Q. I can see my website on my phone so does that mean that it is already mobile-friendly?
A. While most sites will show up on a Smartphone, they aren’t necessarily “mobile-friendly”. Unless your website has been especially designed for mobile devices, your patients are most likely waiting a long time for the site to load on their smartphone and doing a lot of pinching, zooming and scrolling to view your site on their phone. A truly mobile-friendly site is specifically tailored to the needs of mobile users and for the capabilities of mobile devices.
Q. My patients are mostly older. Do they really use mobile phones for web browsing?
A. There are over 120 million smartphones in use in the United States (some estimate the number is as high as 165 million). At this time, 9 out 10 phones sold are Smartphones. As current contracts are running out on older model phones, people renewing their phones are highly likely to get a Smartphone. If you’re truly curious, take a minute to ask you patients and co-workers what kind of phone they have. If they don’t have a Smartphone at the moment, no doubt they will tell you that they will be getting one soon.
Q. We have an app on our company website. Is that the same thing?
A. That’s great, you are forward thinking because most practices don’t have an app that can be downloaded from the Apple App store or Google Play. A mobile apps can be an important part of your clinic’s marketing strategy, but they are not a replacement for a mobile friendly website. The reason is, apps are platform specific, which means that they are only compatible with the specific mobile the customer used to download the app. For example, a patient would not be able to see the app if it was designed to be downloaded from iTunes to use on an iPhone and they were using an Android phone. A mobile site is browser agnostics; therefore, it will work on any mobile device with a browser. And unlike an app, which takes a lot of work to update, it is much easier, quicker and cheaper to update content and information on a mobile site. Fact is, for most practices, an app that a patient would download from iTunes or Google Play is probably not a good investment.
Q. I can’t give my attention to a mobile site at the moment. Can it wait?
A. Yes, it can wait….but only if you are willing to risk missing out on the huge number of patients now using their phones to locate Physical Therapists. Recent website visitor data, pulled from 50 different websites, indicates that 30% of visitors to your website are probably using mobile device. That amounts to about 75-100 visitors per month. It won’t be long before more people are accessing the internet from mobile devices than from desktop computers, and a mobile optimized website is a great way to differentiate your practice.
Q. How can I be sure that a mobile site will help my clinic?
A. This is a good question and it’s understandable that you would like to know for certain if a mobile site really is going to drive patients to your business. The statistics and reasons why you should invest in a mobile site stress the urgency to get yours up and running as soon as you can. Think about it: if a patient finds your clinic on a desktop, they will still need to use a phone to call. In the many cases when this is a mobile phone, if your clinic has a mobile friendly site, they could contact you or make an appointment in a single touch.
Q. Will I really see an increase in my patients?
A. As you would expect, results differs from site to site. Think about it like this: You will be providing current and potential patients an additional and convenient way for them to be in touch with you. It will be a quicker, more pleasurable experience and as a result, they will be more inclined to choose or continue their services at your clinic and maybe even tell their friends about it as well. In the very near future, this will especially be the case if other clinics and therapists in your area haven’t gone mobile.[info_box]Action Items
1. Ask around your clinic to see what mobile devices people are using.
2. For ideas and research, look at our mobile website designs and the mobile sites of other clinics in your area.
3. Look at the numbers: PC sales and shipments are decreasing, as net browsing on tablets and mobile devices has doubled in the last two years (Source: NetMarketShare.com).
4. Look at your website analytical data and check how many people are visiting your website on a mobile device. If you don’t have access to this or don’t have website analytics, it’s a standard part of all of our service packages.
If you have any more questions or want more advice on setting up your mobile site, please call David Straight at e-rehab.