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What Is Mobile Responsive and Why Should You Care?

Posted on Jul 09, 2018 by Lea Chatham

    Having a mobile responsive website is important for practicesIf you read this blog regularly, you’ve probably seen more than once that the use of mobile is growing. According to Pew Research, nearly 75 percent of people in the US now own a smartphone. Most people want to engage and communicate using mobile devices. We’re always recommending you use text and that services like online scheduling be available on mobile.

    This growing use of mobile also means that you need to rethink your website. Most people aren’t looking at your website on a desktop or laptop anymore. They are looking at it on a phone or tablet. This means that your website needs to be easy to read no matter where your patient may access it. In other words, a site that adapts to the size of the device.

    What is the difference between mobile responsive and mobile friendly?

    You might hear different terms thrown around when it comes to the ways used to optimize your website for mobile viewing. Mobile responsive and mobile friendly, while sounding like they’re interchangeable, are actually very different.

    A mobile friendly site is one where code is created that allows your website to scale to a smaller size. This means that, generally, your site will look very similar on a mobile device as it does on a computer. It is simply smaller. Mobile responsive sites, in contrast, “respond” to the size of device you are using, adjusting the website accordingly. Mobile responsive sites are greatly preferred over sites that are simply mobile friendly.

    Why should practices optimize for mobile?

    Of course, the main reason you should make your website easy for patients to view on their phones (or tablet or any other mobile device), is because they are judging YOU by your website. Patients are looking for you on the web and your website is often their first impression of you. Virtually everyone—94 percent—say that web design, on either mobile or computer, is the #1 reason they mistrust or reject a site. You want to look as good online as you do in person.

    In addition, a mobile responsive site leads to:

    Better SEO

    Making your site mobile responsive isn’t just important to the user experience, it actually impacts yourPatients are looking at your website online search rankings. Today, two-thirds of patients do an online search prior to booking an appointment. If you want them to find you then you need a mobile responsive site. As more patients turn to the web to find new healthcare providers, you need to be easy to find. If your website isn’t mobile responsive the search engines will ding you, and you won’t rank as highly. In fact, Google now recommends a mobile responsive site, and they have said that mobile responsive sites will rank better due to the improved user experience they provide.

    In addition, Google uses a separate algorithm for mobile. So, if your current site ranks well on desktop applications, that doesn’t translate to mobile. And mobile searches have overtaken desktop search.

    Increased Traffic through Social Media

    Did you know that social media is the #1 driver of all website referral traffic? This means that more business websites are visited through a social media site than any other referral method. Since mobile is heavily used for social media (80 percent of the time!), it is extremely likely that any patient who clicks on your site via a site like Facebook or Instagram will be viewing your site on a mobile device

    Improved Management and Return

    For a long time, businesses either had one site that didn’t work well on mobile or they had to manage two sites. This can be tedious and costly. A mobile responsive site is a single site that adapts. It is easier to manage and costs less. When you add lower costs to better visibility, you increase your return on investment.

    If your current site isn’t mobile responsive then it is time for an update. As mobile continues to grow, having an outdated site that only works on a desktop will hurt your SEO more and more. And, if you still don’t have a website then you need to get one, and it needs to be mobile responsive. And don’t wait! Patients are looking for providers, and if they can’t find you, they will go somewhere else.

    Want to know how to make your practice look awesome online? Read our free guide. 

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    Lea Chatham

    Lea Chatham

    Lea Chatham is the Director of Content Marketing at Solutionreach and the editor of the Solutionreach blog. She develops educational resources to help healthcare organizations improve patient engagement. Her work has been published in many leading journals including Physicians Practice and Medical Economics and she has presented webinars for industry groups like MGMA.

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