For drug rehabs, having a strong online presence means one thing: you get to help more people. And you can achieve it with a well-planned search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
Below is a to-do list of how to harness this highly effective digital marketing technique to let patients and their families find you while improving your bottom line.
5 SEO Strategies That Deliver Results for Drug Rehabs
SEO is complicated for different reasons:
- It is susceptible to many algorithm changes and search engine updates. You should adjust your techniques accordingly.
- It is a long-term process. This is the only way to create results and sustain them.
- It is tricky for healthcare professionals because of several regulations, such as HIPAA, and policies that may limit what you can do.
But it is a must-do for any business, including drug treatment facilities, especially if the goal is organically increasing brand awareness, traffic, and revenues.
Below are some ways you can maximize the strategies to your advantage.
1. Find the Right Keywords to Match User Intent
Keywords are vital in SEO, but they become even more potent if you match your choices with user intent.
Everyone who uses search engines goes through a customer’s journey. Some are immediately interested in your services, while others want to learn available therapies first.
According to Digital Authority Partners (DAP), your job is to pick the ideal terms to push your leads deeper into the journey, prevent them from getting stuck in a stage for so long, and ultimately convert them into clients.
Here is how you do it:
- Begin with a seed list. Seed keywords are the broadest niche terms, such as “drug addiction,” “substance abuse,” or “alcoholism.”
- Expand these terms. Look for related phrases using keyword search tools, such as Answer the Public or Google AdWords Keyword Planner. Examples include “What is cognitive behavior therapy?” or “alcohol rehab near me.”
- Get even more specific with long-tail keywords. These phrases are at least four words long and usually contain the seed keyword, such as “cognitive behavior therapy for addiction.” They are effective because they have low competition, so it is easier for you to rank using these words.
- Align the keyword list with user intent. You can then divide the list into the buyer’s journey stages. For instance, people just begin to realize they have a problem in the awareness phase. Your keywords should reflect that, such as “signs of alcohol abuse” or “effects of drug addiction.”
2. Perform Local SEO to Target Nearby Clients
Local SEO means optimizing your pages for a particular location query (e.g., “drug recovery programs in California”). This tactic anchors on the premise that many of your target clients come from your immediate area. If not, patients or their families might be looking for professional help in a specific state or city.
How do you do local SEO for drug rehabs? Here are the steps:
- Define your NAP. It stands for Name, Address, or Phone Number. These are the most critical pieces of information about your business. They should appear the same on your website, local directories, and social media channels.
- Submit your business to local listings. Two great options are Yelp and My Google Business Profile. Both let you create detailed facility and service descriptions, receive reviews, answer questions, and upload media, such as photos.
- Identify target-based keywords. Add geographical qualifiers, such as “near me,” “nearby,” or “location,” to your keyword list. Be more particular by indicating the state, city, or town.
3. Write Strong, Persuasive Content to Show Expertise
For people dealing with substance abuse and their loved ones, getting help is a very emotional decision. They often search online for hours, reading everything they find about a particular facility or therapy before finally making that phone call.
You must optimize your website to be informative and persuasive to earn a potential client’s trust and business. Doing this also showcases your expertise, which is one of the essential factors for “my money, my life” (MYML) pages.
Here are some tips:
- Share your story. Why did you choose this line of work? How have you helped other patients in the past? Use first-person narratives or case studies to connect with readers on an emotional level.
- Show transparency. Potential clients should know what they are getting into, such as the kind of facility you have, the people who work there, your policies and procedures, and the like. Include photos and videos to eliminate any guesswork on their part.
- Understand their pain points. Are they concerned about their privacy, program duration, or success rate? Alleviate their fears by addressing these issues directly on your website.
- Be intentional with your content. Display topical authority by developing subjects and content types that fit your niche. For instance, write blog posts about the early warning signs of addiction, different types of treatment programs, or life after rehab. Create infographics, ebooks, or whitepapers.
- Use keywords naturally. Keywords are essential for SEO, but they should never compromise content quality. Use them judiciously and sparingly, ensuring they fit seamlessly into the text and provide more value.
4. Build Quality Backlinks to Increase Domain Authority
Domain authority (DA) is a metric that gauges a website’s strength and trustworthiness. The higher your DA, the more likely you will rank in the search results.
One way to increase DA is by building backlinks from high-authority websites. Doing this is not easy, but we can simplify it with these ideas:
- Reach out to content creators in your related niche. For example, suppose you have a blog post about the benefits of yoga for addiction recovery. In that case, contact the owner of a popular yoga studio and ask them to share your article. If they say yes, be sure to link back to their website.
- Search for unlinked brand mentions. Do a quick Google search and find sites that mention your facility without a hyperlink. Request the administrator to link back to your preferred page.
- Write for major publications. Pitch a story, idea, or op-ed related to addiction, recovery, or sobriety to popular online magazines. Usually, they allow you to leave your website link in the author bio.
5. Focus on Technical SEO to Enhance Accessibility and Indexing
Your SEO efforts mean nothing if search engine crawlers, or bots, cannot find, visit, and index your pages.
Ensure that your website is accessible and visible to them by paying attention to the technical aspects of SEO. These include:
- Page speed. A slow page can frustrate users and cause them to leave before they even see your content. Test your site’s speed using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool and work on improving your score. Aim for three seconds or less.
- Mobile-friendliness. With the increasing use of mobile devices, design a responsive website that adjusts to any screen size. Assess its performance with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool.
- Sitemaps and schema markup. A sitemap is a file that contains a list of all the pages on your website. It helps crawlers find and index your content faster. Schema markup is a code, which helps create rich snippets, and tells search engines about your page. Use both to develop site structure, improve organization, and enhance search engine visibility.
Drug rehab centers need SEO to bring their facilities closer to those needing them. These tips above will get you on the right track.
Remember, as your business scales, your efforts should also step up. You might benefit from onboarding a digital marketing agency to help you sustain your momentum.