Are you not getting the results you want from your SEO campaign? Wondering why you’re struggling to get new patient admissions to your drug rehab center?

Addiction recovery SEO

Truth is, you’re not alone.

Competition in the addiction treatment industry is so intense as a result there are thousands of other drug rehab centers and directories lobbying for Google’s first-page ranking.

Fortunately, developing and executing the right drug rehab SEO strategies can improve Google rankings, drive traffic and increase admissions to your addiction treatment center.

Benefits of SEO for Your Addiction Treatment Facility

Today, SEO also factors in technical aspects such as site speed, usability, and mobile-friendliness. When SEO is done right, it will not only help your ranking but also help you to provide a great user experience.

In addition, when you combine SEO with content marketing, you create valuable content that helps you build trust and credibility with potential clients early in the research phase.

Key Elements to Include in Your SEO Strategy

Here are the ten addiction treatment SEO strategies that will help you stay ahead of your competitors.

1. Mobile User Experience

SEO Mobile User Experience

Mobile makes up more than half of search traffic. With more people using mobile devices compared to desktops, you need to revamp your drug rehab marketing strategy by boosting mobile conversions.

What’s more, Google announced back in 2016 that they had plans to shift their algorithms to crawl mobile versions of sites instead of desktop versions.  Right now, Google’s Mobile-first index has already started rolling out.

The mobile-first indexing means that the mobile version of your addiction treatment website becomes the baseline for how Google determines rankings.

To optimize your site for Google’s mobile-first index, the first step is to configure your site for mobile devices.

The best way to do this is to go for responsive design. This way, you won’t have to use separate URLs as you would with the “M” version. Similarly, you won’t have to use a different HTML for new devices as you would with a dynamic serving site.

Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to learn if your site is mobile friendly. You can also use the Google Search Console to learn if your site has any mobile usability issues.

Just make sure you check out your robots.txt file and ensure you have not blocked Googlebot from accessing important parts of your site’s code.

Google also recommends that your site loads in under one second for mobile users. You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to know how fast your site loads on mobile and how to speed things up. Another great tool to use is Think With Google.

To add some rocket fuel to your drug rehab mobile loading speed:

  • Use HTML5 for animated and video content
  • Compress images to reduce their file sizes
  • Avoid or minimize redirects
  • Minify your code
  • Fire up a CDN to make images load faster

2. Keyword Research

 Keyword Research SEO

The Google Keyword Planner is a great starting point for keyword research but you shouldn’t let it be your only focus.

There are other keyword research tools that are worth the investment. For instance, Ahrefs uses keyword explorer to provide helpful data to help you decide if a keyword is worth using.

SEMrush is another valuable keyword research tool that helps you determine the exact keywords your competitors already rank for.

In addition, you can utilize both tools to ensure that your current service pages are targeting the correct keywords. This can also apply if you’re launching new service pages.

Keep an eye out for threads with a lot of comments in Quora or Reddit to identify keyword phrases your potential clients are using.

You can also use addiction treatment forums online to find keywords on specific topics that your potential clients struggle with.

3. On-Page SEO

On Page Optimization

Once you get your keyword research right, the next step is to make sure that your site pages are optimized for search engines.

On-page SEO elements that you should focus on include:

  • Using short URLs
  • Adding your target keyword in your URL
  • Using LSI keywords
  • Using 2-5 internal links to pages you want to rank for in your posts
  • Including 2-5 external links to authority sources in each post
  • Using your target keyword in the Alt text of an image

You probably already know that you should include your target keyword in your Title Tag. What you may not know is that you should also optimize your Title Tag to promote a high click-through rate.

To do this, include numbers in your title tag and add parentheses or brackets to your title tag.

Make sure you include multimedia such as screenshots, videos or charts to increase page dwell time.   

Even though meta description tags are not tied to search engine rankings, they are crucial when it comes to high organic click-through rates. It’s important you develop compelling copy to increase your organic click-through rates.

