If you're wondering how to do PPC (pay per click) marketing for the addiction treatment vertical, I can give you a reading list of block-and-tackle adwords tactics.
I've written about some of them...
- Make sure your campaigns are well organized into keywords, ad groups, and ads
- Make sure you've using exact-match instead of broad-match in most cases
- Make sure you've got negative keywords protecting your budget
Let's look at a well managed adwords campaign, like one our old team managed for rehab centers in the past:
See the numbers in the column called "CTR"?
That means "click through rate". And those click-throughs are extremely healthy for the treatment vertical.
But what if I told you you could do everything right on the campaign end, and still get less than half the results you should be getting?
That's because all your ads are doing is getting people to your website. After that, they still have to enter their contact information, or pick up the phone.
That's called your conversion rate, and if you're not using the little-mentioned tactic I'm about to discuss, you could theoretically be getting hundreds of clicks, and converting zero into calls.
The Number One Enemy of Conversions
If you're following me so far, you've probably cottoned to the number one thing robbing your PPC campaigns of conversions - i.e. of people picking up the phone once they've clicked on your ad.
If you guessed "my website", you're correct.
Here's an average homepage in the addiction treatment industry...
Disclaimer: we don't manage the campaigns of the center whose homepage is pictured above, and can't claim to know their conversion rates.
(I'm also not claiming it's not an excellent homepage. It is.)
But, if you're wondering how a typical homepage in the industry converts when you start running ads to it, here's a screenshot from an actual campaign, in which we know for a fact the strategy I'm going to discuss below wasn't being implemented...
That means if you were paying $15-a-click, and converting at 2%, you'd have to get 50 clicks just to get somebody on the phone, for a grand total of $750.
But what if I told you there was a way to at least triple that conversion rate?
Here's a real-life conversion rate from another campaign...
This is real life, so there's a range. I should also mention it took months of working with this client for our old team to get the rates looking this good.
But you can see the high end: 10%. 6%. 4%.
Treatment is a tough vertical. In other verticals, we've seen conversion rates as high as 18%.
Amongst the many caveats - good performance takes time, every market/specialty is different - there's one emergent strategy that coaxes the average conversion rates so much higher.
Ready to hear it?
Well-copywritten dedicated landing pages.
Why Landing Pages Are a Must
There are two major reasons a homepage will hurt your conversions and cost you more to acquire an admit, which just-so-happen to be the very reasons landing pages can work so well.
First is relevance.
When people do a Google search, they're very rarely searching something generic like "rehab".
More often, they're searching things like "best medical detox in California", or "luxury inpatient rehab".
If you're running your ads well, you'll have those search terms in the headline of the ad...
All-else-being-equal, we'd expect the second ad to have a higher click-through rate, because of its relevance to the search intent.
The same extends to the landing page.
A generic website, like the one pictured above might have a detox facility or it might not. But the visitor has to go hunting.
Compare that to a landing page like this...
The search says "detox"...
...the ad says "detox"...
...and the page says "detox".
This reinforces to the searcher that they've found exactly what they're looking for. Relevance plays a big role in higher-converting landing pages.
The second major reason landing pages are better is something called the attention ratio.
To better understand what that is, let's look again at that homepage from earlier, but this time I'm going to mark it up to show all the different possible things to click.
That's twelve separate things to click, just above the fold, by my count.
Here's how Unbounce founder Oli Gardner defines the attention ratio:
Think of it like a water hose.
If you're running a water hose from an outdoor faucet to your sprinkler, and you've only got one sprinkler, it's going to get all the water.
If, instead, you divert the same water supply to multiple sprinklers...
Attention is like water. In this analogy.
So, the second reason landing pages convert better is they only give the visitor 1-2 things to do.