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The Need for Speed

When today’s consumers are looking for a local service, chances are they’re reaching into their purse or pocket to pull out their smartphone. Last year, more Google searches were happening on mobile devices than on desktops.

Speaking to attendees at Recode’s Code Mobil conference, Google’s senior vice-president of search Amit Singhal said “For the first time, we’re getting more searches on mobile devices than on desktop.”

A recent survey by Thrive Analytics found that 60 percent of people turned to their mobile devices when searching for a local good or service. That means it’s more important than ever that your plastic surgery practice has a mobile site.

We’ve told you about the importance of mobile sites before. And now more practices are ensuring they have mobile sites to potential patients can find them no matter how they search. But that’s no longer enough – you have to have a site that is also easy to navigate and that loads quickly.

Wesley Young of searchengineland.com says “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.”

Radware measured the load time for the top 100 mobile sites and found that the median was 4.8 seconds. A one second delay may not seem like much, but to a busy consumer, it can seem like an eternity.

So what does all of this mean for plastic surgery practices? We think Google is going to start taking a closer look at site speeds. If your mobile site doesn’t load quickly and efficiently, we think you might start to see a drop in rankings.

In fact, 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.”

And they’ve launched an Accelerated Mobil Pages open source project to speed up the mobile web. The project will change the way sites are built and displayed, allowing them to load faster, giving users what they are looking for as quickly as possible.

If you don’t currently have a mobile site, it’s time to invest in one. Your practice is losing ranks every day that you don’t have one. But, it’s not going to be enough to just have a mobile-friendly site – you’ll need to ensure it loads quickly and allows potential clients to find the information they need easily.

That means you need to be sure your code is optimized, files and images are compressed, and your server has an improved response time.

Every second your potential patients wait may be driving them to your competitors.

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6 thoughts on “The Need for Speed

  1. Good article.
    A good website not only is more user friendly and comfortable for a user to navigate on, but also shows how much the business owner is caring about his/her customers.

  2. Page’s speed may affect a site’s Google ranking, but the question is how much does it affect a website’s ranking? Does it have a huge impact on Google ranking? Should the site’s owners consider it very seriously?

    1. It is not clear how much site’s speed affect’s rankings. However, it is common sense that sites that load faster create a better user-experience.

  3. I hate waiting for websites to load. I agree that Plastic Surgery practice owners need to be vigilant about making their sites as light and fast-loading as possible.

    Does anyone have recommendations as far as images are concerned? I know that fewer images is better, but is size important when it comes to images as far as load times are concerned?

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