The LegitScript certification process is an industry standard requirement for addiction treatment centers to run paid search campaigns as of September 2017. Google dropped the hammer on addiction treatment center advertising to discourage unethical practices on the Google Ads platform. LegitScript is a third-party background check company hired by Google to regulate drug rehab centers on the Google Ads platform using the LegitScript certification process custom developed by the company. By January 2018, Google removed all ads related to addiction treatment and substance abuse and beefed up the criteria for drug rehab centers to advertise on Google. If this change impacted your treatment center, and you haven’t yet begun the LegitScript certification process, you will need to in order to engage in Google advertising. Your rehab center must go through the LegitScript certification process to authenticate location, medical license, ownership, staffing, and billing practices, among other requirements. Learn what you need to do to make the LegitScript certification process as pain-free as possible.
Why Did Google Implement a Mandatory LegitScript Certification Process?
Most addiction treatment facilities and rehab centers are in this industry for the right reasons. They want to help individuals turn their lives around with evidence-based addiction treatment programs and compassionate care. However, some people—lead generation providers, third-party mediators, and even rehab center owners themselves—saw an opportunity to take advantage of vulnerable prospective patients. Whether it was through patient brokering or misleading advertisements, these practices led Google to crack down on paid rehab center ads.
LegitScript and Google Ads Partner Up to Regulate Substance Abuse Keywords
Google needed a way to separate legitimate drug rehab centers from shady patient brokers and addiction treatment centers without proper licensure or levels of care. They also needed a third-party to help them verify and monitor the compliance of these treatment centers. LegitScript certification was their solution.
LegitScript was created to regulate online pharmacies and now addiction treatment centers. LegitScript is the only service endorsed by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. In the past, they’ve also worked with the Food and Drug Administration to monitor Internet pharmacy practices. The new LegitScript verification process ensures that organizations—and, in this case, rehab centers—are working in compliance with healthcare laws and regulations. So, what are the LegitScript certification requirements?
LegitScript Certification Review Process for Addiction Treatment Centers
Google implemented a two-step LegitScript approval process and certification in order to continue or begin running paid ads or PPC on the Google Ads platform for all addiction treatment providers.
To begin the LegitScript verification process, organizations have to contact LegitScript directly to fill out an application. Addiction treatment center marketing agencies and SEO companies can assist with this process but are not allowed to submit for LegitScript certification on a treatment center’s behalf. Upon paying a $1,495 application fee, LegitScript will run criminal background, licensing, and insurance verification checks to ensure that rehab centers are in compliance with certification standards and LegitScript guidelines. In addition to a $2,875 annual fee, organizations will also be responsible for upholding a commitment to ethical practices, Google bylaws, and any additional LegitScript certification requirements in the future. Once LegitScript certified, addiction treatment providers must request a second certification through Google before deploying a Google Ads paid search campaign. LegitScript certification is also required to advertise on Facebook and Bing Ads.
While the requirements during the LegitScript approval process may seem more stringent, it certainly makes it more difficult—and nearly impossible—for non-reputable rehab centers to run paid ads on Google, which should cut down on third-party lead generation and questionable patient brokering practices that historically abused the Google Ads platform.
Dreamscape Marketing Website Compliance for the LegitScript Certification Process
The LegitScript verification process can be strict, comprehensive, and expensive. Once you have gotten your LegitScript certification, you’ll want to make sure that your addiction treatment center stays in compliance with LegitScript guidelines for certified rehab centers. That’s where Dreamscape Marketing can help with your website structure and content.
Helping you through the LegitScript verification process and keeping your website LegitScript certified are small but essential parts of our addiction treatment center marketing services. We’ll work with your treatment center to ensure:
- Rehab services are accurately portrayed
- Staff member bios are up to date
- Privacy policies are up to par with our standards
- PPC campaigns comply with Google’s guidelines
To supplement paid advertising once you get LegitScript certification for your rehab center, we also recommend a dedicated SEO campaign to increase organic traffic to your website.
Questions on how to get LegitScript certified and get LegitScript approved to run paid search ads for your addiction treatment center? For information on LegitScript certification, contact Dreamscape Marketing today at (877) 958-9180.