Rehab marketing practices have been scrutinized for a long-time, and now Google Adword restrictions demonstarte Google's extreme power.
Written by: Charles Davis
Patient brokering is the #1 topic in our industry. The New York Times recently released the article “Google Sets Limits on Addiction Treatment Ads, Citing Safety”. Many industry marketing experts agree that this is a good thing for our industry. We spoke with Jim Peake, CEO of Addiction-Rep, a national leader in best rehab marketing practices. He said, “Treatment centers that have the proper SEO, a large organic audience, and a large distribution channel on social media will be the ones that survive.”
Google Forcing Drug Rehab Marketing Practices to SEO, and Organic Marketing
The Google restrictions are going to rock our industry, speficialyy with substance abuse lead generation. BHNR has been educating the addiction treatment industry on organic marketing since it was founded. Our entire business model is based upon ethical organic marketing. Not only do we provide this for our clients, we also hold addiction executive conferences on ethical marketing practices. At every one of these events we educate on why treatment centers must do organic marketing. It is the most effective and powerful marketing strategy.
Wasted Time and Rehab Marketing Dollars
Addiction treatment centers must understand, there is a major shift that is going to happen fast. This shift will be from paid AdWords to organic rankings, and marketing. Consider this, 5-10% of all internet traffic that is clicked on is attributable to paid search. While 50-60% is attributable to organic search. Organic searches are results from a search engine that appear because of their relevance to the search terms. So, why have treatment centers not done proper SEO, and organic marketing? Because SEO, and social media marketing are earned over time. It takes time to build a targeted audience that you own on social media. However, the payout results in the lowest CPA, and has the longest longevity over any other marketing strategy.
Many centers take short cuts with their marketing. They don’t understand that these short cuts are costing them money. In fact, they don’t even realize that if they invested in having their website built properly, with proper SEO, built distribution channel, and grew a targeted audience that they would receive many calls pushed through by the Google Gods. They will never get there unless they dedicate to a long-term marketing strategy, along with marketing specialists, time, and resources needed to start ranking.
BHNR has spent the last four years building a targeted audience to bridge a gap for treatment centers. We have built a large targeted audience on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and G-Plus. We took the time to build these electronic assets to benefit treatment centers. Since social media is earned over time, they need a vehicle to help jump start them in driving traffic to their website. BHNR’s 90-day social media marketing program instantly taps treatment centers into its targeted audience. This program also builds a substantial audience for treatment centers that becomes their electronic asset. This traffic (500-1000 views per article in 7-10 days) also increases SEO, if it is set-up properly.
The Google restrictions make it paramount for centers to have proper SEO, and to start building a social media presence. It's going to affect all addiction treatment center operators. It’s probably the biggest event to help ethical operators that we have seen. Our industry has been complaining about bad rehab marketing practices, and clickbait tactics for a long- time. The blatant abuse of brand infringement tactics including; website hijacking, changing Google business information, and keyword clicking needed to be addressed. Google’s power is immense, and the ultimate in marketing for all that appear on page one.
Google’s restrictions will assist the big players, and the small players. The ethical players that will benefit will be the one that have correctly set-up their marketing foundation. Below are 6 essential items needed to achieve high organic ranking on Google. These 6 items are a must for all treatment centers.
Google Business Page Listings are Being Hijacked
The deceptive marketing practices on Google are not just with AdWords. We have seen marketing companies, and treatment centers hijacking Google Business listings. BHNR has brought national exposure to this issue. Stealing, or changing Google business listings for organizations in Florida is a bad idea. If someone changes those listings in Florida, they are subject to the new deceptive marketing laws passed on July 1, 2017. These new laws bring jail time, felonies, and heavy fines for anyone participating in deceptive marketing practices. You can read these news laws at the bottom of this article, “Patient Brokering Top 5 Legal Things Nationally.”
If you find incorrect information, or information where your website, or phone number are being redirected, you can do several thigs to correct this;
- Confirm your Google business listing, and get one here, if you don’t have one
- Correct mistakes to your listing
- Go to this Google My Business Community. There are Google My Business staff in this forum that can quickly get it corrected, and delete the unethical entities that are stealing your leads.
We urge all treatment centers and detox facilities to check their Google business listings daily.
BHNR has been educating CEO’s, Executives, Directors and Outreach professionals since 2014 with their Addiction Executive conferences. Their talk show host/town hall forum enables the audience to control the content in an open forum. Each event has at least 5 Executive thought leader panelists, providing proven business, and marketing strategies. You can check out their last “EMP” Addiction Professional Conference where they welcomed Addiction Campuses to South Florida in front of 180 addiction professionals attending the event. They provide many business, and marketing tools for CEO's, Executives, Directors, and Outreach professionals, gaining knowledge for your organization to survive the difficult changes occurring in our industry. This event focused on the future of patient brokering, website structure, SEO, branding, organic marketing, and tools for Outreach Professionals. If you would like to sponsor one of our 2018 events, contact Behavioral Health Network Resources CEO, Charles Davis at 561-235-6195.
