Drug Rehab Marketing: The Complete Guide For Your Rehab

You first opened your drug rehab center in order to help and connect with people. After a couple of years, you’ve built a good reputation for your business: your admission numbers are always around your goal and you’ve had some truly impressive success stories. Seeing this success, you just recently expanded your rehab facility in order to accommodate more people, but now that your new rooms are open, you’ve had a difficult time filling them.

Your drug rehab marketing strategy in the past has been pretty barebones—a social media ad here, an email blast there—but now it’s time to restructure this strategy and your marketing campaigns.

Not sure where to begin? You’re in the right place.

Marketing for Drug Rehab

There may be a few reasons you haven’t previously jumped into a marketing plan. Maybe you were more focused on the business side of your addiction treatment center, or maybe your strategy before was working for you at the time.

No matter your reason, we can all agree that marketing in the addiction treatment industry is difficult.


While other products and services seem to be able to get away with money-driven, in-your-face marketing tactics, you simply can’t do that with drug rehab marketing.

What has made your rehabilitation center so successful in the past is your evident care for your admits—the last thing you want to do is launch an aggressive campaign that will turn off potential patients.


Don’t build your campaigns as though you’re trying to sell something. See them as an opportunity for you to use your platforms to increase awareness and visibility for addiction disorders.

Your goal is to give people a shot at a better life. Substance abuse disorders affect about 38% of adults in America, meaning that a significant percentage of the population needs real help. Only 19% of these individuals received help, and only 5.7% felt that they needed it.

As a trusted expert in your field, your marketing strategy should increase awareness of available substance abuse treatment programs and make education readily accessible and visible. Your campaign isn’t about being cost-driven, it’s about informing the public and helping them find the best treatment possible: yours.

Now that you’re clear about your motivations, let’s move onto actual strategies to build your campaign, starting with SEO.

Build Your Drug Rehab SEO Strategy

Whether you’re a seasoned marketer or you’re just dipping your toes into the digital marketing world, you’ve heard of Search Engine Optimization.

SEO Oversimplified

SEO is the total set of strategies and tactics you use to ensure your treatment facility ranks highly in Google rankings whenever someone does a search for “drug rehab,” “addiction treatment,” “rehab in my area,” etc. (we’ll get more into keywords later).

Basically, if you want higher rankings on Google, the best way to achieve that is organically with solid SEO practices.

If you want a more thorough refresher, we have some great reads on SEO in general, as well as SEO specifically for drug rehabs.

Go Organic

Just like your groceries, taking the organic approach really is the way to go.

Aiming high for organic rankings is more cost-effective than Pay Per Click (PPC) ads. While PPC campaigns are an important part of your strategy, organic strategies also have more potential to see effective results in the long term while not eating up so much of your marketing budget.

Google’s algorithms for listing search results are some of the most sophisticated on the planet. While no one knows for sure what Google is looking for, when it comes to retrieving content for a searcher, one thing is abundantly clear: Google cares about user intent.

It’s in Google’s best interest as a company to showcase the most relevant and engaging content possible for a user. If someone is looking for “treatment centers in my area” Google wants to make sure that it delivers exactly what this individual is looking for.

SEO is the best way to convince Google that your facility’s website deserves to be in the top rankings. Showing up on page two of Google won’t do you any good—95% of searches are conducted on the first page of Google results, leaving 5% for the millions of other pages.

Now, let’s get into some organic strategies for optimizing your site and elevating your SERP rankings.

5 Key Drug Rehab SEO Strategies:

Use Relevant Content:

What you have to offer your potential patients matters, so it’s crucial to have useful, relevant and well-crafted content on your page.

This not only helps boost your page’s ranking, but it also strengthens your connection with your site visitors and establishes you as an expert in the field.

In other words, write great content so potential patients can find your facility, and use great content so they choose your facility.

What makes great content?

High-quality content is well-written, original and topically relevant.

Think of keywords that a potential patient would use to search for your drug rehab center. They could be short- (“rehab”), medium- (“treatment for alcoholism”) or long-tail (“equine therapy for heroin addicts). All of these keywords are topics that you want your webpages to rank for.

These topics provide answers to questions your potential patients are wondering about, so you’ll want to make sure that your site provides these answers by presenting content that caters to these topics.

When crafting content, be sure that your content accomplishes these three things:

  • Addresses user intent: Use a tool like Google Keyword Planner or Ubersuggest to research your desired keywords, and dedicate a page to this keyword.
  • Engages with readers: Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your future patients. This makes the page more engaging, which increases dwell time on your page and lets Google know that your content is valuable.
  • Is original: Never, ever plagiarize another page—it’s (potentially) illegal and looks incredibly unprofessional. If you want to use another site’s information verbatim, make sure to quote and cite it (or include a link to that page).

Domain Authority

Your site will rank better if it has authority.

Domain authority is a non-arbitrary metric assigned by Google that (more or less) measures Google’s faith in you. You can improve your authority with links.

Links are directly related to your domain’s authority—if another site links back to yours, consider that a vote in your favor.

These are points Google takes into consideration when determining your domain authority:

  • Who is linking to you?
  • How frequently do other websites mention you?
  • How many diverse citations do you have?
  • Who are you linking to?

