How Does Your Dental Practice Website Look on a Mobile Phone or Tablet?
If you're like most dentists - most small businesses really - then your mobile web presence sucks.
No sugar-coating it and no need for alarming stats that don't necessarily correlate with the dental industry or poll dental patients, on the search, specifically.
That would be a disservice to you, and I'd be downright lying.
The mobile stat fact that matters most, from which you can deduce more important patient discovery & acquisition questions, is that MOST of us own a mobile phone (tablets are close) these days.
- 58% of American Adults Own a Smartphone
- Learn it. Live it. Know it.
So does this naturally tell us that our most preferred method for accessing the Internet will eventually be from our mobile smartphone...or tablet...or phablet, iWatch, Google Glass...or whatever other personal electronic thingy becomes part of our daily dress?
(don't take that name, I've already trademarked P.E.T.)
Since we're a convenience craving bunch, I'd bet the house on a firm yes - but let's rely on some science, math, & sociology instead.
According to this comScore graph sourced via Morgan Stanley, mobile usage surpassed desktop some time late in 2013 or early in 2014.
11 Reasons Dentists Need a Mobile-Friendly Website Now
A mobile presence for dentists (or any business) basically come in 3 forms: mobile websites, mobile apps, & responsive dental websites.
You can read more about the differences and advantages to each on this post, but for now we'll examine the reasons why if you're website isn't already mobile-friendly, then you're way behind the eight ball.
Expect gratuitous expansion on 'em in a bit, but here's what we came up with - in no specific order of importance:
- First Impressions Matter
- Most Dental Patients Have Mobile Phones
- We Access the Internet On the Go
- Better Patient Experience
- Google Ranking Factor
- Mobile Goes with Social & Local
- Patients Expect It
- You'll Get More Reviews...Maybe
- More Appointment Requests
- Mobile Ads Cost Less
- If You're Not First, You're Last
1. Mobile May Be Your First Impression
And we're not talking that type of impression!
You know what they say about first impressions...with more and more of us using our mobile phones to search for local goods & services - even dentists - and if first impressions matter, then that's a pretty good reason for your dental practice to have an up to date mobile-friendly web presence in 2015.
If you don't like that conditional assumption, backed up by facts like this, then put yourself in your patient's shoes.
Google found that 4 out of 5 people surveyed used search engines to conduct local searches. 88% used smartphones and 84% used a computer or tablet.
Most patients accessing your website from their mobile phone aren't interested in learning how a crown procedure is performed, or what type of hardware you use in your dental implants.
They want to call your office, they want driving directions to your office, they want to see what others say about your office, they want to login to pay a bill, refer a friend, or schedule an appointment...
Having a mobile first philosophy for your dental website takes these on-the-go desires into consideration.
2. Everyone Is Doing It
Isn't everyone on the planet, or at least within the local zips, a dental patient?
Unless your dental practice prefers to only treat the decreasing segment of the population of the planet that does not own or use a mobile phone to access the Internet, then you best get going mobile or remain that ultra-specialized-if-not-archaic dentist.
And forgive the grammar, but it don't matter if you're in Westwood or West Bumblef**k - your dental practice needs a mobile-friendly presence.
As we can see in the graph image above, most of the world now accesses the Internet from a mobile device more so than from a desktop computer.
That's most of the world - not just most of the affluent zip codes your dental practice is dying to reach with that outdated (and incredibly expensive) form of new patient acquisition - direct mail.
Forgive me, yes direct mail does have some merits for practices that are fat from suckling the low-hanging fruit.
I am just biased to cost-effective sustainable new patient acquisition methods like mobile click-to-call ads.
3. The Internet Is Everywhere
With free wi-fi access available at Starbucks and even whole towns - like Encinitas here in Southern California - those of us with mobile phones (most of us) or tablets are just a search away from running smack dab into some dentist's pitiful mobile website.
Picture this; a recently relocated young woman is sitting on a park bench watching her kids at the playground.
Said Ms. Young Mom notices while drinking her triple-dip half-skim no-foam low-fat quintuple-shot latte that her teeth have become sensitive to all that sugar and heat.
At that instance Ms. Mom suddenly realizes that she has not seen a dentist since she moved to town...nor has her entire family.
So yes while of course the search could begin at her insurers website - we'll give you that one - it very well could end up on your website.
Do you think once people find dentists that accept their insurance, that they go searching elsewhere online to see - where you're located, what your hours are, your practice focus, if you accept kids, what your patients say, how up to date & modern your digital (& mobile) practice identity looks...
Which leads us to number four.
4. Give Your Patients A Better Experience
We won't even get into actually having a mobile app for your dental practice - that would LIVE in your patient's phones complete with appointment reminders, review requests, referral prompts... - we'll just concentrate on a mobile-friendly experience for your patients, and prospective patients.
In this digital age of convenience, we want what we want and we want it now.
An up to date mobile-friendly website for dentists can help by:
- Easily allowing patients to press a "click to call" button to call your office - instead of dialing...after looking up your number.
- Reducing the pinch & expand effect we all find so frustrating with sites that are not mobile-friendly.
- Easily finding directions to your office in just one click - or touch.
- Even allowing patients to pay their bill with their mobile phone!
You're a professional in your community, and you're a doctor; get a mobile-friendly experience to your patients and prospective patients...or some other local dentist will.
5. Your Website Will Rank Better
Mobile is now a ranking signal, but don't just take our word for it. Listen to what Google says directly in this announcement back in February of 2015:
"Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results."
To test if your website is mobile-friendly, try this :30 Google test.
What does that mean for Bing, Yahoo, Dogpile, DuckDuckGo, Ask & every other search engine in existence?
It means get your dental practice website mobile-friendly by April 21st of 2015 or you will suffer a drop in rankings to local competitors who do have an up to date mobile presence.
End of story - and bonus points if you get your dental website fit with a SSL certificate too, as that is an additional ranking factor.
6. Dentists Need SoLoMo to Remain Relevant
For dentists SoLoMo means social, local, mobile: as in an engaging communicative social media presence, a widespread (consistent, correctly formatted & optimized) local search visibility footprint, & an updated mobile web presence.
A mobile-friendly dental website goes so nicely with social media & local search - as does a mobile app even more so.
As we've already heard from the experts, when most of us have the devices and look for things close to us, eventually this is all going to come together.
- You want patients to easily find your office on a simple mobile search. (local & mobile)
- You want patients to refer your dental practice. (social & mobile)
- You want patients to review your dental practice. (social, local, & mobile)
When patients can do all of this (and more...apps...) from the convenience of their mobile phones or tablets, that is the confluence of the SoLoMo concept as it applies to dentists.
Dying to know some of the MOST IMPORTANT reasons WHY your dental practice NEEDS a mobile-friendly presence?
Click over to our website to read more...