Google Halts PPC Ads for Rehab Industry

Mike Iaco
By Mike Iaco

How To Continue To Connect With Prospective Patients Online

Last week, Google implemented restrictions on paid search results for the drug and alcohol treatment industry. Search queries like “drug treatment center”, “drug rehab center”, “alcohol rehab center” and many more no longer show paid search ads. Many drug and alcohol treatment facilities historically relied on PPC ads to drive leads and enroll patients into their centers. This change has many of them scrambling to find new ways to keep their facilities full.

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Why Is This Happening?

Truthfully, no one knows exactly why and Google isn’t really saying. Over the past year the Drug Rehab / Detox industry has gotten a really bad reputation due to some unqualified and sketchy treatment facilities who prey on vulnerable addicts and loved ones who are desperate for help. Google is facing serious PR pressure and maybe even litigation, which is causing them to make rapid adjustments to their PPC algorithm – leaving the industry in a tail spin.

What Now?

This change only affects paid search ads while organic results are unchanged.

Content marketing and SEO are going to be the key to online success moving forward. And it is a race to the top of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) for many rehab and detox facilities who were dumping millions of dollars into PPC as a primary customer acquisition strategy.

Facilities that have a strong On-Page SEO, Content, and PR strategy will not be affected because the change only affects paid search ads, while organic results are unchanged. See the CTR (click through rate) chart below to better understand the importance of organic rankings and the traffic if can drive.

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How Can Rehab Facilities Win In This Competitive SEO Environment?

There are 3 core website marketing tactics that can be deployed to save your facility and continue to drive qualified leads and traffic through organic search. These include on-page and technical SEO, content marketing, and digital PR.

On-Page SEO & Technical SEO

Why is SEO a better opportunity now more than ever? Now that ads are removed for many of these searches, the top, organic positions will see huge increase in traffic. Why is this? Since ads are removed, the organic listings are taking up more real estate on the top of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Implementing a strong on-page and technical SEO strategy is one of the key elements to driving more organic traffic.

On-Page SEO consists of creating keyword-rich and optimized content in order to drive rankings. Developing the core technical element on each page of your website is crucial to rankings as well. A few of these technical elements are Title Tags, Header Tags, Meta Descriptions, Schema Markup, XML Sitemap, and many more. Make sure you have a SEO strategy in place for each of your core pages so that your website starts getting more organic traffic.

 

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Content Marketing

Do you have a comprehensive content strategy in place? Blogging and creating high-quality content is a best practice in the rehab industry as you need to build out the educational resources for people considering going to rehab. While it’s great to produce content, it’s even more important to make sure that you have a robust content marketing strategy in place.

Make sure the content you’re producing is strategically thought out (topic, keywords, indexing, relevance, transactional focus, internal links etc.). Topic modeling is a key component to producing content that answers a question that people are looking for. The more strategic content you can create, the more keywords will rank and the more traffic you will get.

One of the best things rehab facilities can do is to build out clusters of content around each specific service you offer. You should be building out resources around each treatment program you offer – from alcohol dependence to opiate addiction to chronic relapse treatment. This supports your overall organic strategy from a technical perspective while also ensuring you have enough resources to ease the mind of patients and loved ones alike.

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Online PR

Are credible third party sites in the rehab industry writing articles about your facility with quality links to drive traffic? If not, this is a must to get ahead of the competition. There are several publications discussing relevant topics within the rehab industry and looking for trending topics to write about, and making sure your facility is top of mind is very important.

Our agency has established hundreds of relationships with publications and editors in the recovery treatment space. Due to these strong relationships, our team is in constant communication with these publications and is looking for opportunities to secure in-content links that help drive traffic and rankings.

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Don’t Know What To Do Now?

Don’t worry, we can help you!  Power Digital has a proven track record of helping rehab and detox facilities rank on page 1 of Google for the most critical search queries.

The time is now, and if you are a credible facility in business for the right reasons – to truly help families overcome this terrible disease – we are here to consult you and help you stay in business.

 

 

 

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Mike is the Head Strategist at Power Digital who has 15+ years of B2C and B2B marketing experience. A San Diego native and University of Arizona graduate, he prides himself on working hand-in-hand with our client's teams on developing customized strategies with measurable results