More and more people and prospective patients are accessing the Internet using mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Unfortunately, not all websites are designed for this type of access and those that aren’t are not creating a great user experience.
It is becoming increasingly important for websites to provide a web presence that is usable and user friendly for mobile devices. Responsive website design makes attractive and efficient sites possible, regardless of the device used. With a responsive website for your medical practice, prospective patients can access one website on all devices.
Understanding Responsive Website Design for Medical Websites
Responsive website design was named for its ability to respond to a device regardless of how a site is accessed. The images, content, and structure of the site are the same no matter the device. When a responsive site is accessed using a smartphone or tablet, the site “reacts” to fit to the smaller screen, so there is no need to worry about creating different sites for various devices.
A responsive site uses grids and proportions instead of pixels to fit into the screen. More and more people are using mobile devices – we see 20-25% of all traffic for our medical websites being from mobile devices.
A prospective patient is very likely to search on their iPad or iPhone for a physician after work rather than sit in front of a home computer; especially if they’ve been sitting in front of a computer all day.
In the past, websites needed a regular version and a mobile device version, but responsive site design has eliminated this need. In addition to creating efficiency with only one site, there are numerous other reasons you should consider a responsive design for your medical practice.
Mobile Market is Growing
There are few people out there not using a smartphone, tablet, or both. Statistics show about one-fifth of all Google searches are performed on a mobile device. It is predicted that mobile usage will surpass desktop usage during 2014 and that the mobile market will only continue to grow.
Not only that, Google also prefers responsive design. Responsive website design is more efficient for Google bots to crawl, index, and organize because they have only one URL and the same HTML across all of the various devices. Not only does this mean less work for Google, it also means it is easier for users to share and interact with content.
Responsive Design has the Ability to Increase Conversion Rates
More and more people are using their mobile devices for finding information online. Research has recently shown nearly 70% of all mobile device users made a purchase within the last month. The less work users have to do to finalize their purchase the better, and responsive design makes the process easier. Responsive designs are able to adjust to any screen, so developers control how the conversion elements display on mobile devices.
What does this mean for a medical site? It means patients are more likely to follow through once they arrive at your site. The information you want to share with patients will be easy to access and you stand a better chance of getting visitors to your site to take the action you want. Also, since responsive sites aren’t prevalent, you will stand out from your competition. A prospective patient may visit a competitor’s non-responsive site and find it difficult to use, and then leave the site.
If there is one thing users of mobile devices access when online, it is social media sites. Estimates show more than half of all social media interaction occurs on a mobile device. Social media also continues to carry a great deal of weight in the marketing world and as more and more Internet users incorporate social media into their everyday lives, its impact in physician website marketing will continue to grow.
One of the main things people are doing when using social media is sharing content. In order for this to have the greatest impact, the content must be accessible to as many people as possible.
For instance, if a Twitter user posts a link to the medical content on your site and 30% of people clicking the link from their phone are unable to access the information, you just lost nearly a third of your potential audience. However, with a responsive medical website, people are able to access your content, regardless of the device they use. You ensure your content is accessible to 100% of users. As more and more medical websites feature important content, easy access across all platforms is essential for making the most of your investment.
Optimal User Experience
Responsive website design results in medical sites that are more user-friendly. Instead of zooming and shrinking to see everything on a screen that is smaller than a desktop, all of the content automatically adjusts when the site loads. This makes it as easy as possible for visitors to utilize your site.
Studies have shown that when a visitor arrives at your site and is not happy with what they see, there is more than a 60% chance they will head elsewhere. A positive experience with a site increases the likelihood a person will trust the site enough to follow through and make contact.
When your site does not offer responsive design, the message you give patients is that you care very little for the experience they have when they arrive at your site. Think about your use of responsive site design as you would designing a brick and mortar office: If a patient walks in the front door and is greeted by a wall that prevents further access, he or she will turn around and leave. On the other hand, if the patient enters and encounters a pleasant atmosphere that feels friendly, inviting, and comfortable, the odds of that patient settling in and feeling comfortable increase. Your site should create this environment regardless how the prospective patient accesses your website.
Easier to Manage Marketing
Every medical website owner knows how much work it takes to manage a site and ensure it ranks high on search engines. Imagine having to do double or triple the work. That’s what happens when you do not implement responsive design. You will need to run separate SEO campaigns for each URL. A single responsive site means a single SEO campaign.
The bottom line is, as a business and website owner, you need to stay on trend and adjust to the market, but you also need to make smart decisions. Responsive website design allows you to do both. Not only are you able to keep up with the competition, you implement a strategy that makes everything about managing your site easier. Responsive website design is a win-win for everyone involved.
All medical websites developed by Physician Designs are now fully responsive. We can create one website for your practice that will work on all devices.