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Customer Success Stories

Drug & Rehab Treatment Center Ads - 17.91% Conversion Rate

PPC Case Study: Healthcare Industry

Prepare to delve into our case study, where we reveal our successful endeavor of reducing the cost per lead by over 60% in the midst of a highly competitive industry. Additionally, we will share valuable insights on how we scaled our campaigns to generate a revenue of $20k+ per month.

Are you eager to discover the secrets behind our accomplishments? Let's jump right into it and uncover the details!










The client is operating in the Drug & Rehab treatment industry. Their main objective is to offer in-stay treatments lasting 30-90 days for individuals struggling with drug or alcohol addictions. Though attending one of these programs is very costly, the good news is that insurance might cover some of the expenses.

As an estimate of the costs and the value a customer would receive after going through the rehab program, on average, a rehab center can generate approximately $1,000 per patient per night. A standard in-stay rehab program lasts up to 30 days, thus bringing in about $30,000.

Given the above situation, the firm allows a high Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) and still generate significant profits. Their main reason for seeking your assistance is to cut down their expense in acquiring leads and establish a reliable source of leads.

Initial Market Research

Our company conducts comprehensive market and competitor research to start every campaign. The essence of market research is to enable us to identify your target keywords and give you a rough estimate of the amount required to acquire a lead.

Additionally, the research process provides us with insights into alternative keywords, competitors’ offers, and industry-wide trends, giving us an edge over the competition right from the onset without squandering a penny.

Our prior knowledge of this industry suggested it is competitive, but our research confirmed these suspicions. Thus, we know that what we need, more than anything, is to gain a competitive edge, and that’s why we prioritize high-quality and comprehensive research at the start of every campaign.

Keywords & CPCs

In fact, for high-intent keywords, the average Cost Per Click (CPC) amounts to $65.

At the time of searching for “Rehab Center” on Ahrefs, we discovered that there were 162 domains and 375 ads competing for that particular keyword.

We were well aware that our strategy needed to be robust from the outset.


Google is known for having a wide array of policies that vary across different niches. The more lucrative a niche is, the more policies to consider.

Fortunately, our team of experts helps clients navigate the complex landscape of Google’s policies to ensure that all ads are compliant with them. We often consult clients on the types of ads that can and can’t be run, providing them with the best approach for their campaigns.

In the current year and beyond, compliance is of utmost importance. This is especially true in highly competitive niches like addiction services, which are subject to strict restrictions from Google.

However, we were able to help our clients attain the “healthcare products and services certification” from Google by keeping their stringent policies in mind and avoiding disapproval or suspension of their ads or account.

To ensure compliance, we are meticulous in our approach and triple-check everything before submission. We understand how crucial it is to remain compliant with policies, as a single snag could negatively affect their entire campaign.

Campaign Themes

As part of our campaign research, we always conduct a comprehensive competition analysis. In doing so, we consider various elements such as ads, keywords, landing pages, CTAs, and more.


Our goal is to identify the “themes” that are relevant and valuable to the industry. During our analysis, we noticed several common themes that competitors feature throughout their ads and landing pages:


  • Types of amenities provided by the center
  • Compelling imagery showcasing the center’s actual facilities
  • Details about accepted insurance
  • Availability of 24/7 onsite staff
  • Social proof that reinforces trust, such as logos from trusted organizations
  • Prominently displaying that communication is safe and confidential


Given the high level of competition in this industry, we knew we had to develop exceptionally persuasive ads and landing pages that would make viewers feel confident, safe, and empowered to take action.


Our landing page had to go beyond normal CTAs and business info; instead, we included unique elements, such as information about the on-site doctor, a comprehensive FAQ section, lots of social proof, and engaging yet confidential copy.

The Audit

In addition, we conduct a thorough audit of the Google Ads account history to glean valuable insights that can aid our analysis.


More often than not, we can quickly identify problems and diagnose areas of improvement or leverage previously successful strategies to implement in our current campaigns.


Below are some of the valuable insights that we uncovered during our audit.

Conversion Tracking

Ensuring accurate tracking is crucial for effectively measuring the success of a campaign. Without proper setup, optimizing and scaling the campaign effectively becomes impossible.


Upon discovering that some “conversions” had a cost of $23k per piece, we recognized the need to address several key questions in order to rectify the issue.


