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Want More Patients? Go Mobile!

Your website is one of yourGet in touch with a doctor most important new business tools. The majority of new patients will visit your website before they make contact with you.

And many of them will be using their smartphones or tablets to get their first look at your practice. In fact, more people every day are relying on phones and tablets than computers to view the internet.

How many? Consider these statistics:

  • More than 50% of U.S. cellular phone customers are now smartphone users—56% as of May 2013. Research shows that U.S. users crossed the 50% threshold in 2012, jumping 11 percentage points in a single year. That number continues to grow.
  • The percentage of tablet users also continues to climb. Thirty-four percent of American adults now own a tablet computer.
  • In the first quarter of 2013, conversion rates (people who bought something over the internet) for tablets exceeded desktop computers for the first time.

Are you prepared?

The first consideration is to make sure that your website is visible to mobile users. Many current websites can be seen on phones and tablets, but they may not be optimized for viewing on what are typically smaller screens. If your website includes Flash movies, you may want to consider changing the Flash content to something else—many mobile users won’t be able to see it.

Most web developers today will present you with layout views of your website for computer viewing, tablet viewing, and phone viewing. And many website templates created for content management systems such as WordPress have layouts for all three platforms configured it—the view automatically changes depending on the device. This makes viewing simple and efficient.

In addition to optimizing your website, you may want to consider a mobile application as well. An app is critical content that has been designed for ideal smartphone and tablet viewing. It operates faster, and because it is downloaded to your patient or prospect’s device, it’s carried with them all the time. Depending on the app and the user preference, you may be able to send periodical updates or reminders to keep in contact with patients.

What kinds of content appeal to mobile users? Things that are practical and social appeal most to users. Your website/app should focus on utilities (the ability to schedule an appointment or deal with an emergency) and also provide ways for the user to interact with your practice and others who use your practice. Comments from patients that a user can read are important. So are connections to any social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) that you may have. It’s also good to include links to professional information about dentists and staff, and links to dental health information.

Keep content shorter and more concise if you’re developing an app, or write website content so it breaks into shorter pieces that are easier to read on a small screen. This helps keep your reader engaged.

And provide the opportunity for the reader to sign up for special offers, if possible. This gives you a reason for contacting individuals as well as their reaching out to you.

If you have a need, use the “Ask the Expert” feature on our website.

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