Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Article Marketing for Drug Addiction Treatment:

This piece was written by a good friend and Internet Marketing and Management Consultant, Jim Peake. Jim and I work in a similar space (treatment centers) and agree on the article marketing strategies outlined below.

Happy reading!


Article Marketing for Drug Addiction Treatment: 

As with any internet marketing for drug addiction treatment centers, therapists and behavioral health counselors or any other industry, it is all incremental. There is no one silver bullet, except maybe Oprah, and that only lasts a day unless you can find another way to get some more mileage out of it. So, in the absence of a silver bullet, let's look at several methods in getting qualified traffic to your site.

Article marketing is one of the most cost effective ways to drive traffic. It allows you to get essentially "free" targeted traffic to your website by writing articles and uploading them to article directories, which serve a couple of functions:

  • Distribution/Syndication: Many article directories rank well and since they have search engine visibility, it is very possible your article will get the same visibility and therefore end up ranking naturally in Google's organic results.
    • A word about anchor text links* — Article directories allow you to place one to four hyperlinks within your article. The value of these links is what you get in exchange for the article directory receiving your free content.
  • Sites Seeking Relevant Content: Other webmasters look to article directories for relevant articles to use as content on their own websites. While they are supposed to give you credit for your article and a link back, oftentimes this is not the case. But if they do link back, it can be very helpful from an SEO standpoint as you will get "free" links.
A closer look at SEO

In order to understand why article marketing is so effective, we need to understand a little bit about SEO. What is SEO? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Using both on and off-page SEO, you can increase your organic placement and therefore traffic volumes from the search engine result pages.

Ideally with more traffic coming into your site, the greater the odds for a more significant increase in conversions. The first order of business is becoming more familiar with some of the "on page" items that the search engines care about.

  • Title tag usage — code that shows up in the Google search results
  • Body text — text of the article itself
  • H1 tags — headline on the Web page
  • Domain names — is a domain name
  • Meta usage — title, description, keyword, alt, image tags etc.
These code changes contribute to better ranking and are taken into account by the search engines on page.

Since on-page and content are almost exactly the same, what deciding factor do search engines use to rank one listing over another? What drives organic website rank in the SERP's (Search Engine Results Pages)? Google is looking at what sites are the most referenced, and who has the most incoming links, particularly via relevant content. Writing great articles and content can attract more people who in turn may naturally link to you. Once a site achieves more inbound links, it will naturally get pushed up the Google search ranks. And the site who has the most links and the highest quality links wins.

Let's take a look at this in more detail. SEO has to be structured around keywords, i.e. keyword specific links. But just having links is not enough. Google also looks at the following attributes in a site's link portfolio:

  • Link popularity — the popularity of the hosting site
  • Link age — older is better as it shows more trust
  • Link topic — such as Article Marketing Drug Addiction Treatment (Relevancy has a lot of weight)
  • Link authority — whether or not the hosting site ranks, the number of links, etc
  • Link reputation — whether or not the hosting site is trusted in Google
  • Link growth rates — you want a natural trend for quicker trust
  • Linking with a community on niche — this is absolutely critical
  • Link anchor text – keyword specific (see below for the code example and an actual clickable link)
An example of a clickable anchor text/link text is: Drug Rehab

Google looks at these links and how the hosting sites are looking at you. The site with the most anchor text keywords and the absolute best incoming links stands the best chance of ranking for specific keywords. For instance, if you want to rank for "Pet Friendly Women Only Drug Addiction Treatment in Florida" you will have a much easier time of it than if you are trying to rank for "Drug Rehab in Florida".

What topics should I write about in drug Addiction treatment?

One way to deliver customer that answers they're looking for is to record your admissions phone calls. You will begin to see a pattern of similar questions being asked by clients before they even consider entering a treatment center. Chose a popular question as the topic of an article. Make sure you really are as thorough as possible in answering ALL of the questions surrounding this one particular topic when writing your piece. For example, if you chose, "What is your aftercare program like after I leave the treatment center?" start by rewriting that question into a generic topic for an article such as, "What are the best drug addiction treatment center aftercare programs like?" Remember you are NOT advertising your treatment center. With article marketing, you are only providing information and a reference source.

Look closely at the leaders in your niche, visit their websites and Twitter profiles. Find out what people are asking them. You will begin to see patterns. Make sure that you are covering some of those same topics and do it more thoroughly. The you more you write, the more likely you will be viewed as an authority — so give it all away! Yes, give the readers your absolute best information. You can't give away a lifetime of professional work in one article or 100 articles. Instead, if you do give the user your best information you might be perceived as the industry expert since many others are just giving away superfluous and redundant generic information.