We discovered that the issue stemmed from counting any visitor who landed on the contact page as a conversion, even if they did not take any further action.

To address this, we will configure the conversion tracking system to only capture confirmed leads or phone calls. This way, we can ensure that we are tracking the correct actions and optimize our efforts accordingly.


Another significant red flag that caught our attention was the unusually high average cost per click (CPC).


Given the keywords’ nature and the competition level in this industry, the average CPC is typically around $50. However, we noticed that the current average CPC deviated significantly from this benchmark.

Based on our research, we expected the average CPC for an Exact Match keyword in this account to be higher. However, we found that it was unusually low, with an average CPC of just $9.41. This was unexpected and prompted further investigation into the reasons behind this deviation.

Typically, keywords with this match type tend to have higher CPCs because of the intense competition in the marketplace.

It’s worth noting that Google Ads has several default settings that can significantly impact your budget. One such setting is the inclusion of “Search Partners,” which can potentially drain your advertising budget if left unchecked.

By default, Google Ads is set to display your ads on Google itself and numerous other sites. However, starting with this default setting turned off for most accounts is typically advisable.

When your ads are displayed on these additional sites, the original intention behind your keywords can be diluted. Although you may experience lower click costs, the number of conversions also tends to decrease.

We allocate more budget towards high-intent keywords because we know that the traffic derived from these keywords is actively searching for a specific product or service.

As a best practice, we keep our search campaigns limited to the Google Search platform and disable the Search Partners setting at the beginning of a campaign. This helps maintain the focus and effectiveness of our targeting.

You may even notice that Google makes you feel guilty for disabling Search Partners and the Display Network features, but it’s essential to prioritize your campaign’s performance and align it with your goals.

Google Ads is packed with small checkboxes that demand our careful attention. We meticulously review these checkboxes and make sure to disable any that could potentially hinder the performance of the campaign. By diligently going through these settings, we can ensure that the campaign operates at its utmost potential and delivers exceptional results.

New Campaigns & New Systems – Fixing Old Campaign Issues

After completing all the necessary research, we proceeded to set up the new campaigns. Armed with the insights gathered, we are now ready to implement the strategies and tactics that will drive the success of these campaigns.


During our initial research, we came across an extensive assortment of potential keywords to target. After collaborating with our client, we narrowed our focus to a select few keyword groups that we deemed the most effective.


We carefully curated a list of highly competitive keywords that had a strong intent to lead to conversions. By solely concentrating on the Search network instead of the Partners network, we were able to eliminate irrelevant traffic right from the start of our campaigns. This helped us optimize our advertising efforts and maximize conversions toward our intended audience.

Negative Keywords

Negative keywords are essential in ensuring that your ads are not displayed on irrelevant keywords or those that do not align with your offerings.


In fact, we take it a step further by conducting keyword research specifically for negative keywords even before launching the campaigns. This proactive approach, known as “pre-optimization,” is highly beneficial as it allows us to save a significant amount of money before the campaigns are even live.


To build our comprehensive list of negative keywords, we leverage data from previous campaigns and conduct our own thorough research. By implementing this strategy, we further refine the targeting of our ads, ensuring they appear only to the most relevant audience, resulting in improved campaign performance and cost savings.


In order to determine which headlines perform the best, we consistently run split tests with three ads per ad group.


To conduct a proper split test and accurately evaluate the effectiveness of each headline, it is important to set the ads to rotate indefinitely. This allows us to gather enough data to make informed decisions.


One crucial aspect we emphasize is achieving “Message Match” throughout the entire process. This means ensuring that the keywords, ad copy, and landing page all align cohesively to deliver a consistent message. This approach enables visitors to easily identify and recognize that the solution they were seeking is indeed what our campaign offers. By conducting thorough market research, we identified key interests such as location, center information, accreditation, and expected experience. These elements are strategically sprinkled throughout the campaign, including in the ads, callout extensions, and landing pages, creating a seamless and persuasive user experience.


As mentioned in the original ad, it is crucial to inform potential customers that Medicaid or Medical insurance is not accepted. This information serves as an important pre-vetting criterion. To ensure that leads are pre-vetted appropriately, we have prominently placed this information on the landing page. By doing so, we can filter out potential customers who do not meet the payment criteria, streamlining the lead generation process and focusing on qualified leads.

