Why SEO Is Still Better than PPC for Rehab Marketing
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Why SEO Is Still Better than PPC for Rehab Marketing

Posted on Feb 1, 2019 by Jim Peake

Why SEO Is Still Better than PPC for Rehab Marketing

Just ask any drug rehab business owner or marketing consultant about their advertising budget for 2019 and the response might a deer-in-the-headlights look. “What advertising?” For the many addiction treatment facility and ancillary industry businesses that relied on PPC rehab marketing to enhance exposure, if their ad budgets could talk, there’d be silence or maybe the subtle chirp of a cricket or two.

For the unsuspecting addiction biz experts, Google laid down a heavy hand last year with its virtual shutdown of PPC for drug rehabs, subsequent Medic update and now, the demand for LegitScript certification for a smidgeon of traction in paid ads, compared to how things were just two years earlier. The choice is clear: Go pound salt or go find a solution.

Relying on PPC Alone Holds Your Rehab Biz Hostage from Success

Every business looks for a quick hit to a quick win online. PPC promised to deliver on that, but at a hefty price. Unless you’re an expert at Google Adwords and have canyon-like deep pockets (and a LegitScript seal of approval) you won’t get anywhere you want to by investing your ad budget in PPC alone.

In reality, we’re all at the mercy of the next big update. With search engines and social platforms continuing to cover their hide by restructuring algorithms and creating drug rehab marketing roadblocks, they may be well-intended but I doubt it.

For those of us who work in this field with altruistic intent and the sincere desire to help people struggling with the disease of addiction every moment of every day, the pay-per-click overhaul has stopped a momentum. Sure, for many, PPC provided the perfect vehicle to advertise facilities that never existed or drug programs that weren’t worth the computer screen they were written on. But for the rest of us, it’s hampered our ability to connect with those who desperately need our services. So what can we do? Bring your long game.

 SEO Is the Long Term Solution to Short Term Ad Snafus

I can’t tell you how many calls I received after the PPC shutdown. Addiction treatment facility owners screaming about the wasted time and energy in paid ads with nowhere to go but radio and television. Ever tried to accurately target drug rehab campaigns on those mediums? Yeah… good luck with that.

Just because PPC has its challenges doesn’t mean you throw away what you’ve already built upon. If you’ve got some keywords from PPC that were performing well, repurpose them into your web pages, landing pages and blogs.

Ask any business person in any industry who has not only attained success but maintained it, and they’ll tell you that there isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme that works. You could play the lottery but look at those odds. What people with financial success stories will tell you is that if you have a product or service that has authentic value, success will find its way through patience and perseverance. For digital presence, success grows through consistent and thoughtful SEO. Who has time for that? You do.

The More Channels the Merrier

If it takes a good 18 months to build a strong online presence through organic SEO, then wouldn’t it stand to reason that the more places your drug rehab lives on (virtually speaking) the quicker you can build a following, referrals, and conversions? Ah… it’s amazing what happens when we apply logic to marketing.

SEO Let’s You Be in Control of the Online Conversation

No one is expecting you to be an expert in SEO. That’s what I’m here for. But whether you use the drug rehab marketing services of a consultant like myself or work with an employee who understands the mechanics of good online marketing tactics, you’re better off understanding the basics as well.

By combining solid keywords and long-tail phrases, geo-targeting, and social video (did I mention the importance of video?) you can nail it on web traffic increases and boost social engagements.

Blog ‘Til It Hurts

I can’t stress this enough. You are the authority in your business. Your business is part of a larger drug rehab industry. How you differentiate yourself from competitors is in how succinctly you define your brand and present it to others. In addition, your content must align with your authority. Meaning, you must blog and continue to blog to establish yourself and your business as vital resources in the search for drug intervention, addiction detox, treatment and recovery. Offer yourself up as an industry expert and guest blog on referring business sites or other health- and fitness-related platforms. Then have your social channels tout your guest appearances and include external links to those posts on your website.

Best Fixes for Lackluster SEO

Boosting the performance of your SEO campaigns isn’t just about adding more content. It’s about scrubbing what’s already there, removing what isn’t relevant and refreshing what is. And while Google, Facebook and whatever other online channel decides to make life difficult for addiction-related companies, suck it up and play their game. If you aren’t LegitScript certified, it’s time to start the process. In the meantime, go through this list below and see what else you’ve overlooked in your digital marketing practices.

SEO Dirty Dozen

  • txt file – Is it instructing search engines to ghost certain web pages?
  • Broken Links – Is it time for your site to be screened by Screaming Frog?
  • Eliminate 404s and redirects
  • Image Love – Have you forgotten to add alt tags to your web pics?
  • URLs – Do they make sense? Upper-case letters? Too long?
  • Make it snappy – Ensure that your site is loading quickly.
  • Sitemap Savvy – Do you even have one? Provide dynamically to BWT and GSC and check for errors.
  • Get your Bing on – Connect to Bing Webmaster tools.
  • SSL – If you don’t have this certificate, install it. Now.
  • Have Nav – Revisit the way your web pages link to one another. Rework for better UX
  • Backlinks – Check for relevancy. Add more.
  • Site Visibility – Get the attention you deserve with Google Search Console.

Review the Basics and Watch Your PPC Spend

If you view your drug rehab marketing spend like the way you conduct your life, the same fundamentals apply. Everything in moderation. Keep your eye on what’s working. Adjust what isn’t. Invest in what will grow your business over time. Expect the unexpected. If your business marketing operates in balance, it can handle a marketing surprise every now and then.

Review Your Marketing Spend with a Rehab Industry Expert

Jim Peake

Jim is an Internet Oldtimer, literally, and he was making a living online before Yahoo and Google were incorporated and even before Al Gore “invented” the Internet. Jim was the catalyst for putting the internet on the front page of every newspaper around the world in one day when he sold the website design and development to IBM for the Kasparov vs. IBM’s Deep Blue chess tournament in 1996. Jim has been in the direct response and advertising industry (printing) since the early 1980’s. Jim’s primary focus is the healthcare and addiction treatment field where he is a management consultant as well as an analytics and digital marketing consultant. - Learn more about Jim Peake, President

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