Addiction Treatment, SEO, and LegitScript

There still seems to be some confusion in the addiction treatment industry surrounding Google placement, organic SEO, and PPC (pay per click) advertising. We discovered this confusion in a recent SEO & Marketing meeting with a prominent addiction treatment center on the East Coast. After a considerate amount of time explaining Recovery Marketing of Americas digital organic marketing strategy the first statement by the CEO was


“Well, none of this matters until we become LegitScript certified so we have to wait before we move forward”


At this moment I understood how little people knew about how Google works and how it was not their fault. When Google decided to remove addiction treatment center ads in 2017many addiction treatment centers were left stranded with no presence on Google for desired keywords. This caused a panic within the industry and also spawned a ton of articles relating  to the removal of addiction treatment centers from Google. About seven months later it was announced that Google had partnered with a company called LegitScript and that addiciton treatment centers would now have to go through a complex vetting process, pay multiple fees, be approved, and then they would be able to participate in PPC advertising on Google. The funny thing about all of this is that most addiction treatment centers did not realize that THEY WERE NOT removed from Google, but just their PPC ads were.


You DO NOT NEED to be LegitScript certified to be on Google


There are only two ways to get your addiction treatment center on Google. The first way is to buy ads, better known as PPC, and the second way is organic SEO. Let’s explore both in detail so there can be no more confusion.

PPC – PPC stands for pay-per-click, a model of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Essentially, it’s a way of buying visits to your site, rather than attempting to “earn” those visits organically. Search engine advertising is one of the most popular forms of digital advertising. Under todays current climate, addiction treatment centers are required to become certified through LegitScript which will cost your addiction treatment center a minimal of $2990.00 per year and that is before you spend ONE dollar on the actual ads or the management fee. Desired keyword cost, or pay per click cost, varies depending upon the popularity of such keywords. You are basically competing with other addiction treatment centers who are bidding on the same keywords as you. In addition to the $2990.00 LegitScript cost and the keyword cost, is the PPC management fee. You may think that buying a PPC ad and managing the PPC campaign is simple, but it is not. It takes serious experience, skill, and PPC mastery in order to make sure you are maximizing every dollar. Example:


  • Do you know what Google Ad Rank is?
  • Do you know how a Google Auction works?
  • What is your Google Quality Score?
  • What is an Ad Group?
  • What is Conversion Optimizer?
  • What are negative keywords and how are they used?
  • Whats the best formula to find the CTR?
  •  What is CTR and why does it matter?
  • How do you calculate ROAS (Return On Ad Spend)?
  • How does your website architecture dictate your PPC success?


These are just a few questions about a PPC campaign that matter. The ability to understand the questions and answers to these questions, and many more, will dictate the success of any PPC campaign. This is why any addiction treatment center will need a superior PPC management team running their campaign. PPC campaign management fees vary but any worthwhile campaign has a set up fee and a monthly management fee.


Study showsthat organic search is responsible for about 64 percent of all site traffic, while paid search generates only 6 percent.


Addiction Treatment Recovery Marketing of America
Recovery Marketing of America

Organic SEO– Organic SEO (search engine optimization) is the phrase used to describe processes to obtain a natural placement on organic search engine results pages. Some examples of techniques used for organic SEO include using keywords and keyword analysis, backlinkinglink building to improve link popularity, and writing content relevant for human readers. Organic SEO does not happen overnight but rather is a long term strategy to guarantee that your addiction treatment centers digital reputation will be built to last. Organic SEO is a lot like recovery in that there is no substitute for time. It takes consistency, hard work, a specific skill set, and patience. The bottom line is that there are many more treatment centers who are fighting for the first page of Google than there are available spots on the first page. The benefits of being on the first page of Google organically is that once you get there, it is easy to stay there. In September of 2017 when Google removed all the PPC ads from addiction treatment centers it was a huge blow to many addiction treatment centers marketing campaigns. However, there were many addiction treatment centers who had spent time and resources making sure that they had an organic presence and they were not affected by the PPC removal. Once you stop paying for a PPC campaign, you disappear off Google. Don’t get us wrong, organic SEO is not without its own hiccups. It takes time, patience, and a significant investment to achieve results, and the results are not seen overnight.A successful organic SEO campaign requires the following:

  • Website audit
  • An industry & competitor analysis
  • Keyword research
  • On-Site technical maintenance and optimization
  • Content development
  • Social media strategy
  • Email marketing
  • Link building

This all means that YOU DO NOT NEED LegitScript to get on Google

 Recovery Marketing Of America believes that any successful marketing campaign should utilize every spoke of the marketing wheel which includes both organic SEO and a PPC campaign. At the same time we believe that a superior physical marketing campaign coupled with an effective organic SEO campaign will yield better long term results than a singular PPC campaign. If you want true results and you want them to be achieved in an ethical fashion without compromising your addiction treatment centers reputation then Recovery Marketing of America is your only choice. Connect with us today.

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