When it comes to optimizing your addiction treatment website for voice search, conversational copywriting is key to reaching the ranks. Applications like Siri have changed the way people use a search engine. Learning to consciously use a common conversational language with your readers will be crucial to ranking in search engines by 2020.

However, it’s important to have already audited your site to remove the hard edge push of traditional copywriting practices.  If your website still reads like a direct mail letter it’s not too late to abandon ship and climb aboard a newer cleaner model.

Google stats show 1-5 searches happen via mobile applications voice search options.

Screenshot shows 3 smartphones  with statistics depicting of voice search optimization reaching 70% of searches being performed via  activating voice search

By 2020 50% of all internet searches will be done by voice.(Comscore)


A Google study found that 41% of U.S. adults use voice search daily and it continues to grow as the population becomes more comfortable with technology. (Forbes)

What does all this mean for addiction treatment marketing?

It means everything. You can’t optimize for voice search and write clinically at the same time. I understand. You’ve been in grad school for the last few years. You’re trained to write academically, and you’re damn good at it. But, that doesn’t work when writing to someone caught in the throes of addiction. Or their loved ones who are looking for easily digested answers.


Writing isn’t about dumbing text down. It’s about meeting your readers where they’re at- think to talk with a parent in your office.


When I was at university, I played in several punk bands. When I’d bring lyrics to practice, I’d get laughed at by my bandmates because I’d have these long, drawn-out Kantian diatribes. I needed to say it all in 1 minute and 22 seconds. Most of the time these essays were edited down to 30 words or less.


My point here is that learning to write in the language that is common to your audience will make you a hit, build rapport and trust, and start the conversations your substance abuse marketing needs, to generate quality connections.


Ok. Let’s get on with it.

Content marketing is about building connections to your readers.

It is in these connections that your audience comes to trust you.

Telling your company’s specific story in everyday language is key to ranking in voice search.

Forming a bond with your reader is the goal of each new piece of content. In relationships, people feel safe.

Vulnerable- Able to be yourself without fear of judgment

Transparent-Willing to tell the truth without fear of abandonment.

Relationships give us a sense of belonging and ‘being a part of’ or ‘connected with’ is vital to today’s consumer.

In faith, you’ll generate leads. In today’s market, it’s common for someone to blow past your addiction treatment center if they feel that can’t relate to you. You have about 8 seconds to get your message out to your reader.

Picture yourself out with a group of friend’s. Enjoying each other’s company, and passing the time talking.

How do the conversations sound?

1. Formal- as if you’re speaking to at an addiction training, or

2. Informal- are you more laid back, using everyday language that you’re more comfortable with?

Start using language to join in conversations with your readers. Build trust and rapport by meeting your readers where they are at in their readiness to commit to change.

Start using language to join in conversations with your readers. Build trust and rapport by meeting your readers where they are at in their readiness to commit to change.

Making this change in your web-copy will be optimal to being found when someone reaches for the phone and uses the voice search function.

Optimizing for voice search with conversational copywriting

Nick Usborne, a conversational copywriting advocate, writes, “To me, it means writing in the same way you would speak persuasively to a friend over the kitchen table.”  


Picture yourself speaking to a client or a group about the power of positive support in early recovery.  You don’t insist that the person engages in NA or AA. You gently offer suggestions and persuasively lead your patient to feel that it is a great idea.


Treatment works best when you use language your patient understands and messages that meet their current stage of change. What I’m suggesting is that your focus for writing web copy should also aim to reach your readers on their terms. Nurture your leads with natural language.


As addiction treatment grows and more programs build web pages, keywords will become even more competitive. 

You should already be using SEO safe practices for addiction treatment.  Have an SEO audit performed to be sure you’re optimized to rank higher in search engines. 

Be on the right track.

Here are 3 ways you can use conversational copywriting for voice search optimization:

Image depicts electronic health records which is worded clinically but not optimal for voice search optimization.

[Image Source]

1. Abandon clinical tone & style

Writing makes up 90% of a clinician’s job. You’ve been trained to write clinically and academically. But, look at it this way; you didn’t sign up to be a clinician to write notes all day. You wanted to help empower client’s towards change. Leave it in your EMR.


