5 steps to get patients who are searching for dentists on their smartphones

5 steps to get patients who are searching for dentists on their smartphones

photo credit: FaceMePLS via photopin cc

Our research tells us that most people making the dental services decisions for their family are the female spouse aka “the mom” of the house.  Common knowledge tells us that most moms are busy.  They multitask.

So when their kids need a dental service (orthodontics, first appointment, etc), when do you think they search for a dentist or dental specialist?  During a calm, luxurious afternoon at home on their laptop OR on their Smartphone sitting on the sidelines of afternoon soccer practice.  We think it’s the latter.

Skeptical? Consider this:

Virtually every (95%) Smartphone owner uses their phone to look for local information. What is even more convincing, is that 90% of Smartphone searches result in an action, with 77% contacting the local business and 61% immediately calling the business.

Still skeptical? Take a moment and ask your office staff these questions:
  • Do you use a smart phone? (iPhone, Android, etc)
  • When you are not at home, do you use it to search for products and services?

Did they say yes to both questions?  We thought they might.  So what does this mean for you?  Simple.  It’s time to develop a mobile marketing strategy…in short; you need to come up on a Google search and you need a website that works on a Smartphone.

Here are 5 steps to get more patients searching for a dentist on their mobile phone:

1. Keep your mobile site simple. This means avoiding “clutter,” wide (horizontal) menus, and scrolling.
2. Make your mobile site fast. This means eliminating unnecessary images and optimizing your site for lightning-fast downloads. Experts recommend that pages should load in 4 seconds.
3. Don’t use Flash. For now Flash cannot be used on many smartphones. But don’t worry, with HTML 5 and javascript technology, Flash interactivity is easily replaced.
4. Use the native OS features including click-to-call and Google Maps.
5. Use responsive designs for your website. A website that looks great on mobile phones, tablets, laptops and desktops is key. Design for every audience.

It’s apparent that people are doing more than just playing Words with Friends or Angry Birds on their Smartphones; they’re looking for local services, including dental services. For more information on creating a mobile-friendly website for your practice, here are two recent blog posts you might find helpful:

The Benefits of Responsive Dental Websites
It’s Time for Dentists to Develop a Mobile Strategy

TIP: Take advantage of mobile technology on your forms, signage and print advertisements. Smart-phone scannable QR codes make it easy for patients to find key services on your website like patient forms, reviews and facebook/twitter pages.