Over the last 10 years, we have generated tens of thousands of addiction treatment leads for our clients. One of the ways we generate value phone calls is with high level Google My Business marketing.

Google My Business (GMB) is one of the most cost effective and straight forward marketing channels you have in your toolbox. Most likely, you are not giving your GMB profile the focus and attention it deserves. As such, you are certainly missing out of phone calls and subsequent admissions to your facility.

Generating phone calls through GMB should be one of your highest priorities. We have doubled, and even tripled, the admissions of our clients with effective GMB marketing.

It’s a simple process, but it’s not easy.

In this article, I will show you the basics of optimizing your Google My Business listing.

Let’s get started.

What Makes Google My Business So Effective?

Any time you search locally, Google changes the results of your search to match the intention of local businesses.

You’ve probably done this yourself hundreds of times without noticing it.

Let’s imagine you’re with friends and you’re looking for a new place to eat dinner. You take out your phone and you search “restaurants in Boston,” What you will see is a map of your location with pins that point to different restaurants as part of your search results.

In the image below, you will see a picture of the map, and the top 3 listings are displayed.

If you notice, only the top three listings get the full display, with an image and a star rating.

In order to see the other listings, you have to click on the “more places” link. How many people do you think click on that link?

* Spoiler alert – not a lot *

If you make it into the top 3 of the local GMB search results, that means you have made it into the “local pack.” Getting into the local pack can completely change the trajectory of your business, because you will dominate the local search results for your particular services.

Knowing what you know now, you may be asking why so few addiction treatment facilities spend the time and effort to get their GMB listing into the local pack?

The reason is because GMB marketing is difficult. You must invest the time and resources and do so without immediate results. GMB is not for business owners who need instant gratification. Rather, it is for business owners who are interested in achieving long term success with long term, compounding growth.

As proof, below is a roadmap on how we increased GMB phone calls by 250%,

First, Let’s Look at the Results

The client I am highlighting is a medium sized residential facility in a medium sized city.

We have doubled the clients phone calls and doubled the out of network admissions that are generated online.

Here are the current insights.

Phone calls

Phone calls are what matters.

One of the reasons we have separated ourselves from other SEO agencies in the space is because we made the deliberate decision to report on phone calls, first and foremost.

Phone calls are the north star. If the volume for phone calls are low, then all the other data is irrelevant.

Unfortunately, the Google My Business insights only go back six months, so I can’t show you the comparison of what these phone calls looked like before April, but as I said, we have increased the phone calls by 250%.

In addition, there have been many more actions taken in the GMB profile.

One of the benefits of GMB is that there is a button that allows the user to call the facility directly from the listing, but that’s not always the case. If we are not generating phone calls from the listing, the next best action we want is a click to the website.

Sometimes, people want to learn more about the facility, in which case they click on the “visit website” button. Again, these numbers have seen a huge increase since working on this particular account.

You may notice a plateau on the calls …

As far as Google My Business stands, it’s difficult for us to generate more phone calls than we currently are. However, this is simply because there is nowhere else for us to go. We have gained the #1 local pack result for every keyword we are trying to rank for.

Below is a snapshot of the keyword rankings. You will see on the right of the graphic, I highlighted the emblem of a pin in red. That little pin emblem signifies that the data is coming from the local pack (as opposed to organic).

I’ve also redacted the location in the search results for anonymity purposes.

How Did We Do It?

As I said before, Google My Business marketing for addiction treatment centers is a simple process, but it’s not an easy process. The secret to results is creating a processes and a systematic set of actions that are repeated over and over again across time.

First, build an alumni system that generates 5 star reviews

Your alumni program is one of the most important programs of your entire facility.

First, having a good alumni program is the right thing to do. The worst kind of treatment centers are the ones that bring patients through their system and them send them back into the real world without any resources, support, or alumni participation.

Second, your alumni is a golden opportunity for reviews.

For this client, we created a process (that requires both action on our part and action on the clients part) that contacts graduated alumni after a certain period of time. The alumni coordinator does a review, does an assessment, and then follows a script that is designed to invite people to leave a review.

These reviews are critical as they remain one of Google’s most important ranking factors.

Second, we created a content calendar

Google My Business is a hybrid of a social media network and a business directory.

Posting a consistent stream of valuable content shows Google that the business is actively participating in the local markets, and it also gives the user great incentive and information to look over.

If the user stumbles across your GMB listings, you want them to be spending time on the listing. The time spent on listing is an important ranking factor for Google, as it shows interest in intent of the user.

Do this by posting …

  • pictures of the facility
  • staff pictures
  • pictures of local events
  • community engagement photos
  • community announcements

Google will see that more people are spending time on your GMB profile and will naturally rank the GMB higher in the search rankings.

These metrics prove that your GMB is valuable and helpful to the end user, which is exactly what Google wants.

Third, optimize the listing

Remember, Google is still an algorithm. No matter how “high tech” the algorithm gets, it still needs to be fed basic information to make conclusions.

You have to spoon feed it the information it needs in order for it to understand who you are trying to serve through your listing and your business.

Optimizing the content in the listing is very important. We spent hours fine tuning the content to get this client ranking number one in the local pack.

However, be forward!!


Google is cracking down on old school tricks. I warn you, no matter how enticing it feels, do not …

  • put the location in the title of your GMB
  • add location tags in the content
  • over optimize the services
  • create GMB listings that don’t exist
  • send spam requests to Google as a way of hurting your competition.

We’ve been watching closely, and the facilities and agencies that participate in these practices are creating nothing but problems for themselves.

You’re much better off publishing honest information and providing the users with the best possible listing that serves them and their needs.

That’s how you win!

How to Get Started

We’ve seen too many facilities over complicate this process.

We get it. Not every facility has the budget, the time, or the know how to properly optimize their GMB listings. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore them all together.

GMB is most likely your biggest opportunity to generate the most calls while spending the least amount of money.

If you’re ready to get started, I recommend creating a system that helps your graduated patients fill out positive reviews. Then, I recommend dedicating 5 minutes each morning to work on the listing and then create useful content to publish in your Google My Business feed.

The content needs to be high value, with high quality photos, videos, and great writing.

Finally, and most importantly, you need to be consistent. Google has no interest in rewarding “fly by night” facilities that aren’t committed to helping people long term.

If you trust the process, you will see results.

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    Tim Stoddart

    Tim Stoddart is the CEO of Stodzy Internet Marketing. He lives in Nashville with his wife and hit adorable pitbull, Alice. Tim loves to write about digital marketing and personal growth. You can learn more at TimStodz.com

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