Don’t bring your clinical jargon onto your website, unless of course, your site is for teaching clinicians to write clinically.  (*sigh)


Welcome readers to your website with language that’s easily understood.

Picture your reader.

Write to her as if she were sitting across from you sharing a cup of coffee. Visualize the last time you met with a friend for coffee. How did the conversation sound? Tone? Emphasis? Did you persuade into sharing a piece of double chocolate cake with you? Or maybe you dissuaded her from purchasing a second piece? Either way, remember how you spoke with her. You were most certainly kind or considerate, (afterall she is a friend) of her feelings choosing language which was understandable yet authoritative.

Can you hear the conversation?

When you are writing content for your addiction recovery website and social media marketing messages aim to engage your readers with natural language.


Clinical writing sounds stiff and rigid. Why write clinically on your website’s main pages? Save the clinical jargon for your programs EHR/ECR document writer.


Learn all there is to know about your patients by paying more attention to how your patients speak while they’re in your facility. Listen to how they interact with each other, words they use, and level of sophistication in their sentences.


2. Write in the language of your reader


Phase out words such as opioids, opiate, cannabis, or benzodiazepines, etc.

Most of your patients probably can’t even spell-benzodiazepine. It’s not a priority for them. Instead, use middle of the road words like; heroin, dope, oxy’s, marijuana, ( bud, pot, Kush) Xanax, benzo’s, instead. Use the language of the user.


During intake and you’re discussing substance us history your patient tells you about his oxycodone habit, would you find yourself writing; “I started out with one oxycodone and then before I knew it I was delivering a day intravenously.  I am scared of hypodermic needles.” ?  Does your patient talk like this? Really?


Or does it sound more like this? “I started taking oxy now and then, and before I knew it, I was crushing pills and shooting-up – about 5 times a day. Funny thing. I’m scared to death of needles.”


To star ranking in voice search, you need to start optimizing your website with the keywords they use.


Use “oxys” rather than oxycodone.

Use “shooting up” instead of intravenously

Use “needles” in place of a hypodermic.


Writing copy that is more natural sounding allows you to be seen as part of the community because you share a common language. Language brings people together.

Conversational copywriting will not only bring them to your site through voice search rankings, but it will also keep your reader engaged long enough to plant the necessary seeds of change.



3. Long-tailed keyphrases


Optimizing for longer phrases is now one of the most important elements of SEO.


Think of long-tailed critical phrases as your answer to figuring how someone will type a sentence. Language is something we all use.  People speaking into their phone are confident they know what they want.


When you begin to optimize your content with common language your search rankings will increase.  Consider this: A person might type into a search bar “rapid detox,” but when using voice search he’d most likely say “What’s the quickest way to detox from heroin?”



And that’s how this works!


Start optimizing content on your site with long-tailed keyphrases to rank for the highly competitive nature of addiction marketing. Using these phrases naturally in your content to engage your reader will have positive results for your content marketing over time. It’d be great if optimizing your site for voice search was as easy as pushing a button, but its not.

It takes time. Just like recovery, you have to do your part every day to stay sane, happy, and on-point.

Start making gradual changes to your website daily.

Update regularly with new content that has your keywords and phrases found within and you’ll start moving up in the ranks.

Team up-keyphrases with a friendly tone to give those using voice search what they want.


Summarizing-Conversational copywriting to rank higher in voice search


Writing in the language your reader uses will get you closer to ranking higher in search engines through voice search. Using familiar language on your site will build trust with your readers.


The way you write the messages on your website will determine two things:


  1. How often you show up in search rankings.


  1. How welcome your reader feels in your program


Lead generation is determined by how well your readers trust you. To build that trust, you have to get traffic to your website. Now you have a good understanding of how to optimize your site for voice search so you can start generating more leads, filling beds and saving lives.


Key takeaways:

  • Learn how to write in a conversational tone.
  • Listen and write down conversations you hear.
  • Edit your content so it no longer sounds stiff, sterile, and clinical. 


Ready to start using voice search optimization so to increase your search results and save more lives?  but don’t have the time.