Category Archives: SEO for Treatment Centers

Marketing Psychology 101 – Pain of Discipline or the Pain of Regret?

This principle could be applied in almost anything in life. The pain of getting an education early in life or the regret later in life of not getting an education, the pain of staying clean and sober or the regret of being addicted or in our case the pain of addiction treatment marketing the regret of having to “double down” on a marketing effort to fill the beds back up.

When you were in high school or college did you ever wait until the last minute to study for the exam? I know I did many times. The pain of discipline of studying a few weeks in advance for the exam was too much to bear, so what did we do? We waited until the night before, talk about the pain of regret! I was the classic student of using this failed strategy year in and year out.

We are now in the 2010 summer and the “party” is on, (addicts are using) meaning treatment center web traffic slows down as it does in December, I know this because I review scores of industry web site analytics every day. While I was at the NAATP annual conference and the West Coast Symposium a couple of months ago business was fairly brisk for many treatment centers even in a very tough economy and this was great to see.

I had several conversations with clients and recommend to them to continue their marketing (pain of discipline) during the flush times to keep the pipeline full. (Better yet create a waiting list). Now, two months later I’m getting stressed clients looking for leads to fill their beds, in some cases it is pure panic. When the beds are empty it becomes even more uncomfortable to spend the money to develop the inquiries that was when thing were flush. This becomes a classic case of pain of regret. Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda.

So instead of waiting until you have beds to fill to do something it is much more effective to put a plan in place and execute on it on a monthly basis. At least 10-20% of your annual revenue MUST go into marketing, online and offline.
For the Pain of Regret Folks – Fastest Immediate Results in Addiction Marketing
Here is the recipe of getting inquiries into beds immediately.

This is might be a little uncomfortable:
Step # 1 Crack open the wallet
Step # 2 Prepare your admissions staff for “incoming”
Step # 3 Set up Google PPC and run ads on Google Adwords (You want traffic, Google has it but it ain’t cheap and it requires professional skills to get it right, while you can get the traffic immediately sometimes it takes months to fine tune PPC campaigns)
Step # 4 Send out an e-mail to your list (if you don’t have a list talk to Josie Ramirez-Herndon of Recovery View who seems to have the addiction treatment’s largest e-mail list of well over 100,000 names) one of the most important marketing concepts you can do is build a list of prospective clients as well as past alumni and target mailings to each. (More on that in another blog post).
Step #5 Get a featured listing on 11,000 + pages of TreatmentCenters .Net and About Drug Rehab (These are addiction treatment pages that are the most relevant to your business)
Step # 6 Buy banner ads on Sober Recovery (probably the most heavily trafficked site in addiction treatment)
Step # 7 Buy Traffic on Google’s Content Network (You can see an example of this on the Google Ads on Treatment Centers.Net .
Step # 8 Call people in your rolodex
Step # 9 Write for Addiction Treatment Publications like and Recovery View to boost your visibility among professionals for possible referrals

There are several more ways to market immediately however these are the first few that come to mind and you can get some immediate results/inquiries over the next 24-72 hours.

In a perfect world we would like a steady flow of clients coming into the treatment center and better yet a waiting list. The way to do this is to build a strong foundation first. I talk about a lot of these techniques in my blog on click the link below in my bio. If you are still stuck in generating leads give me a call and we can come up with ideas together that might fit for your situation. So, I guess the pain of marketing discipline is what needs to be considered so that we have the steady results. Another way to look at it is the more people we can assist in recovery the more people we are actually helping and making the world a better place as well and helping our businesses grow.

Here is a short video from a regular automobile professional guy, Jim Kristoff talking about the Pain of Discipline and the Pain of Regret. A quote from the infamous Jim Rohn, “We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.”

My Bad Experience in Marketing – Hire Professionals

In addiction treatment marketing it is all about testing. Do what works and do more of it, and do it better than you have before. If it does not work, do less of it or cut it all together, or make some major changes so you can test and track it. The name of the marketing game is testing and tracking. If you aren’t able to measure what you are doing, get help fast, really fast.