Best Rehab Marketing Practices
Marketing in the addiction industry is now paramount due to the new laws directly affecting Florida. These laws indirectly affect the entire US. If you don’t get your marketing in check, you will be out of business within the next 12 months. Now, with the Google restrictions, many treatment centers are scrambling with their marketing efforts. They have survived with limited marketing knowledge and experience, however now they must understand, track, and wisely invest in a heathy marketing mix.
Website Rehab Marketing Practices
Many centers do not understand or value their website. Your website is the foundation of all your web marketing. Many treatment centers judge their websites on its aesthetics, however this is only a small piece of what your website does, or can do, to generate clients. Think of a website as a watch, there are a lot of moving pieces underneath that need to work in perfect harmony. You buy a cheap watch and it looks beautiful, however in a short period of time it doesn’t work. You should think of your website as a Rolex and invest in it correctly the first time with a web company that only services our industry. A company that has years of experience because if you don’t, you will be paying for someone’s education and mistakes.
Building a Targeted Audience that Treatment Centers Own
Think of all the dollars you have spent on marketing and take inventory of anything tangible that you have as a result. Treatment centers should have a large audience on social media, and a large active email data base of addiction professionals for referrals, individuals seeking treatment, and their alumni.
Consider this, LinkedIn has 500 professionals (over 20 million addiction professionals), Facebook has 2 billion people (millions belong to addiction groups), and Twitter has 328 million monthly users. These are the sites that will build your audience and drive traffic. Done correctly, you should be able to drive 1000’s of targeted visitors to your site in 7-10-day periods with a blog that has proper SEO. This drives target market traffic and increases SEO.
SEO Rehab Marketing Practices
The term SEO is extremely broad and often misunderstood. Your website must be structurally correct to achieve SEO rankings. This is the first step to proper SEO, and is often not done properly. Many centers have a friend that does websites, or a staff member that does websites on the side. You must use a web marketing professional to build your website. Preferably, a professional that specializing in the addiction treatment industry.
After the basic structure of your website has proper SEO, you must start using a blog. The blogs need to be focused on keywords you want to rank for, and it must be attracting and engaging your target audience. The blogs must have proper SEO to get the Google spiders to start ranking them. This takes time ,and a minimum of 2 blogs per week. Writing a lot valuable content that attracts and engages is not enough to achieve rankings. Everything on your website must be in the proper format, structure, keywords, and several different back-links play a critical role.
Once the blogs are in place, you need to push them out on social media. This takes an intimate understanding of the specific social media, and a built (targeted) audience. There are several specific goals you are trying to achieve. These goals include; driving targeted traffic to your website, getting “do follow” back-links, and having the content get shared. This sharing can take place directly on the social media platform, or at your website.
Google Analytics Rehab Marketing Practices
Your addiction treatment marketing should be about 20% of your annual revenue to achieve growth. Many break this down in different ways; some include salaries, all operating costs, cost of operating per client, and other factors. No matter how you break it down, you are spending big dollars on marketing. You MUST be able to track the results of your addiction treatment marketing.
Many centers do not have, do not use, or don’t understand Google analytics. You must have your analytics configured correctly and understand the data. You need to know what is generating clicks to your website, what pages and articles are getting the most click throughs, geographic location of the clicks, real time visitors, click troughs for the day and month, traffic sources, articles that are producing visitors, and many more.
Call Tracking Rehab Marketing Practices
This is must information for centers CEO’s and Executives. With the many marketing pieces in place with your marketing mix, you must know the call metrics. Each marketing avenue, landing page, splash page, source, purchased call center leads, and many more have a distinct phone number assigned to it. There is no more guessing on what is producing the calls. You can tell where the call comes from, how long the call was, who made the call, what produced the call, geographic location and much more. The cost of call tracking metrics in addiction treatment marketing is extremely low. CLICK HERE to check out the most efficient and popular call tracking system in our industry.
PPC Rehab Marketing Practices
Google’s restrictions have affected all players. Certainly, the players that have part of their budget in AdWords. We will see them shifting to GEO targeting and using the smaller search engines like Bing, Yahoo, and MSN. They will not be able to scale to the large numbers of Google, however they will get clients with a CPA that will be lower.
This is a critical time for many treatment centers.
The steps and actions treatment centers put into place now, will determine if they survive. If you would like to speak about proven rehab marketing practices, interest in BHNR’s 90-day ocial media marketing program, or be a panelist at our EMP (Ethical Marketing Practices) conference in November, you can call BHNR’s CEO, Charles Davis at 561-235-6195.
CLICK HERE to check out BHNR's last Addiction Executive Conference.