Google radically restricts AdWords for rehab and addiction programs. For many addiction psychologists, residential rehab programs, and sober living homes, Google Ads provided great results. However, following reports about shady and dangerous rehab facilities, Google implemented tight restrictions. These limitations apply across the board to non-profit and for-profit facilities, equally to programs with a long track record and to fly-by-night operators, to residential facilities and to private practice psychologists. In fact, even non-profits recognized by Google Grants are subject to the restrictions.
If you own a rehab facility or treat substance abuse in your private practice, this could create real trouble for you. Or, since change also creates opportunity, you may be able to leverage Google’s policies to grow and build. Remember – the same policies that restrict what you can do on Google Ads apply to your competitors as well.
It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.
You need to take action to ensure that your programs thrive.
The effect of changes in AdWords for rehab and addiction programs
In some cases, Google provides notices that ads are suspended. In other cases, Google dramatically reduces the number of impressions served up by AdWords for rehab and addiction programs without notice. When Google doesn’t send a “disapprove” email, or if you miss the email, the changes can go unnoticed for some time unless you actively monitor your ad campaigns. Keywords that used to deliver results just drop off the radar. These might include “drug rehab,” “drug recovery,” “substance abuse,” and “addiction treatment”.
“I’m just an addiction psychologist. What can I do?”
Actually, you can do quite a lot! Reminder change also creates opportunity. The same obstacles that you face are faced by your competitors. If you can work around the challenges, you can catapult your practice or programs forward.
The first step is to assess your situation. Check your ad impressions and verify if you have experienced significant drops in impressions and clicks.
Next, you will need to check your individual ads and see if any of them have a limited approval status. Google often specifies the reason your ads have limited approval, and if you do not see a reason listed, you can contact Google to find out.
If your ads have been limited due to addiction services content, you should consider moving ahead with three different solutions.
Solution #1: Rethink your Google ads
Google did not actually ban AdWords for rehab and addiction programs. Instead, it limited keywords and ad content that specifically target substance abuse. With some effort, you may be able to tune your ads, landing pages, and keywords to stay within the Google limitations while still attracting the referrals that you need.
Long-tail keywords and other strategies can put Google Ads back to work for you. Find out more here.
Solution #2: Rethink your content
Search results were always important for any type of rehab program. With the restrictions imposed by Google Ads, SEO for rehab and addiction programs is even more important.
AdWords was always a quick fix instead of investing in getting search results. Heck, you’re in the substance abuse recovery business and you know that deep-rooted problems require hard work to address. Search engine optimization takes time. It’s not easy but it will pay off, and it will be less expensive than pouring money into ads forever. You should have been investing more in content all along. Don’t put it off any longer. Click here to find about how to give your content a boost.
Solution #3: Open your wallet to get certified
After AdWords made it harder for rehab facilities to advertise, Google also provided a path to enable AdWords for rehab and addiction programs. If your program is in the United States, you can pay for certification through LegitScript. While certification can reopen AdWords for you, it is an expensive process and the cost is likely to put AdWords out of reach for private practice addiction psychologists and some programs.
Unfortunately, if your addiction recovery program is based outside of the United States, certification is not an option.
We can help
Whether you need help with AdWords, content, social media, or moving up in the search rankings, our team at Therapy Everywhere is skilled in implementing affordable strategies that work for your practice. If your ads have been restricted, our AdWords team can work with you to get them reapproved.
Contact us now for a free consultation. You can call, or just fill out the contact form and press Send.