Over the years we all have probably had a few bad experiences in marketing. I’ve got a story that is about 20 years old so I feel OK about publishing it now. When I was a print broker (I bought and sold large printing contracts in my own company, Peake Graphics, Inc.) I had several large clients one of which was a large pharmaceutical client, household name. They gave me an order of 72 Million coupons to print for them, or 36 million each of 2 versions.

The client and I flew out to the Midwest printing plant and did the press check which was standard operating procedure. I “managed the client” and the printer “managed the press run.” Needless to say this was a lot of paper, more than you can fit into a single 18 wheeler tractor trailer. The client was focused on “print quality” things like color and registration. I was focused on things like getting the client signature and flying back home to New York.

The printer furnished us the “blue line” which is a technical term for “this is what you are going to get before we print it do you want it?” (Once a client sign’s off on this, they own it). Sure thing, the client signed off on it and I was half to way planning my next flight home. The client was so focused on the color (which really didn’t matter because this was nothing but junk mail and not an annual report) he forgot to take a look at the “whole coupon” and actually cut it out of the sheet (and so did I) and was not focused on the “other side of the sheet or the coupon” that he approved the blue line. Long story short, the one version of the 36 Million coupons did not back up correctly the artwork was flopped, hence we created another 36 Million $0.35 coupons unbeknownst to us. But we got the color approved and flew home, meanwhile the presses were running at 1,800 feet per minute. So we had 108 Million coupons being run instead of 72 Million.

For me as the print broker I had only run about 100 jobs before this so I was not the most experienced, but I had all the right intentions, get the client to sign and I was going to see a pay day.

Back in New York, I got the call the next day. “Jim, are the presses still running!?” Yes they were, 24/7 these big web presses never stop unless there is a web break, many of the plants I ran in were 365 day per year shops, forget about seeing your family on Christmas Day. He shouted to me “stop the presses!” (He never used foul language, I definitely would have). I called the plant and told them the problem. But it was too late. 85% of the job was run and in the bindery being cut and ready for shipping to the fulfillment house. Meaning, what the client signed off on was now owned by him. We now have a huge headache on our hands managing the coupon clearing houses in El Paso, Texas some coupons with barcodes and others without and politics of the client and not to mention the $100’s of thousands in dollars lost. (BTW, I still kept the client after this project).

I bet many of us can relate to a similar SNAFU probably just not to the same magnitude, please share some of your own stories in the comments below. In 2006 as I was building my own internet publishing business called My Success Gateway I made many similar mistakes but this time as the client. I wanted PPC for my web products; I wanted SEO traffic for my web site, etc. I hired 3 firms and each time it was a total disaster, I mean financial disaster. I’ve made all of the mistakes that I still see clients making every day, I’ve been there and done that and watched Google vacuum out as much as $4,000 in one day on a single PPC campaign which netted me nothing but a goose egg. The numbers actually get worse but I really don’t feel like going there, I think I’ve made the point.

The Secret of Letting Go

I had to let go of the past. Do you see any parallels here to drug addiction treatment? (Guy Finley, my mentor wrote a book called “The Secret of Letting Go” a fantastic read). I finally figured out that if I was going to hire someone I was going to have to know what the heck I was doing and know what were the right questions to ask. I had to learn this business for survival, because I was not about to enter the oil business, as I had an opportunity to do so and live the rest of my adult life on the road. One of the things I realized was, many of the vendors I found didn’t know what they were doing, however they believed that they did now what they were doing. So they weren’t really trying to dupe me, they were just as clueless as I was which was a really bad combination.

I’m an experiential learner so sitting in a classroom was not going to do it for me. I had to learn from people who actually knew how to do SEO. I stopped doing PPC because it was just too tedious and I had a couple of friends who were masters at it and I’d just use them because for their monthly fee to manage the campaigns it was much safer and cheaper. My point here is I took the time to learn SEO and to be totally honest it is not that difficult. I can teach someone the full basics of SEO in an afternoon.

