As competition in healthcare heats up, drug rehabs should also consider conquering the search results. The question is how.
This post shares a five-step guide to building a scalable search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
What Is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
SEO is tricky, so defining it should be first on our to-do list. What is it? How does it help your rehab facility?
To better understand SEO, let us talk about how search engines work. They have three key parts:
- Crawling. Search engines “crawl” the Internet with bots or web spiders. These programs visit websites and read their code to understand the site’s content and structure. The goal is to add new pages to the search engine’s index.
- Indexing. Once the search engine crawls a page, it “indexes” it. In other words, it becomes part of the results database. The indexing process also helps the search engine understand your page’s purpose and relevancy to certain keywords.
- Serving. When a user types in a query and hits “enter,” the search engine “serves” the results. The engine retrieves the most relevant pages from its index and displays them, with the most relevant appearing first.
Your page’s ranking depends on search engine algorithms and signals. An algorithm is a set of rules that the search engine uses to determine what appears in the results.
Meanwhile, a signal is a quality metric the search engine looks for when crawling and indexing your pages. These include keyword relevancy, site structure, user experience (UX), and backlinks.
According to Digital Authority Partners (DAP), drug rehab SEO, therefore, is about:
- Optimizing your pages so that they can appear on the search results, preferably on the first page or, even better, the first position
- Using techniques that align with search engine ranking signals and algorithm updates
- So you can meet your marketing goals, which range from brand awareness to lead generation and patient retention
5-Step Guide to Launching a Drug Rehab SEO
Now that you know the SEO basics let us get into the dirty work. Here are five steps to launch such a campaign from scratch:
1. Identify Your Marketing Objective
SEO is highly versatile; you can implement it to support your digital marketing goal. But you should be clear about what you want to achieve to give it direction, allocate resources more efficiently, and guide the rest of the steps below.
You can set whatever objectives you like. But we strongly suggest picking quantifiable, measurable, relevant, and specific ones. For example:
- Increase click-through rate (CTR) by 5% and decrease bounce rate by 1% (consider industry benchmarks for these).
- Boost the number of leads by 30% year-over-year (refer to your historical data).
- Receive 200 phone calls from the website monthly.
- Achieve a 5% conversion rate on the contact us page.
- Get 20 more backlinks from authoritative websites in 45 days.
2. Define Your Sales Funnel
Done with setting your goal? The next step is to determine your sales funnel based on your objective.
Let us say you want to increase your conversion rate by 5%. What does a sales funnel then look like? It may be like this:
- Awareness. The patient becomes aware of their addiction and realizes that they need help. They learn about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse and the benefits of sobriety.
- Interest. The patient becomes interested in your rehabilitation center. They may search for “rehab near me” or “best drug rehab centers.” They read reviews and compare you with other facilities.
- Consideration. The patient evaluates their options and narrows them down to the best ones. They look at your website, social media channels, and third-party reviews. They compare your features with those of other rehabs.
- Decision. The patient decides you are the best option. They contact you to inquire about your services, schedule an appointment, or sign up for detoxification or rehabilitation programs.
As you can see, SEO supports every stage of the sales funnel. It helps you appear in the search results, so interested patients can find you. Then, it encourages them to take action by visiting your site and taking the next step in their buyer’s journey.
3. Pick the Right Keywords to Use
Keywords are the foundation of SEO. They are the terms or phrases that patients use when they search for information related to their addiction and recovery.
Picking the right ones requires research, analysis, and planning. As a guide, focus on user intent according to the sales funnel stages:
- Informational keywords. These are terms often searched by patients in the awareness stage, such as “drug addiction symptoms,” “alcohol withdrawal symptoms,” and “how to detox from alcohol at home.”
- Navigational keywords. Patients who use this likely know what they want. They use these to find a particular website or business, such as your rehab center’s name, address, and contact number.
- Transactional keywords. These terms are usually from leads in the decision stage. Possible options are “drug rehab cost,” “alcohol treatment programs,” and “inpatient drug rehab near me.”
- Commercial keywords. These are terms that show a high intent to buy. They already know your brand and use it to compare your products and services with others. Keywords might be “[your facility] vs. [other clinics]” or “[your clinic] service costs.”
4. Build Content Silos
When you have the keywords, you can already build content silos. It is an architecture for your website where each page focuses on one or two keywords.
When done correctly, it increases the relevance of your site for those keywords, leading to higher rankings in the search results. It also makes navigating your website easier for users and search engine crawlers.
Here is a typical content silo structure with possible keywords and tips:
- Pillar pages. These are the foundation of your silo. They are comprehensive guides targeting a single keyword, such as “alcohol withdrawal symptoms.” You can link related subpages to this page, so search engine crawlers can easily find them.
- Topic clusters. These are the subpages under each pillar page, each focusing on a specific keyword related to the main topic. For example, under “alcohol withdrawal symptoms,” you can have subpages discussing the different types of withdrawal symptoms, such as “insomnia during alcohol withdrawal” and “tremors during alcohol withdrawal.”
- Blog posts. You can also use blog posts to support your pillar pages and topic clusters. For instance, you can write about “ways to ease alcohol withdrawal symptoms at home” or “10 foods to avoid during alcohol withdrawal.”
5. Grow Your Backlinks
After writing your content, you are ready to grow your backlinks, which are links that point to your website. These matter because they:
- Stress your relevance to your chosen keywords and expertise in your niche
- Help increase your rankings by making your site appear more authoritative
- Lead to referral traffic or patients who click on the links and visit your website
You can increase your backlinks by doing the following:
- Guest blogging. You can write articles for other websites in your niche and then include a link to your site. For example, you can write about “10 effective detox methods for alcohol withdrawal” and link to your page discussing different treatment programs.
- Resource page links. These are links from websites that list resources related to addiction and recovery. You can reach out to these sites and ask to be included in their list.
- Broken link building. You can find websites with broken links and then offer your website as a replacement.
- Social media. You can also share your website and content on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
- Brand mentions. Search your clinic’s name online and check whether it is a hyperlink. If not, you can contact the site owner and ask them to link to your website.
Drug rehab SEO connects your clinic and services to patients and their families who need your support and expertise. This five-step guide ensures you can begin the plan today.
Nevertheless, working with a digital marketing agency specializing in your niche helps execute your drug rehab SEO effectively. They have the tools and experts to get the job done while you focus on other areas of your business.