As we’ve written about in the past, LegitScript launched its certification program for addiction treatment centers in July of 2018. It was at this point, Google and Facebook/Instagram were early adopters to requiring their advertisers to get certified by LegitScript prior to running ads on their networks. Bing, however, was not on board. That is, until recently.
It was only a matter of time, but Bing started requiring its addiction treatment center advertisers to first get LegitScript certified in order to run ads on its network and it’s a fairly recent event.
There were rumblings about Bing’s certification requirement circulating the net around mid-to-late February of 2019 coming from numerous sources including LegitScript itself. That said, as of March 1st, 2019, if treatment centers were looking to maximize their search exposure and include Bing as a part of their overall search strategy via PPC ads, their facilities would now be required to go through the process of getting LegitScript certified in order to do so.
The logic behind Bing adopting LegitScript certification is no different than the logic applied from the likes of Google and Facebook. They’re doing their part in helping to prevent predatory drug and alcohol treatment centers from using their ad networks to source new patients who wouldn’t receive the proper care they’re seeking.
With LegitScript, it’s incredibly difficult for less-than-credible treatment facilities to go through their vetting process which helps to prevent them from gaining exposure through paid advertising. I think we can all agree that this is a good thing.
On the other side of the equation, however, are non-profit treatment centers with multiple locations and legitimate newcomer facilities that may find it difficult to swallow the financial pill of $1k for submission and $2k/year/location for LegitScript certification.
The good news is LegitScript does offer (on a case-by-case basis) discounts for multi-location facilities and non-profits according to their site. The best thing for your center to do in this case is to reach out to LegitScript to at least get a dialogue started to see what it will cost in both the short- and long-term to get this valuable certification and its credibility badge for your site.
Let’s be honest though, even with the potential of discounted LegitScript fees, some treatment centers, especially non-profits with multiple locations, may find it difficult to justify or even shore up the necessary dough to pay the fees, so now what?
Pay-per-click marketing is only one piece of the digital marketing equation, albeit a substantial one, but it’s just that — it’s one piece of the equation.
There are many avenues a legitimate treatment facility can pursue outside of PPC ads on Google, Facebook, and Bing that can shore up additional exposure and admits to your facility.
Typically, we recommend following either in addition to PPC or in lieu of paid ads:
- Organic Search Engine Optimization
- Link Development
- Organic Social Media Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Rehab/Addiction Treatment Specific Directories
- Conversion Rate Optimization
- Alumni Outreach and Events
The above list is fairly comprehensive and would definitely take your treatment center to new heights in terms of getting more admits, but you better have the personnel, patience, and/or a strategic digital marketing partner who knows their stuff. Furthermore, you better double check your marketing budget because you’ll need the cheddar to cover any of the above marketing venues if you have any hope of making them work effectively.
After all, the addiction treatment space is one of the most aggressive and cut-throat industries online when it comes to advertising and your competition isn’t playing around when it comes to their marketing tactics and budget allocations to achieve their business goals and objectives.
Bing isn’t a hater! They’re simply following the leader (Google) in adopting a methodology to help prevent dirty players in the addiction treatment space from sucking in innocent victims seeking quality care for serious addiction issues.
Here at Lead to Recovery, we’re all for Bing taking the LegitScript certification requirement step and look forward to hearing less about shady addiction centers leveraging paid venues and providing terrible care (or any care at all for that matter) and more about how people are being treated by quality providers to get them on track and staying on track to a lifetime of sobriety. I think we can all celebrate that! :)