To paraphrase Teddy Roosevelt, nothing worth doing is easy. And while search engine optimization (SEO) is absolutely worth doing, it is definitely not easy. In fact, SEO is downright hard. It is a complicated field requiring significant time, effort, and resources to reap its rewards. Because of this, local SEO for drug rehabs is often dismissed as not worth the ROI.
But nothing could be further from the truth.
The ability to rank high on Google, Bing, and Yahoo is one of the most valuable assets your organization can possess. Local searches have increased significantly in recent years. Google Insights reported a whopping 900% increase in searches including the words “near me” or “close by.” If your rehab doesn’t appear on the first page after a search, for all practical purposes, you are invisible.
What SEO Is (and Isn’t)
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the continual process of increasing your website’s traffic both in terms of quantity and quality-driven through organic online search. Search engines use code to crawl websites and collect, store, and index the information they find. This information is then passed through algorithms to determine which websites best match the searcher’s intent.
Searcher “intent” has become increasingly important as Google, Bing, and other search engines become ever more intelligent. This shift has ended the days of stuffing websites with keywords and endless pages nonsensical content. Search engines are now actively trying to determine exactly what searchers want to see. Algorithms are constantly changing, and your competitors are continually updating their websites. This is why SEO is a continual, never-ending practice.
The goal of local SEO for drug rehabs is to make it on the first page of the search results. Ideally, in one of the top three positions. Although SEO can seem overwhelming and complex, there are many steps you can take right now to bolster your ranking. We’ve highlighted the top three below.
Optimize Your Website
Regarding SEO, making sure your website is optimized for search engine crawlers is critical. Many of the updates necessary to optimize local SEO for drug rehab require seemingly obvious but often overlooked content. Considering nearly 46% of all searches are local, you can’t afford to allow a simple oversight to jeopardize poor rankings.
First up is creating a dedicated contact page. This page needs to include your complete, unabbreviated contact information. This includes your complete company name, address, phone number, fax number (if you still have one), and email address. Make sure your email address and phone number are clickable. This will make it easier for visitors to reach out to you. Additionally, add a map for your location.
On the more technical side, add appropriate Schema markup. Schema.org was founded by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Yandex to create a common vocabulary so search engines can better understand the websites they crawl. In a nutshell, Schema tells the search engines you are a local business and not a large corporation. However, not only does content matter to search engines but so too does your website’s mobile responsiveness. Search engines check what information will be displayed on smaller screens, which can differ greatly from the full desktop site. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly to capture nearly 60% of searches done on mobile devices.
Stake Your (Online) Claim
It is easy to focus all your time on optimizing your website, but your company information exists online in dozens of other places. Claiming your business on various websites will help boost your website’s visibility to search engines, increasing the number of creditable links back to your website. In general, claim and update your rehab information on the following:
Google My Business (GMB), Yelp, and the Better Business Bureau are just a few websites where you will want to claim and update your business’s data with the most accurate information. GMB, in particular, is vital to keep up-to-date and complete.
Create social profiles on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, where you can reach more individuals and families who may need your help. You’ll need to post content regularly for this to be beneficial.
Add and update your contact information in industry directories such as help.org and Medicare.gov and local provider networks, including health insurance and medical provider directories.
Make it a reoccurring event to review and update your rehab’s information on third-party websites. Data may change without your knowing, and inaccurate information will hurt your website’s search engine ranking.
Create Local Content
The top-ranking factor for local search results is the proximity to the searcher. An optimized website and updated third-party directories will provide a strong foundation when trying to compete for the top spots on the search engines. However, it creates relevant content that secures a website’s ability to cling to top rankings.
When it comes to content, local SEO for drug rehabs begins with your blog. Each blog post must provide information patients, and their families are actively seeking. While there are some general guidelines on to blog post length (at least 250 words) and formatting (headings, citations, etc.), ultimately, search engines want to see high-quality content.
Within each piece of content, you can increase your website’s likelihood of appearing in local search queries where competition is lower than for the broader national audience. Including the city where you are located, names of neighboring towns, and unofficial terms locals use to describe your area will go a long way toward telling search engine crawlers the population your rehab serves.
Blog posts can later be broken down and used in additional marketing efforts, such as on social media or local press releases. A primary objective of creating blog posts is to obtain backlinks to boost your website’s authority. Strong backlinks are those posted on websites that are not affiliated with you but are considered trusted authorities themselves.
Starting Local SEO for Drug Rehabs
There is no lack of information on the internet about search engine optimization. However, just as no two websites are the same, neither should the approach be to SEO. The best-optimized websites have homed in on exactly who their target audience is and developed an SEO strategy to match. If your rehab is not ranking within the top three centers locally, contact Full Circle SEM today.