When your potential patients are searching for a local dentist or orthodontist, where do you think they turn? As of 2015, more searches were happening on mobile devices than on desktops, meaning it is more important than ever that your practice has a mobile site.
Speaking to conference-goers at Recode’s Code Mobile conference, Google’s senior VP of search Amit Singhal said: “For the first time, we’re getting more searches on mobile devices than on desktop.”
And a Thrive Analytics survey found that 60 percent of people searching for a local service do so on a mobile device. That means if you don’t have a mobile-friendly site, you may be losing out on potential patients who are trying to find you.
We’ve talked about the importance of mobile sites before, so hopefully, this isn’t new to you. And because this is becoming a vital way for patients to find you, it can no longer be the only thing that sets you apart when potential patients are searching. So what else should you be doing?
Speed things up! We think Google is going to start looking at the speed of mobile sites and using that in their algorithm.
Why? Wesley Young of searchengineland.com says it best “Consumers don’t just want mobile websites, they want fast mobile websites. Consumer attention spans are growing shorter. Consumers abandon websites if they take too long to load, with 40 percent abandoning a site if it takes more than three seconds to load.”
That means ever additional second it takes for your mobile site to load could be sending potential patients elsewhere.
Google says “Speeding up websites is important — not just to site owners, but to all Internet users. Faster sites create happy users and we’ve seen in our internal studies that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there.”
Speed is so important to Google that they recently launched a new open source project called Accelerated Mobile Pages. The AMP project is aimed at speeding up the mobile web by changing the way websites are built and displayed, making them faster and more efficient.
So it would stand to reason that if Google has started a new project aimed at speeding up the mobile web, they’re going to pay attention to the speed of your mobile-friendly site.
Google is notoriously mum on what factors really go into play in their algorithms, and what weight should be applied to each factor. But we know being mobile-friendly can’t be enough to get by anymore.
When looking at a mobile-friendly site, you have to ensure you’ve built one that is easy to navigate, allowing potential patients to find the information they need easily, and one that loads quickly. To do that, you’ll need to ensure the code is optimized, any files and pictures are compressed, and you’ll want to improve your server response time.
Every second is valuable in today’s busy world. Smartphones allow us to have access to a world of information at our fingertips, so don’t miss out on potential patients by letting those seconds slip by.