In the addiction treatment industry, SEO is all the rage right now. You wouldn’t believe how many contacts we speak to who love to say to us “I want you to get us on the first page of Google.”
For obvious reasons, providing good SEO work is crucial to our business and to our clients business. However, we are always upfront and honest that the purpose of our work is to ultimately establish a brand.
The Difference Between SEO And Branding
We could go on for hours about this topic. For the sake of clarity, I will break down a simple way to look at this is the realm of internet traffic.
Let’s imagine you have a company called “John Smith Rehab.” Search (SEO) traffic would be a hit to your website that comes through Google for a search term you are competing for. Let’s say a mother is looking for treatment for her son. An example of this search term may be “find a drug rehab for my son.” Clearly this would be a highly targeted search query with a high potential to convert into a phone call. This is an example of good SEO.
Let’s say, however, this same person goes to Google, and types in “John Smith Rehab,” we consider that to be branded traffic. This person already knew what she was looking for. The brand of your rehab has imprinted itself on this person, and instead of searching for options, she was searching for you. She searched for your brand name and came directly to your website.
Do you see the difference between the two? The branded traffic is the best traffic because there is no competition. The user already knows how to find you, and the internet simply becomes a medium for him or her to do so.
Building A Brand – How Exactly Is This Done??
Establishing a brand is not an overnight venture. We see good branding as a successful combination of many different concepts. The best way to develop a good brand will change on depending who you ask. Our approach comes down to one very important asset. That is relationships.
It is simple. No matter how good your marketing, if you don’t provide quality treatment and quality care, your brand will suffer. The single best thing you can do to establish your brand (and this is true in any industry) is to do good work. You must do consistent work. People need to know what to expect from you, and you must meet their expectations.
How people respond to your work or product is the single biggest indicator of your brand. Through the actual treatment you provide, your clients will learn who you are, what you do, why you do it, how you do it and how well you do it. Good work pays off. You will be valued in the minds of the people you helped, and word will get around about the great work you do!
It is important to get along with other brands. No single treatment center can accommodate every kind of client. Differences in age, financial demographics, gender, specific drug problems, mental disorders and personal preference will make it difficult to effectively treat every patient that comes to your door. You need to have relationships with other facilities to ensure that you have options for people who you may not be best equipped to help.
If another facility refers a client, that facility is putting their reputation on the line for you, and if you do not provide quality treatment, word will get back. You have to nurture your business relationships. You have to nurture your client relationships. Everything is connected, and consistency is the key.
The Importance Of Establishing A Brand
Here is an inconvenient truth. One day, everything we are doing may not work anymore. Google and Facebook are the two largest sources of traffic in the world, and both of these networks have changed their algorithms many times. Seemingly overnight, they can change the rules on us. This is something we keep up to date with so we can see these changes coming but nonetheless, they are inconvenient.
The way to prepare for these changes is to establish your brand. That way, you are not relying on a third party to keep your business running.
Brands like Coca-Cola, Redbull, Nike, Mayo Clinic, John Hopkins, Johnson and Johnson (the list goes on) do not rely on Google to keep their business going. Granted, these are huge brands that have established themselves into mainstream media, however, the concept still remains true.
If you can establish your brand, your business will thrive. The way to establish your brand is through consistency and providing quality service.
How Does This All Translate To The Internet?
Simply put, you need to treat the internet as if it is an extension of your brand. How do we do this?
- create content that explains who you are, how you work and why you do what you do.
- create a community and an “ideal.” What do you stand for? and are your followers willing to join on board?
- show off your good work by collecting positive reviews.
- find a niche, and use content to rank for keywords that apply to you.
Overall, branding is much bigger that what you do on the internet. You have to be consistent in all your areas of marketing and service. The most important aspect to keep in mind is to be consistent. Your brand and your ideals should be the same no matter who you ask, and no matter what type of marketing material (be that print, online or networking) someone is ingesting.
Your brand is an extension of who you are, so treat it as such.