Skip to content

How to Do Keyword Research for Your Addiction Treatment Center

Google dominates the search engine industry, making it the most important platform for addiction treatment center marketing. Google Search Ad campaigns allow treatment centers to find potential clients who are ready to commit to getting help.

Because of this, competition for potential clients (and many common keywords) is fierce. Your Google Ads PPC campaigns will be ineffective if you just employ broad, general terms, and don’t spend the time to determine the best keywords for your business. To understand which search terms are right for your center, it’s essential to perform keyword research.

Keyword research is the process of learning what consumers want to see in addiction treatment marketing ads—and just as importantly—what they don’t want to see. Without it, you could end up using overly broad, expensive keywords that eat up your budget while delivering a poor ROI, or even worse, you could end up with keywords that attract people interested in unrelated services, leading to completely wasted spend. 

This article breaks down our process for conducting intelligent keyword research for Addiction Treatment Marketing.


PPC refers to a digital marketing model where advertisers pay publishers for every ad click that lands on their websites. Businesses run PPC ads on search engines, social media pages, and websites. In the real world, Google dominates the paid search industry with a 73% market share. For this reason, we are just going to focus on Google Ads PPC campaigns here.

When you create a campaign on Google Ads, you need to choose phrases related to your services. The search engine giant will then show your ads to users looking for the keywords you used. Keep in mind that using keywords for PPC and SEO efforts are two distinct strategies.

Because you pay for every click with PPC, it’s essential to choose keywords that yield a high return on investment (ROI). We recommend using buyer keywords — phrases that consumers use during the last stage of the purchasing process. Here are some examples of buyer keywords:

● Best prices ripped jeans for women
● Home massage promos
● Affordable luxury cars

Such keywords show a purchase intent, and they convert better than other keyword types. For addiction treatment centers, buyer keywords include phrases like ‘inpatient rehab centers near me’ or ‘alcoholism treatment centers’ .


Developing an effective drug treatment PPC campaign is not about arbitrarily choosing keywords and hoping they reach the right consumers. To make the most out of your budget, you should consider components to discover the best keywords for addiction treatment marketing. Let’s look at some of them below.


When doing your addiction treatment PPC research, consider branded and non-branded terms that describe what you offer. Make sure your research includes terms that indirectly affect your services, like keywords your customers often search for online. Also, we recommend including competitor keywords in the research process.


As with SEO, keyword research in PPC marketing involves fierce competition for broad search terms. For example, the rivalry for the word addiction is exceptionally tight, leading to high costs per click and reduced ROI.

Instead of putting all your budget on such keywords, look for long-tail ones that address the pain points of your target market. You can bid for keywords like short-term treatment for cocaine addiction instead of focusing on one-word searches. Doing so will limit your traffic but will drastically improve your conversion rates.

If you want to make the most out of your budget, we recommend including long-tail keywords in your campaigns.


Another way to minimize unnecessary spending for PPC ads is to use negative keywords — phrases that prevent your ads from appearing for a particular search query. Including negative keywords in your strategy excludes consumers not interested in your services, helping you target your ads more effectively.

Before creating your PPC campaign strategy, make a list of terms you want to exclude for your ads. For example, if you don’t offer outpatient services, add it to your list of negative keywords. Otherwise, consumers looking for these services might end up on your site. The action would cost money but wouldn’t convert visitors.

Developing an Addiction Treatment Marketing Strategy

Keyword research is one of the core components of creating a successful PPC campaign. It should help you acquire, refine, and organize your keywords to reach relevant audiences and improve ROI. It’s time to discover which keywords help you achieve your goals and which ones only burn through your budget.

1. Brainstorm PPC Keywords

Check the landing pages of your ads for inspiration. You can scan each page and look for relevant keywords. If you have an optimized site, you should gather enough ideas from it. You can classify keywords into these types:

Brand terms: Phrases with brand names and trademarked terms
Generic terms: Keywords referring to a company’s products or services
Related terms: Words your potential customers use but don’t directly relate to your services
Competitor terms: Brand names of rivals with similar offerings

In most cases, bidding on terms related to a competitor is expensive and can quickly burn through your budget. If you don’t have a massive PPC budget, weigh your pros and cons accordingly.

Here are some pro tips for your brainstorming sessions:
● Think of consumer pain points. What needs do your consumers have that you can address with your services?
● Include keyword variations in your lists. Google doesn’t always realize connections between related terms, so we recommend including them instead.
● Use long-tail keywords. Using a keyword like long-term residential treatment for cocaine addiction may get fewer clicks than the phrase cocaine addiction, but the former will attract quality leads.
● Try a free keyword tool like Google Trends. It provides users with valuable information on topic interest per region and related searches to your chosen keywords. You can refine your search by area and time range.

2. Refine Your Keyword List

After brainstorming on potentially beneficial keywords, you can use free keyword tools like Google Keyword Planner to help you determine which ones to keep and which ones to lose. Doing so enables you to use data to discover what your potential clients need.

Google Keyword Planner also ranks the competition from high to low. A high rating means you’re going against more bidders and will likely pay more to get to the top position. Your research goal should be to find high-volume, low-competition keywords. They should boost your traffic without blowing your whole PPC budget.

If you find expensive keywords that don’t yield results or ones with excessively high levels of competition, drop them as quickly as possible. They could eat up your budget in no time.

3. Organize Keywords

Once you have an impressive set of keywords, you should sort them into targeted groups related to one another. In Google Ads, these collections refer to your ad groups. Grouping thematically related keywords together is essential in improving quality scores, boosting ad rankings, and reducing costs per click. Having a tighter, more focused ad group has its benefits, including:

● Measure keyword performance quickly.
● Expand or reduce lists if necessary.
● Develop ads relevant to your target market.

Suggested Keywords

Before you run PPC campaigns, remember that keywords for such efforts differ from SEO strategies. Organic searches can cover an extensive range of keywords for consumers in different stages in the purchasing process, but PPC should limit them to the most relevant ones. Only you will know the best keywords for your business because you know your unique selling propositions (USPs), strengths, and customers better than anyone.

However, here are a few suggestions to get you started:
● Affordable faith-based treatment for heroin users
● Alcohol abuse center with group counseling
● Individualized drug treatment in (City), (State)
● Behavioral counseling for painkiller addiction
● Inpatient rehab for cocaine addicts


Run Profitable PPC Ads Now

We know how challenging running PPC ads can be if you don’t have the right team, knowledge, or tools on your side. If you want to take your business to new heights, focus on beefing up your operations and leave the PPC ads to professionals.
While other agencies talk about digital marketing fundamentals, we show clients how much money companies can make from PPC campaigns. Let’s talk about running profitable ads now.


Schedule A Free PPC Consultation


    Schedule A Free PPC Consultation


      Schedule A Free PPC Consultation

        ©2021 HRD Marketing | All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy