Focus on Mobile Search for your Dermatology Practice

Know a few important aspects of mobile search to create a successful dermatology mobile search strategy.

By Naren Arulrajah with Vikas Vij
 

Google announced last year that it was witnessing more search activity on mobile than personal computer (PC). This presents a major opportunity for dermatology marketers to reach potential patients in their local area throughout all the new touch-points of a patient’s online search journey. Search users, particularly on mobile devices, have higher expectations than ever before. They want the right answers to their queries, and they want them right away. This requires a marketer to answer their needs in the moment, whenever and wherever they are.

Here are a few important aspects of mobile search that you should know in order to create a successful dermatology mobile search strategy.

Mobile Search Influences the Consumer’s Purchase Journey

Google has carried out extensive research with different partners to analyze how the growing use of mobile devices is impacting the consumer’s purchase journey. The studies have overwhelmingly shown that consumers make use of their mobile devices, particularly localized mobile search, through the initial stages of their path to purchase, and then go all the way to take decision action for the purchase and share their experiences via mobile devices.

Therefore, if your dermatology website design is mobile responsive and the site content is mobile search optimized, you can dramatically improve your marketing reach and influence with potential patients in the local area who are looking for appropriate dermatology services.

Mobile Search for Consumers “On the Go”

Individuals with a busy lifestyle prefer to make their online searches for relevant information “on the go.” These search users are more likely to make their decisions if they are located close to your practice in the moment when they are performing their mobile search.

Therefore, if your dermatology website ranks well for several major localized keywords, has received positive reviews on local review and rating sites, is actively featured on social media, and offers consistent and accurate contact information and location map across all online channels to reach your office, it makes it easier to reach out to local “on the go” patients who are willing to make an appointment, and visit your office right there and then.

Decisions are Made Faster with Mobile Search

According to a Nielsen study, nearly three-fourths of all conversions via mobile search occur within the first five hours. Mobile search has the power to influence an individual’s decision, their micro moment when they have a greater need for a particular product or service, or they have a greater readiness to take decisive purchase action.

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The average elapsed time between searching and purchase action is drastically reduced in case of mobile users compared to PC search users. The shortened cycle of conversion indicates the higher sense of urgency behind an average mobile search query. One research study by Microsoft showed that nearly one-third of smartphone search users want to make their buying decision within the hour.

Cross-Channel Purchases Involve Mobile Search

To understand the full impact of a mobile search campaign, a dermatology marketer should account for leads and purchase actions across multiple channels that involve mobile devices. For example, an appointment with the dermatology office made via a phone call may have been the result of a “click-to-call” button on the mobile site.

Similarly, an email inquiry or an inquiry via the online contact form may have been completed while using a mobile device. In any case, more people who use their mobile devices to search for a product or service go on to make an actual purchase than in case of search via PCs.

Local SEO vs. Mobile SEO

At first look, local search and mobile search appear to be the same thing, but there is a key difference in the orientation of location-based search results between the two. Google search results in case of local search typically relate to the city or town where your practice is based.

But in case of mobile search, the Google search results will usually be “hyper local.” Hyper local means that the search results will adapt to the exact current location of the mobile search user. In other words, mobile search is focused entirely on the “person” while local search is relatively less personalized.

Optimal Mobile Website Configuration

At the moment, Google recognizes three primary forms of mobile site configurations, including responsive design, separate desktop and mobile sites, and dynamic serving. In case of responsive design configuration, the content on your desktop website is automatically adapted to render smoothly on a mobile screen. The site URLs remain unchanged and digital analytical reporting becomes simpler.

While Google prefers mobile responsive design configuration, you can still have separate websites for desktop and mobile. In such a situation, when a mobile search user clicks on your website link in search results, they will be automatically directed to a separate mobile site URL. This separate website will have to be optimized with mobile-specific code and content. In case of dynamic serving, the web server will automatically identify the user’s browser as mobile or PC, and serve up the appropriate HTML.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Mobile Site Design

Having a mobile responsive dermatology website by itself is no guarantee of high mobile search rankings on Google or higher conversion rates from mobile traffic. You have to constantly ensure that your mobile site design is free of the common flaws that usually bring down the performance of many mobile websites.

If the formatting of site content is not appropriate for mobile viewing, visitors to your site may have to pinch and zoom the screen in order to read the content clearly. In some cases, the readers may find it difficult to click on the links or a call-to-action. The web pages may have information overload or too many distractions, resulting in visitors exiting the site before they convert.

Regularly track the web analytics of your dermatology mobile website to identify issues with site performance and take corrective action. With a fully mobile optimized website, you can expect higher footfalls at your dermatology office over time than what you may have experienced with only a desktop friendly site.

Naren Arulrajah is President and CEO of Ekwa Marketing, a complete Internet marketing company which focuses on SEO, social media, marketing education and the online reputations of dermatologists. With a team of 140+ full time marketers, www.ekwa.com helps dermatologists who know where they want to go get there by dominating their market and growing their business significantly year after year. If you have questions about marketing your practice online, call 855-598-3320 to speak one-on-one with Naren.

 

Contact Info

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About Practical Dermatology

Practical Dermatology is the monthly publication that provides coverage of medical care, cosmetic advancements, and practice management for clinicians in the field. With straight-forward, how-to advice from experts in various fields, we strive to enhance quality of care and improve the daily operation of dermatology practices.