In April, Google announced new mobile-based criteria to determine search ranking. It was really a remarkable communication from the search-engine giant since they rarely make public comments on specific techniques to improve your website’s search rank.
In plain English, Google stated that if your website doesn’t load fast and look great on an iPhone or Android device, your local search rank could likely drop. Sharply. This was some of the biggest news in the search community in years, with some experts even referring to the update as “Mobilegeddon.”
This change makes sense since today more than 50% of patients use their smartphone to access your website. And about 30% are now using smartphones to book appointments! This is a dramatic increase from just a few years ago.
Google’s criteria involves more than the simple “faster-is-better” pageload speeds. Your site may be considered mobile unfriendly if it meets any of the following criteria:
- Text is too small to read
- Links are too close together
- A mobile viewport is not set
- Content is wider than your screen
Websites and landing pages we build for clients have already been “mobile optimized” for more than a year. Click here to to test a mobile-ready website for a dentist in NYC (using Google’s actual tool).
What can you do? First, test your website to see if you have a problem. Google offers tool which you can use to check your site. It will let you know what you need to improve on your site in order to avoid being penalized.
Next, invest in a new website redesign that takes into account “responsive” design principles.
For the truly “geeky,” there are simple ways for websites to detect visitors from smartphones and show them a different, mobile-friendly experience. Of course, it only works if you already HAVE a mobile-friendly website to which you can redirect a patient.
Rather than building an entirely new, mobile-ready website, some doctor.com clients redirect mobile visitors to a Doctor.com Showcase page or to their individual listing on Doctor.com. Mobile users get a mobile-friendly experience, while desktop users are none the wiser. Doing so gives you multiple chances to connect with clients.
If you’d like more information about redirecting to mobile websites, please give us a call.