Beacon Media + Marketing Awarded 2023 INC 5000 + 2023 Communicator Award For Best Website in Healthcare Category + Best UX Design + 2023 Clutch Champion Award

Marketing Blog

Co-workers giving a group high five.

7 Reasons Why LegitScript Certification Matters for Your Behavioral Health Marketing Campaign

In every relationship, no matter if it’s personal or business, the glue that holds everything together is trust. Integrity and trust go hand in hand. And believe us when we say that integrity is never conditional. It doesn’t ebb and flow like a river, and it doesn’t fade when times get tough. You either have it or you don’t.

In today’s busy world, people look for indicators of trust and integrity before ever considering becoming a customer, or a patient. In fact, many people just simply won’t walk through your doors — or even fill out a contact form — if they don’t feel an element of trust. And this is why we’re talking about LegitScript.

Unfortunately, unscrupulous business practices are all too common in the digital marketing age. And in the world of mental and behavioral health marketing, an indicator of trust is going to be your key to letting any potential client (and Google) know that you’re the real deal.

LegitSript offers mental and behavioral health companies a literal badge of trust — one that Google and other search engines like to see. Here’s why it’s so important, and why we recommend it for our behavioral health and addiction treatment clients.

Could your business benefit from an improved ad campaign with LegitScript certification? Reach out to Beacon Media + Marketing today for a free discovery call.

What is LegitScript Certification and Why Does it Matter?

Founded in 2007, LegitScript has a long history of providing verification and ad monitoring services for online pharmacies and addiction treatment centers. Recognizing the growing need for trust and transparency in the online healthcare space, LegitScript expanded its services to include healthcare providers, including mental health providers.

The rise of teletherapy has also opened doors to a wider range of mental health services, but it also creates opportunities for unethical actors to pose as qualified professionals. LegitScript verification helps mitigate these risks by:

  • Verifying Credentials and Licensure: LegitScript conducts thorough healthcare certification checks to ensure that practitioners are properly licensed for the services they offer — and that they meet state-specific requirements.
  • Location Verification: LegitScript standards maintain that “Medical practitioners must be domiciled or recognized in the patient’s jurisdiction, unless otherwise expressly permitted as a matter of law.” For example, it is generally acceptable to conduct teletherapy throughout the state in which you’re licensed to practice. However, LegitScript standards also state that shipping drugs or conducting telemedicine internationally can become problematic.
  • Upholding Ethical Standards: LegitScript’s verification process assesses adherence to ethical codes of conduct, domain registration, and applicant authenticity. This aligns with current best practices within the mental health field — and can be seen as adding the value of trust when potential patients visit your site.

Google’s Partnership with LegitScript

Recognizing the importance of trust and safety in online healthcare advertising, Google partnered with LegitScript in 2018. This partnership requires all businesses advertising addiction treatment centers on Google Ads to obtain LegitScript verification. This move demonstrates the growing importance of ethical practices and consumer protection in the online healthcare space.

Since Google’s ads, healthcare, and medicine policy update in December of 2020, Google has required that behavioral health providers specializing in mental health, telehealth, and addiction treatment hold LegitScript certification to advertise on their platform. This ensures you see ads from reputable sources when searching for these important services.

Google’s policy restricts advertising for:

  • Drug and alcohol treatment centers: This includes inpatient, residential, and outpatient programs.
  • Recovery support services: This covers sober living environments and mutual help organizations.
  • Referral services: Lead generators and referral agencies for addiction treatment are not allowed to advertise.
  • Crisis hotlines: While hotlines themselves can’t advertise, information on how to find them can still be provided.

Facebook & Microsoft

Additionally, if you want to advertise on Google, Facebook, or Microsoft, LegitScript is the only certification service for U.S. addiction treatment providers recognized by these platforms.

While not all social media platforms require LegitScript certification, Facebook has stated that “Addiction treatment centers that advertise to people in the U.S. on Facebook must be certified by LegitScript.” This is a big deal considering the reach and conversion capability that Facebook advertising allows for brands.

Finally, Microsoft’s Bing confirmed that LegitScript certification is “an essential requirement for drug and alcohol rehab centers and practitioners.” 

10 Reasons Why LegitScript Matters for Your Marketing Campaign

In today’s business landscape, convenience and accessibility might be the kings and queens, but ethical responsibility also holds royalty. This is especially true when it comes to advertising for addiction recovery and behavioral healthcare, where teletherapy platforms have exploded in popularity. But with this convenience comes a new challenge — ensuring legitimacy and building trust with potential clients in a virtual landscape.

Here’s where LegitScript steps in. As a leading provider of pharmaceutical, addiction recovery centers, and healthcare provider verification and consumer protection services, LegitScript plays a crucial role in safeguarding both clients and mental health professionals in the online therapy space. Additionally, it can add a tangible element of trust that can be woven into behavioral health marketing strategies.

Here are seven reasons why LegitScript should be an essential part of your behavioral and mental health marketing campaign:

1. Builds Client Confidence and Trust

Jon Allen, Ph.D., author and clinical professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Baylor College of Medicine, a member of the faculty emeriti at the Center for Psychoanalytic Studies in Houston, and an adjunct faculty member of the Institute for Spirituality and Health at the Texas Medical Center claims that therapists should focus more on becoming trustworthy. In his book Trust in Psychotherapy Allen writes, “Psychotherapy goes best when trust is reciprocal, that is, when the patient and therapist are trusting of each other and trustworthy to each other—as it should be in any close relationship.”

