Since you’re reading this blog, you probably have an active interest in effectively marketing your medical practice.
So you may already know some of the important facts about your patients’ mobile phone/tablet use:
- that mobile web traffic overtook desktop/laptop traffic in 2014,
- that consumers spend nearly three hours each day on their mobile devices,
- and that even back in 2012 72% of all internet users were searching for healthcare information online.
Your patients are online looking for answers to their medical questions and searching for providers.
Most of them are doing so from mobile devices, and the number of mobile medical searches is only growing. There is no question that targeting mobile users is an important part of turning your office into a profitable and patient-centric business.
But these figures just the foundation of mobile’s importance to your healthcare practice.
Here are four more reasons you should be focusing on mobile
1. 1 in 5 Americans Relies Primarily on Mobile Internet Access
According to Pew Research Center’s 2015 study on US smartphone use, 19% of Americans rely on their mobile devices to access online services because they lack other reliable means of going online.
We already knew that the majority of Americans use mobile devices for the majority of their web browsing, searching, and online business, but the fact that roughly one in five don’t have another option comes as a bit of a surprise.
If your medical office’s outreach efforts don’t account for patients using mobile devices, you’re not just making it harder for them to find you. For many prospective patients, you’re making it downright impossible.
2. Every Day, Google Handles 50 MILLION Healthcare-Related Searches
In most cases, 1% doesn’t seem like a very big figure. But when we’re talking about Google’s total daily search volume, 1% is astronomical.
Google handles roughly 5.5 BILLION searches per day. 1% of that is well over 50 million. So when the search giant reports that one out of every hundred Google queries relates to a medical symptom, every doctor and other medical practitioner ought to pay attention.
If even 1 in 10,000,000 symptom-related searches is from a patient in your area, that’s 5-6 potential new patients every day. And frankly, if you were getting 150-180 new patients per month, you’d be doing better than the majority of medical offices.
Most internet traffic is mobile, and plenty of that traffic is healthcare related. Enough said? Well hold onto your hats, because there’s more.
3. 70% of Mobile Search Conversions Happen Within Five Hours
People searching for professional services—like medical care—on mobile devices are ready to act.
They have specific needs and concerns, and if they find a provider that addresses those needs and concerns with a user-friendly mobile website, they’ll click on through and become a customer (or patient) in a heartbeat.
Or at least, within five hours, nearly 3 out of every 4 times.
You can encourage even better contact and conversion rates by making sure you have a prominent click-to-call link (or links) on your mobile site, allowing patients to reach out and talk to you or a member of your doctor’s office staff without any additional fuss.
Optimize your mobile website to attract patients and to allow them to contact you with ease, and you’ll be flooded with new patients.
4. 1 in 5 Smartphone Owners Use At Least 1 Health-Related App
We’ve already covered the fact that more and more patients are going online to look for medical answers and to find local doctors they can trust. The evidence that mobile devices are their internet instruments of choice is also overwhelming.
Patients’ reliance on mobile devices for healthcare advantages doesn’t end there.
Research conducted a few years ago found that 19% of all smartphone owners use at least one health-related app. Since this study was published, the number of health apps (and smartphone users) has only grown, and they’ve become even more sophisticated and ubiquitous.
Tracking fitness goals, monitoring heart-rates, and even app-based blood sugar monitors all exist, and that means patients are becoming more familiar and comfortable with using their mobile devices to access reliable medical assistance.
We’re not suggesting you run out and build a unique app for your medical practice, but make sure you’re optimized for the doctor-finding apps that already exist. ZocDoc, HealthNet, and other similar services have user apps; make sure your profile is filled out, your contact information accurate, and your presence strong.
Keep Up With Mobile’s Evolution
For all its size and continued growth, the mobile web is still relatively young. It’s going to continue to evolve as it becomes the default web experience, and that will impact your healthcare office’s outreach opportunities. Stay tuned to keep up with mobile marketing as it changes, and be ready to reach out to your patients in new ways that create more convenience, comfort, and value for everyone.