Did you know that 49% of drug and alcohol rehab program searches on Google are now done on mobile? Or that patients who used a mobile device for research are 33% more likely to schedule an appointment?

In the addiction treatment business, it’s important to know your audience and how to reach them. Your much-needed services want as few obstacles and roadblocks standing in the way of someone reaching out and making a change in their lives.

That initial moment of truth where they are seeking out treatment facilities happens every day on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. We’ll take a look at a few search marketing tips that our agency uses when marketing rehab facilities. Let’s start with paid search.

Getting Return On Your Investment With PPC Ads

The quickest way to drive clients online as a drug and alcohol rehab facility is through paid search ads from Google AdWords or Bing. In a matter of days, you can appear at the top of search engines for keywords essential to your business. The ads in this category are expensive because there is a lot of competition in the auction. But competition also signals that PPC (pay per click) ads work.

you aren’t familiar with PPC, this is where you as the advertiser pay a certain amount of money every time an internet user clicks on your ad. The rate is often higher in your industry because of the competition and results (it’s typical to pay between $4 and $12 per click). The trick with these ads, of course, is the fact that the clicks do not always turn into clients. Below are a few tips on how to convert more clicks into business to make your PPC investment worthwhile.

1. Be Mobile Friendly!

The above stats show that not only is it important that your site is mobile friendly, but that you consider how aggressive you are on mobile advertising. Patients are much more likely to schedule an appoint on mobile than on desktop. AdWords allows you to set bid modifiers to be more or less aggressive on mobile traffic. In this case, the stats show that mobile ads convert. Does your website?

Look at your mobile experience. Make sure it’s easy for people to click and call. Make sure your ads are mobile friendly so that prospects can click right from the ad. Mobile traffic is only going to grow, so it’s vital that you spend the time and resources here to maximize your potential. Pay attention to those mobile stats in your PPC accounts and in your Analytics.

2. Make Your Ad Relevant and Compelling

With AdWords, relevancy is mission critical. You need to speak to the keywords you are advertising on. Put the keywords in your title and body copy, but do so in way that’s compelling to the reader. Note in the below copy how most of the ads have “drug” and “rehab” in the ad copy on a search for a keyword related to that. They are trying to be relevant (some do a better job than others).


Because you have tight character limits in ads to catch your potential client’s eye and get them interested in your facility, it’s important to be concise. There are a few ways to go beyond the basics. The above ads are also taking advantage of Google Ad Extensions, which give them more real estate to promote their business. It’s critical to use as many of these extensions as you can. Google’s algorithm rewards advertisers who do. Note in the above, not every one is taking advantage of Call Extensions. Not everyone is taking advantage of Sitelink Extensions (these are the links below the second ad). Not everyone is taking advantage of Location Extensions (see the address line) in the second ad.

All of these small elements add up to higher click through rates and lower costs per click. In a competitive environment, you need to constantly stay on top of your ad copy. Google will periodically develop new ad changes, as an agency we are always looking for more ways to take advantage of them because inevitably (like the above examples), competitors will miss things.

3. Have Direct Landing Pages with Relevant Information

It’s easy to get distracted, and attention spans online are short. When an internet user is searching a topic, then clicks on a link that looks related to that topic but arrives at a page that is too general or doesn’t speak to the keyword they were searching…there is a disconnect. These disconnects add up. It only takes a second to click the back button and go to a competitor site. Don’t give users a reason to.

If your ad is for alcohol rehab services, your visitors would do better when landing on a page with the relevant information … rather than landing on the home page or needing to search from there. If they search the keyword “alcohol,” they want to see alcohol addressed on the page they land on. In one of the above companies, you could search for several minutes and not find that word even though they treat for it and advertise on it. Always be relevant. If you have a program specific for women and are advertising on women related keywords, bring them to the pages on your site that discuss that. Disconnects hurt your ROI.

4. Use Geo-targeting

Set up your geo-targets in the areas you want to target, but consider bidding differently the closer someone is to your business within that geo-target. You will often get different results depending on teh location of the user. Additionally, speak to that local traffic your ad copy. Use a location extension or include the location in the ad copy. This improves the ad’s relevance and improves its visibility to those searching on a local keyword. Translation: more eyeballs attracted to your ad, more action.

