April 24, 2013
Recently on The Source, we turned our attention to the ways to use mobile technology and explored three ways to grow your practice. If you missed those tips, please click here.
In Part 2, we will cover the next three ways to use mobile technology to grow your practice. This blog series is based on The Sesame Guide to Practice Success (GPS): Six ways to use mobile technology to grow your practice in 2013.
#4 Create short forms
Part of catering to patients well online is recognizing that some patients wish to communicate via email. This is often initiated by the contact form on your website. It is always advisable to keep your contact form as short as possible, as a long form with many fields can be intimidating and time consuming for a prospective patient to work out. This is amplified even more for mobile users, who are using a touch keypad to input their information.
To avoid frustrating your mobile users, keep your form down to basic contact info only: Name, email, phone number, etc. Leave the detailed questions for the initial phone call.
#5 Don’t hide content behind multiple clicks
Desktop users may click three or more times to access content they seek on your website, but smartphone users may only click twice before giving up and moving on to a competitor’s website. Consumers generally do not have much patience with websites and will tend to move on if the information sought is not clearly and easily accessible on the first page. This is particularly true on mobile sites. According to Google, 40 percent of users turned to a competitor’s mobile site after a bad experience. The most important goal of your website should be to drive patients to call or email your practice. So ensure the contact information is prominenton every page, especially the home page.
#6 Make Connecting with the practice easy
The goal of your website should be to drive new patients to contact your practice and set up an appointment. A distinct advantage of mobile websites is the ability to allow a web page to initiate a phone call.
Include a click to call button to allow patients to call your practice with just one click — no need to type in a phone number at all. This adds enormous convenience and simplicity for a patient to make that all-important first call.
Ensure you've prominently featured the click to call button on every page of your website.
The same concept can be applied to maps and directions. Beside the click to call button, add a "get directions" button that links directly to your office address on Google Maps or another online map provider.
Conveniences like these show patients how much you value them and their time, and significantly reduce barriers to contact you.
Because the user experience of navigating a website on a smartphone is vastly different than on a personal computer, it poses new challenges for your practice optimizing your marketing and patient engagement. With the wide use of mobile devices today, consumers have become more sophisticated, and expect quick transactions that work flawlessly, every time. For your dental practice, this means you must directly cater to this growing group of on-the-go patients with a mobile-optimized website.
With mobile Internet outpacing desktop Internet usage, optimizing your website for these patients is critical to maintaining an effective and competitive practice, and ensuring that you continue to convert prospective patients into booked appointments.