Syndicate drug addiction treatment articles

Not only is using article marketing directories a great place to distribute your information, you also can connect with aggregators like and to simultaneously distribute your content to many of the social media sites. This saves a lot of time in manual distribution. You can also use article syndication tools like

Google doesn't actually tell us, but many authority SEOs think Google`s algorithm determines organic placement — 20-30 percent on-page factors (metas, content, etc) and 70-80 percent off-page factors (links). In other words, LINKS MATTER MORE! Your links will determine how successful your rankings are.

In order to get your articles distributed, article marketing directories are the best place to start. A site like Ezine Articles gets some 15 Million readers per month. Just make sure that if you are using article directories (especially if you are manually submitting the content) that they are passing page rank. Don't know how to check? Just use the list below and add at least one article to four or five of the article directories every week, if possible.

Start writing for other websites and Blogs

Writing for the article directories is one way to connect with your target audience. However, there are many other ways to get your messages out there. I would focus on the drug treatment industry publishers in order to get relevant, powerful back links from trusted websites. For instance, take this article on Behavioral Health Central. By writing for BHC, this article not only winds up in the Google news, it also gets picked up by other websites and repurposed. You can also write for other drug addiction treatment topics on sites like, and many others. Just contact the publisher to learn about their guidelines and see if your expertise is required.

Show me the money! Or where's the beef?!

The "beef" is in the links of the articles. So what is the best way to go about getting these inbound links to your site? Just building content is not enough; it is a failed strategy. Reciprocal links are not good enough and actually don't hold much weight unless they are in your own niche. So if you have a drug addiction treatment center and you have incoming reciprocal links with a rental car company, for example, Google does not care too much about that link(s). Here are a few ways to get incoming links:

  • Make sales calls to get links
  • Write for other publishers
  • Distribute press releases
  • Purchase links and advertisements
  • Start blog commenting "with follow links"
  • Write blogs
  • Use authority directory submissions listings
    • (industry relevancy first)
    • Best of the web
  • Use Q&A sites, like Yahoo Answers
  • Use social media sites, like LinkedIn, Twitter etc.
  • Drug addiction treatment article components
To help your article generate maximum value, consider these components of article marketing articles:

  • Title should include your key phrase
  • Body should be 400-600 words max
  • Reading should be easy and allow the user to skip, skim and scan
  • Keyword should have focus and density
  • Author box should have links coming back to your site (many times you can prepare multiple author profiles)
Hand submit to the article directories and remember, more is not always better. You want sites that are both SEO friendly (for the search engine value) and that also achieve high traffic volumes (for potential direct clicks). Your site has a set link build rate according to Google. They know if you got two links per week for the last year. To make your efforts appear natural, you want to vary your anchor text and your destination pages. You don't want to always link to the home page. This looks unnatural. Do not over optimize one keyword or one page. Products like SEO Elite will help you with back link anchor text.

As far as we know in the SEO space, duplicate content filters do not exist for articles. Competition is what separates the wheat from the chafe. While several sites might republish the same article, Google will analyze which is the best optimized page and which is the best hosting site. Google will then remove the article on lower valued site(s) from their index.

A short list of benefits with article marketing

Keep a daily look out in your Google Analytics of where your referral sites are coming in from. You should begin to see some patterns. You can even have these reports automated to you and sent in an e-mail (Google Alerts). With very little effort, you can get some serious benefits from article marketing.

  • Article marketing gets your name and business "syndication".
  • Article marketing runs in the background and work for you while you are sleeping.
  • Article marketing does not require ongoing administration.
  • Article marketing is scalable.
  • Article marketing is trackable.
  • Article marketing is not advertising, it is information distribution.
  • *Article marketing lets you embed up to four links per article for links back to your website(s).
In summary, if you aren't doing article marketing right now, you need to start. It should be a key component of your off-page SEO strategy to help generate organic traffic to your website. You can either do it yourself by following some of the guidelines above, or hire an Internet Marketing Consultant to do it for you. You might want to consider drug addiction treatment article marketing as 10-25 percent of your SEO strategy…because it works!


Jim Peake is an internet marketing and management consultant with special focus on addiction treatment in the behavioral health industry. He helps treatment centers improve their web presence and lead generation, online as well as offline. He uses advanced SEO and PPC direct response advertising for addiction treatment search engine marketing. Jim also helps sellers meet buyers of treatment centers, and is active in social media marketing.

1 comment:

Eve said...

Thanks for the helpful advice. :)