Calls vs Form Fills 

To enhance the effectiveness of our campaign, we aimed to “reduce friction” and improve the user experience when it came to our landing pages.


After conducting extensive competitor research, we discovered that potential customers sought flexible options for contacting the business. Recognizing that some may not be ready to give their personal information and opt-in right away, we strategically designed our landing pages with two options for engagement – the ability to call or fill out a form. This approach offers a more personalized user experience, enabling customers to engage with the business in a way that aligns with their preferences and comfort level, ultimately driving more significant lead generation and conversion results.


The landing page greatly improved by having only one clickable phone number on their website. All phone numbers on the landing page are enabled for Click To Call functionality.


We implemented a small yet impactful change to our call-to-action, which greatly improved the user experience. By using the phrase “Verify Your Insurance,” we lowered the barriers to entry and qualified leads to determine if they had funding for live-in treatment.


Given the sensitive nature of the industry, ensuring confidentiality and trust was a top priority. Throughout the ads and landing page, we emphasized our services’ confidentiality and judgment-free experience and encouraged users to “Fill Out The Safe & Confidential Form Below.”


Since most users tend to skim content, it is crucial to keep the copy simple and straight to the point while emphasizing trust and confidentiality.


Conversions Tracking

To track our campaigns effectively, we utilized Google Ad Conversions, Google Analytics, and Google Tag Manager.


We established three different conversions for these campaigns.


New Lead Generated Via Form Fill

We built this conversion using Google Tag Manager. A trigger is activated when a user lands on the confirmation page after opting in, and the data is sent to Google Ads.


Please note that if traffic from sources other than Google accesses the confirmation page, it will not be counted in Google Ad Conversions.


New Phone Call From Landing Page

We set up this conversion using a Click URL trigger in Google Tag Manager. When someone clicks on our phone number URL (e.g., tel:222-222-2222), it will be registered as a new phone call originating from the landing page.


This call link enables users to easily make calls from both mobile and desktop devices.


New Phone Call From Ads & Extensions

We configured this setup to track all calls generated by our Call Only ads and Call Extensions.

You’ll have access to call details for each phone call, including the call time, duration, type (missed or received), and area code. This report is valuable in understanding call quality.

Assuming you’ve completed your research, set up campaigns, created optimized landing pages, and implemented proper tracking, it’s now time to launch your product/service.

Initial Launch

The campaign was launched in mid-October with a monthly budget of $10,000. During the initial two weeks, we observed a significant decrease in Cost Per Lead (CPL), from thousands of dollars to just hundreds of dollars, within a few days.

Not only did this provide us with valuable insights indicating that our system was working, but we also identified a sizable trend and potential for expanding this campaign.

Optimization & Scaling

Once the campaigns are launched, that’s when the real fun begins!
We conduct daily optimizations by analyzing negative keywords, assessing which campaigns are generating traffic, determining effective devices, and understanding whether people in this industry prefer calling or filling out forms.
Examining these factors enables us to scale the campaigns while maintaining control over costs. It’s an exciting process!

Search Term Report

Within each campaign, we review and optimize them every business day.
This particular campaign enabled us to eliminate irrelevant traffic and focus our budget on targeting clicks that truly matter.
For each click, a new search term is added to the search term report. We take the time to review the search term reports every day and add all irrelevant or low-intent keywords to the negative keywords list.
Here’s an example:

Our Call Only ad for “Rehab Centers” appeared when an individual searched for “what is the veteran hospital rehabilitation center”, despite “Rehab Centers” being a phrase match keyword. Although Google categorizes this as a close variant, it’s evident that Google is not optimizing the display of our ad for this search.

This is why we scour through these and add these keywords to the negative keyword list every day. Unfortunately, many advertisers prioritize this crucial step in optimization, and as a result, they save resources.

Therefore, negative keywords play a crucial role in daily optimization. This practice allows you to eliminate irrelevant traffic, maintain a low cost per conversion, and generate qualified traffic with the right intent.

We added “veteran hospital” and “hospital” as negative keywords for this particular search. As we perfected our negative keyword list, we experienced an increase in conversion rate and a decrease in CPL while scaling.


Scaling Up Month 2

During the second month, the client requested that we increase the budget to $20,000 USD.

