Expert Advice on Local Drug Rehab Marketing: Part 1 – The Basics
Local online marketing is increasing in importance for businesses that have a presence online. It is essential for businesses to give a clear picture of the areas that their services are available in, whether that be by neighborhood, city, state, region or nationally.
When marketing a drug rehab website, addiction treatment service or a rehab facility, it is especially important to give prospective clients a clear idea of where the facility or facilities are located, and the areas in which the treatment services are available.
In this article – the first in a series – we aim to:
- Explain what local marketing is
- Dispel the many myths surrounding local marketing
- Give tips on the correct (and ethical) way to market locally
- Offer our help and expert advice to addiction treatment businesses on building a strong local drug rehab marketing campaign
For the first installment, we feel it is best to go over the basics and build a foundation for understanding how local marketing works.
The Importance of Doing Local Drug Rehab Marketing the Right Way
Local marketing online is really just another form of SEO, or optimizing for search engines. In fact, local SEO and marketing is simply taking your SEO a step further and optimizing for an area or geographical region.
It is important to remember that there is a correct way to do SEO, and there is an incorrect way to do SEO. When done correctly, website SEO will help search engines to understand the content on your website or page, which will, in turn, help search engines to point relevant queries to that page.
When done incorrectly, the “SEO” will actually de-optimize your site or content, making it less likely that a search engine will send traffic from queries to your site. In the worst-case scenario, bad SEO can actually hurt your site with more than just a loss in traffic: It could get your site penalized or diminish the trust that search engines have in your website.
Just as website and business owners need to be careful of how they optimize their site, or how the SEO company they’ve hired does the optimizing, business owners need to be careful of whom they enlist to do the local marketing and local SEO as well. We cannot stress enough the importance of doing local marketing and SEO the correct way, including using a reputable SEO service provider.
This article from Moz on Avoiding SEO and Digital Marketing Scams can give more insight into disreputable services and what to look out for. With the rise in the importance of local marketing and SEO came a rise in the number of scams and unethical companies offering subpar services, so be very careful.
Local vs. National Drug Rehab Marketing
“Local” is a bit of a misnomer, and should really be called “geographic” marketing and SEO to explain what it entails. When we say “local marketing” or “local SEO,” this means marketing and/or optimizing for a specific geographic area. This could be as hyper-local as a neighborhood or a city, but it also could be as expansive as a state like “Nevada,” or a region such as “The Southwest.”
What we are really trying to do is to attribute a geographical area or location to the services a business provides, and make this understood by both the search engines and the people that view your website and online content. With addiction treatment centers and facilities, this often poses the first question of local rehab marketing.
‘Is Our Business a Local or National Treatment Provider?’
This question should be easy to answer, but is often difficult for rehab owners to quickly answer. The best way to answer this is to understand which locales you would not accept admissions from. If your facility is located in Gallup, New Mexico, but you do not accept admissions from outside of the state, then your total service area should be from the address of your facility outward to the borders of the state. This would mean that you would need to market “locally” to all geographic areas within the borders of the state, including all of the towns and cities within the state, the counties within the state, regions and the state itself.
If your facility is located in Phoenix, Arizona, and you only accept clients from Arizona and Nevada, you would need to target all of the cities, towns, regions and counties within Arizona and Nevada, as well as the whole states of Arizona and Nevada. True local marketing should not target the state only, but all cities, counties and regions within that state; this is what most “state directory” sites get wrong.
If your facility is in Malibu, California and you accept admissions from anywhere in the United States and from other countries, we can say that your service area would most likely be everywhere from your address outward to the rest of the world – or international. This would mean that “local” marketing would need to include Malibu, the cities within the state, the counties within the state, and the state of California.
However, your local marketing wouldn’t stop at the borders of California, but would need to proceed to the surrounding states, the cities within those states, counties in the respective states, and outward to the borders of the United States. For an effective international “local” marketing campaign, your marketing efforts would have to continue outward even further, and target other countries, the states and regions within that country, the cities in the various states of each country, and so on.
Establishing your service area in this way will help you to understand your true service area and the many geographical areas that will need to be targeted locally, as well as to give a good picture of what your local marketing budget will need to be in order to successfully target all of the locales within your established service area.
Matching Your Service Area to a Local Marketing Budget
Now we need to talk about setting realistic service areas and matching a realistic service area to a realistic and workable budget. It might be easy to say that your addiction treatment program will accept admissions from anywhere in the world, but does your marketing budget allow you to target and market to EVERY corner of the world?
Can your budget afford for the same amount of money and attention to be given to a city halfway across the world as the city that your facility is located in? Probably not.
Marketing to every square mile on the globe can be very expensive, so at this point, we need to set a realistic local marketing area. If your Phoenix, Arizona rehab facility has a national service area (accepting admissions from every U.S. state), but your maximum local marketing budget only allows for enough to cover Arizona and Nevada, then you must realize that your local marketing “reach” or “target local marketing area” only encompasses those areas.
You must also be realistic about the results you will see from this local marketing campaign. Don’t expect phone calls from Maine to be pouring in if your local marketing campaign is limited to just Arizona and Nevada. You must also set realistic time expectations for local marketing campaigns. Organic SEO takes time to make a foothold online, and realistically, it could take three to six months to see full results from any organic SEO changes and campaigns, including organic local marketing.
Though it does take time to see the full benefits of organic SEO and marketing, remember that an investment in organic SEO is an investment in the long-term relevancy, stability and foundation of your brand and online presence. With this long-term investment, you are more likely to remain locally relevant for years to come, and once your local marketing area has been established, you will have higher rates of conversions from that area for years to come.
Now that we have established the basics of local marketing, and what it means for addiction treatment centers specifically, we can get into the details of what goes into a successful local marketing campaign. This, however, will have to wait until the next installment in our series on “Expert Advice on Local Drug Rehab Marketing.”
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Until we dive back into the proper way for drug rehabs to market their services locally, we want to leave readers with a few points to remember before you start your local drug rehab marketing campaign:
- If you are going to do local marketing and SEO, do it the right way. Stay away from spam tactics, black hat SEO and other unethical practices.
- If you are going to hire a company or service to handle your local marketing campaign, do your research and choose a trusted local marketing and SEO service provider.
- Set a realistic service area for your services.
- Set a realistic local marketing target area and a realistic local marketing budget.
- Organic SEO and organic local marketing take time to see the full benefits and to gain relevance and presence online.
- An investment into SEO and marketing is a long-term investment in your brand and your online presence that will pay dividends well into the future.
- If your addiction treatment facility, program or business needs expert advice on existing or new marketing campaigns, the experts at Addiction-Rep would be more than happy to consult on how to improve all aspects of your marketing campaign.
- Check back for the next installment in our “Expert Advice on Local Drug Rehab Marketing” series.