A Rehab Marketer’s Guide to Short, Mid & Long-Term SEO Success in 2018

Before September 2017, rehab marketers could take the proverbial ‘lift’ to the summit of the mountain in the form of quick hitting and highly visible PPC ads on the search engine results page (SERP) on Google. Of course, Google renaming AdWords – better known as Google Ads isn’t the only change to paid search that rehab marketers are familiar with. Since the infamous AdWords lockdown last September, every addiction rehab center in the U.S. coast to coast has had to rethink its lead generation strategy.

The post-AdWords landscape was a new one. Instead of bidding and buying calls, rehab marketers had to shift gears using other digital marketing tactics to stay competitive. Reaching the summit became more daunting than ever before.

While your rehab marketing team may be on board with investing in long-term, sustainable lead generation, it might not know how long it really takes before you see an increase in phone calls and intakes. We’ve created this handy guide that should serve as a roadmap for your rehab marketing team as it looks to reach the summit again. SEO performance requires time to take hold but is worth the effort. Here’s what your rehab marketing team can expect when tracking SEO success. You’ll learn:

  • What SEO success looks like in the short term (1 to 3 months)
  • What your rehab marketing team can expect in the mid-term (3 to 7 months into an SEO program)
  • The SEO performance your rehab marketing team can expect to see in the long-term (7 to 12 months into a program)

Quick Wins? SEO Success Looks Like in Months 1 Through 3 (Optimizations Are Just Beginning)

Like any new diet, exercise routine, or hobby – the quick wins are limited. Unfortunately, rehab marketers, SEO performance follows that same track and doesn’t reward results for one week of good behaviors. Here’s what you can expect to see in terms of SEO success within the first one to three months:

  • Google will be able to crawl your website faster and will begin seeing the optimizations your rehab marketing team or agency partner are making. All these factors will show Google positive signs that your website is providing a proactive user experience.
  • Your staff may not see immediate wins in its organic position and rankings, though these optimizations matter and will set your staff up for long-term wins (which we’ll address).
  • With several new initiatives like increased content production, metadata optimization, and an increased local presence, sites often begin to rank for a variety of new keywords, which results in an increase in the impressions for the site.

It’s important to consistently track your site’s traffic and top performing pages in Google Analytics from the beginning. That way, your rehab marketing team can be proactive with its approach.

What Your Rehab Marketing Team can Expect With SEO Performance in 3 to 7 Months

After the first several months are under your belt, your rehab marketing team or agency partner is in the groove and should be continually making optimizations. In Google Analytics, you’ll likely see some increases in traffic week over week, but the data is still too early to truly predict future trends. Your rehab marketing team can, however, track the improvements on the following:

Your Addiction Treatment Center Will Notice an Increase in Call Quality.

  • If your intake team is responsive to phone calls and form submissions, they will notice that the overall quality should improve. Your SEO team has been building momentum to rank for a number of high-value keywords that have been identified as both traffic and lead drivers. As a result, your team should notice a trend of more valuable calls that ultimately lead to more intakes.

You Will be Able to see a Stronger Presence for Your Branded Terms.

  • When you commit to a holistic SEO program, you commit to a variety of SEO strategies, including technical, on-site, off-site, and local SEO. With these tactics working in your favor, you may see that the first page of results for a branded query have shifted. You may see some trustworthy sites like Yelp and Facebook are now ranking on the first page. In addition, you will see that your Google My Business listing is more visible – with correct phone numbers, contact information, and a more detailed description.

The SEO Successes Your Rehab Marketing Team Will Begin to see in Months 7 Through 12 of Your Program

This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. Many months ago, the efforts your team put into making technical SEO optimizations, writing content catered to your audience, and strategically using high impact keywords are now paying off. Granted, there aren’t guarantees, but some of the results from a strategic approach to your SEO performance are:

An Increase in Quality Links Pointing Back to Your Site.

  • During the first year of your program, the SEO team will be working to build quality links and have as many authoritative sources (as possible) pointing to your site. Some of these could include psychologytoday.com, rehabs.com, or other niche-specific sites. These act as “handshakes” that show both users as well as search engines that your site can be trusted, and can help lead users to your site.

Essentially, your rehab marketing team should see increases in the number of unique visitors to your website, and some of that traffic may have been inclined to pick up the phone to convert into an intake or conversation with your admissions staff. By about a year out, your team will see its effort and hard work rewarded in some form, but true improvement takes continuous effort, especially with SEO.

What Happens After a Year?

Unfortunately, your rehab marketing efforts aren’t done after 12 months of hard work. If your team sticks with its strategy, it will see results, but sustainable strategies and optimizations do take time. SEO works, and results are possible when the right strategy, expectations and execution are in place.

If your addiction treatment center has any questions, contact our team. We would be happy to help your team with its strategy, and help it get back to the top of the summit again.

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