By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
Mobile is taking over the world. There’s no way around it. When you have a personal assistant in your pocket every day, why would you perform searches primarily on a desktop computer? As user behavior changes, the future of mobile advertising is changing as well. Hospitals and practices must keep up if they want to stay ahead.
If you don’t have some sort of mobile presence, you are missing out on opportunities to win patients and build your brand. And many doctors who think they have a mobile presence actually don’t. On one of our recent visits to Google headquarters in Silicon Valley, we had the chance to speak about how mobile advertising is changing the game in healthcare.
The Future of Mobile Advertising in Healthcare
Research shows that about 60% of all online searches are now done on mobile. In our time marketing for hospitals and practices across the country, we’ve seen this trend grow more and more each year. In fact, we’ve done our own research and found that, for our clients, mobile represents…
- 63% of our overall impressions.
- 71% of our total clicks.
- 67% of our inbound calls.
The majority of impressions, clicks, and calls coming from online sources are mobile. And this number will only get higher. As the future of mobile advertising continues to move this way, we do everything we can to ensure client sites are optimized for mobile, and you should too. If you aren’t reaching prospective patients in the right place, at the right time, with the right keywords, and on the right devices, you don’t have a chance.
Two Things that Kill Mobile Healthcare Campaigns
Success in mobile advertising with healthcare campaigns requires more than simply running an ad. You have to clean house first and foremost to ensure your advertising will actually be effective. There are two things that can quickly kill a mobile campaign.
The first is slow speed. This can be brutal for a mobile campaign. If it takes 5 seconds to load your page, people will lose patience. As small a detail as it may seem, people are far less willing to put up with slow load times than they were 5 or 10 years ago.
The second issue is a lack of mobile optimization. When you collapse your website from a desktop computer, are parts of your website missing? Do some items squish down so tiny you can’t even see them? That’s what users are seeing on their mobile devices. Today, websites should be responsive, meaning they are optimized for any size device.
Questions to Ask about Your Mobile Strategy
The future of mobile advertising is evolving. You have to ask yourself tough questions about your mobile-readiness if you want to keep up.
- Is your website fully responsive?
- Is it user-friendly?
- Does it load quickly?
- Does the content follow natural eye movement?
- Are there clear CTAs (calls to action) near the top of the page?
- Is it a confusing experience in any way?
- Do the colors work well?
However, there are many questions you won’t be able to answer by simply looking at your page. In our research, we have found that even small details, like the color of the button for your CTA, matters. That’s why it’s helpful to have a team of marketers to help you along your mobile-ready journey.
Get Mobile-Ready First and Foremost
We always recommend that hospitals and practices focus on their mobile readiness before moving on with their digital advertising campaigns. Otherwise, it’s a lot like revision surgery. If it’s not done right the first time, you’ll have to go back and spend more money later on.
We’ve seen extensive research on the role of mobile in search, but we also know about the mobile experience from our own behavior. Here’s an example: my mother recently fell and broke her hip. (It happens!) After her surgery, the doctor handed me a list of skilled nursing facilities. But a referral alone wasn’t enough for me. As a digital savvy person armed with a smartphone, I went through and looked up each facility on Google before selecting the right one.
I often marvel at my own user behavior on my smartphone because I’m really practicing what I preach. Throughout the day, I only have a few moments available to search, and I’ll likely choose products or services that respect those time constraints. All in all, your mobile campaign has to reach busy people as quickly as possible if you expect to gain them as patients.