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By Monica E. Oss

Can consumers and referral sources find you online? Does it matter? The short answer is “yes” – and your executive team should know how your “web presence” stacks up.

Sixty percent of consumers are “researching” treatment options online before making a purchasing decision – and 84% of these consumers are making their purchasing decision online before ever contacting the organization by telephone or in person (see Consumer Marketing In The Age Of Health Care Reform — How To Win (Or Lose) Online premium members). Just for the term “mental health”, there are 125,000 searches per month in the U.S. alone. This volume translates with more specific industry terms as well:

Industry Keywords: Monthly Search Estimates
Addictions Eating Disorders Depression Autism
Monthly Searches 113,000 50,000 25,000 40,000
New Patients 1,130 500 250 400
Revenue/Patient $30,000 $30,000 $30,000 $30,000
New Revenue Month $33 million $15 million $7.5 million $12 million

If you want your organization to be found in those searches, improving your web presence and web ranking through search engine optimization (SEO) is a key factor. Web presence is the appearance of an organization on the web (see Can Your Customers Find You Online? all members and The Virtual You all members). To improve your web presence and web ranking, mastering SEO is key.

The rewards for showing up “high” on a search are large – the top-listing on a search page gets 40-45% of the click-throughs. The second listings gets 12% of the click-throughs and the third drops to 10%. We did our own quick test of web ranking for the terms “depression treatment” and “alcoholism treatment” and here is what we found. [NOTE: Google search results vary based on personal search history and geographic area. To get an idea of how searching for the same terms can produce different results, we pulled search results from different areas across the county]

Top-Ranked Web Sites For Search Term “Depression Treatment”

  1. California – Anxiety & Depression Center

  2. Colorado – The Wellness Treatment Center

  3. New York – The TMS Center of New York

  4. Ohio – Lindner Center of HOPE

  5. Pennsylvania – Belmont Behavioral Health, Einstein Healthcare Network

Top-Ranked Web Sites For Search Term “Alcohol Treatment”

  1. California – Spencer Recovery Centers

  2. Colorado – Aminokit Labs

  3. New York – Hazelden New York

  4. Ohio – Glenbeigh

  5. Pennsylvania – Caron Pennsylvania

This is a simple test – but you can get a good idea of how you and your competitors stack up when consumers and referral sources are looking for services. Good numbers to know.


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