Most people realize that just about everyone has a mobile device and that they are becoming a more integral part of online marketing. People aren’t just using their mobile devices for Facebook. Tablets and phones are now portable research devices, and your practice needs to be taking advantage of this.
If you’re running short on time, you can click here to go to a quick summary.
The following info was taken from a 2012 Google/Compete Hospital study. Mobile is a constant research companion.
And this was two years ago. Today, we manage websites for practices that are seeing less than 50% of their traffic from traditional desktop/laptop computers. Let that sink in for a second. Your mobile site is now literally more important than your desktop site. And, this trend is only growing. There is now slowing in the increase of desktop traffic. We aren’t implying that desktop traffic is gone or endangered (at least yet). What we are saying is that mobile is now of critical importance and every day that you neglect your mobile audience, you’re losing out on potential revenue.
What You Need to Do for Mobile Marketing
Many practices know that mobile marketing is important; they just don’t know what to do about it. Mobile marketing is broad and encompasses way more than your website. However, your website is still the foundation for your online and mobile marketing efforts. If you need to start somewhere, start there. Here are four quick tips to make sure that your website is ready for the mobile flood.
- Have a responsive website. If your website is identical for both desktop and mobile traffic, you have a problem. It’s not 2008 anymore. People will get quickly frustrated and leave your site if it isn’t easy to navigate on a mobile phone (and this doesn’t take into account how Google handles mobile searches and changes they will undoubtedly make in the future to prefer mobile sites in mobile searches). A responsive website will utilize the same concept and basic design as your desktop site, but typically rearrange and resize elements to make them appear native on mobile phones and tablets. This is often the easiest and cheapest way, and the method that we recommend for various reasons.
Even if you don’t want to highly customize a mobile site, we recommend that you at least have something (again, most easily accomplished through responsive design). Through WordPress (which we also highly recommend), you can get a template that includes responsive design.
- Make key pages easily accessible. You should know what your most important pages are, and if you don’t, check out Google Analytics (click on the left menu option for “Behavior” then “Site Content” and “All Pages”). From working with a lot of websites, especially those in the healthcare/medical field, I can tell you that after the home page, the key pages are almost always “About” (especially for key personnel – people want to see who they will be interacting with), “Contact Us” and any pages about specials or promotions that are featured. Those pages need to be prominent and easily accessible for a mobile audience.
- Make features important to a mobile audience easily accessible. Make sure you have a prominent phone number and address at the top of the page, easily accessible. The phone is already in the customer’s hand! Make it as easy as possible to take the next step to a call. For most smartphone users, an address that is properly formatted enables the user to touch the address and immediately open their map/navigation program to make getting to the office easier. These are simple steps, but make a world of difference to the end user.
- Simple sign up forms. Although people are more accustomed to typing on their phones, users still do not like filling out long and complicated forms on a mobile device. Make your contact form simple – just the absolute necessary fields like name, brief contact info, and preliminary necessary information like “symptoms.” You don’t need all their insurance information and background. You can get that in the next step. Getting the lead is the most important step. Don’t lose leads from a mobile audience because you want to get every piece of information at once.
In a recent study, 49% of hospitals gave a poor user experience to mobile users. Don’t let that happen to you. Take a minute and check out your website on a mobile device right now (we’ll wait here). If your mobile presence isn’t what it needs to be, give us a call. It’s time to change the attitude from mobile optional to desktop optional.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read) Version:
- Mobile has increased greatly in popularity over the past few years.
- Many healthcare sites are seeing more mobile/tablet traffic than desktop traffic
- Healthcare professionals need to change from thinking “mobile optional” to “desktop optional” (though both are critical).
- Use phone number and address at the top of the page, easily accessible
- Make your top pages, especially “about” and “contact us” easily accessible.