When it comes to finding information about local businesses, more than 80% of people today are turning to an online search engine. Unsurprisingly, this digital revolution also affects addiction treatment services. The internet has created a more private sphere in which people can search for treatment resources. Lots of people are still searching for “best rehab”—they have been for over ten years. But, online searches for treatment are evolving.
As of today, search terms like “addiction treatment near me” and “rehab near me” are at their highest points of search interest ever. Whereas, even just 5 years ago, these search terms were virtually nonexistent. More people are turning to the internet for answers, and more people are interested in local treatment facilities. How can your digital marketing strategy match this shift? How do you generate relevant, local traffic? Create a business listing on Google for your treatment facility—ASAP.
Why You Need a Business Listing on Google
In case you had any doubts about which search engine reigns supreme: it’s Google. There are around 4.5 billion daily searches on Google. For perspective, there’s not even 1 billion daily searches on Bing—one of Google’s biggest competitors. Basically, most people today are using Google for most of their searches, which means your treatment center needs to be visible on Google. The best way to do that? With a Google My Business listing.
Google My Business is a platform for business owners, that allows you to create and manage your online listing. If you’ve ever searched for a local business, maybe “pizza near me” or even just “pizza,” Google automatically offers you pizza places near your location at the top of your search results, just behind the pay-per-click advertisement slots. The same holds true for addiction treatment centers: local search results get priority in the search rankings.
A business listing on Google is the simplest way to improve your SEO without paying a dime. It can increase the online visibility of your treatment center dramatically, and it’s entirely FREE. Your facility is more likely to show up on Google Search, Maps, and Google+, which means your facility is making more online impressions and is far more searchable. According to Google’s internal data, a well-maintained Google My Business listing gets 5 times more views than listings that haven’t been claimed by their owners.
What a Google Business Listing Offers Your Treatment Facility
When I click on one of the local search results for addiction treatment, I’m taken to a map with more local search results and a preview of the facility I selected. I can see information about the facility, photos, their website, as well as their star rating and reviews.
Today, 84% of people online say they trust those reviews as much as a personal recommendation, so it’s important to monitor them. With a Google My Business account, you can access those reviews and respond to them appropriately.
By responding to reviews, both good and bad, you can improve your online reputation. Thank former clients, or attempt to reach out and make things right when someone complains. This is one simple way to build trust online, before even speaking with potential clients or meeting them in person. On top of this, responding to reviews can actually improve search rankings. Each positive review is a chance to optimize a response with relevant keywords. With negative reviews, you can lessen the blow by leaving those relevant keywords out.
But, most importantly, your facility needs reviews in general to reap the greatest benefits. When someone searches for a local business, Google prioritizes higher online ratings in the search results. People aren’t just looking for any rehab near them—most want they best they can find. In theory, a higher star rating and more reviews indicate that a facility is of a higher quality. It’s in your best interest to set up a business listing, and kindly ask your treatment alumni to leave reviews. Those online ratings are the surest way to improve your local search rankings and attract relevant traffic to your treatment facility.
How to Set Up a Google Business Listing
1. If you don’t have a Google account, you’ll need to sign up for one. If you’re on Gmail, Google+, Google Drive, Google Docs, or any of Google’s platforms, you already have a Google account. But, you can always create a different account for your business E-mail and Google profiles.
2. Go to google.com/business. There you can select “Sign In” or “Start Now,” either will work.
3. Once you’re signed in, you’ll be taken to this page:
4. Here, you need to enter the relevant information about your treatment center: the name, address, and business category. You can also add your facility’s phone number and website, or you can add those later. You can type in several keywords to explore the existing categories and find one that fits (Addiction Treatment Center, Alcoholism Treatment Center, Dug Addiction Treatment Center).
5. Press “Continue” at the bottom of the search box, and you’ll be offered possible matches.
If your facility is there, you can select it. (The name or address may be slightly wrong, but it’s possible that’s an attempted listing for your facility. Someone else may have tried to add it incorrectly, or Google may have the information wrong.) You will either have to verify your ownership, or you may have to request ownership.
This could mean you’ve chosen the wrong listing, or it means someone has wrongfully taken ownership of your facility’s listing. (Unfortunately, some businesses do this as a way to sneak in their affiliate link on an unclaimed business listing.)
6. If you do not see your facility listed in those search results, choose “None of these match. Keep the information I entered.”
7. Then, you’ll be asked to verify the information. Check the box that says “I am authorized to manage this business and I agree to the Terms of Service.”
8. Then, Google will have to mail you a verification code (via snail mail), in order to officially set up your business listing.
9. In the mean time, you can set up your facility’s profile. In your Google My Business account, you just need to select “All locations” and choose the listing you’d like to edit.
You can add your facility’s phone number, website, hours of operation, a profile photo, or even a virtual tour. You can also set up or connect your AdWords and Business Insights accounts.
You’ll even be offered chance to set up a website through Google My Business, if you’d like.
If you’ve already seen a Google listing for your treatment facility online, it may exist as a point on the map, but not yet a business profile. You can look at the existing listing and click “Own this business?” Then, it will ask you to verify ownership and mail you an official verification code.
Best Practices of Marketing Your Facility
As you delve into the world of Google My Business, it’s important to keep your listing up to date, and to remember these important tips:
- Make sure your phone number and hours are correct. If your facility changes its phone number or operating hours, be sure to change that information on Google My Business!
- Make sure the information on your listing matches the information on your website. Inconsistency can make people skeptical or mistrustful.
- Make sure that no one has wrongly added their affiliate link to your unclaimed listing! Also be sure that there are no duplicate listings for your facility at the same address—this can actually hurt your search rankings.
- Add photos of facility. This builds credibility and entices people to look longer at your listing.
- Encourage local reviews—it’s the best way to improve your search ranking and attract more local traffic!
It’s a lot to think about, and the process may be confusing. As always, the team here at Stodzy is happy to help. Whether you’re setting up a Google business listing or building your Google+ page, we can get things done for you quickly and efficiently. We have extensive experience in digital marketing, as well as working with treatment facilities across the country. Through the successes of our happy clients, we’ve learned what works. Call us today to talk about building a Google+ page for your treatment center: 800-761-1426