In the early days of pregnancy center ministry, your window of opportunity to connect and provide options to your clients was at least a few weeks. You had time for your clients to schedule their appointments to talk through their options and your clients took more time to make their final decision regarding their pregnancies. Today, with technology and the advent of the abortion pill, your window of time is much less – maybe only a few days. Keep reading to find best ways to connect with her earlier in her pregnancy.
At Choose Life Marketing, we know through keyword searches for current pregnancy centers working with us that “abortion pill” is highly searched in Google. A woman who sees a positive pregnancy test result goes directly to the internet to search information on the abortion pill, abortion costs, and other pregnancy and abortion related information.
How will you respond?
By intentionally marketing your center. It’s important that you reach women earlier than ever before because they are able to get abortions earlier than ever before.
Did you know?
- California just mandated that free abortion pills be available on college campuses set to start in 2023
- Called Plan C, women can now order the abortion pill online to end their pregnancies at home, without the supervision of a medical person or clinic
- In 2016, two-thirds of abortions occurred at eight weeks or earlier
- In 2016, 88% of abortions happened within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy
- In 2017, medication abortions accounted for 39% of all abortions, up from 29% in 2014
- The overall abortion rate has been declining, while the rate of medication abortion has been rising
A medication abortion is the most private abortion women can have. No one needs to know about the pregnancy or abortion if the woman in the unplanned pregnancy doesn’t want them to. It’s also becoming easier and easier to obtain – available at abortion clinics, some doctors offices, and currently with the ability to order the abortion pill online.
Now more than ever, it is imperative for pregnancy centers to reach women before they choose an early abortion.
The best way to reach an abortion-determined woman early in her pregnancy is through online marketing. She is looking for information on her phone. You need to be present as she searches for help. If you don’t reach her right away, later might be too late.
Here are some tactics you can employ to reach abortion-determined women:
Search Engine Optimization
We can’t stress the importance of this enough. Women are searching for abortions online, so it’s imperative that your center show up under the search terms they are using. Women often believe abortion is their only choice when facing an unplanned pregnancy, and a properly optimized website will point them towards help, hope, and life-affirming options.
There are easy things you can do to better optimize your website:
Start a blog
This can feel like an overwhelming endeavor but it doesn’t have to be! We created a whole downloadable PDF walking you through the ins and outs that you can access here. To get started, make a list of topics you could write about and then start fleshing those out. Women are searching not just about where to get an abortion, but what the experience is like, how it will impact them, what their abortion options are, and more.
Offering a blog helps establish you as a credible go-to resource for women in unplanned pregnancies in your community. Think of a blog as a first touch point to potential clients. You’re offering valuable information and establishing trust. This opens the door to provide a free pregnancy test or ultrasound before their abortion. Many women want to know they will be supported. When you provide information and services, it helps point them towards life- affirming choices.
Leverage your blog to be that resource and assurance of support and you’ll be well on your way not only to a better optimized website but also open the door to them scheduling an appointment at your center.
Utilize Google My Business
Google My Business is the snapshot of your business that shows up in search results when search terms, such as abortion, are typed into Google. It’s found on the right hand side of people’s search results. Google My Business can be used to strengthen your SEO, drive more traffic to your site, and generate more calls to your center when it is properly set up
There are three ways to utilize Google My Business to increase your SEO. The first is to claim and optimize your listing, the second is to post regularly, and the third is to request reviews and then respond to them.
Make sure you have all of your contact information loaded in and that it matches the information on your website. You can further optimize your Google My Business profile by adding photos of your building, various rooms in your center, and anything else you think would be inviting.
In addition to claiming and optimizing your Google My Business listing, you’ll want to post content regularly. These can be like micro blogs and link to your actual blog, photos from your center with a caption and a call to action to set up an appointment, or any other number of things. Post about your services and why women should contact you, like in the examples below.
Finally, you’ll want to request reviews from clients who have a positive experience at your center. You can send a link to your Google My Business listing and then the reviews will show up. The higher your star rating and the more reviews you have, the more likely people are to find your pregnancy center. Show engagement by responding to the positive reviews and thanking them for their review.
Follow other SEO best practices
Make sure each page on your website has at least 300 words of content. Include pages on your website about abortion, not to encourage it, but to enable your site to show up when women are searching for abortion information. This isn’t deceptive, it’s informative. Your center has true and unbiased information to offer about abortion, unlike abortion clinics, so don’t you want women to learn the truth from you instead of being deceived by abortion clinics?
Optimize pages on your site for long-tail keywords. This sounds technical and complicated, but really what it means is optimize your pages for phrases, not just words. The more intelligent search engines become, the more people are typing questions or entire phrases into their searches. Think through what phrases or questions your ideal clients are searching for and write copy that includes that on your website. Examples of long-tail keywords include:
- How much is an ultrasound?
- How much does an abortion cost?