Dr. Allen is spot on here. The simple fact is, people not only want to feel trust, they want to have it confirmed. LegitScript certification acts as a trusted seal of approval, demonstrating your platform’s commitment to verified therapists and secure, ethical practices. This can also significantly reduce client anxiety, mental health therapy stigma, and increase their willingness to engage with your services.

2. Boost Conversions and Client Acquisition

According to a case study cited in Forbes by Actual Insights, there is a true impact of trust badges on a website’s conversion rates. The study found that verifiable trust logos improved the “perceived” trustworthiness of a brand in 75% of respondents. Results also indicated that 61% of people within the study claimed they could easily recall an occurrence when they chose not to convert because trust logos were absent.

Additionally, a study conducted by Blue Fountain Media found that “displaying certification badges increased conversion rates by 42%.”

Similarly, displaying the LegitScript badge on your platform can be a powerful conversion tool, giving potential clients the confidence to click “sign up” and begin their mental health journey.

3. Enhance Brand Reputation and Credibility

In the most basic sense, ethics in all aspects of digital marketing are receiving even more hyper-focused scrutiny — and this is because, in a competitive market, consumers are growing more keenly aware of the impact that marketing has on their lives. As such, standing out requires a commitment to transparency and quality.

LegitScript verification showcases your platform’s dedication to ethical practices, credibility, and high standards of care. This translates to a stronger brand reputation that attracts both clients — and qualified therapists.

4. Mitigate Risk and Protect Your Business

When it comes to risk-taking, just one step too far in the wrong direction can brand your practice as unethical or non-compliant. And it can take years to gain back any trust you once had as a provider. This is why we recommend third-party monitoring through LegitScript.

According to LegitScript, “LegitScript Merchant Monitoring is a third-party solution that falls into the monitoring and reporting stage within a holistic fraud risk management program. We ensure you have merchant-level insight into your downstream or merchant portfolio – mitigating the risks associated with illegal or problematic activity.”

Partnering with LegitScript not only provides ongoing monitoring, but also offers risk mitigation strategies as well. This can help identify and prevent fraudulent activity on your platform, protecting your business from potential legal and reputational issues. In addition, LegitScript also offers ongoing educational training for professional development and risk and compliance professionals through their online webinars.

5. Attract High-Quality Therapists

Several studies have shown that since the pandemic, job applicants are taking a much closer look at the type of companies they want to work for, and this includes browsing reviews, and looking for transparency regarding company culture. Mental and behavioral health professionals also value legitimacy. And keeping this in mind, legitimacy should be a key part of your onboarding/recruitment marketing strategy — especially if you’re looking to build your behavioral or mental health practice now or in the future.

LegitScript verification demonstrates your commitment to creating a safe and secure environment for therapists to practice. This can attract a wider pool of qualified professionals, ultimately benefiting your clients with a broader range of expertise.

6. Provide Valuable Consumer Protection Tools

LegitScript offers consumers a wealth of information to verify the credentials and licensure of online therapists and alcohol addiction treatment providers on your platform. And for those suffering from addiction or mental health issues, LegitScript certification empowers these potential clients to make informed decisions about their care.

In addition, LegitScript may also help with developing a sense of security throughout the teletherapy journey.

7. Reduce and Avoid Advertisement Disruption

The ability to advertise online is a crucial part of all mental health marketing efforts. While factors such as transparency are one of many keys to building trust, LegitScript verification also signifies to search engines like Google and Bing your commitment to accurate communication and accountability — and these factors simply must be woven into your overall mental health marketing strategy.

Without obtaining LegitScript certification, providers who offer teletherapy along with addiction treatment centers may likely have their paid ad campaigns disrupted — or potentially suspended. Essentially, LegitScript certification allows you to engage in online advertising practices and keeps your website healthy — another important ranking factor that all mental and behavioral health providers need to be cognizant of.

Here’s Why We Urge Our Clients to Get LegitScript Certification

Finally, let’s move beyond the data points for a moment and shift the focus to the well-being of your clients. Essentially, that’s why you’re here, and that’s why mental and behavioral health and addiction recovery centers exist. The overall well-being of your patients is why you’re in business. After all, you’re a giver of hope, not only for those who need treatment but for their loved ones as well. And trust us when we say, the word about your credibility and trustworthiness does spread fast. So, make it count!

If you’re a behavioral or mental health professional, or any provider engaging in alcohol addiction treatment services, substance use disorder treatment, or if you’re prescribing medications, LegitScript is not only necessary, it should be considered an integral part of your practice.

At Beacon, we know building trust and credibility online is crucial for success, especially in sensitive fields like healthcare and addiction treatment. LegitScript certification offers a powerful way for mental health service providers to achieve this by demonstrating a commitment to quality care and ethical practices.

Your clients want to know that you can be trusted, just like ours. At Beacon, we believe that trust should be the foundation for all business models — especially where mental and behavioral health are concerned. As experts in mental health marketing, we urge our clients to get LegitScript certified not simply because it’s necessary, but because establishing trust is the gold standard in business — and this is, and always will be, part of our core values and guiding principles.

Want to learn more about how to get LegitScript certified and improve your ad campaign? Reach out to Beacon Media + Marketing today and talk with one of our industry experts.

Find Solutions to Your Marketing Challenges and Get a Return on Your Investment

Schedule My Discovery Call