By Glenn Lombardi
People now access the Internet from multiple devices and locations. Whether you’re in the comfort of your home, at the office, or walking through the grocery store, you can connect with the Web from virtually anyplace and at anytime.
Much of the surge in increased Web access is the result of a growing number of people using mobile devices, including market-leading smartphones and tablets. In fact, more Google searches are currently performed on mobile devices after 5 p.m. than on desktops and laptops. It’s time for dentists to take advantage of making their practices available to patients whenever and wherever with a mobile-compatible website.
Mobile is the preferred channel of engagement for a fast-growing number of on-the-go patients. In fact, by 2013, mobile phones should overtake PCs as the most common Web access devices worldwide. It is predicted there will be one mobile device for every person on earth by 2015.
Since 2010, mobile searches have quadrupled. It’s safe to say the future of Internet marketing is going mobile. As the number of people relying on their mobile devices increases, so does the urgency for dentists to launch their mobile presence so they can be available to patients anywhere and anytime.
Just as you would not use outdated technology to treat a patient’s teeth, you do not want to ignore the newest and best mediums available to disseminate your website. Maintaining a strong online presence for your practice requires that you stay current with the channels available for reaching patients who use the Internet.
This means ensuring your site is fully compatible for viewing on mobile devices. It’s about making all of those great features and functions that are available on your full website, such as directions to your office and appointment requesting, accessible on a patient’s smaller mobile device.
Dentists with a website can benefit greatly from establishing their mobile presence. A mobile-compatible site is tailored to the needs of mobile users and the capabilities of all mobile devices.
Why you need a mobile website:
- Smaller viewing window. Compared to PCs, the display screens of mobile devices are much smaller, and many images, videos, and flash content that would normally appear and perform fine on a desktop or laptop need to be adapted for clear viewing on smartphones and tablet computers. Once optimized, mobile websites are easier to navigate using touch, and they help patients get to the information they are seeking faster.
- Content adaptability. A mobile-compatible site will mirror the display and messaging on your full site, giving patients the same meaningful experience on their phones that they would get on their desktops. Edits and changes made to your full website will automatically be reflected on mobile devices, allowing for single-source editing that translates to website updates across every device.
- Ease of use. Your mobile site’s unique functionality, 24-hour access, and engaging, easy-to-use interface will allow for even more effective and efficient marketing. Once your site is mobile-ready, visitors — existing and potential patients — can easily and instantly navigate the content of your site on a cell phone. This will include mobile-specific features such as instant click-to-call, door-to-door office directions, appointment requesting, and access to social media sites and patient reviews.
Optimizing your website to a mobile version is a complex process that involves decreasing image size, improving performance speed, and re-creating the look and feel of your website to a mobile-compatible format that integrates seamlessly with your existing site.
Seeking the assistance of a dental website and Internet marketing company can help you quickly create a mobile version of your website that will make it much faster and easier for patients to browse your site given the minimal screen size.
Web access is moving to mobile at an incredible pace, and not having a mobile version of your website is going to hinder practice growth. If there is one marketing entity your practice should focus on in 2012, it’s mobile.
Don’t miss out on an amazing opportunity to broaden the breadth and depth of your marketing reach to a growing number of patients who use their smartphones for everything.
Glenn Lombardi is president of Officite, LLC, a provider of websites and Internet presence management strategies for the dental community. Officite has built more than 6,000 websites that have generated more than a quarter of a million appointment requests since 2002. For more, visit www.officite.com or call (800) 908-2483.
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