Do you have any idea how often Google changes their search algorithm? Experts estimate that Google updates the algorithm between 500 and 600 times annually.1 So, a logical follow-up question would be, do you change your SEO strategy 500 to 600 times every year? Of course not!
Keeping pace with these changes is completely unsustainable. And even if you tried, would you know what to do? Google has always been famously tight-lipped about exactly what data the algorithm collects and evaluates.
As a result, digital cowboys always seem to have exciting new SEO tactics to try. These fads are usually portrayed as the “holy grail” of SEO. In reality, some work better than others. And what are these fads really trying to do? They’re trying to provide the answer to every marketer’s most burning question: what are my potential clients searching for and why do they want or need it.
The answers to these questions hold a lot of power. When you know what your prospective patients are searching for, you can design your digital marketing campaigns to help them find it—and you—more easily. And for those struggling with substance use disorder, finding treatment quickly can make all the difference.
Top Search Trends for Addiction Treatment
Today we’re taking a look at some recent search trends to consider and how you can leverage them in your SEO strategy. And remember, the right SEO trends to incorporate into your digital marketing plans are the ones that best support your overall goals and help you reach and connect with your target audience.
1. Health Awareness Is Up
The toll the pandemic collectively took on our bodies was not kind. We ate more, we drank more, we stressed more, and we Netflix’d more. As a result, research conducted at Harvard University found that two out of five Americans experienced weight gain2 during the pandemic.
Those researchers also found that excessive drinking increased by 21% during the lockdowns,3 which unchecked will contribute to as many as 8,000 additional deaths over time due to alcohol-related liver disease. Opioid use was up as well, with more than 100,000 Americans succumbing to an opioid overdose4 between April 2020 and April 2021.
These days, Google searches for health-related products and services have increased more than ever. The search phrase “treadmill for sale” had a 50% increase in search volume5 between 2020 and 2021. Searches for the term “fitness app” increased 40% in the same time period.
From these general trends, we can anticipate that your treatment center’s target audience is very likely thinking about getting back on track with their health and wellness right now.
2. Skill Building is Popular
Researching how to do it yourself—perhaps another side effect of the pandemic—is also more prominent than ever. Searches for phrases like “painting for beginners” and “how to invest” are up 50% and 60%,6 respectively.
Another search that gathered steam in 2021 was “adult swim lessons near me,” which increased in volume by 100%.7 Searches like this show that users aren’t just interested in learning something new, they want to become better versions of themselves.
The idea of self-improvement is an encouraging search trend for addiction treatment. Most people in need of treatment for an SUD start their search online. When you tailor your content to these self-improvement search trends, you’ll connect with more clients who need you.
3. Make Your Center the Solution
So when someone struggling with an SUD searches for “long-term health effects of opioid use” or “how to start addiction treatment,” your center needs to be a top search result. To improve your chances of reaching the top of the SERP, update your SEO to meet your potential clients where they are. That’s thinking about their health and improving their lives. To catch their attention, your addiction treatment center’s pages should contain the answers to the most common health questions about SUDs, along with an easy, approachable guide to educate people about starting their treatment journeys.
These search trends collectively demonstrate a keen interest in self-improvement. And people struggling with an SUD who are ready for treatment are just as—if not more—desperate to make a change. Adding elements of self-improvement to your content, website, social media, and other digital assets will enable you to capitalize on this promising search trend.
A Good Website Makes a Great First Impression
If you need help creating a transformative digital marketing strategy for your addiction treatment center, we have in-house expertise. Schedule a strategy session by calling 888.307.7304 to get started.
For a list of references, please contact us.