The Path to a Successful SEO Strategy for Addiction Rehabs
Successful marketing campaigns for addiction rehabilitation facilities should focus on two things: finding people dealing with addiction that need services and representing a caring credible place to convince them you’re the best addiction treatment center for them. Success is getting traffic, building an audience, and filling your beds with people who need them.
We outline the path to that success by understanding its components. SEO, backlinks, social media, and content marketing are the tools that we discuss to get you there. This article simplifies much of our field to help rehab facilities understand how our strategies can help fill their beds.
Long-Term Results for Rehab Marketing
It’s a common misunderstanding that good SEO is a short-term game. SEO’s role as a long-term traffic source is widely accepted. Loading up pages and posts with keywords won’t immediately place you #1 on Google. Fortunately (for both us and the readers), it requires much more, and we have the tools and the understanding to get those rankings. This is not only because we understand how SEO works, but also because we created Cohn Media out of necessity to drive traffic and produce client leads for our own rehab center.
SEO is a long-term strategy for traffic, and targeting keywords is only a part of what a search engine looks for in a page or website. Broken links and slow page loading can cripple efforts trying to reach the top. Taking the time to evaluate and repair these aspects will get better returns on SEO rankings. Getting professionals to audit your website for these problems is a great start.
Good SEO Comes From Good Research
Start with what you know about your demographics. In many cases, SEO isn’t about good rankings on the obvious search terms – it’s about finding the best search terms. It may be something more indirect – like people googling addiction symptoms or “addiction help”. The world we want to create for future patients is one that finds them, understands them, and accepts them.
Consider this; of all the people who would benefit from addiction rehabilitation services, how many are searching for rehabilitation services? Not many. And if your target demographic isn’t there, then your SEO strategy for addiction rehab shouldn’t be either. Research who belongs in your beds and what’s going through their minds to see where their searches are headed. Then meet them there with your content.
SEO Isn’t a Mystery- But It’s Easily Misunderstood
The books, resources, and tools that simplify SEO can make it seem like magic to the untrained eye. There was a time when people thought a search engine ranking could rise or fall based on your suite number in your building. Things that overly complicate SEO have largely been put to bed, but SEO has still grown to be a considerable knowledgebase that can overwhelm an unsuspecting website owner.
It’s simple enough that local and low-traffic keywords can be dominated by amateurs and complex enough that volumes of theories and data are published regularly to better understand it. At its core, search engine optimization seeks to put the best content on the front page of each search result.
Getting Started with Rehab SEO
SEO is the sum of many individual components. Search engines are lightning fast and can evaluate website domains and pages in hundreds of ways. Successful strategies should have at least the following four pieces, all informed by growth objectives and target demographics:
- Keyword targeting
- Backlinks and domain authority
- Social media
- Content marketing
This is where it sounds simple, because it is! The difficulty in finding success isn’t in planning – but execution. The rest of this post will walk you through these four points to better explain their role in how and why your website is ranked how it is.
Find Your Keywords
Meet your target demographic where they live. A google search is a union of a seeker and a supplier of information. Being the most qualified supplier means knowing your seekers. What are they afraid of? What motivates them to look for information? What are they seeking? Answer these – and you’ll find yourself with some great keywords on which to center an SEO strategy.
Keywords aren’t magic. Sprinkling them throughout posts won’t float your website to the top of the search rankings without composing relevant, engaging content to accompany them. If your content sounds like you’re writing a letter to your target demographic rather than a search engine, you’re on the right track. And if you’ve picked good keywords, you’ll be finding your audience where they’re looking for you- a match made in Google. What does this mean for rehabs? This means figuring out what people are looking for when they are looking for a rehab. What kinds of questions are they asking? What are they looking for in a rehab center? These are all things that Cohn Media can help with.
Your Domain has Power
Somewhere along the way, search engines realized that websites that frequently directed traffic to one another had a higher value to searches than those who didn’t. Why would websites exchange readers if they had no value? The answer was: they wouldn’t. And they were right. This is the purpose of backlinks and the origin of “domain authority”.
