PPC (Pay Per Click Advertising or better known as Google Adwords) can make or break a drug addiction treatment center business. I used to be proficient in Google Adwords but it is changing so fast that I now work with professionals in the industry. On the job training can be very expensive. This article only offers a brief overview of some of the things to consider when deploying an Adwords Campaign.
As we all probably know you can get to page one of Google using their Adwords program, but the only problem is you WILL pay for it especially if you don’t know what you are doing. Here’s why, it could be the most expensive real estate online. This is where the BUYERS are. As Red Adair said, “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur,” this is so true in the Adwords business. I have watched over the past two years many treatment centers spend $10’s of thousands of dollars every month. I can also tell you that they are converting terribly and they are paying super premium dollars for many of these keyword phrases. How do I know? Much of the information is all public for us to see on Spy Fu and Keyword Spy. Do a search on Youtube for Google Adwords Bidding Tutorial for a start to Adwords training on the Google Business Channel.
It makes sense to learn how to do Adwords before you get involved, even if you hire someone to do it for you. You must be able to manage the Adwords professional. The reason is you can find yourself on the other side of a massive credit card bill and no admissions into your drug addiction treatment center. What happens then is the owner gets frustrated with the whole internet thing and loses any confidence that they can convert web traffic into admissions, at the same time seeing their competition pass them in the information super highway.
If you want to start throwing money away today just take a look at the companies pointing their Adwords clicks right to their home pages! (Big No No) Shut off the campaigns immediately and fix it. The boys at Google hate this, but their bank accounts love it. They would rather see the user have a relevant experience and buy something from the ad you ran on Google. Why? Because, if Google finds a solution for their users they are sure to come back to Google again and again because they find what they are looking for. Google does not want people to keep hitting the back button.
So what is a drug treatment center to do in the Adwords Game? Start by learning about landing page optimization. There are plenty of books about it and I have interviewed author Tim Ash of Site Tuners who is one of the industry leaders. Type in to Google Tim Ash interview with Jim Peake and you will see the interview. You will need to start testing many different variables in your Adwords campaigns. For example, the ads can be tested, the geography can be tested, the bids can be adjusted, the time of day and the days can be adjusted, the landing page offers can be split tested, i.e. a green page and a blue page. (Yes color can make a HUGE difference).
If your ad says Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center for Women send the user to a web page that says that. Don’t send them to a Christian Drug Treatment Web/Landing Page. Users do not like surprises, what they will do is hit the back button and go back out to Google and you have been dinged by Google because the user rejected your web page and your quality score will go down. (A Quality Score is calculated every time your keyword matches a search query — that is, every time your keyword has the potential to trigger an ad). They record this and your quality score goes down. Google tracks everything.
The Adwords goal is to make the phone ring with calls of people looking for Drug Addiction Treatment and web forms to fill your inbox. Answer them quickly. Do your best to answer the phone in three rings and hopefully within the hour on the web forms. (Have the calls go straight into your smart phone). The first one to help usually has a much greater likelihood to win the new client, even if you can’t help the client you can refer the client to another center who often will reciprocate.
The name of this whole Adwords game is to capture consumer data either via phone or web form/email. I find that too many addiction treatment centers provide a web page with reams of content and 50-100 links, the user is now overwhelmed and they hit the back button, you just got dinged again by Google. Capture their information BEFORE you let them into your site.
Here’s another simple idea for Adwords. Go local. If your treatment center is located in New Mexico only advertise in New Mexico. Master this market first, then go after other bigger states like Colorado and Texas. Typically I see many treatment centers get most of their business within a days drive from their center.
Why are the keyword bids so expensive in the drug addiction treatment space? Because very few centers are doing it correctly, artificially inflating the prices. We have a saying in the DRTV industry and it is called a MER ratio. Media Efficiency Ratio. Spend $1 and generate $4 in revenue and you have a 4:1 MER or more commonly known as a 4:1 ratio. If you can spend $10,000 per week you want $40,000 in revenue to get to a 4:1 ratio. This ratio might work for steak knives but it might not for many treatment centers.
In a couple of other areas we can add third party software to track the keyword based on the phone call. It costs a bit more but it can be a valuable investment if you are able to determine which of the keyword you are bidding on are converting into admissions over the phone. Many admissions coordinators have a lot to process when speaking to a client, asking them to ask the client for a keyword phrase can be awkward. You can also put demographic overlays into your Adwords campaigns so you can only target zip codes with income over $100K in income. Again, there are a lot of moving parts to a successful Adwords campaign.
Jim Peake Bio- Jim is an internet marketing consultant with special focus on addiction treatment in the behavioral health 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. He helps sellers meet buyers of treatment centers. Jim is also active in social media marketing.