As it was reported back in March, Google made a change to its search algorithm to make it easier for searchers to find mobile friendly sites. This makes sense, given that as of 2015, more than half of all searches occur on mobile devices.
What was lost on some marketers was that with this change, sites that are not mobile friendly will find themselves pushed down in search results, putting mobile friendly sites first.
Yes, even if the search is done from a desktop or laptop computer. Yes, even if your non mobile friendly site has been fully optimized.
It’s a big deal for every industry, and healthcare is no exception. If your site and your content aren’t mobile friendly, it’s going to get downgraded. Fewer people will click. And you’re going to lose potential patients.
For healthcare marketers with large legacy sites not optimized for mobile, the implications can be daunting. A complete site overhaul can be costly, but then so is the prospect of letting potential patients get away. The good news is there are the steps you can take right now to making your web experience as mobile friendly as possible.
Don’t know if it’s mobile friendly? Test it.
If you’re not sure how mobile friendly your web properties are, Google provides this free site analyzer. Just plug in your URL and Google does the rest.
Check your CMS.
For sites built on platforms like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla!, there are updates available that may allow you to convert your current site to a mobile-friendly format without having to start from scratch. Google provides a guide to this here. If your site is built with Flash, however, you’re out of luck, as mobile operating systems don’t support it.
Let’s say your site can’t be fixed with updates. You need to rebuild, and it’s going to take time and money to do it right. In the meantime, consider creating mobile friendly landing pages and re-direct certain traffic their way. Platforms like Wix and Squarespace make it easy to do without having to bring in high-dollar developers. Better yet, tie these new web properties to your larger branding or promotional efforts, using paid marketing to drive traffic to these new online destinations.
Of course, being new and mobile friendly means nothing if it isn’t relevant, too. Keeping the entire patient experience meaningful and rewarding is at the heart of our 2016 report: Rethinking The Patient Journey, and we’d be happy to share a copy with you.