So in my Internet Journey I’ve had to really learn how to master Internet Marketing, I have spent a lot of time and worked with the very best to master my craft. As a client, I had to learn it or else I was screwed. I realized this as a consultant. My clients must be coachable and trainable and learn how to do this as well, if they are going to get the optimal results. My whole premise is that I must be able to “teach” my clients to fish for themselves. If I do my job right they will become better at this than I and hopefully refer a few new clients along the way.

Do Your Homework and Hire Professionals

On the flip side there are just some either lazy or unscrupulous folks out there who are looking to make a fast buck. I found a company the other day that was marketing themselves as a “Google Certified Company.” I asked my friends at Google, “is there such a thing?” Answer, NOPE.

They can rest assured they might contacted by Google about this “certified company” practice because there is no such certification, usually it is a death sentence in Internet Speak. I can also tell you that every day I am still learning, no one knows it all. What I can tell you is that if I don’t have an answer for it I probably know where to go get the answer, we all have that ability.

So where do we go from here? We chalk up all of our bad experiences to our “informal education.” Probably more expensive than a Harvard Education, but hey, at least we now know what NOT to do. Here is a good question to ask your internet marketing vendors if you are seeking to grow your business. “How many leads in the drug addiction treatment space did you generate last month?” Ask to see some of them. If you like their answers hire them, if not keep searching for the right folks otherwise you will be paying for their education and yours. If they change the subject or go off on another tangent bring them back to this question if you are looking for results, do not let them off the hook.

Finally, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes. “If you think it is expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.” Red Adair

Drug Addiction Treatment Article Marketing

As with any internet marketing for drug addiction treatment centers, therapists and behavioral health counselors or any other industry, it is all incremental. There is no one silver bullet, except maybe Oprah, and that only lasts a day unless you can find a another way to get some more mileage out of it. So, if there is no one silver bullet, we want to look at several methods in getting qualified traffic to our site.

One of the most cost effective ways to do this is with Article Marketing. Article Marketing allows you get essentially “free” targeted traffic to your web site by writing articles and uploading them to article directories.

The article directories serve as a couple of different functions:

1) Distribution/Syndication: Many article directories rank well and since they have search engine visibility it is very possible your article will get the same visibility and therefore end up ranking naturally in Google’s organic results.

a. Anchor Text Links: Article directories allow you to place 1-4 hyperlinks in the articles and the value of these links is what you are receiving for the article directory receiving your free content

2) Sites Seeking Relevant Content: Other webmasters look to article directories for relevant articles to use as content on their own web sites.

a. Other web masters are supposed to give you credit for your article and a link back, but often times this is not the case… if they do it can be very helpful from an SEO standpoint as you will get “free” links.

In order to understand why article marketing is so effective we need to understand a little bit about SEO. What is SEO? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Using both on and off-page SEO, you can increase your organic placement and therefore traffic volumes from the search engine result pages.

Ideally with more traffic coming into your site the greater chance you have more a significant increase in conversions. The first order of business is becoming more familiar with some of the “on page” items that the search engines care about, such as:

1. Title Tag Usage –This is code and it shows up in the Google Search Results
2. Body Text – Text of the article
3. H1 tags – Headline on the Web page
4. Domain Names – is a domain name
5. Meta Usage – Title, Description, Keyword, Alt, Image tags etc.
6. etc

These bullets above are all contributing factors for ranking and are being factored by the search engines “on-page.” Since on-page and content are almost exactly the same, what is going to be the deciding factor for the search engines to rank one listing over the other? What drives organic web site rank in the SERP’s (Search Engine Results Pages)? Google is looking at who is the most referenced, and who has the most incoming links, particularly via relevant content. Writing great articles and content can attract more people who in turn may naturally link to you. Once a site achieves more inbound links, it will naturally get pushed up the Google search ranks. But where? The site who has the most links and highest quality links wins.

