Drug Addiction Treatment Center and Therapist Online Marketing Basics

Do you know how many people visited your addiction treatment center web site last month? Do you know how many of them made phone calls because they visited your web site?

How much should we spend on marketing? That depends on a lot of variables. But I would consider if you have a 30 bed treatment center and are charging $15K per month I would plan on spending $30K per month in online marketing alone. Why so much you might ask, because it is cheaper than hiring employees and the internet can do a great job at filtering out the right clients for your business more efficiently.

Having been exposed to the Web since 1995 and then pursuing a career in web design and development I’ve seen a lot of stuff come and go. Being an internet marketing and management consultant in the behavioral healthcare field I help many drug addiction treatment centers with the design and development of their web sites. While some of the web remains the same, much of it is changing, and quickly. There are some core components that you will want in creating a Web site or maintaining your existing site for your drug addiction treatment center or even if you are a sole proprietor in the behavioral healthcare field.

The goals of the site need to be defined by the owner of the business. Some just want to inform and put up information that is relevant to their business and provide their clients with creditability. Others want to create a direct response lead generation type of a site and have site visitors call them after they have had the chance to view the information. So far I haven’t seen anyone sell healthcare services on their site, maybe that day might come, so for now e-commerce is out. Addiction treatment is a two step sales process to close the sale.

For me 98% of my clients want a lead generation site. There are a few things that you will want to do to help you capture more leads or increase site visitors or both. Here is the short incomplete bulleted list in no certain order:

1) Build on a content management system (CMS) so you can “at will” add more documents
2) Use trust icons i.e. NAATP and association icons
3) Put a web form on EVERY page
4) Add a Google Map on your contact page
5) Add an 800# on all pages above and below the fold
6) Add Google Analytics
a. Add goals in analytics
b. Add analytics into your thank you pages after the user fills out the forms
7) Add incoming relevant links to your web site as often as you can
8) Add content to your site as often as you can preferably every day if not at least once per week
9) Add video and tag it correctly
10) Create “landing pages” for your PPC campaigns
11) Create TRUST: Add testimonials
12) Add an XML site map
13) List yourself with the major directories

Drug Addiction Treatment CMS Systems

There are several content management systems available. The point of CMS system is to be able to have your people add content and edit content easily. Examples are WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. If you aren’t familiar with them then go to Google and get familiar with them, they will make your life easier. I strongly suggest you go with an open CMS platform for a variety of reasons, cost and SEO being major drivers.

Drug Addiction Treatment Trust Icons

If you belong to an industry association then you want to tell everyone who visits your web site. Theoretically the more trust icons you have it will establish instant trust because you are invested in the Behavioral Health Industry and the industry is invested in you.

Capture Drug Addiction Treatment Leads

Make sure you use a web form to capture the leads. This is critical. The more ways you give a user to reach you the easier it is for them. The main point of using a web form is the ability to capture the keyphrase that they searched on i.e. Drug Addiction Treatment Center for Women

Drug Addiction Treatment Center with Google Maps

Make sure that you add your business to the Google Places. This will allow you to be featured in the local listings for free on Google and also place a Google Map on your site so that it is easier to find you. I recommend Google Maps vs. other Map providers since Google is the most searched engine as well as I find it the most user friendly and it is integrated with Google Earth.

Drug Addiction Treatment Center 800#’s

In almost all cases you will find 800#’s on the drug addiction treatment center web sites. It is important to place them on every page as well as above and below the fold. (Header and Footer). Make sure that you are able to track the 800# calls and get a CDR report. The CDR or the call detail report will tell you who called, from where and for how long. If you want to even go further I would recommend using a java script 800# service where you can even track the keyphrase the user typed in to call your 800#. It is a little more expensive but well worth every penny. It is often used especially in the PPC environments. If you need a 800# provider that can track your calls send me an e-mail and I’ll send you a couple.

Drug Addiction Treatment Centers Must Use Google Analytics

Not having a tracking system in place is like leaving the front and back door of your business open at all times. The more data you are able to track the more likely you get to learn about your clients and the better you will be able to serve them. It takes 10-30 minutes to install Google Analytics on your web site. You will be able to track the number of visitors to your site, where they are coming from, for how long they stayed and what term they searched on to get to your site as well as did they complete the goal (or web form) and give you their contact information.

Google also allows you to share this information with your other team members in marketing and admissions as well as outsiders like your Web consultant and web developer. If you need help with this let me know because it only takes 10-30 minutes to get it going.

A Drug Addiction Treatment Center Without Links is Not Going to Rank

There is a good overview on Behavioral Health Central with an article on the value of incoming links to your site. Google uses the number and quality of trusted incoming links as a benchmark to how they will rank you in their search results. You must keep adding incoming links on a regular basis. Get them from your business partners. Get them from your speaking engagements. Get them from drug rehab and drug treatment industry directories; get them from Business.com and Yahoo.com directories. Get listed with DMOZ.

If you really want to rank for a keyphrase do a search for it in Google. See who is at the top of the search results. Ask them for a link, this will be your best way to rank for it.

If you want to see how many incoming links you have go to Yahoo site explorer and you will be able to see all of the incoming links to your web site. My recommendation is you want at minimum of 2,500 quality incoming links and 10,000 + is ideal. This will give you a competitive advantage for Google search results pages.

