Did you know that an increasingly large majority of your visitors are visiting your site from their mobile device? Is your website built to navigate (and convert appointments) easily from a phone or tablet?
We’ve seen as much as 40% of website traffic for clients come from a mobile device any given month. To stay competitive in today’s mobile-ready world, your website and appointment request forms have to be ready whenever, however and wherever your potential patients are.
Pull out your smartphone and Google your practice’s website. What did you see? Were you able to find your website in the first few search results? Once you went to your website, was it scaled and optimized or was it just a miniature, clunky version of your desktop site?
“Morgan Stanley says in a recent study that 91 percent of smartphone users keep their phones beside them 24 hours a day. Odds are, you’re one of them and so is your next patient.”
Let’s throw a few stats out there so you can see just how important your mobile presence really is. According to Nielson in 2012, we now live in an age where there are more smartphone owners than non-smartphone owners. And these smartphone users, according to MobileLens, have made health information the fastest growing search category on mobile devices. And Google reports that 61 percent of local searches on a mobile phone result in a phone call. Got the point yet?
One more: Morgan Stanley says in a recent study that 91 percent of smartphone users keep their phones beside them 24 hours a day. Odds are, you’re one of them and so is your next patient.
So, what can you do right now to optimize your website for mobile?
Make Sure Your Business Profiles Are Correct on the Big Search Engines
There’s a ton of consumer search pages and online reputation management sites out there, so claiming and monitoring your profile on each of them can be a huge hassle. HealthGrades.com, Vitals.com, Yelp.com, ZocDoc.com – the list goes on. Oftentimes, data is reset and it can be a real time management issue to replace and keep track of all of it. So, what should you do? If you don’t take anything else away from this article, remember one thing: you should claim your business listings on the major search engines (Google, Yahoo and Bing) sooner rather than later. Like, right now.
If people are searching for your practice on their phone, the first results they pull up will be ads followed by listings found these sites. Google even allows you to add photos, hours, phone numbers, patient reviews and videos right to your listing on their page. It’s like a mini-site for you completely free of charge and all you have to do is fill in the data gaps. This is one of the easiest, fastest and most effective ways to instantly make your site more visible online.
Build a Responsive Website
One of the best ways to upgrade your mobile presence is to build a responsive website. That means your website will change sizes/layouts to adjust to whatever resolution it’s being viewed on.
In other words, with this technology, your website will scale itself down from a desktop to a tablet to a smartphone-optimized version automatically.
Just about everyone belongs to some social network or another these days. That said, you’ll want to make sharing your content as easy as possible for visitors. A visitor may have stumbled across a blog post you wrote discussing ear infection treatment tips for kids she can share with her colleagues and fellow moms. But, she’ll only share if you make it easy.
Ideally, you’ll want this to be no more than a three-click operation from share button, to social network selection to submit button. It’s a complex process, but what you should remember is that the more content people share, the better your search results will be.
Understand These Patients
The people searching for your practice on their mobile phones are no different from your current patients. How you connect with them, however, is completely different. Sure, the mother of three with her sick son is still in need of your care. But, if she’s looking for your information on a phone, she needs to know something right now, while she’s in the middle of juggling sandwiches and soccer practice.
That means your mobile website needs to be laid out in a clean, easy-to-read fashion. You should have phone number listed at the top of your site and your homepage should be optimized to load in under 5 seconds on a typical mobile data connection. Ideally, your specialties should also be listed near the very top of the page.
Put yourself in your patient’s shoes. If you were at a stoplight or standing in line at Starbucks, what would you want to see right away? This will help you organize and layout your site to be one of the most effective tools you have to drive patients in the door.