In simple terms, it’s the value of your website as defined by other websites. If other websites think you’re worth linking to (and thereby sending traffic), so do search engines. When your website links to other websites, you’re extending some of your domain authority to others. Those connections are called backlinks, and in many cases they are the most powerful way to develop domain authority.
But with great power comes great responsibility. Domain authority is more science than art – and is hindered by technical problems with your website. Here are some technical concerns to look for when repairing or improving domain authority:
- Broken links
- Slow page load speed
- Lack of alt attributes on image tags
- Lack of header tags
- Lack of meta tags
- Word counts and html-to-text ratios
- Breadcrumbs and navigability
These elements come into play before anyone even reads your content. If you don’t know what some of these are or how to find them in your website, that’s where our tools and understanding can help. Fixing your rehab’s website is vital before proceeding with the rest of your strategy.
Make Connections in Your Field
Domain authority cannot be ignored. Getting backlinks to your content is the BEST way to develop domain authority- especially if they’re wielding substantial authority themselves. Getting your content passed around to respectable and relevant websites will grant your website better recognition from search engines considering you for search results.
We maintain a network of connected websites that can offer increased domain authority and therefore better search rankings. The value of this network cannot be understated- access to these resources can be a potent boost to an otherwise-struggling online presence.
Build a Following
As content is developed and attracts readers, they will appreciate the information offered and start to trust your brand. A great way to expand on that trust is coupling content delivery with social media. This is great for two reasons – it offers a platform for engagement that’s much more socially intuitive than blog comments, and engagement fuels exposure and sharing.
Do not underestimate the potency of these factors! Trust in a business or organization comes from appearing empathetic and authoritative. Caring, but credible. Social media offers the opportunity to do both in a very genuine way. If you are struggling to get any engagement on your posts, it may be because it’s written for the search engines instead of your audience. The fact is, rehabs with a quality presence on social media are able to increase their credibility by sharing helpful content and engaging with people – all while increasing their rehab’s brand recognition.
Stick to Your SEO Strategy for Addiction Rehab
Social media will cultivate a public reputation and a record of your interactions with your audience, leads, clients, and their families. It also offers a wealth of SEO gains:
- Follower counts contribute to your site ranking.
- Shared posts will circulate your content and likely land it on other websites, earning you backlinks.
- Offers a secondary access point for people searching on social media and gives your social media pages more SEO credibility.
- Localizes your content to be more potent in searches near your place of business.
Social media is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to deliver content that grows your online presence. It is necessary for a comprehensive and robust SEO strategy.
Content is King
Content is the destination for millions of searches every day. People crave information and consume it in greater quantities than ever before. Good, high-ranking content needs to be written to readers with search engines in mind. Our process combines the elements of engaging content with the strategic utility of an innovative approach to SEO. In short- it’s effective because it’s good writing that gives search engines what they want.
Building a library of information for your audience also displays a commitment to improving your community. When it’s clear that the perspective of the reader is paramount for the content, it goes from being strictly informative to inviting. And that invitation may be the push that someone needs to start rehab services.
Rehab Requires Caring Credibility
Appearing as an empathetic authority is the key to engaging a reader and it’s easy to see why. Information that ignores what the reader is experiencing will disengage them and distance them from the brand delivering the information. When content lacks clarity or is poorly written – you risk losing your readers by appearing unqualified.
Rehab sets the bar high. It’s a process that requires empathy, compassion and authority as much as any other. Engaging readers with good, relevant content won’t be easy, and that’s why Cohn Media is willing to develop the content strategy and deploy it for you.
We Deliver All of This and More
This article simplified much of our field to help rehab facilities understand how our strategies can help fill their beds and help them improve their own projects. Rehabilitation services fill an important need in their community and we want it to be easier for them to find the people who need them.
Developing and implementing an SEO strategy can be as easy as doing some Google searches and typing up a WordPress post. It can be also as comprehensive and extensive as to include top-to-bottom site audits, position tracking, and getting your website connected to our collection of highly-powerful domains for better rankings.
We’d like to play a role in your facility’s strategic growth to meet the needs of your community. Contact Cohn Media today to see how we can make that happen.