When I first considered the idea of people searching for a dentist on a smart phone, I thought it would only happen in a dental emergency. I sincerely did not believe that people would search for a dentist on their phone – or tablet. Well, we’ve come a long way, baby, and so have mobile devices.
The Facts about Mobile Visitors
Today, from what we see in Google Analytics for our client base, 20-25% of searches are performed on a mobile device. That is significant and deserves our attention!
Google Analytics has shown us how many visits a website gets by mobile for quite some time; now, however, we see a breakdown of phone and tablet visitors. More people visit dental websites by smart phone than by tablet, but both are used.
A jump in mobile use occurred in January of this year, for our clients. I believe that the holiday season and big sales on technology may have had a role in the increase. From that point, we’ve only seen more traffic funnel through mobile devices. I predict, like most technology experts, that this trend is only the beginning of a giant shift toward people being “plugged in” during all waking hours. Next year, with the introduction of Google Glass to the market, we will likely see an unprecedented number of potential patients who are online all day, every day. (Very Star Trek-esque, but true.)
Mobile Friendly Dental Websites
As I mentioned in Benefits of Responsive Website Design, Google recommends that websites be built with responsive coding. This means, sites will adjust to fit any screen, without shrinking the page. Text, images, and buttons remain big and fully visible, but the website takes on a more linear appearance, stacking elements on top of one another. Responsive sites usually feature a special menu of pages, with large buttons that allow access to all pages on the site. In the past, mobile websites were made with only a sampling of pages. Responsive sites present the entire website, customized for phones, tablets, and any sized screen.
If your website is not responsive, you don’t have to rebuild yet. While it’s prudent to rebuilt a website every two years so that it includes new features and visual elements, if your site was built just last year, you may not be financially prepared to invest in a responsive site today. Should you decide to retain your non-responsive site, I suggest adding a page just for mobile, as shown in the picture with this post. Your webmaster can add a mobile landing page to your site, so that when visited on a phone or tablet, this page pops up instead of the homepage that renders on a desktop or laptop computer. I recommend that the mobile landing page have your logo, address, phone number, and a link to a map, your Facebook page, and your full website. All of these elements fit comfortably on one small screen. Then, when the budget allows, invest in a responsive site.
The Whole Package
At MDPM Consulting, we build all of our new websites with responsive design, on a WordPress content management system. We include creation or updating of the practice’s Facebook and Google+ pages, as well as search engine optimization, traffic and rank tracking and analysis, content marketing, blogging, and microsites – all for a fair and reasonable cost. If you’re ready for a responsive website or would like a mobile landing page for your current site, call MDPM Consulting at 972-781-8861, or email us at [email protected].