We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: If your hospital doesn’t have a mobile-friendly website, it’s time to get one. Not sure why? Here’s the answer: more and more people are using smartphones these days to research healthcare topics and treatment options.
Check out these eye-opening statistics about mobile use in the U.S.:
As of 2015, mobile finally outpaced desktop as the most popular device for Google searches. (reported by Search Engine Land)
- 62% of people who own smartphones have used their phone within the previous year to find information about a health condition. (Pew Research Center)
- About 1/3 of patients use their smartphones and tablets to research and/or book appointments on a daily basis. (Google/Compete)
- The Google/Compete study referenced added that 44% of patients who used mobile devices to research hospitals scheduled an appointment, compared to just 34% of computer-only researchers.
- Digital media time spent on smartphones increased by 78% from December 2013 to December 2015, and it increased by 30% on tablets during the same period. (comScore)
Google has recognized the shift to mobile… so much so that it launched a mobile-friendly algorithm update in April 2015, commonly known as “Mobilegeddon.” (And Google boosted the update in May 2016.) With this update, your hospital website has a better chance of ranking higher (therefore getting seen) in search results on mobile devices when your website is mobile-friendly (or optimized for smartphones). On the opposite end of the spectrum, if your hospital website is not mobile-friendly, it will be harder for it to appear in mobile search results.
Outdated Websites vs. Mobile-Friendly Websites
Many hospital websites are designed to look good and operate at optimal speed and performance only on desktops. However, we now live in an age where the smaller screen has become the go-to device for many online users. When a website is not compatible for devices with smaller screens, online visitors can run into problems such as lengthy page load times, distorted images and formatting, videos that don’t work, and other issues. If your website is difficult to access or navigate, you will likely drive away online visitors who would have become future patients at your hospital.
Another mistake many hospitals make is the practice of creating separate mobile websites (using URLs starting with an “m.”), which tend to look outdated and only provide limited functionality of the full website.
The Solution: Responsive Web Design
At Scorpion, we provide our hospital clients—from independent and rural hospitals to large hospital systems—with websites that use responsive web design. This allows your website to “respond” to the type of device being used and adjust its display to properly fit the screen size. It also helps to give your website the appropriate speed. Google says responsive web design is its recommended design pattern. Another great thing about responsive design is that you don’t have to worry about setting up a separate mobile site—you have one that works for both desktop and mobile!
If you want to see how mobile-friendly (or –unfriendly) your website is, take Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. You can also reach out to our hospital website design and marketing experts for a mobile assessment and assistance redesigning your site. We have plenty of experience working with hospitals like yours. Here are a few of our most recent responsive design launches...
Valley Health: www.valleyhealthlink.com
Sierra View Medical Center: www.sierra-view.com
Good Samaritan Hospital: www.goodsam.org
About the Author:
As Vice President of Healthcare Operations at Scorpion, Cody Chula helps lead Scorpion’s healthcare team, working to ensure that all clients are receiving high-quality websites and digital marketing services. Cody has a background in graphic design and has been working for Scorpion for more than 10 years. During this time, he has served in a number of different roles, including Video Production Manager, Tech Support Officer, and Website Production Manager. This experience has given him valuable insights and skills for heading Scorpion’s healthcare operations.
Cody believes that Scorpion is about more than just building websites and digital marketing campaigns—it’s about building partnerships with hospital clients and helping them achieve their goals for growth. In his free time, Cody enjoys hiking, snowboarding, and spending time with his family.