5. No Remarketing.

Drug and alcohol rehabilitation is a sensitive matter. It is for this reason that Google Privacy regulations closely monitor and limit remarketing for rehab facility ads. Giving your potential clients the privacy they require actually works for you and allows them the time and space they require to think about your facility. While remarketing is a tactic available for most advertisers, it’s not one you can take advantage of here.

Often, you can take what you learn from PPC and apply it to SEO. Your best converting words on PPC should become part of your SEO strategy. A good search marketing agency will always leverage data you’ve paid for in PPC for your SEO efforts.

Google wants to know if you’re an authority on those keywords. An SEO-optimized website is one whose content, links and other signals are optimized and designed to show the search engines that you are a respected source of information for those specific keywords. Below are five tips on how to better optimize your website and gain more real estate and visibility on search engines in the natural search results.

· Include Relevant Content on Separate and Specific Pages

Gone are the days where SEO was simply dumping a bunch of keywords on your website and walking away. These days, the search engines pick through your content with a fine-toothed comb in search of relevant information that reads naturally. They also look at user engagement. Do site visitors find this content interesting and spend time on your site? It therefore goes without saying that if you want your website to get you clients from SEO, then you will need to start with quality content with the right amount and distribution of keywords/topics for the phrases you want to rank on.

Over the years there have been a variety of changes to the search algorithms. Sites have seen rankings crumble when a change comes along. One thing that hasn’t changed is quality content. Having separate pages for different topics and additional pages supporting those helps establish your authority on keywords that are important to you. So don’t just stop at having a single service page for a topic like “Addiction Treatment,” blog on it with some frequency, as well. Content will always be king no matter how the search algorithms change.

· Make Your Locations a Prominent Feature of Your Site and Content

Think about it. Health care businesses (doctors, hospitals, dentists, etc.) more often than not thrive on the loyalty of clients in or around the area where the business is based. Drug and alcohol rehab facilities aren’t much different in that regard. This means that in order to optimize your sites, you will have to use techniques that cater to this local traffic. Fine tune your Google My Business listings. Claim them, fill them out for each location, post photos, etc. These are critical for any local search campaigns. On your site, build consistent content around these location-related keywords you want to target. Build your SEO campaigns from your home city and work outward to neighboring cities.

· Include Videos, Pictures and Other Multimedia Tools on Your Site

Including multimedia items on your pages also goes a long way in SEO optimization of your website. YouTube is actually the second-most trafficked search engine. Do you have video content that can be found there? Multimedia content also helps your site’s engagement by increasing time spent on site by the potential clients. Some great multimedia ideas for rehab website SEO include slideshows on basic recovery steps, video clips featuring a tour of the facility and even photographs or testimonials of alumni if you really want to take it up a notch. In additional to helping overcome some anxiety and trust with site visitors, all of these elements are also indexed by the search engines.

· Link Your Social Media Platforms

The search engines these days also look at social signals. You want to link your site to your social media profiles and vice versa. But don’t stop there. Actively work on creating engaging social media content to help drive that volume of signal. Additionally, you may pull in business from these sources. This works by providing those interested in your services anither opportunity to directly interact with the center. It also allows sharing of content which could get you more signals faster if those doing the referral are impressed your content. The more social sharing you can drive, the more SEO signals you build…the more you look like an authority.

A Quick Tip To Help Both Your PPC and SEO

Work on your site’s Call To Action. The more ways you can compel visitors to contact you, the better. Place phone numbers in prominent locations and multiple spots. Place contact forms on every page. Use chat during hours that you can staff it. All of these elements can then be tracked back to your marketing. As a search engine marketing agency, this is one of the first things we do when working on search marketing with our treatment center clients. In order to optimize your marketing, you’ve got to track these points of contact and test your calls to action. It’s a continual, on-going effort.

Alcohol and Drug Addiction is a far reaching, complex and damaging problem. Digital Marketing provides data that helps with understanding which ad copy, content, and keywords are driving people to call for advice and seek rehabilitation. But it’s more than that.

Marketing is outreach. It’s making that human-to-human connection that can save lives in this case. That moment of truth online when someone is ready to reach out so often takes place on search engines, that it’s vital this becomes a key part of marketing your drug and alcohol rehab centers. Making that all-important connection often starts right on the search results of Google, Bing or Yahoo.