Online traffic coming from mobile devices has increased steadily over the past few years – and it now represents about 25 percent of Internet traffic. With the growing number of affordable smartphones and tablet devices available on the market, it is safe to assume that mobile traffic will continue to rise, eventually surpassing traditionally desktop devices. In fact, it is already estimated that tablet sales will overtake PC sales by 2015.
Coupled with the fact that people are more likely to make a purchase or take action when performing a search on a smartphone or tablet, it is more important now than ever before for businesses to take mobile into account when designing a website.
According to a Google-Nielsen study which provides extensive insight into how mobile drives conversions, whether searching for a local dentist or a local restaurant, mobile consumers are ready to make contact almost immediately. How quickly? About 85 percent of people will place a call to a business within five hours of their initial search.
With all this in mind, the question for hospitals and healthcare practices should be quite clear: what are some ways in which your organization can tap into this exploding market? Furthermore, how can you gain visibility while staying within budget?
1. Optimize your medical website for mobile.
In case this point wasn’t clear enough before, we’ll say it again: your website needs to be mobile responsive – and not tomorrow, yesterday! Responsive medical web design allows a website to load properly and quickly regardless of the device being used – with page elements resizing and reshuffling to provide an optimal user experience.
For a more cost-effective option, you can instead create a separate version of your website, designed specifically for mobile phones. Whatever you choose, just be sure to test your site on multiple devices and operating systems, as certain elements may not look or work the same on different platforms.
2. Adapt your calls-to-action to mobile platforms.
As a local business, you have a lot of potential to capture traffic from people using mobile devices. But when someone lands on your website, is it easy for them to take some sort of action, like filling out a contact form or placing a call? If your phone number is not at the top of the page, chances are you are missing out on a lot of potential conversions. If your number is already front and center, make sure it’s clickable. Click-to-call is a useful feature that lets people tap on a button to make a quick call (because mobile users shouldn’t have to dial your number to reach you!). According to Google, click-to-call generates more than 30 million calls every month. If your website isn’t benefiting from it
3. Take advantage of mobile tools for local businesses.
People searching on smartphones and tablets are often looking for things around them, like directions to a new doctor’s office or a phone number to call if they are lost – and oftentimes they turn to local directories like Google Maps. To make sure people can find you verify that your business has a local directory in Google. You should also do this for other major local platforms, such as Yelp. Yelp recently launched an application that allows people to order and schedule services for local businesses, including medical. Other marketing platforms that allow healthcare practices to reach local mobile customers include Healthgrades, ZocDoc and Pokitdok.
Is your healthcare business attuned to the needs of mobile consumers? Let us know what you’re doing to attract mobile traffic to your website.