Lastly, publish longer content because if your page provides searchers with a comprehensive answer to what they are looking for, it will get more clicks and boost your rankings. You should aim to publish content that is at least 2000 words.

Remember to include effective Calls to Action at the end of your posts.

4. Ensure Your Citations are Perfect

When a potential client is searching for an addiction treatment center, the maps section is often a great resource for them to make a decision. This is why building citations for local SEO should not be overlooked.

A citation involves using a specific set of information about your drug rehab center. This includes its name, address, and phone number (NAP). it also helps to add your URL in your citations to help drive web traffic.

Most drug rehabs often get listed on Google My Business or Yelp. However, a more industry-specific approach is the best approach.

Let’s face it, addiction treatment directories dominate the first page of Google results. A great way to bypass this competition is by associating your rehab brand with a high authority drug rehab directory in order to boost your credibility.

To improve your visibility in drug rehab directories:

  • Use local phone numbers
  • Maintain consistent information across all listings
  • Update changes to your business information
  • Include separate listings if you have multiple locations
  • Add images and descriptions

It helps to make use of citation aggregators as they help you to manage all your listings in one place. Good examples are BrightLocal and WhiteSpark.

BrightLocal provides manual citation building as well as data aggregator distribution.

On the other hand, WhiteSpark offers a more customized citation service. As an addiction treatment facility, their main focus would be getting you listed in industry-specific sites.

5. Off-Page SEO

Off page SEO optimization

When it comes to implementing any link building strategy to your drug rehab facility, the main goal should be building quality links from authoritative and relevant sites.

A great way to start is by creating an in-depth blog post on addiction and identify relevant sites that could benefit from the article.

Publishing high quality and relevant content improve the odds your work is seen by people who need help from addiction.

Another link building strategy that works is by using your expertise to help others on Reddit or Quora. Use this opportunity to provide thorough and thoughtful responses. Aim to be the top rated response to the question asked.

Guest blogging

Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is also a great off-page SEO strategy that’s often misunderstood. This is largely due to people using spammy guest posts to manipulate search rankings.

However, when done right, guest blogging can boost your credibility and help you generate qualified leads.

A few ethical tips to follow when guest blogging include:

  • Write for sites that are relevant to the addiction treatment industry
  • Write for sites where content is curated for quality
  • Avoid spinning the same article for multiple sites

To find relevant sites to write guest posts, use tools such as Open Site Explorer to view your competitor’s backlinks and find out which blogs they have written for.

You can also use AllTop to identify top addiction treatment sites or utilize Twitter. Find relevant tweets and follow given links to investigate if the sites accept guest posts.

You must always run a background check for the sites to determine if they are worthwhile. Use Moz’s Link Explorer to determine the domain authority of a website. Alexa ranking can also help you discover current site traffic.

6. Optimize for Google’s Featured Snippets

Google Snippet

Featured snippets often appear at the very top of the search engine results page. Also referred to as “position zero.”

Ahrefs states that 99.58% of featured snippets already rank in the top ten search results in Google for a specific query.

In contrast, Gestat reveals that 70% of featured snippets come from sites that don’t rank on the first page.

This is why the first step to optimize your content for featured snippets is by identifying keywords that you already rank for.

You can also use tools such as Ahrefs “Organic Keywords” report or Serpstat to find keywords that have featured snippets. SEMrush also comes in handy to find your competitor’s snippets.

There are three main categories of featured snippets. These include:

  • Paragraph
  • List
  • Table

Paragraph snippets are the most common type of featured snippets. If you want to rank in paragraph snippets, aim for 40-60 word block of content. You should also target question keywords.

If you want to rank in list snippets, use H2 and H3 subtitles on each item of your list.

When it comes to table snippets, you need to create a well-formatted table that  Google can easily pull data.

7. Create in-depth Content

The average page that ranks on the first page of Google contains 1890 words. This means you should aim to write at least 2000 words per post.

