Why Your Practice Should Be Mobile Friendly

By: Cheska Sia

Of the 7.5 billion people on earth, approximately 5 billion own a mobile device. With the vast majority of society owning at least one handheld device, smartphones are used as the primary method for communication and as a reliable means for finding information online. For adults between the ages of 18 and 44, smartphones are indispensable. Whether people are searching for local practices or want to find opening or closing times, a mobile friendly website can easily help patients discover and contact your practice.
Being mobile friendly requires more than just a responsive website. It means to enhance and promote a positive user experience. From organizing information to receiving real-time updates, people quite often rely on these devices to structure their daily routines. Having a mobile friendly site appeals and speaks to the seemingly continuous advancement of technology, and thus can leverage your practice.
If your practice is not yet mobile friendly, here are some reasons why interacting with mobile users should be prioritized.

  • Patients Rely on User Friendly Sites for Direct Information
  • Your practice's mobile display should provide a pleasing experience for your audience According to MarginMedia, 48% of mobile users assess a practice's level of concern by whether or not they have optimized their site for mobile devices. If your audience encounters challenges (for example: needing to zoom in to text, or panning your site from side to side) they can become easily frustrated and are unlikely to re-visit your practice's site in the future. If your mobile display does not perform well, 57% of your visitors are unlikely to recommend your practice.
    A solution is to create a mobile template that is easy to navigate through. Include Call To Actions (CTA) so that important information (such as: contact number, office hours, location, and requesting an appointment) can be found easily. A mobile site should provide people with what they need, immediately. Use your mobile site to enhance patient experience because this interaction will leave lasting impressions and is a reflection of how people view your practice. Your full/desktop website can serve as a supplementary resource in addition to your mobile site.

  • Mobile Sites Lead to Stronger SEO
  • According to Internet Retailer, 60% of people access the internet primarily through their mobile devices. Since 80% of internet users own a mobile device, it is not surprising that smartphones are used to search the web. Google recognizes and prioritizes sites that are optimized for mobile devices. In 2015, Google launched an algorithm called "Mobilegeddon" that gives preference to mobile sites (on mobile searches). This algorithm determines where your practice appears on Google's search results, thus, demonstrating the importance of mobile integration. By having a mobile friendly website, your practice is more likely to observe higher Google rankings than not having a mobile friendly site. In turn, this may lead to an increase in potential clients.

  • The Speed and Convenience of Your Mobile Site Determines Patient Loyalty
  • Mobile responsive sites should be effective and functional. As people are mostly browsing the web using their mobile devices, ensure that patients who want to access your site can also do so on their phones easily.9 Give them the ease of locating and contacting your office without needing a desktop computer. Efficiency can reinforce reliability and encourages better communication between your patients and your practice.
    In addition to ensuring that your site loads on a mobile device, it is imperative that you observe how quickly it loads too. On average, people will wait about 6-10 seconds for mobile sites to load before closing the page. A quicker loading time will keep your audience's attention and encourage them to navigate through your page.

  • To Elevate Your Practice Alongside the Progression of Technology
  • As of 2014, the number of mobile devices exceeds the number of people in the world. With the rapid increase of smartphones, mobile activity and usage are normalized. Therefore, in the best interest of all healthcare practices, keeping up to speed with the constant progression of the mobile industry is vital.
    One way to advance your practice is through accelerated mobile pages (AMP): a script, introduced by Google in 2015, that accelerates the loading time of your practice's HTML markup on mobile devices.11 AMPs rely on basic HTML coding, and need to be validated before being optimized to load instantaneously. Although AMPs were initially formatted for news publishers, a number of companies have contributed to ensure that AMPs can be supported across multiple platforms to target different clientele. From WordPress to YouTube, AMP plugins can be enabled to help load your content faster while boosting your practice's organic SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SERP (Search Engine Results Page) rankings.
    With high performance levels, AMPs appeal to the 40% of visitors that do not wait more than 3 seconds for a mobile site to load. Shorter loading times are beneficial because your practice may find an increase in patients, a decrease in bounce rates, and an increase in Google recognition. As Google continues to develop the design of AMPs, utilizing and integrating AMP resources in its earlier stages may give your practice leverage in the digital world.
With the regular usage of smartphones, having a mobile friendly website is now a necessity. Offer your patients the ease and comfort of navigating through your site at any place and at any time. By doing so, you can promote a positive user experience. Mobile sites should allow for quick and convenient access to important information that your patients seek. Consider investing in a mobile friendly website, as it may optimize your site when searched in Google. If your practice is interested in launching a mobile site, UpOnline can help design and develop a customized solution. Contact us today for more information!