimization takes time to get right, so play with it a bit and see what happens.
Both PPC and SEO are very important in any online marketing strategy. Organic traffic accounts for more than 80% of most sites' traffic, so focus as much time as you can there. Organic is the long term play. Once you rank highly in Google organic, you can cut down your effort on that page. Just maintain and move to the next URL.
This article covers a lot of information, and I didn't explain all in great detail. This will come later. Please keep checking us out for more information on SEO, PPC and Content Marketing.
If you don’t have the time to learn online marketing, or want to do it right the first time, contact us by phone or by filling out the form. We are more than happy to speak with you about working together to generate leads for your company online.