Initially, our search campaigns were limited by budget, meaning that there was potential traffic we couldn’t tap into due to budget constraints. To address this, we raised the campaign budgets and introduced a Call Only campaign to generate more phone calls.

Doubling the budget in such a short period carries the risk of impacting the conversion rate and cost per lead.

We took a cautious approach to mitigate this risk by gradually increasing our daily budgets and closely monitoring the effects. Since our average cost per click (CPC) was $50-$65, this adjustment didn’t significantly disrupt the campaign’s performance, and we didn’t observe any negative impact on our cost per lead (CPL).

When analyzing our campaigns, we noticed that the Call Only campaign emerged as the clear winner from a metric standpoint, offering a lower cost per lead and a higher conversion rate.

As our ad spend increased, so did the number of clicks, further demonstrating the effectiveness of the Call Only campaign.


Keyword Expansion

We didn’t limit ourselves to the original campaign terms and expanded it by incorporating additional relevant keywords.

When scaling an account, broadening the scope of the campaign by adding new keywords is crucial. There are several methods available to discover useful keywords.

However, if a campaign is already generating leads, we tend to focus on our data instead of relying on tools. The Auction Insights is an excellent resource to identify competitors bidding on your keywords, and the Search Term report generates an array of ideas.

Tip: When reviewing Auction Insights, you not only have visibility into your competitors’ websites but also gain insights into the keywords they are bidding on (by using tools like Ahrefs or similar). This additional information can provide valuable intelligence for your campaign strategy.

Tip: When analyzing the Search Term report, pay attention to the searches that did not result in conversions. In the provided screenshot, I noticed a significant trend of users searching for a competitor’s name followed by “rehabilitation center.” This presents an opportunity to conduct research, explore new ad angles, and add a wide range of negative keywords.

Once you have reviewed the data, you can input it into tools like Google Keyword Planner, Moz Pro, SEMrush, or other similar tools to further refine your keyword strategy.

CTAs For Call-Only Campaigns

If you’re running Call-Only campaigns, it’s essential to have a focused Call to Action (CTA) that encourages users to call your business. Get creative with your CTAs and give them a compelling reason to pick up the phone.

Here are a couple of examples:

Call Headline: Call 222-222-2222 (Standard by Google. You cannot change this)

Headline 1: Luxury Rehab In XYZ

Headline 2: Verify Your Insurance Now

Call Headline: Call 222-222-2222 (Standard by Google. You cannot change this)

Headline 1: Luxury Rehab In XYZ

Headline 2: 100% Confidential Calls

During this period, we observed that Call-Only campaigns gained traction and significantly improved our overall campaign performance. Specifically, we achieved a 2.26% increase in conversion rate and managed to reduce the Cost Per Lead (CPL) from an initial $404.24 to $329.69. This led to a cost savings of $74.55 per conversion in November.

In total, we received 55 calls and 16 form fills throughout the month. Analyzing this trend from a broader perspective, we found that many individuals feel more comfortable calling about sensitive situations than submitting their information through forms.

It is crucial to conduct split testing of your CTAs during your campaigns. The results may surprise you regarding the preferred method through which people contact you, the quality of leads from calls versus form fills, and even the impact on CPL.


Campaigns Scaling Up Month 3

In December, we utilized the remaining budget from November and relied on our trending data to round off the year with a remarkable performance! Our strategy involved increasing the budget for our Call Only campaign and decreasing it for our search campaigns, which was a wise decision. As a result, our Cost-per-Lead (CPL) decreased for the third month consecutively, demonstrating the effectiveness of our approach. Here are the key figures from our performance report:

  • CPL: $315.01
  • Conversion Rate: 17.91%
  • Conversions: 67
  • Phone Calls: 61
  • Form Fills: 6


Our streamlined process led to remarkable improvements for this account, as we were able to reduce the original cost per lead by over 67% and achieve a monthly profit of $20k and above. This success was made possible by our comprehensive approach to lead acquisition, encompassing market analysis, account auditing, keyword research, pre-optimization, tracking, landing pages, optimization, and scaling. A successful campaign requires meticulous attention to detail.

If you're ready to build and grow your business using PPC, we're here to help. Healthcare facilities and fitness companies nationwide have entrusted us with optimizing their websites, setting up PPC advertising, and generating more web traffic. Discover what we can do for you by simply booking a call with us to discuss your

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