Search engine optimization, or SEO, can be a challenging process for businesses in any industry – and that’s especially true for rehab centers. Without a strong understanding of both SEO best practices and the addiction treatment industry, it’s easy to make mistakes.
At WebFX, we have years of experience helping rehab centers reach more clients online, and we’ve seen firsthand what works – and what doesn’t. Here are a few practices your rehab center should avoid at all costs if you want to rank well in search engine results and generate new leads.
Many new SEOs make the mistake of optimizing for broad keywords in the hopes that because they have higher search volume, they’ll yield more traffic. However, this is the exact opposite of what a successful SEO does.
Let’s say, for example, you decide to optimize your homepage for the phrase, “rehab center.” This puts your site in direct competition with millions of other sites, and considering that many of them have been doing SEO for years, you don’t realistically stand a chance at ranking within the first 10 pages of results.
Not only that, but many of the search engine users who type, “rehab center” aren’t even potential clients for your business. They could be looking for rehabilitation services for various physical injuries, or could be located on the other side of the country (or world). So even if your site did show up in the results of their search, they wouldn’t be at all interested in learning about your center.
Instead, you need to optimize for long-tail keywords. Take, for example, what would happen if you optimized your homepage for “drug addiction treatment center in California.” Not only does this phrase have much less competition, but the majority of people who type it into a search engine are looking for centers just like yours.
Once you identify the appropriate keywords for your site, it’s important to incorporate them naturally. Although including them on your pages as many times as possible used to be an effective way to achieve high rankings in search engines, this practice is now known as “keyword stuffing,” and can actually damage your chances of ranking well.
Instead, write your site copy with your site visitors in mind. Include your keywords where they make sense, but never in a way that disrupts the flow of your content or makes your pages difficult to understand. User experience should be your primary concern, and repeating the same phrase over and over certainly doesn’t improve that.
In addition to the more technical side of SEO, it’s also critical to think about your audience. Although your clients are those who are struggling with drug addiction, they may not be the ones who take the first step in contacting your center.
In many cases, their loved ones research their options before speaking to them about treatment. With this in mind, you should not only create content that is intended for addicts, but also content that is directed to their family and friends.
If you’d like to learn more about how rehab centers can use SEO to reach more clients, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us today to speak to a strategist about the practices that do work, and how WebFX can use them for your center.