If other sites are linking to you, it tells Google that there is a degree of trust associated with your facility’s website. When you link to other sites, it tells Google that this is a two way street; that both sites are providing value.

Site Health

Even if you have great content and a plethora of links, your site may still have ‘unhealthy’ elements that will negatively affect its SEO performance.

You can remedy this by:

  • Indexing: If Google doesn’t know how to read, or index, your site, all of your SEO and rehab marketing efforts are for nothing. In order to be ranked, your site must be indexed first. You’ll also want to regularly submit future pages onto your site to Google Search Console once your main site has been submitted.
  • Fixing broken links: Broken links are bad for business—they can turn off-site visitors and make your site appear unprofessional. Do your due diligence and run a site audit to locate problematic links and resolve these issues.
  • Solid code and great data structure: Your website’s code should be clean, efficient and up to date with the latest standards. Google pays attention to the quality and structure of your data behind the scenes. Structured data like schema gives search engines vital data and information about your site’s content.


Your biggest business competitors may differ from your biggest online search competitors.

When it comes to Google’s search results page, the top three results are the most valuable real estate—if your business isn’t appearing in a well-placed PPC ad, an organic search result and a position in the map pack, then you’ve found your competition.

If you’re not at the top, don’t give up; it’s still very achievable through SEO and PPC tactics. However, one of the most helpful strategies is studying your search competition through thorough research.

Ask yourself this:

What keywords are my competitors ranking for? Are they using certain marketing tactics better than I am?

See what works for them, then do it better.


The rise of mobile use has changed the game for content marketing of any kind, and drug rehab marketing is no different.

Google pays attention to the devices that people are using and how well your site caters to their mobile needs. For your site to perform well on mobile and desktop devices, you’ll want:

  • Quick load times: A fast load time is crucial for a well-performing site. If your page takes too long to load, your site visitors will go to your competitors’ page. You can reduce load time by enabling compression, reducing your redirects or removing render blocking Javascript.
  • Make it mobile-friendly: Don’t let your beautifully designed website fall apart when it’s scaled down to mobile. Having a mobile-friendly site keeps viewers on your page, and converts readers into rehab leads.
  • Navigation and ease of use: Consider user experience and interaction at every point of your site’s design. Your design should be thoughtful, intuitive, easy to use, easy to navigate, clear on purpose and, if you can spare the time, beautiful. Make Google happy by making your site visitors happy.

Covering these points will help you see lower bounce rates, more time spent on your site and higher page visits per section. You’ll also see more return visits, shares, links and citations.

Round out Your Drug Rehab Marketing Strategy

While we’ve mostly covered how your rehab center should focus on the SEO portion of your marketing strategy, there are other aspects you should consider for a healthy campaign.

Google My Business

Use Google My Business as a part of your location-based strategy. GMB is a free tool by Google that helps businesses like yours manage their online presence. This will also have a positive impact on driving local leads.

Google’s Map Pack (shown above) is a powerful way to leverage local traffic in your area, and is the perfect example of prime real-estate on the Google SERP.


  • Properly utilizing GMB doesn’t replace your site, organic search results or PPC ad. It’s an additional piece of visibility to help people in need of treatment find your facility.
  • When setting up your GMB you’ll want to complete this data the right way:
    • Your listing
    • Include keywords
    • Business operating hours
    • NAPs (name, address, phone number)
    • Customer reviews
  • The more Google knows about your facility, the more it can recommend you in the search results.
    Social Media
    Social media is a powerful tool for connectivity, especially for you to connect with potential patients. Addiction is a part of many of these people’s lives, as is social media; think of these various platforms as a way to connect with and educate others.

Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool for connectivity, especially for you to connect with potential patients. Addiction is a part of many of these people’s lives, as is social media; think of these various platforms as a way to connect with and educate others.

Does your facility have a presence across social media platforms? If not, you should.

Here are some points to keep in mind:

  • Make your social media presence uniform to your branding
  • Post regularly
  • Stay engaged
  • Post valuable content
  • Build a community.
  • Experiment with paid social ads to increase visibility even more


SEO should never replace PPC—it should augment and bolster it.

While PPC is lacking in flexibility and longevity, it makes up for it in superior targeting. When you’re trying to address very specific demographics (i.e. heroin addicts looking for equine therapy), nothing beats a well-crafted, effective and thoughtful PPC campaign.

PPC is more expensive, but you see results quickly. A good SEO campaign can take three to six months to show results, but PPC campaign results are immediate.

Email Marketing

Email is a fantastic tool for spreading awareness about your facility, your services and the quality of your treatment to those who have decided that they want to hear from you.

Growing an excellent email list takes time, attention and nurturing, but once it’s done, you’ll have the most powerful marketing tool available: a direct line to current and prospective patients.

Email is personal, personable and still works. Great email marketers are able to see patterns and trends in user behavior and tailor content for different audiences, including future clients, current admissions and alumni.


That wraps up this primer on drug rehab marketing. We’ve discussed the 5 key SEO strategies of relevance, authority, site health, competition and usability, and then rounded it out with four more elements (GMB, social media, PPC and email marketing) to supplement that strategy.

For more marketing tips, check out our guide to drug rehab SEO.

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