How mobile-friendly websites are the future of online marketing, by Alfie Jones
In today’s competitive world of dentistry it’s no longer enough just to be ‘good at what you do’. Your practice may well be the best, but if patients don’t know it, then how are they supposed to choose you? This is why marketing is just so important. Every single practice today will be marketing on some level, and it’s your job to make your practice stand out.
For many years now the internet has been the single most cost-effective way of marketing for dental practices. While this is still very much the case, social trends are changing, and more people now prefer to surf the web ‘on the go’ than on their desktop computer. This trend is so powerful that Morgan Stanley has predicted that mobile internet will actually overtake fixed internet at some point this year.
The mobile internet
The boom in mobile internet use has an important implication for the way you market your dental practice to patients. While it is still absolutely essential that you have a practice website, it is also just as important that your website is ‘mobile-friendly’. If it is not, then you stand to miss out on a large percentage of patients who are searching for dental practices online.
At Dental Focus ® ‘Websites for your profit’ we’ve conducted our own research into mobile websites and the traffic our clients receive from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Our research tells us that on average one in three of your website visitors are now using a mobile device, and this figure is fast approaching one in two. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website already, then now is the ideal time to get one.
Speed is the key
For a mobile website to be effective it needs to be fast, and it needs to be simple. If a patient is searching for a dental practice on-the-go, then they will have a very short attention span. This means they want to be able to access key information in a very short space of time, even on a slow internet connection. If results aren’t almost instant, then many patients may be tempted to move on and search elsewhere.
Once your mobile-friendly website has loaded then research tells us that to be effective, your website needs only six pages. These are: a welcome page, an appointment form, ‘about your team’, a treatments menu, a ‘fees and offers’ page, and finally a page for patient testimonials. If your mobile website has more than these six key features you will run the risk of bombarding the reader with too much information and too many menus to navigate on a small screen. You should also include easy contact features such as ‘click to call’ telephone numbers and ‘click to find’ addresses linking to Google maps for directions.
Call the experts
Mobile internet use is growing rapidly, and is continuing to grow year on year. According to some sources there are now more people on earth that have access to a mobile phone, than have access to a toothbrush. Though this figure is of course quite worrying, it also goes to show just how important mobile communications have become. So, whatever you do, don’t get left behind. If there’s one thing you do this year, make sure you find out more about mobile-friendly websites, and how your practice can connect to more patients than ever before.
For more information call 020 7183 8388, or visit www.dentalfocus.com
About the author:
Alfie Jones is the resident Mobile Web expert and Sales Manager at Dental Focus ® ‘Websites for your profit’. Alfie has worked as a web designer, copywriter, college tutor and charity fundraiser before finding his niche with the team at Dental Focus. As an expert in social media and website technology, Alfie is the first port of call for any dentist who is serious about their online marketing.
 ‘Mary Meeker: Mobile Internet Will Soon Overtake Fixed Internet’, GigaOM, 12 April 2010 <http://gigaom.com/2010/04/12/mary-meeker-mobile-internet-will-soon-overtake-fixed-internet/> [Accessed 6th Jan 2014].
 ‘More Mobile Phone Access Than Toothbrushes, says Google’, Mobile Marketing, 21st October 2012, <http://mobilemarketingmagazine.com/more-mobile-phone-access-toothbrushes-says-google/#ZoDQuiITk7JQfDQt.99> [accessed 6th January 2014].