It’s worth noting that your content needs to be persuasive enough to convert page visitors into patient admissions.

How do you do that?

Use the buyer’s journey to create user-driven content. It has three main stages including awareness, consideration and decision stages.

Buyers journey SEO

The awareness stage/ Top of the funnel

This is where your prospective client is doing research to identify their problem. Questions may range from how to determine if your alcohol intake is too much?

Your content at this stage should be geared to help them identify their problem. For instance, it could be around identifying signs of alcohol addiction or the effects of alcohol on sleep.

Video content, infographics, blog posts, ebooks, and social media content work well at the awareness stage.

The consideration stage/ Middle of the funnel

Your prospective clients will have one thing in common, they’ve identified that they have an addiction and want to kick the habit. They will be seeking information on how to quit drug use.

Content topics you could tackle here include the 12 step programs, inpatient vs. outpatient, sober living houses or treatment options.

Expert guides, webinars, and ebooks that explore different types of treatment options work best here.

The decision stage/ Bottom of the funnel

This is where the potential client has decided that they need to get into rehab. They are trying to decide which facility is right for them. Personal success stories and testimonials can give them that final nudge to seek your services.

The effective types of content you can use to highlight the benefits of your treatment programs include landing pages with a Call to Action and case studies.

8. Tap into YouTube

YouTube Marketing

Research shows that online videos will account for 80% of online traffic by 2021. With more than 1.9 billion users, YouTube has become the world’s second largest search engine. Hubspot reports that 43% of people want to see more video content.

To optimize your addiction treatment content for YouTube;

  • Use suggested words that pop up in results as keywords
  • Say your target keyword
  • Ensure your title is at least 5 words long
  • Include the keyword at the beginning of the title

Make sure that your video description is at least 250 words and add your keyword in the first 25 words. Use targeted tags to get you to show up often as a related video in the sidebar area.

To promote your YouTube videos, embed it in your blog posts. You can also mention your video on Quora or in online forums.

A great way to get more views is by identifying five videos around the same theme and create a playlist for your channel page.

9. Optimize for Voice Search

Optimization for Voice Search

The voice search revolution has been making a huge impact on online search. Voice assistants like Google’s Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Microsoft’s Cortana are becoming increasingly popular.

Your addiction treatment facility has to adjust its SEO strategy to meet the needs of those who use voice search.

This starts with understanding the variables of voice search that makes the biggest impact in search rankings. These include:

  • Conversational style voice queries
  • People use voice search to locate local businesses
  • Voice searchers want immediate results

To optimize your addiction treatment site for voice search, use long-tail keywords. Structure these keywords around the 5Ws (Who, What, Where, When and Why).

Include “near me” in your title tags, meta description, and HTML headers. You can also incorporate landmarks or common words used to describe the area of your location.

Use sites such as Answer the Public to find out questions potential clients ask. Then, create blog posts to answer these questions.

10. Monitor Results

SEO Monitoring

It is important to see how the efforts you’ve put into your SEO strategy pay off. This way, you will be able to know what worked and where you need to improve.

The most important key performance indicators for measuring SEO performance include:

  • Keyword rankings
  • Conversions
  • Bounce rate
  • Organic click-through rates
  • Session duration
  • Number of pages visited per session

Tools such as Google Analytics and DataForSEO can help you amplify strengths and rectify weaknesses on your addiction treatment website.

Wrapping It All Up

If you follow the suggestions in this post, you will get a good start when it comes to optimizing your drug rehab website for search engines.

Don’t worry if you’ve already made some SEO choices that have crippled your online marketing efforts.

Just commit to starting over today. And hopefully, you’ll start reaping the benefits of getting more patient admissions through search engines.

Now, It’s Your Turn…

I love hearing from addiction treatment facilities. How are you currently implementing your SEO strategies? Feel free to leave your comments below.

If you have any questions or are interested in professional consulting about SEO, contact me directly today.