Add Drug Addiction Treatment Content All the Time

Google is hungry for original content. My recommendation is to do your keyword research and write articles about information your clients are searching for. For example, they typically search on dual diagnosis a lot more than “co-occurring.” So write the article on dual diagnosis in . In an ideal situation you are writing at least 2 articles per day, and continually adding quality content to your site. The more content you add the more often Google will come back to your site.

I would also write lengthy articles instead of short 250 word articles. The reason is if you are a user and about to make a $5K-50K purchase from a treatment center give them something! Otherwise they will hit the back button and Google will take note. Give more instead of less information, it will always serve you better in this case.

Let Drug Addiction Treatment Videos Do the Selling

John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing says, “people do business with people they know, like and trust.” Let them get to know you. The best way to communicate this is through a video or multiple videos. And make sure that you “tag” the video correctly. I would use the keyphrase that you want to rank for plus location. The reason why location is so powerful is because buyers tend to search by location. You also must have a call to action at the end of the video, it is not enough to just to add a URL or a phone number at the end of the video. Give them a reason to call.

Here is a video by Velvet Mangan of Safe Harbor Treatment for Women who is using video in what I believe is the correct way. You will see she also has the video on her web site and she has comments on the video as well.

I can go into more detail on video marketing however just doing the above will get you way ahead of most of your competition.

Create Drug Addiction Treatment Center Landing Pages for Your PPC Campaigns

If you are spending heavily on PPC you must make sure you are doing it correctly. Every day I see treatment centers sending PPC traffic to their home pages. I would not do this in every case. It is confusing to the users. If you are going to send PPC traffic to your site you must create separate landing pages. For example, if you are paying $10.00 for the keyphrase dual diagnosis treatment center in Florida, then send the user to a page with this content in it, not a home pages that has 50 possible clicks out to other information.

Basically it is one thought or keyphrase per web page. If the user types in dual diagnosis treatment center in Florida and they get an ad that says dual diagnosis treatment center in Florida, then send them to a page that says dual diagnosis treatment center in Florida. You will stand a much better chance of converting this site visitor into a lead.

Create TRUST for Your Drug Addiction Treatment Center Website

Publish testimonials wherever possible. Video is preferred, but if you can’t get video, get written and even better get them published on 3rd party web sites: i.e. Treatment-centers.net, AboutDrugRehab.com, YouTube, Yelp etc. You can’t tell your business story as well as your clients can with absolute creditibility. Client testimonials add validation and creditability. We talked about trust icons earlier. In my experience TRUST is everything in terms of getting people to take action with you, be it giving you their information or writing you a check. Lowering the “risk factors” as much as possible creates trust and creates buyers. The more information the consumer has the less fear there is in doing business with you so have your previous clients become a part of your marketing team.

XML Site Map for Your Treatment Center Website

What the heck is an XML Sitemap? “Through the XML protocol, search engines could track the URLs more efficiently, optimizing their search by placing all the information in one page. XML also summarizes how frequently a particular website is updated, and records the last time any changes were made. ” Basically make it easy for Google to know about your stuff on your site. Your technical team should be able to do this with ease.

Internet Directories and Drug Addiction Treatment

Google wants two things: 1) content and 2) links. In a perfect world list your drug treatment center Website with every drug addiction treatment directory possible. If you can’t do that, then list your site with the directories that provide you link value back to your site. These directories are good at optimizing their sites for the search engines. Just be careful that you are not listing your site on a competitors directory, make sure you know who owns the site. The best clicks will come from YOUR Web site not theirs.
A couple of other directories that offer link value are Yahoo, DMOZ and Business.com, get listed with them. The most valuable links you can acquire are the links relevant to your business and in the same industry. Also visit Treatment Centers directory and make sure you have at least a free listing with them.

Social Media and Drug Addiction Treatment Centers

I’ve been doing the social media thing for a few years now. While it seems to be getting a lot of attention at the end of the day it is not going to add a lot to your bottom line, hopefully someone will be able to prove me wrong. That said, it will add to your exposure in the drug addiction treatment industry which is a great place to get some of the highest quality leads. I don’t believe addicts are running to Facebook and Twitter to tweet their last fix or lack of one, however you might have a better pulse of an addict if they watch Jersey Shore on television.

As with any medium my recommendation to clients is to test and measure, test and measure. It what you are doing is working then do it again. If it is not working then either cut it or change it. In my experience with addiction treatment and social media I think it is a great way to connect with peers. It is a great way to keep up with what the industry leaders are doing.
Linked In offers some addiction treatment groups that might be of interest to you and they are not open to everyone. Twitter offers instant gratification in an open environment and you can easily follow others by adding others via their list application.
If you are looking for traffic using social media I would set up some Google alerts like celebrity drug bust, DUI or better yet just go to TMZ once per day and there is bound to be a new celebrity making news for entering rehab, a DUI or domestic disturbance or in some cases dying from a drug over dose. I would then write a blog post about the celebrity with their name in the title in the title of the blog post. I would not say much about them but just reference them and focus on what it is that you do that can help their “alleged” problems.

Celebrity names tend to get searched a lot especially when they get into the news cycle. You can have an opportunity to capitalize on the news cycle search volume by writing about their disorder. You won’t get thousands of visitors to your site but you might just add a few hundred extra visitors this month and you never know which one might be your next client. I would also insert their photo into the article for added interest.

Other than that I would attend conferences and speak as often as you can because this is the best way to use social media in real life.

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