Writing effective content for your addiction treatment clients is a challenge if you don’t know what kinds of topics and information your clients are looking for. Certain keywords and topics will be more popular among your potential leads, and while certain keywords seem popular and relevant, they may not convert well.

Analyzing and determining the search intent of some of the most popular addiction treatment keywords can help give you good ideas not only for what your potential leads are looking for, but what keywords are more suited to paid or organic traffic and which do little good for your bottom line.

Paid traffic – Converting keywords only

Each paid traffic visit comes at a direct cost, so you need to make sure that each one of those visits is as likely to convert as possible. This requires going beyond finding relevant keywords, and instead choosing keywords that have the right search intent.

Someone with the intention of converting is going to type in keywords a certain way – they’ll be more specific, more direct, and include additional qualifiers that relate to their personal needs. Some addiction keywords that have an intent towards conversion include:

  1. Location-based terms: If your visitors are looking for a rehab in a specific location, they’re much more likely to convert, especially if you’re in that location. Because of this, keywords with location terms tend to costly, yet often worthwhile. florida sign
  2. “Alcohol” and “drug” qualifiers: Adding detailed qualifiers like “drug rehab” or “alcohol addiction treatment” are good indicators of a likelier conversion. These visitors are adding a personal detail, which implies that they’re looking for a rehab to meet their needs, and are more serious about it.
  3. Other long-tail search terms: These visitors are looking to meet a specific set of needs, which can included the above (location and qualifiers). If you meet their needs, they are very likely to convert, and these are the people you should try to appeal to the most.

Be aware of the connotations of certain keywords when advertising with them, especially in addiction treatment. Below are some common examples of how connotation can get in the way of a conversion:

“Hospital”, “center”, “facility”, and “clinic”
These keywords are a double-edged sword. Visitors who use these keywords are looking for a professional facility, but at the same time, they give off the implication that the visitor might be looking for physical therapy instead.

“Rehab” vs. “rehabilitation”
“Rehab” is generally associated with addiction rehabilitation, and this is the common term used in articles when a celebrity enters a treatment facility. The connotations of rehabilitation generally involve a type of physical therapy.

If you do decide to use rehabilitation as a keyword, be sure to qualify it with terms like “drug”, “alcohol” or “addiction” to prevent irrelevant searches due to connotation.

Detox must be handled very carefully as a keyword. Even “drug detox” and “alcohol detox” are too broad because visitors are often looking for an at-home kit or a detox drink.

Adding terms like “home” and “drink” as negative keywords will help. Additionally, qualify all detox keywords with terms like “inpatient”, “residential” or “medical” detox to imply that this is a professional facility, not a kit.

Lastly, watch out for addictions that you do not treat. These should be added to your negative keyword list to prevent them from showing up. For example, if you’re a drug addiction treatment facility, be sure to add negative keywords for terms like “sex addiction” or “gambling addiction” and these can cost you greatly as these visitors might click, but will never convert.

Organic traffic – Storytelling and long-tail addiction keywords

seo box Although it can appear that any organic traffic is good traffic, you should be optimizing for the keywords that convert the most, not the ones that get the most traffic. As Google Analytics no longer provides keyword data, you will need to rely on other resources for determining which keywords to optimize for.

These are some great resources for keyword research:

Social media: How do people in social media refer to addiction treatment? The way people speak about things in normal conversation is going to reflect in their search terms.
AdWords keyword tool: The keyword tool is great for adding keywords, but also keep a lookout for irrelevant keywords in the search results – those are good negative keywords.
Old analytics data: Any analytics data you’ve had previously can help, but the older it gets, the less useful it will be.
Your landing pages: What pages bounce less? Which ones are people converting on?
Google trends: Is “Alcohol treatment” more popular, or “alcohol rehab”? These nuances in search terms ebb and flow with time, and you should keep up with them.

Other addiction related articles: Look at celebrity articles to see what terms they’re using – chances are, the general public will pick those up (this is why “rehab” is so popular).

Your blog posts: Blog posts – what topics are people talking about, and what words are they using to refer to addiction treatment?

Look at articles written by addiction treatment professionals and personal blogs – sometimes the terms used will overlap, but other times, they will use different terms. Both are useful, as referrals to your facility from other professionals is just as worthwhile as a direct visit.

The change in Google analytics organic keyword data can prove to advantageous to your potential leads in the long run, as you’ll need to focus on their actual needs on your website instead of just what they’re typing in.

Don’t use – The free research problem

There are particular keywords that may seem totally relevant, but are not at all effective for conversions and should not be optimized for. This is especially true in drug and alcohol addiction because it’s something a lot of people are curious about, and a lot of students are doing research on.

Flag these search terms as ones that will not convert as well:

“Facts”, “Statistics”, and “Information”
These visitors are sometimes closer to the beginning of the sales pipeline, and need to be nurtured before they become viable conversions. Many of them, however, are also just looking for information out of curiosity or for research, and are some of the visitors least likely to convert.
“What is Oxycontin?”
If they’re wondering what the drug (oxycontin or otherwise) is, chances are they’re not a lead, and they will likely never intend on being one.
Research-type keywords
Students will often perform Google searches to begin their research. Look out for terms “Drug use in 1996” or “Effects of drugs” as terms that will likely not convert.

Generic keywords that are super popular
As relevant as they might seem, singular search terms like “drugs” and “cocaine” are not appropriate terms to optimize for. They may even be worse than the terms listed above because the competition for these terms is so high.

These keywords are worthwhile if you’re putting a strong investment into branding and establishing yourself as an authority on this information. However, this is a long-term investment, and if you’re not optimized for well-converting keywords, that instead should be your primary focus.

Choosing based on your addiction treatment customer, not your search engine

As it becomes harder to determine exactly what your visitors are typing in, moving towards customer-based optimization is an important strategy. Search intent is more important than relevancy, and it will greatly lower the amount of competitors you have for that particular keyword.
checklist Whether you’re using paid advertising or optimizing for organic traffic, always keep in mind the intent behind the search, and not just the keyword itself. Choose the right keywords based on trends, and they’ll be the ones converting the most.

Always consider the client and what are they looking for, not what the search engines are looking for. Through doing this, you’ll be able to find and optimize for the best converting keywords for your business, improving your conversion rates and overall ROI.