No matter what business you’re in, managing your online reputation can be the difference between success and failure. But the stakes are even higher for addiction rehabilitation centers, that tend to be more heavily scrutinized than, for example, your average retail store.

Without proper management, your center’s reputation could be scaring off future prospects who are in need of your services.

Take, for example, what popped up when we did a simple search for “drug and alcohol treatment”:

The image above shows Google’s famed 3-pack – a prominent feature on the results pages that shows three local business related to the search term used.

Being included in the 3-pack is usually a very good thing when it comes to addiction tr – but not in this case, at least not for one of the three centers listed above. Even though both Olalla Recover Center and Peninsula Counseling Inc. have just one review, that lonely star next to Olalla’s name likely scares enough prospects away.

If you want to model your center over any of the examples above, your goal should be to mirror Al’ta’s efforts – 12 reviews that tally up to an average rating of 4.3. Not too bad.

But you can do even better.

Monitoring any mentions of your rehab/treatment center

One of the first steps to protecting your brand’s online reputation is to know when someone makes any mention of your center. There are multiple ways for you to monitor brand mentions, including:

  • Google Alerts: Simple, free, and extremely powerful, Google Alerts allows you to get immediately notified of mentions of your center. That gives you the power to promote positive words and address negative ones quickly.
  • Similar to Google Alerts, but aggregates mentions from more socially slanted pockets of the web, such as blogs.
  • Search Engines: Determine what types of pages rank on your brand name. Are they negative or positive? Be sure to look beyond Google (such as going to Bing and other search engines).

Make note of not only how often you’re mentioned, but the quality and authority of these references. A positive mention from a widely popular newspaper site will carry far more weight than a negative rant on a personal blog. But, if that personal blog ranks high when you conduct a simple search using your brand name, then it can have an enormous impact on your reputation.

Generate some positive buzz around your rehab/treatment center

Chances are your center has experienced a lot of successes, and has done a lot of good. But those actions and success won’t speak for themselves – you have to be your best advocate.

For every noteworthy thing you do (sponsor a sports team, volunteer for a local event, offer free services to those in need), make sure that information gets found online. You can do this by:

  • Contacting local news outlets
  • Writing press releases
  • Sharing the news on social media
  • Writing a blog on your center’s site, as well as on any personal blogs
  • Through reviews (encourage past clients to write reviews online about experiences they’ve had with your center)

If you encourage your past clients to leave reviews, you’ll wind up with a good amount of good or neutral responses, all of which will outweigh any bad ones that linger across the web. Our digital marketing agency located in Orlando uses this strategy for clients.

Create content that flexes your authority

Becoming an authority in your industry with an addiction treatment marketing campaign will help you fill search results pages with positive content you’ve created that’s designed to engage and inform, rather than any negative references to your brand.

Here’s how crafting authoritative content can help you improve our online reputation if you’re a lawyer or a medical professional:

  • Visitors find your name during the learning phase of their search process – Research is a huge part of addiction treatment. If you provide relative, helpful information that helps addicts, and families of addicts, they’ll be more likely to return to you when they’re ready for the next step.
  • Your content will likely rank high – Google likes to reward helpful pages. Your authoritative content, then, will likely put you and your center atop search engine results pages.
  • Your content will be shared – People like to share helpful, relative content. That shared content may also improve your search engine ranking.
  • You’ll likely rank for more than your brand name – Ranking for your brand name is a key step in restaurant online reputation management. It also works for businesses in the medical industry. However, you’ll want to rank for other related terms (like “long-term drug rehab center”). Your authority content can make that happen.

When negative reviews pop up

It’s become incredibly easy for just about anyone to express an opinion online – be it good, bad, valid, or not. While it may seem wise to make sure negative reviews don’t go viral by contacting the reviewer specifically, this attempt could actually backfire.

In fact, this could draw even more attention to those bad reviews.

Instead, you can combat these negative reviews by:

  • Creating positive content to outrank those bad ratings
  • Reaching out to clients you’ll know will post positive reviews, and make it easy for them to rate and review your clinic
  • Connect with news sources, friendly bloggers, and reputable institutions. Mentions from these sites will help take the wind out of the sails of your negative reviews.

Reputation management in the healthcare industry is an important – yet often overlooked – part of digital marketing. You can create all the ads you want, and write all the blogs you’d like, but if you’re not monitoring mentions of your clinic, you’ll never know what your prospects see when they look for you – and your services – online.