Let’s take a look at this in more detail. SEO has to be structured around keywords, i.e. keyword specific links. But Just having links is not enough. Google also looks at the following attributes in a sites link portfolio:

1. Link popularity (The popularity of the hosting site)
2. Link age (Links age with time, older is better as it shows more trust)
3. Link Topic i.e. Article Marketing Drug Addiction Treatment (Relevancy has a lot of weight)
4. Link Authority (Is the hosting site ranking, how many incoming links do they have, etc)
5. Link Reputation (Is the hosting site trusted in Google)
6. Link Growth Rates (You want a natural trend for quicker trust)
7. Linking with a community on niche (this is absolutely critical)
8. Link Anchor Text – Keyword specific (See below for the code example and an actual clickable link)

Internet Marketing Consultant (This would be considered an example as clickable anchor text/link text)

Google looks at these links and how the hosting sites are looking at you. It`s who has the most anchor text keywords and the absolute best incoming links that stands the best chance to rank for those keywords. If you want to Rank for “Pet Friendly Women Only Drug Addiction Treatment in Florida” you will have a much easier time of it than if you are trying to rank for “Drug Rehab in Florida”.
What topics to write about in Drug Addiction Treatment?

One way to really get to the customer answers is to record your admissions phone calls. You will begin to see a pattern of similar questions being asked by clients before they even consider entering a treatment center. Chose a popular question as the topic of an article. Make sure you really are as thorough as possible in answering ALL of their questions surrounding this one particular topic when writing your piece . For example, if you chose “What is your aftercare program like after I leave the treatment center?” What you need to do is twist that question into a generic topic for an article like: “What are the best drug addiction treatment center aftercare programs like?” Remember you are NOT advertising your treatment center in article marketing you are only providing information and a reference source.

Look closely at the leaders in your niche, visit their websites and Twitter profiles. Find out what people are asking them. You will begin to see patterns. Make sure that you are covering some of those same topics and do it more thoroughly. It makes sense you will be viewed more of as an authority and the expert the more you write.

Give it all away!

Yes, give the readers your absolute best information. You can’t give away a lifetime of professional work in 1 article or 100 articles. Instead, if you do give the user your best information you might be perceived as the industry expert since many others are just giving away superfluous and redundant generic information.

Syndication of Drug Addiction Treatment Article’s

Not only is using article marketing directories a great place to distribute your information, also try the following… Connect with aggregators like and to distribute your content to many of the social media sites all simultaneously. This saves a lot of time in manual distribution. You can also use article syndication tools, like

Google doesn’t actually tell us, but many authority SEO`s think Google`s algorithm determines organic placement by 20-30% on-page factors (metas, content, etc) and 70-80% off page factors (links!)…meaning: LINKS MATTER MORE! Your links will determine how successful your rankings are.

In order to get your articles distributed, article marketing directories are the best place to start. A site like Ezine Articles gets some 15 Million readers per month. Just make sure that if you are using article directories (especially if you are manually submitting the content) that they are passing Page Rank. Don`t know how to check? Just use the list below and add at least 1 article to 4 or 5 of the article directories every week, if possible.

Start writing for other Web sites and Blogs

Writing for the article directories is one way to get out there. However, there are many other ways to get your messages out there. I would focus on the drug treatment industry publishers in order to get relevant, powerful backlinks from trusted web sites. Take, for instance, this article on Behavioral Health Central. By writing here on BHC, this article not only winds up in the Google news, it also gets picked up by other web sites and repurposed. You can also write for other drug addiction treatment topics on sites like, and many others. Just contact the publisher, learn about their guidelines and see if your expertise is required.

Show me the money! Or where’s the beef?!

The beef is in the links of the articles. So what is the best way to go about getting these inbound links to your site? Just building content is not enough… it is a failed strategy.

Reciprocal links are not good enough and actually don`t hold much weight unless they are in your own niche. So if you have a drug addiction treatment center and you have incoming reciprocal links with a rental car company, for example, Google does not care too much about that link(s).