- What to expect during an abortion
- Confirming a pregnancy
Follow these SEO best practices to increase the chances your website will show up when women are searching for abortion. This increases your opportunity to reach them before they get an abortion. If you need help optimizing your website or want a free SEO audit of your website, please contact us!
Utilize highly-targeted advertising
Modern advertising allows you to be extremely targeted and direct in the parameters you place on your ads. You can target your advertising based on gender, age, and location in very precise ways. This is good not only for your advertising budget, but also to more effectively reach your target audience. Here are a few tactics you can employ in the online advertising space.
A powerful way to reach women in the eleventh hour is to set up geofences. Geofencing is an advertising tactic that allows you to set up a virtual fence around a physical location. When people walk into this zoned off location, that trigger causes your ads to be shown to people in that area.
If that sounds technical or outside the scope of your skillset, don’t worry! Geofencing is not as complicated as it sounds, and we wrote a whole guide to geofencing for you here.
Here’s an example of how you could use geofencing to reach women before they follow through with their abortion. Your pregnancy center could set up a geofence around the abortion clinic down the street or even across town from your office. You get to define the location and set up the exact parameters. When an abortion clinic client walks into that zone and is browsing their phone (say in the waiting room), these women can be shown your ads for your pregnancy center. These ads show up as display ads on a variety of websites the person might browsing on their phone. These types of ads can be effective as women sit in the abortion center waiting room, because many are not fully convinced abortion is the right choice. Women in the waiting rooms likely on their phones anyway, and if they are reading articles or looking for last-minute information on their abortion, your ads can show up to give them another option.
Effective ads to run in this scenario would be for a free ultrasound so they don’t have to pay for it at the abortion clinic, or a free options counseling session to make sure they are fully informed. Even ads for free pregnancy tests are effective for women who may not even be sure they are pregnant yet. Remember, many women sitting in the waiting rooms of abortion clinics are not fully convinced abortion is their best option! These women often feel like it’s their only option. There’s still time to reach them!
Another physical location to target with a geofence is a college or university campus. Especially as more and more college campuses provide the morning after pill and other abortifacients, it’s imperative girls know they have options. Think through any physical location in your area likely to attract college-aged girls, and that is likely a good place to geofence and run ads.
Social media ads
All of the advertising we outlined above takes place on the Google Display Network, meaning those ads show up on websites women may be browsing. But another highly-effective place to advertise to women in the early stages of their pregnancy is on social media.
Let’s say a woman is in an abortion clinic waiting room and is feeling overwhelmed with anxiety and stress. She’s likely going to pull up any number of social media apps to browse as a distraction. Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat are likely all places she’ll turn to as she tries to take her mind off of her abortion appointment.
As she’s scrolling and watching stories, she could see a life-saving ad to your pregnancy center and begin to believe she has another option. For these ads to be effective, these ads need to be customized specifically for each platform and avoid certain words that will trigger the platform to shut them down. For example, you can’t specifically mention the abortion pill in your ad copy. But you can talk about having other options and mention free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds.
If you need help setting up your ads – whether on the display network or on social media – reach out to us! We’re here to support your success in reaching women considering abortion!
Expand your services
Have you noticed that Planned Parenthood offers other services to get women (and men) in their doors? Although their main “service” is abortion, for decades these clinics have used other things to increase people’s awareness of their abortion clinics – establishing a relationship with their clients before they are pregnant. These organizations speak in classrooms, offer STI testing, and women’s reproductive health checks – placing themselves as experts in the eyes of those who use them. Should that person later find themselves facing an unplanned pregnancy, Planned Parenthood might be their first phone call when they don’t know where else to go.
To counter this, think about adding other services to your center’s list of offerings – free ultrasounds and STI testing – increasing awareness and establishing yourself as both an authority and a safe place to go.
Although there is significant cost to doing this, especially if your center is not medical yet, there are many benefits: people view your center holistically and professionally because of the variety of services offered, these people consider you an expert when they get pregnant and will trust you with their needs, and your services are free – which appeals to many who are low income.
This is an investment of both money and time. If you need help planning or launching a capital campaign to raise money for these additional services, please reach out to us. We offer campaign consulting and would love to help.
Abortion pill reversal
As you think about how to reach women who are considering abortion early in their pregnancies, don’t forget the women who may have taken the first abortion pill. It is possible to reverse the effects of the abortion pill IF a pregnant woman can find you in time. This is another great reason to be present in the early days after a woman finds out she is pregnant.
Abortion pill reversal (APR) treatment was developed by Dr. George Delgado. It includes offering a prescription of progesterone after a woman has taken the first of two abortion pills. Many women have reported regretting their choice after taking the first pill. If they can find you quickly in their online search, you can help them make a life-affirming choice, with the possibility of saving their baby’s life. Make sure to indicate on your website that you offer this service.
With a strategic marketing plan created to reach women in those first hours following their positive pregnancy test, You can reach more abortion-minded women when it counts. Your efforts to be present as they seek abortion information is truly an opportunity to save lives. Please let us know if we can help you choose the right marketing tactics for your center to best reach women in your community.