By Kathy Roy Gaughran
Senior Marketing Strategist
More often than not, attracting new patients to your medical practice means they found you first online. And the Internet has added vocabulary words to the daily parlance of communications and marketing professionals. Get acquainted with these three timely and useful terms that are no longer reserved for tech-speak of your IT person. A mastery of these terms will sharpen your healthcare marketing success.
Once upon a time, the Internet was tethered almost exclusively to a large, heavy and clunky desktop device and screen. But that’s no longer the case, and a one-size webpage or website isn’t sufficient. The comparatively tiny screens of mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) demand web pages that recognize the visitor’s constrained viewing space.
With upwards of half of visitor traffic using a mobile device, responsive web design is becoming mandatory. The intent is to detect the visitor’s screen size and use a flexible pallet of layouts, images, etc. to deliver web pages that fit. The downside of have only a static web page is that visitors are increasingly likely to be frustrated by the user experience and abandon your site for a friendly competitor’s easy-to-read website.
ABOVE (or below) THE FOLD
Old school journalism students understand this term that has it’s roots in the newspaper world. Editors push the most compelling news items of the day into the top half of the front page of a folded newspaper. Readers see this part first, particularly when the paper is displayed on a newsstand. And “below the fold” is less visible.
The term transfers nicely to webpage design, where information in the upper portion of the page (without scrolling) is highly visible and hence, it is the most valuable real estate. Highly effective web page design is a highly specialized talent, but recognizing what’s “above the fold” is a critical consideration in message and graphic placement.
GOOD BOTS, BAD BOTS
You may be surprised to learn that machines—not humans—inhabit the Internet…and they’re visiting your website. About 51 percent of all Internet activity is created by bots, software programs, also known as spiders or crawlers, that automatically (robotically, repetitively) scour the web. [Incapsula Bot Traffic Report]
Good Bots (27 percent of all website visits) are largely related to search engine indexing, such as Google and others. And, in non-technical talk, you want your website to be seen, understood and properly indexed by search engines.
The Bad Bots (31 percent) are the nasty, infectious dudes—also known as Impersonators, Hacking Tools, Scrapers and Spammers—that post malware, spyware and other annoying content.
Proper search engine optimization and website design and construction for security are the challenging necessities that lets humans (prospective patients and customers) find your site—and minimize the risk of “black hat” bots.
RELATED READING is available in our free library:
- A Clear and Sensible Business Case for SEO and Healthcare Marketing Analytics
- 5 Easy SEO Tips: Local Means Right Now and Right Here
- Managing Your Hospital Online Presence: SEO is Not a Silver Bullet Anymore [Podcast]