- Posted by Nigel Edelshain
- On April 3, 2014
I was just at my regular doctor and she gave me the names of a couple of specialists for this medical issue I’m experiencing.
Like all of us, I’m rushing around and need to get a chore done before I run back to the office. I need to mail a package and so there I am stuck in the line at the post office again. Well I guess while I’m stuck in this line I’ll pull out my iPhone and take a look at these specialists’ websites and learn about them.
I’m not sure which one I want to use but I definitely want the one that gives me the greatest confidence. I’m not putting such an important health matter in the hands of someone that does not look totally competent and buttoned-down.
Website #1 seems to take forever to load (I’m on my cellular connection, no wifi in this post office). When it finally comes up the text is so small I can’t read it. Then all the buttons are about one tenth the size of my fingertips. Every time I try to press one I get the wrong one and another page starts loading (slowly). OK forget this website. Maybe I’ll try it at home when I boot up my laptop.
Almost to the counter at the post office now but there is still someone with 10 packages to mail in front of me. I think I’ll dial up the 2nd specialist’s website.
This 2nd site comes up almost instantly. And well, there are big buttons and big text. I can read it. And I can check out this specialist’s credentials. He seems pretty well-qualified and has all these patient testimonials. OK I like this guy.
I think I’ll call him from the car on the way to the office and schedule an appointment.
Is this a common story?
It looks like it is. According to Google’s research 96% of consumers say they’ve encountered sites that were clearly not designed for mobile devices. And that it’s a problem that more people will encounter unless it’s addressed, according to research conducted by Morgan Stanley mobile Internet use will have surpassed desktop Internet use by the end of 2014.
Here’s some other facts from Google’s research:
- When they visited a mobile-friendly site, 74% of people say they’re more likely to return to that site in the future
- 67% of mobile users say that when they visit a mobile-friendly site, they’re more likely to buy that site’s product or service
- 61% of users said that if they didn’t find what they were looking for right away on a mobile site, they’d quickly move on to another site
- 50% of people said that even if they like a business, they will use them less often if the website isn’t mobile-friendly
We conducted our own research on 50 medical practice websites in the New York metro area. Of the 50 sites we viewed only 30% were mobile optimized. So 70% of websites came up with small text and small buttons. The kind of view that drives smartphones users away.
Medical website not optimized for mobile
iPhone 5 Screenshot
Medical website optimized for mobile
iPhone 5 Screenshot
Why do some sites work and some don’t?
Websites need to be designed to work for mobile.
Fortunately these days this does not mean a huge project. But it does mean some work. Your site should use software that understands that people may be viewing it on mobile devices and any new content you add to your site (or blog) should be tested to make sure it looks good on a mobile device.
The buzzword for this is “responsive design.”
Responsive websites work on all devices, meaning that no matter what kind of device a consumer is using to view your site it will look good. Responsive web design makes use of a fluid, grid-like concept. Page sizes are derived from percentages, as opposed to fixed, static units. A website’s layout, text, and images are configured to perfectly fit a viewer’s browser, optimizing their viewing experience whether they are on a smartphone, tablet or desktop/laptop.
Do you need to bother with mobile?
We believe medical practices do need to worry about how their website looks to mobile visitors. If you’re in a competitive specialty you almost certainly will lose an increasing number of patients if you don’t optimize your website (and blog) for mobile devices.
These days we all have several devices we can pick up to view the Web. Your website is your storefront on the Internet. If your storefront does not look attractive to your prospective patient, they will walk on by to the next practice.