Here are a few ways to get incoming links:

1. Make sales calls to get links
2. Write for other publishers
3. Press releases
4. Paid links and advertisements
5. Blog commenting “with follow links”
6. Blog writing
7. Use Authority Directory submissions listings
a. (industry relevancy first)
e. Best of the web
8. Q&A sites, like Yahoo Answers
9. Social media sites, like LinkedIn, Twitter etc.

Drug Addiction Treatment Article Components

1. Title should include your keyphrase
2. Body 400- 600 words max
3. Lots of easy reading. Allow the user to skip skim and scan.
4. Keyword focus and density
5. Author box, with links coming back to your site. Many times you can prepare multiple author profiles.

Hand submit to the article directories and remember, more is not always better. You want sites that are both SEO friendly (for the search engine value)and that also achieve high traffic volumes (for potential direct clicks). Your site has a set link build rate according to Google. They know if you got 2 links per week for the last year. To make your efforts appear natural, you want to vary your anchor text and your destination pages. You don`t want to always link to the home page. This looks unnatural. Do not over optimize one keyword or one page. Products like SEO Elite will help you with back link anchor text.

As far as we know in the SEO space, duplicate content filters do not exist for articles. Competition is what separates the wheat from the chafe. While several sites might republish the same article, Google will analyze which is the best optimized page and which is the best hosting site. Google will then remove the article on lower valued site(s) from their index.

A short list of benefits with article marketing

Keep a daily look out in your Google Analytics of where your referral sites are coming in from. You should begin to see some patterns. You can even have these reports automated to you and sent in an e-mail(Google alerts). With very little effort, you can get some serious benefits from article marketing.

1) Articles get your name and business “syndication”
2) Articles run in the background and work for you while you are sleeping
3) Articles do not require ongoing administration
4) Article marketing is scalable
5) Article marketing is trackable
6) Article marketing is not advertising, it is information distribution

7) ***You can embed up to as many as 1-4 links per article for links back to your web site(s)
In summary, if you aren‘t doing article marketing right now, you need to be. It should be a key component of your off-page SEO strategy to help generate organic traffic to your website. You can either do it yourself by following some of the guidelines above, or hire an Internet Marketing Consultant to do this for you. You might want to consider drug addiction treatment article marketing as 10-25% of your SEO strategy….because it works!

Drug Addiction Treatment Centers Using Google Local SEO

This is arguably the smartest way to the top of Google and it is free, use the Google Places formerly called Google Local Business Center to add your business profile. It is my understanding that many folks also call this Google Maps. If you have multiple locations you will want to add your addiction treatment center to the free Google Local Business Center in each location. If you have a center on main street and another sober living facility in the next town you want to create two listings, even if they are the same name, you have two locations and two physical buildings of operation, use this to your advantage on Google.

Where this comes in really handy is in some of the larger treatment areas like Delray Beach Florida where dozens of treatment centers are located. Try this, type into Google treatment centers in Delray Beach Florida. You will see multiple local listings in Delray Beach.

So too if you type in treatment centers in Marblehead, MA you will see come up first. You can either send the user to the Google profile or directly to your web site. Try this in your local town and see who is listed there. You might find no one. So make the move now and get listed!

I recommend that you fill out the Google Local Business Center to 100%. This means you add at least one great video and up to 5 videos per listing, (read again, please add a great video) a web URL, phone, location, multiple images, coupons, keyphrases, a strong description and make sure you tell your clients to give you reviews. This is a great way to pass around positive feedback, however it is also a way to pass around negative feedback, so make sure that you are ok with being transparent. In the long run it should pay off for you.

How to rank for local listings? Make your listing “relevant.” What this means is make the listing with your major keyphrases like Teen Drug Addiction Treatment Center. I would try and go for the keyphrases that really fit your strong suit in business. Just putting in treatment center or drug rehab is not as effective.

Here is an article that does an even better job of explaining what I just told you above. Better Rankings for Google Local Search.

Jim Peake is an internet marketing consultant with special focus on the behavioral health and addiction treatment industry. He helps treatment centers improve their web presence and in lead generation online as well as offline. He uses advanced SEO and PPC direct response advertising for addiction treatment search engine marketing