In 2012, global internet usage on mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) was 12 times greater than twelve years earlier in 2000. According to Pew Internet, 56% of American adults have a smartphone which they can use to access the internet. Twenty-four percent of individuals over the age of 16 own an e-reader, and 35% have a tablet computer.
Interestingly enough, large companies, such as Apple, don’t even have a mobile web design. If one of the leading technology companies is lacking a user-friendly site, what can we expect from smaller businesses?
This is a note to medical practices that there is great value in mobile marketing. Several of our clients have taken advantage of responsive web design (RWD), allowing viewers who interact with their website to do so on a wide variety of devices, include laptops, desktops, smartphones, and tablets. RWD takes into consideration varying screen resolutions and other differences between platforms to make the user experience as positive as possible. Sites that use RWD can be accessed without the need for users to scroll, pan, or zoom to gain the information they seek. Practices that implement this and other mobile marketing efforts see an increase in new business as more clients become reachable, including those for whom a mobile device is there primary source of internet access. Other mobile-friendly website options include dynamic serving or a completely different mobile site that does not have the same URL.
Getting Users to Your Mobile Site
Since the HTML for your mobile site is the same as your main website when you have a responsive design, you will not need to do anything for mobile SEO. If you use dynamic serving you will need to set a Vary HTTP-User Agent Header. Dynamic serving uses the same URL, but serves different content to the visitor’s user agent. This will be revealed to Google when you set the Vary HTTP-User Agent Header. If you have a separate mobile site than your desktop site you will need to perform SEO for both, including indicating to Google that one is a mobile version and not duplicate content.
Utilizing Social Media
Another very easy marketing resource to use is social media. Although social media is also used by desktops, a large number of users access it on their mobile device every day. You will want to use a site that is mobile-friendly, such as Facebook or Twitter. Content plans and editorial calendars can be developed similarly to those that are used for blogging to ensure you have a continuous stream of content. Social media content is easy for others to share, but it must be mobile-friendly for it to be effective.
Once you have established your mobile presence you will be well on your way to increasing your number of patients, and can consider yourself more forward-thinking than Apple.