Mobile browsing is very much accepted as the future of the internet; however, like most of the healthcare industry many physiotherapy practices are lagging behind when it comes to optimizing their online presence for mobile browsers. If your practice is one of those who have neglected the mobile side of your website then you could be missing out on many potential patients. Let's take a closer look at why a mobile strategy should be one of your priorities.
As of January 2014, it is estimated that 74% of all adults who own a smartphone use it to find information based on their current location. When you take into consideration that smartphone owners account for almost 60% of the adult population that is a large volume of people who could potentially be looking for local services like your physical therapy practice. The number of internet users browsing on mobile devices is sure to continue to increase and the current figures suggest that having a website that is easy to access on a mobile device has become a prerequisite rather than an added luxury!
Not only are more people using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to browse the internet, but the extent to which your website it compatible with these devices is also an important factor in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Google are constantly improving the algorithms used to rank websites and provide the most relevant search results to users and as the mobile industry continues to explode, the latest versions of these algorithms place a great deal of importance on whether or not websites are fully optimized for mobile devices. If you haven't addressed this for your website then it is highly unlikely that your practice's website will appear in the results shown to mobile users. With mobile devices accounting for 25% of global internet traffic, can you really afford for a quarter of your potential new patients not to see your website?
Keep It Simple – One of the first steps to consider when creating the mobile version of your website is that there will be a greatly reduced area of screen space and that means you really need to scale down the information to the bare minimum. Think about the most important things that a user is going to want when looking for your physical therapy practice on their mobile phone. You are likely to want to retain a contact page with phone and email information and of course your address and a link to Google Maps to allow them to find you easily. It is also worth offering some information about your practice. Other information can be kept for your desktop site, but you can include a link to the main version on the mobile site if you wish.
Plan The Layout Carefully – Following on from point one, you are going to want to think about the layout and how your site will best fit on a mobile screen. Keep in mind that pages will load much slower than on a traditional website, so keep the number of pages to the absolute minimum and make sure that the layout and navigation is as simple and as user friendly as possible.
Steer Clear of Too Much Text Entry – Lot's of people find it difficult to type on their smartphone screen especially if they are filling out forms. With that in mind, you should aim to reduce the amount of text entry on your mobile site. Use drop down menus and radio buttons wherever possible to make things easy for users.
Use Mobile Redirect – Once you have a fully optimized mobile version of your website ready to go you need to make sure that you can redirect users to the correct version of the website. This can be done with a mobile redirect which will detect when someone arrives at your website using a mobile device and automatically display the mobile version.
Make Finding Contact Details Easy – One thing that you definitely want to do when optimizing your site is make it easy for patients to call you direct from the website, or to find your practice's address. It is a good idea to create a contact us tab on your drop down menu where you can list your telephone number, email and address. You can easily add a 'click to call' feature on your website by using the 'tel:' tag, for example Call us now!. This allows users to click on the link to automatically call your number. You can also include a Google Map embedded on this page which will allow people to easily access directions to your clinic.
With the latest version of PatientSites features an all new mobile home screen which helps you to provide customers with easy access to all of your important information including your phone number, address and map location when they view your site from a mobile device.
Image source: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/social-media-phone-means-news-feed-and-cellphone-photo-p303648
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