Digital Marketing For Drug Rehab
Digital marketing for drug rehab is sometimes like the wild, wild west – everyone is fighting for the top position in search rankings. To be the top gun in this fight, you’re going to need to call in a professional gunslinger.
Here’s where it gets ugly. You’ll know doubt search from a list of dozens of “agencies” that specialize in digital marketing. You’ll hear terms like “local search,” “pay per click,” and “organic search.” You may or may not understand but most people outside the digital marketing profession might not know where to invest their dollars and when.
In the world of digital marketing for rehab, building a solid foundation is important both local and national search results. The strategies are different but there is overlap.
First off, we start with getting you found in “local search.” This is like beachfront property – it can be expensive and there are lots of people in line in front of you.
To achieve the top 10, the top 5 or top 3 placement in local search requires doing several things in order. The process of setting you up to be found takes time – you will not be in the top three right of the gate. It will take months of a sustained effort in order to get you ranking well in local search. If you skip any of the steps or only put forward effort for a few months, you won’t rank well.
Local search is so very important because of how people search on computers and more importantly, on mobile phones.
Getting top placement takes sustained on-page SEO work, Blog posts (aka “content creation” or “inbound marketing”), careful attention and focus on keyword rankings across your site. YOu want to be found by people search for the answer to any questions related to addiction recovery. This takes time and sustained effort of producing content every month.
REVIEWS ARE VITAL
Note that just being in the top position doesn’t mean you’ll be the first place someone calls. Your star rating has a BIG part in prompting people to call you. If you do not have a comprehensive, ironclad policy of actively seeking reviews from former clients, you’re in big trouble. Your competitors do have a policy, if you don’t think reviews are important or that ‘they’re all fake,’ you should let us tell you why you couldn’t be more wrong.
Reviews are neutral, implied, third-party endorsements. Getting reviews from former clients is critical. A good digital agency will automate the process for you. The software is far, far less expensive than hiring a person to make calls every month.
Many of these services providers do not people on-staff who are proficient or even up to date on what strategies and techniques they should be using.
Trying to compete in the highly competitive digital marketing space requires experts. Why? Because your top competitors are hiring big marketing companies with the sole purpose of crushing the smaller service providers.
A GOOD WEBSITE
Having a good website is a great start. The problem we run into with some clients is that they think they have a great site, but in reality, it’s lacking many of the basic key ingredients to help drive search results.
A fancy website will not get you more clients – a website that is chock full of answers to questions will. Why?
Imagine if you have made a movie that is so amazing, that everyone who sees it thinks it’s going to sweep the Oscars. But then imagine if you don’t spend a nickel on advertising. If you can’t get people inside theaters, how will you succeed?
A fancy website has the same problem – if no one can find your site quickly online, it doesn’t matter how fancy the website is.
Remember why people search online – to get answers to their questions. Your website MUST be packed full of answers to every conceivable question related to addiction recovery. Having a pretty website is easy to accomplish, but having an effective website should be your focus.
A good WordPress site will cost you $4,000 with a small agency, and about $12,000 with one of the big-ticket agencies. What’s the difference? A small agency will tend to use theme customization to help reduce costs, a big agency will put you on their proprietary theme and sign you up for monthly recurring services in addition to “development costs” of your new website.
ADMINISTRATING YOUR WEBSITE YOURSELF
If you’ve signed with a big agency, this usually isn’t an option. They will charge you a monthly fee for:
Maintaining the site: $800-$1500 a month; (site backups, plugin updates, WordPress updates, theme updates)
Review-generation Software: $400-$900 a month;
Call Tracking: around $500 a month; (tracking your calls so you can see how they’re being answered and what advertising is driving these calls). Just a note here – if you’re running a drug addiction treatment facility and you’re not tracking calls, your business will probably fail. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve listened to calls only to find out that employees answering the calls have no training on how to convert these leads into clients. If you’re not tracking AND listening to your calls, you’re in deep, deep trouble.
Content creation/Blogging: $1500-3500 a month per site;
Is Maintaining Your Website the Right Choice For You?
Maintaining your own drug rehab website is a lot of work. Just doing something as seemingly simple as updating plugins takes research before you pull the trigger. It also requires you to backup your site and check that backup before you update that plugin.
Content creation is another challenge. Coming up with relevant blog posts each week is a challenge. Keyword research alone can take several hours a month, plus competitive research. Tools like SEM Rush need to be leveraged and if you’re not doing this, you’re fighting a losing battle, largely because your big-name competitors have big agencies doing this for them.
Checking for site errors, 404 errors, old content, outdated content and performing functionality tests (do all of your email links still work?) take time. For small companies, it may seem easy and affordable to maintain your own website. Just doing the bare minimums in digital marketing is going to do nothing to bring you new business. Zero. You’d be better off standing near a freeway offramp with a cardboard sign.
If you’re serious about digital marketing at all, you need to allocate monthly budget to do the basics:
- Site maintenance
- On-page SEO
- Content creation
- Call tracking and reporting
- Review generation
These are the very minimums you should be doing. The absolute, bare-bones, must-do minimums. Digital marketing for drug rehab service providers is complex. There are many moving parts, a constant flow of new strategies, continuing changes in Google algorithms and ever-better automation tools.
What we’ve discussed so far has only focused on digital marketing – we haven’t even touched up digital advertising.
This is the advanced stage of digital marketing. This is when you start creating paid ads to reach select audiences. Invariably, digital marketing for drug rehab service providers will require paid advertising if they hope to attract patients from outside their local search area.
Paid advertising, or “Pay per click” is just that – you pay a fee every time someone “clicks” on your ad. When they click, hopefully, that turns into a phone call (as it does automatically on “click to call” ads) and God help you if you don’t have your very best person answering that call within 2-3 rings. That’s because clicks could cost you over $100 for each click on your ad. You will most likely be on Google’s advertising platform
Pay per click (PPC) ads are not for the faint of heart. You need to have a professional agency managing this for you. Here are some general facts and suggestions:
The minimum pay per click monthly ad spend should be at least $5,000 per month, more in highly competitive areas (LA, NYC, etc)
Your agency will charge you 20% to 30% of your ad spend to manage your PPC ads, strategy and reporting – pay it – it’s worth it. They are making changes to ads, strategies and bid pricing daily. Hold them accountable by looking at Cost per click, Cost per conversion, Ad scores, and ad placement positions.
Bing advertising is less desirable. Don’t spend more than 10% of your budget there.
Facebook advertising can be hit or miss. A lot of people wrapped up in addiction aren’t even using social media anymore. Maybe their parents are but again, many addicts are so wrapped up in their addiction that they’ve withdrawn from society. Be careful when spending here.
Our team has worked with or for big agencies. We can help you develop affordable digital marketing strategies that work.
Typically, we start with a refresh of your website and ensuring that your business data and listings on Google are optimized. From there, we dig into on-page SEO, content creation, call tracking and review generation.
We help you develop and implement the best practices for each of these initiatives, including training your people on how to handle leads from phone calls.
Once these foundations are in place, paid advertising is next. Once the floodgates open, we fine-tune for efficiency and to lower the cost-per-acquisition. It’s a process, and we’ll be there hand in hand to help guide you through it.